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Answering the critics

World Bank president James Wolfensohn responds to the many criticisms being thrown at the institution, points to some of its recent achievements and outlines a vision of how it might work in future.

World Bank president James Wolfensohn, talking to Euromoney's James Smalhout, responds to the many criticisms being thrown at the institution, points to some of its recent achievements and outlines a vision of how it might work in future.


       
James Wolfensohn

How do you respond to secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill's statement in his speech last June to the Detroit Economic Club that the world hasn't gotten enough, in terms of poverty reduction, for the funding that it has made available to the World Bank?

I think that, if you take the last decade, we've had some substantial improvements. The proportion of people living in poverty has been reduced from 29% to 24%. We've seen advances in terms of education, the rights of women and infant mortality. Indeed, Larry Summers once said that we've had more achievements in terms of development in the last 50 years than in the rest of human history.


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