UNITED NATIONS: World Bank Chairman Robert McNamara told the United Nations Economic and Social Council here today [Dec 5] that the Bank intended to double its lending to developing countries in the next five years in order to finance increased food production.

Mr McNamara who was formally Defence Secretary of the United States, criticised the US — for reducing its development aid and called for an urgent drive to overcome the problems presented by rapidly rising populations. He said: “Many capital-exporting countries are increasing their assistance to the nations of the Third World. But their example, alas, is not being universally followed. The reduction in the development aid effort of the United States in particular is so severe as to offset what otherwise would be a rising trend.” The World Bank regarded this as a challenge, he said, and added: “Our intention is that the World Bank group during the next five years lend twice as much as in the previous five”.

Mr. McNamara went on: “Over the next five years our lending in Asia — already the largest recipient of Bank group financing — should increase to more than double its previous rate, and we aim to achieve this faster pace in Latin America also. In Africa, our lending should triple.”

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2018