With rising food prices and soaring unemployment wreaking havoc across the developing world, World Bank President Robert Zoellick has some dreary news, declaring that the world is “one shock away from a full-blown crisis.”
Like a chubby kid doing a chin-up, a group of finance ministers and heads of state has declared that it is “challenging but feasible” to generate $100 billion a year by 2020 to fund a program allowing developing countries to adapt to the effects of climate change and reduce domestic emissions.
While supporters of the much troubled Doha Round of the World Trade Organization believe talks may have found their second wind, only the world’s largest economies seem to be breathing. The form of capitalism supported by these countries is resisted by poorer nations, which rightly fear WTO deregulations would disproportionately benefit the wealthy.
The World Bank is being criticized for a persistent lack of environmental focus in an internal review of its lending activities. The new report rails against the environmental degradation caused by many bank-funded projects in poor countries that harm local communities in the name of “development.”
The House has voted to lift a ban on aid, including contraception, to family planning clinics and organizations that perform abortions. The measure would still block the direct funding of abortions, but Republicans opposed to the bill say sending condoms to the clinics would give them more resources to perform abortions.