The World Bank is stepping up its cooperation with various donors to help improve living conditions in the developing world.

The bank is partnering with the Islamic Development Bank, whose latest funding decision involves USD772 million for new development projects, to help close the gap in infrastructure investments in the Middle East and North Africa. It is increasing its cooperation with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ Fund for International Development in the areas of economic and social infrastructure. The International Finance Corp., the World Bank’s private sector arm, is also working with Denmark to support private sector development in developing nations.

In Europe, prospects of launching the European External Action Service in December have been marred by budget and staffing issues. Meanwhile, improving the European Union’s disaster response capacity will be high on the agenda of European Union aid commissioner Kristalina Georgieva next year.

Norway announced it will will focus its foreign aid in 2011 on clean energy and climate change adaptation. It intends to spend 27.1 billion Norwegian kroner (USD4.6 billion) in overseas assistance next year.

Meantime, the U.K. is overhauling CDC, a government-owned development finance institution, and establishing a new private sector unit at the Department for International Development as part of a series of reforms to help encourage private sector participation in development work. The British government has also launched a new volunteering scheme focusing on young Britons.

Several aid organizations is criticizing a policy of branding U.S. aid to flood-ravaged Pakistan, which they say threatens aid worker security in the Islamic nation. The U.S. is also assisting another disaster-ravaged country, Haiti, with a USD120 million contribution to the World Bank-managed Haiti Reconstruction Fund.

Meanwhile, Canada and Australia have announced new pledges to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.