The World Bank announced Wednesday it is prepared to resume assistance to Myanmar after 25 years, saying it is ready to provide $85 million in grants for development while also helping to clear almost $400 million in arrears from old loans.
International donors offered $16 billion in development aid for Afghanistan on Sunday to show there will not be a mass exodus from the country after most foreign troops pull out in two years. They stressed the aid will be closely monitored to assure it is not squandered through corruption or mismanagement.
With U.S. unemployment persistently and unacceptably high, President Obama and others from all political persuasions have voiced support once again for establishment of a new government-created institution that would provide loans and guarantees to finance U.S. infrastructure. They note Asia's continued economic growth and cite the region's - and particularly China's - tremendous investments in showcase infrastructure projects as reason enough to support greater government financing of infrastructure and development - and the jobs that come with such spending.
For the past 12 years, a businessman in the northern Indian city of Kanpur has been paying a $113 bribe to government officials to get his income tax refund. The difference now is that he's talking about it on ipaidabribe.com, a website that serves as an outlet for pent-up frustration with corruption in India.
Booming populations, rapid urbanization and competing demands for food and energy will drain Asia's dwindling freshwater supplies unless the region better manages its resources, experts said Tuesday.
Islamist terrorists may exploit the chaos and misery caused by the floods in Pakistan to gain new recruits, the country's president warned Thursday — remarks echoed by a leading U.S. senator who said America would stand by its vital wartime ally during the crisis.
President Bush has moved promptly to fill the vacancy at the World Bank left by outgoing President Paul Wolfowitz. The nomination of Robert Zoellick, a widely respected foreign policy hand with considerable management experience, should end the swirl of publicity that buffeted the Bank in recent months. But it should not be a pretext to weaken the Bank's anti-corruption efforts that are so important to its mission of alleviating global poverty.
Asia's economic boom could still be undercut if the region fails to address a growing income gap and the lack of strong financial and infrastructure links, a top official of the Asian Development Bank said yesterday.