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Opinion

Robert Zoellick and Shakira: She wolf, he World Bank

Robert Zoellick, now president of the World Bank, and singer Shakira have teamed up to launch a $300 million initiative aimed at expanding development programmes for children in Latin America and the Caribbean.

They make an unlikely pairing. One was a senior official in president George W Bush’s administration famous for his neo-conservative views, the other is a Colombian pop star well known for her skimpy stage outfits. But Robert Zoellick, now president of the World Bank, and singer Shakira have teamed up to launch a $300 million initiative aimed at expanding development programmes for children in Latin America and the Caribbean.

"By giving every child a fair start in life, we are improving our collective future," Shakira told the audience during the signing ceremony in Washington.

The initiative is a partnership between the World Bank, Columbia University’s Earth Institute and Shakira’s Alas foundation (Fundación América Latina en Acción Solidaria).

Unicef goodwill ambassador Shakira is Latin America’s Bono, hobnobbing with the world’s great and good. She has spoken with the US Congress; her foundation has solicited contributions from Mexican telecoms entrepreneur Carlos Slim; and her boyfriend is the son of a former president of Argentina.

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