Journal Issue
Finance & Development, March 1978

Bank activity: Population activities are reviewed by Bank and other donors; lending rate revised; IDA credit for second Calcutta urban development project; External Advisory Panel on Education established; industrial finance assistance for Tunisia; new group formed to assist Caribbean development; Bank loans and IDA credits

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Published Date:
March 1978
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The Bank reviews population work with other donors at London meeting

At a meeting held in London on December 5 and 6, 1977, Bank officials, and other donors who fund population activities in the developing countries, explored the possibility of more satisfactory relationships among donors in the formulation and conduct of population programs, and ways to improve collaboration. The meeting followed a recommendation of the Bank’s External Advisory Panel on Population in 1976, and was also attended by the following agencies and countries: the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Population Council, Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The External Advisory Panel on Population was set up late in 1975. It consisted of five experts, and was chaired by Bernard Berelson, President Emeritus of the Population Council. It examined all aspects of the Bank’s population work and suggested actions and policies to make its work more effective in the future.

During the discussions in London, detailed information on objectives, strategies, and policies was exchanged. Three case studies—Bangladesh, Kenya, and Thailand—were examined to illustrate the difficulty of developing a detailed analysis satisfactory to all donors, each of whom has quite different requirements and methods of operation. These differences cause delays in the processing and implementation of co-financed population projects. The need for coordination between the Bank and the UNFPA emerged clearly in the meeting. Suggestions were made and others are expected to follow from the bilateral donors on ways to reduce the overlap in programs of the Bank and the UNFPA.

The following general conclusions emerged from the meeting:

• Donors now have a better perception of the complexities of population dynamics and the breadth of population activities than before; they recognize that a broad range of activities directly focused at reducing fertility is needed, beside a further set of activities that can enhance fertility decline.

• Donors wish to receive firm and well-defined proposals before committing funds for projects and related activities.

• It is recognized that national and international procedures for allocating assistance are complex.

• If financial assistance for population activities is to be increased, donors will require well-documented, critical evaluations of programs. These will have to be followed by efficient project implementation.

• Nongovernmental organizations, because of their flexibility and prompt response to recipients’ needs, have a useful role to play in support of national population programs.

Better cooperation and coordination among donors will benefit the Third World countries, which will have fewer and less divergent demands made on them. As a result of the London meeting, it is hoped that the funds and technical assistance provided for population will have a more coherent rationale.

World Bank lending rate reduced

From January 1, 1978, loans approved by the World Bank for the third quarter of fiscal year 1978 (January through March) are carrying an interest rate of 7.45 per cent, down from 7.90 per cent in the previous quarter.

The reduction in the interest rate has become effective according to a formula adopted by the Bank in May 1976. Under this formula, the Bank’s lending rate is reviewed quarterly and is maintained at 0.5 per cent above a specially calculated average cost of Bank borrowings during the preceding 12 months. The average cost of borrowings was 6.95 per cent between January 1, 1977 and December 31, 1977.

More IDA aid for Calcutta project

The International Development Association (IDA) has approved an interest-free credit of $87 million to India for the Second Calcutta Urban Development project. The Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) will implement the project, which will help to improve urban services—water supply, sewerage, and sanitation—particularly to benefit the poor. Traffic and transportation services will also be improved. The CMDA was previously assisted by a $35 million IDA credit approved in 1973.

Under the second project, a pilot health program for 175,000 low-income residents will also be established; credit and extension services will be provided to about 4,800 small enterprises; and about 440 primary schools will be constructed or remodeled for 60,000 children, mostly living in slums. The project carries a low per capita cost, and it is expected that its service designs will serve as models for other development efforts. The Netherlands is providing $1.8 million toward the cost of this project.

IDA credits approved during second quarter of fiscal year 1978(Ended December 31, 1977)

(In millions of U.S. dollars)
BurmaSeed development5.5
CameroonFeeder roadsb6.5
EgyptWater supply engineering2.0
HaitiWater supply6.6
India (3)Urban development, grain storage,
agricultural extension and research202.0
KenyaSmall-scale industries10.0
Lao People’s
Democratic Rep.Agricultural rehabilitation and development8.2
Pakistan (3)Hill farming, irrigation, and forestry74.7
Upper Volta (2)Development Finance Company, railwaysb9.2

Figures in parentheses are the number of credits approved for the respective country.

With a $4.6 million World Bank loan.

With a $23.0 million World Bank loan to the Ivory Coast.

Figures in parentheses are the number of credits approved for the respective country.

With a $4.6 million World Bank loan.

With a $23.0 million World Bank loan to the Ivory Coast.

Caribbean Group will foster development

A Caribbean Group for Cooperation in Economic Development will be established in the spring of 1978. This was decided by a conference on economic development in the Caribbean, held at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., on December 14 and 15, 1977, which was attended by representatives of 30 governments and 15 international agencies.

The Group will consist of the Caribbean countries, other Bank member countries, and international agencies interested in making substantial contributions to economic development in the area. The Group and its sub-groups, which may be formed, will coordinate external assistance to the region and review national and regional activities related to economic development.

The purpose of the Group is to increase external aid flows to the area over the next five years in order to expand employment opportunities for the some 15 million inhabitants of the Caribbean countries and to accelerate national and regional economic growth. The conference expected that increased external aid would be accompanied by a greater mobilization and more effective use of domestic investment resources.

The World Bank convened the conference in cooperation with the Caribbean Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.

External Advisory Panel on Education

An eight-member External Advisory Panel on Education was established by the World Bank in December 1977. The Panel is chaired by David E. Bell of the Ford Foundation and has other members from Brazil, Cameroon, India, the Netherlands, Thailand, the United States, and Zambia.

The Panel will review the educational needs and resources of the developing countries; examine the Bank’s past and present activities in education and training, including lending, sector work, policy, and research; and make recommendations for future Bank operations in the education field. It will take about one year to complete its report.

Tunisia industrial finance project

A project for the expansion of industrial enterprises in Tunisia will be assisted by a $35 million loan from the World Bank. The Banque de Développement Economique de Tunisie will receive $30 million, of which $2 million is earmarked for the expansion of existing small-scale enterprises. The remaining $5 million will be used by the Tunisian Government, through the Agence de Promotion des Investissements, and by participating banks, to give financial and technical assistance to newly created small-scale enterprises. About 2,300 new jobs will be created, at an average cost per job of $7,000.

World Bank loans approved during second quarter of fiscal year 1978(Ended December 31, 1977)

(In millions of U.S. dollars)
BoliviaUrban development17.0
Cameroon (2)Feeder roads, rubber and oil palm b19.6
Costa RicaUrban transport16.5
IndonesiaNucleus estate, small holder65.0
Ivory Coast (2)Feeder roads, railwaysc52.0
Korea (2)Agriculture and irrigation, Development Finance Company for small-scale and medium-scale industries91.0
MalaysiaNational agricultural extension19.0
Nicaragua (2)Urban water supply and rural sanitation13.1
ParaguayRural water supply6.0
PhilippinesTree farming8.0
TanzaniaDevelopment Finance Company15.0
ThailandIndustrial estates4.8
TunisiaIndustrial finance35.0

Figures in parentheses are the number of credits approved for the respective country.

With a $6.5 million IDA credit.

With a $5.2 million IDA credit to Upper Volta.

Figures in parentheses are the number of credits approved for the respective country.

With a $6.5 million IDA credit.

With a $5.2 million IDA credit to Upper Volta.

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