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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that the World Bank and its affiliate, the International Development Association (IDA), will support three projects in Kenya—one for rural access roads, an additional for integrated rural development, and a third for wildlife and tourism. A US$4 million loan and a US$4 million IDA credit will assist the government of Kenya in implementing the first phase of the rural access roads program. The program aims at the construction of 15,000 km of rural access roads in eight years.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper examines the expanded role for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) with a major capital increase. The paper highlights that for the first time in its history, the IFC is undertaking a major increase of its share capital. In a decision made by its Board of Governors in November 1977, the IFC’s authorized capital stock has been increased by US$540 million, from US$110 million to US$650 million. Of the increase, US$480 million has been allocated for subscription by current member countries. More than US$165 million has already been subscribed and US$33 million paid.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that important changes have been made in the World Bank’s management systems since Mr. A. W. Clausen became President in July 1981. The changes reflect Mr. Clausen’s belief that there needs to be a more collegial approach to decision making and greater delegation of authority. The aim is that the World Bank should become more efficient and its activities should be more responsive to its clients’ needs. A Managing Committee was also established to take decisions on all key issues facing the World Bank.

I.J. Singh and Bingu Wa Mutharika

This paper discusses the launch of the Brandt Commission. The paper highlights that during the week of the Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors of the World Bank and the IMF in Washington, D.C. (September 26–30, 1977), Willy Brandt, former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, announced that he would head an independent commission that would identify “ways of restructuring international relations that would command the widest possible support.” The Commission will have about 15 members, both from developed and developing countries.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that the annual meetings of the World Bank and its affiliates, the International Development Association (IDA) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and of the IMF, were held in September 1965 in Washington. At the Bank Group meetings, stress was laid on the urgent needs of the less developed countries and on the Group’s plans for increasing its help toward meeting these needs. In his annual address, the President of the three institutions, Mr. Woods, emphasized the widening spectrum of the World Bank’s lending.

Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, Victor Ginsburgh, Mr. Shlomo Weber, Tim Harford, and Jeff Madrick

'Wising Up to the Costs of Aging' looks at how falling fertility and rising life expectancy have combined to threaten the ability of many countries to provide a decent standard of living for the old without imposing a crushing burden on the young. In our lead article, Ronald Lee and Andrew Mason say that while population aging in rich industrial countries as well as in some middle- and lower-income countries will challenge public and private budgets in many ways, a combination of reduced consumption, postponed retirement, increased asset holdings, and greater investment in human capital should make it possible to meet this challenge without catastrophic consequences. Neil Howe and Richard Jackson publish a fascinating ranking of which countries are best and worst prepared to meet the needs of the growing wave of retirees. We also have articles on a broad range of current topics, including Middle East unemployment, the economic repercussions of the earthquake and devastating tsunami in Japan, and banking in offshore financial centers such as the Cayman Islands. Carmen Reinhart and Jacob Kirkegaard look at how governments are finding ways to manipulate markets to hold down the cost of financing huge public debts, and, in Straight Talk, the IMF's Min Zhu talks about the long-term challenges now facing emerging markets. Prakash Loungani speaks to Nobel Prize winner George Akerlof, and we discuss with three other laureates-Michael Spence, Joseph Stiglitz, and Robert Solow-what the global economic crisis has taught us. Back to Basics explains economic models, and Picture This highlights the great variations in the cost of sending money back home.