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World Bank Announces Debt Relief Package for 18 Poor Nations


The World Bank's policymaking committee has announced an ambitious plan to cancel 100% of the debt of 18 of the world's poorest countries, mostly in Africa.

In Washington today-Sunday, the bank's president, Paul Wolfowitz, said the organization had fulfilled its obligation to billions of the world's poorest citizens.

The action by the World Bank followed Saturday's decision by the International Monetary Fund to back the plan, which was first presented by the Group of Eight industrialized countries in July.

Finance ministers and central bank chiefs at the meeting also expressed concern about steeply rising oil prices, saying they could slow economic growth throughout the world. They say the prices, which have doubled in 18 months, have hit the world's poor the hardest.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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