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Publication( 2007-02-13) Wolfowitz, PaulIn his opening remarks, President of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz said that the international community needs to do much more and faster and take advantage of this unique opportunity that Liberians have now, after 25 years of instability, to take control of their destiny. Liberia’s $3.7 billion debt is clearly unsustainable and an unacceptable burden. He called on the international community to work together to clear the arrears so that the country can move forward. He paid tribute to what he terms as the “inspirational leadership of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,” and added that this new hope must not be allowed to fade away. He said that “Those who remember the horror of the past can hardly imagine that Liberia has now become a place of hope.
Publication( 2006-02-09) Wolfowitz, PaulPaul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank, stated that the importance of cities is increasing on a daily basis. By 2030, China alone will add 342 million new urban residents, and India 271 million. Africa will add 395 million people and more than half (54 percent) of its population will be living in urban areas. Urbanization creates job opportunities and poverty challenges. Urbanization has place mayors on center stage to implement solutions to alleviate poverty at the local level. The World Bank established a dedicated urban unit more than 30 years ago, with estimated lending on urban issues in 2005 at $7 billion. The Bank looks forward to strengthening partnerships with local governments.
Publication( 2005-09-24) Wolfowitz, PaulPaul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank, makes the case for ending poverty in our lifetime, especially in Africa. There is an urgent need for action, because thousands of people living in extreme poverty, many of them children, die every day from preventable diseases. The call to end poverty reaches across generations, continents, and nationalities. It spans religions, gender, and politics. Wolfowitz claims that the world is at a turning point, with grounds for hope. The last few decades have witnessed dramatic improvement in the condition of the world's poorest people. He cites as key factors leadership and accountability, respect for women, civil society, the private sector, and legal empowerment of the poor. He concludes that in order to find solutions for alleviating poverty, the World Bank needs to strengthen its knowledge and expertise in such areas as education, health, infrastructure, energy and sustainable development, and agriculture. We must chart a course for a future in which today's poor become tomorrow's entrepreneurs.
Publication( 2005-09-08) Wolfowitz, Paul ; Fay, Michael ; Leautier, Frannie ; Gomes, PauloPaul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank, congratulated the editorial team of National Geographic for the special issue on Africa. National Geographic has played a unique role in broadening the knowledge of the world. The World Bank partnered with National Geographic to produce a full-color wall map to raise awareness of the millennium development goals (MDGs) and to highlight each country's progress. We often hear about an Africa that is ravaged by poverty, disease and conflict. There is another face to Africa, one of hope, ambition, energy, intelligence and achievement. That face is also captured compellingly in this issue. Africa’s future holds rich opportunities. To seize these opportunities, there are many challenges to overcome. Given the enormous scale of this challenge, we need to come to terms with what we can and cannot achieve with the MDGs. The World Bank is working with countries that request help to strengthen legislation and institutions so they can take charge of combating corruption. Africa's transformation will depend on the commitment of the international community and the resolve of Africa's people and leaders. Michael Fay, National Geographic Explorer in Residence, spoke of his travels in Africa and said that there is a very direct relationship in particular in the African continent, but indeed everywhere on earth, between the management of the natural resource base and poverty alleviation, the wellbeing of humanity. Frannie Leautier, of the World Bank Institute, said countries working together can reach solutions that are much better than when they work individually. She noted the need to balance between human life and other life forms, with the forests, animals and so on. Paulo Gomes, of the World Bank Board of Directors, said the issue was very rich in presenting the ecological dimension of the diversity of Africa. The Bank needs to do something in preparing a comprehensive strategy to rebrand Africa in a more positive light. Africa has a formidable reservoir of variety in fauna and flora that can be used for science and the good of the continent. The panel fielded questions on urban ecology, indigenous knowledge, resource management, and governance amid ethnic diversity.