(World Bank, Washington, DC, 1967-04-13)
Woods, George D.
George D. Woods, President of the World Bank Group, spoke of a world crisis. Food riots in Asia, government coups in Africa, student violence in this Hemisphere and elsewhere, are among the symptoms of it. It is the crisis of a new world trying to be born--the crisis of the developing countries in their struggle to achieve economic viability, national unity, and the respect of other nations. The task of development assistance has proved to be one of almost infinite complexity. The process of growth, whether of people or countries, is intricate, and when its intricacy is compounded by all the difficulties of relationships between sovereign nations, problems seem to arise in a limitless number of permutations and combinations. The knowledge and the means exist to enlarge greatly the riches of the world, to help many millions to escape hunger and to achieve, or at least approach, decent living standards for the first time. What is needed now are firm political decisions to carry out an intensive, sustained and coordinated attack on underdevelopment, together with the political will and stamina to stay the course. This will require overcoming some paradoxes that have trapped both donor and recipient countries. The World Bank Group is in a strong position to tackle these aid issues due to its articles of agreement which endow it with an aptitude for cooperation, the opportunity to be independent, and a fundamental policy of basing operations on economic factors and staying out of politics.