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This Week in World Bank History November: 10 – 16

November 10, 2002 – A presentation of historical events by the World Bank Group Archives, Information Solutions Group (ISG).

Nigeria signs the IDA Articles of Agreement, 1961. Present at the signing were His Excellency J. M. Udochi, and Sir William Iliff.
November 10, 1947—The Administrative Circular relays the following notice by Vice President R. L. Garner: "The Administrative Manual is currently being distributed to all offices of the Bank, Executive Directors and their Alternates and other members of the staff for their information and guidance. It embodies the overall administrative framework within which the Bank is organized and will function. The Manual is not complete as it stands. It will be the responsibility of those to whom the Manual is issued to keep it current. The Manual is part of your working equipment and should be kept readily accessible at all times. Properly used it will provide a sound basis for securing continuing improvement of working relations and results. Effective this date, Administrative Orders 1 to 25 inclusive, which were issued on or prior to October 24, 1947, are superseded by the Manual and should be destroyed."

November 15, 1948—The Bank announces that the preliminary phase of an inquiry into hydro-electric projects for the island of Luzon in the Philippines has been completed. The projects were part of a comprehensive development plan for the Philippines covering agriculture, mining, power, industry, transportation, communications and public works. The Philippines submitted loan applications to the Bank for two hydro-electric projects and a fertilizer project. However, the first loan to the Philippines was not signed until November 1957.

R. L. Garner issued the first Administrative Manual in 1947
November 13, 1950—The midpoint results of the 1950 Community Chest Federation Campaign are announced. To date 212 staff members had contributed $4,668.50. The Bank’s quota for the campaign was $6,900.

November 11, 1954—IBRD reports a net income of $5.4 million for the three months ended September 30, 1954 compared with $5.3 million for the same period in 1953.

November 12, 1954—President Black announces the results of the 1954 Community Chest Red Feather Campaign: $7,783 had been contributed by Bank staff. President Black said that the Campaign was somewhat more challenging that year due to participation in Operation Advance, but that the Bank’s goal had been achieved.

November 16, 1954—Henry W. Riley, Treasurer, addresses the dinner meeting of the Men’s Forum, Detroit Chapter of the American Institute of Banking, in Windsor, Ontario. Mr. Riley described the operations of the Bank: in eight years of operations, the Bank had made 109 loans totaling over $2 billion in 36 countries for 430 projects. The projects included electric power, transportation, communications, agriculture, industry, and general development. The Bank funded these projects primarily by the sale of its own bonds to investors. At that point the Bank had outstanding 20 bond issues totaling the equivalent of $850 million (nine issues of US dollar bonds totaling $715 million, and the equivalent of $135 million in 11 issues of Canadian dollars, pounds sterling, Swiss francs, and Dutch guilders).

November 12, 1958— William F. Howell, Director of Administration, writes in the Administrative Circular: "As in previous years, questions have been asked about exchange of Christmas cards among staff members. The managements of the Bank and Corporation wish to make three points clear: No staff member need feel under obligation to send Christmas cards to other staff members. Those who nevertheless wish to send cards to other staff members should not send them to their offices. The address of the Bank and Corporation should not be used as a return address for either cards or packages. In past years Christmas mail has imposed a very heavy workload on the Mail Room."

Bank Treasurer Henry W. Riley addressed the Men’s Forum in 1954
November 10, 1960—Donald D. Kennedy, formerly of the US Department of State, joins the World Bank as Special Assistant for Indus Basin Affairs. Mr. Kennedy was appointed to serve as the Bank’s Administrator of the Indus Basin Fund and to maintain liaison with Pakistan and the donor governments. The Indus Basin Treaty was signed on September 19, 1960. At the same time, the Indus Basin Development Fund was established to finance the construction of the large water replacement works in Pakistan allowed under the Treaty.

November 14, 1960—Cuba withdraws from the World Bank and IFC. "The Government of Cuba has withdrawn from membership in the World Bank. The withdrawal took effect yesterday (November 14, 1960), when the Bank received written notification of the Government’s decision to withdraw. At the same time, Cuba automatically ceased to be a member of the International Finance Corporation, an affiliate of the Bank. Neither the Bank nor the Corporation has made any investments in Cuba. In accordance with the Articles of Agreement of the Bank and of the Corporation, arrangements will be made for the repurchase of Cuba’s shares of capital stock in both institutions." This brought the total number of IBRD members to 67 and IFC members to 59.

November 14, 1961—IDA Articles of Agreement are signed by Nigeria, which becomes the 56th member of IDA.

November 13, 1962—IDA Articles of Agreement are signed by Sierra Leone, which becomes the 70th member of IDA.

November 16, 1962—IDA Articles of Agreement are signed by Dominican Republic, which becomes the 71st member of IDA.

Sierra Leone signs the IDA Articles of Agreement, 1962. Present at the signing were His Excellency Dr. R.E. Kelfa-Caulker and Secretary Morton Mendels
November 12, 1963—The first loan to New Zealand is signed: Loan 0364 – Harbour Project. The $7.8 million loan was to improve the ports of Auckland, Lyttleton, Napier, Timaru and Whangarei. Present at the signing were Mr. G. R. J. Hope, Commercial Ambassador of the Embassy of New Zealand, Mr. George R. Larking, Ambassador of New Zealand to the United States, and Mr. Geoffrey M. Wilson, Vice President of the World Bank.

November 12, 1965— James E. Twining, Jr., Deputy Director of Administration, writes in the Administrative Circular: "Staff members eligible for home leave next spring and summer who plan to travel by sea should complete Form No. 3 – ‘Leave Request’ as soon as possible. The form should be approved by the Department Head and forwarded to the Personnel Records Section, where the necessary authorization will be prepared and sent to the Travel Office. The Travel Office will not make reservations for home leave travel until this authorization has been received. Steamship reservations for spring and summer travel may be obtainable if requests are made before the end of this calendar year. Thereafter, it will be increasingly difficult to arrange the desired accommodations."

November 11, 1967—Sri Lanka becomes the 37th member of ICSID.

November 13, 1968—Singapore becomes the 43rd member of ICSID.

November 10, 1969—The Bank unveils its first loan to Nepal: Credit 0166 – Telecommunications Project. The project was to expand the local telephone exchanges, improve international and long distance communication facilities, and provide for the installation of telex facilities and the employment of consultants to assist in the reorganization of the telecommunications board.

Loan 0364 New Zealand – view of the port of Napier in 1963.
November 14, 1969—The Bank announces that it has developed a comprehensive health insurance plan for staff members and families for medical and surgical care and hospitalization. The new plan was with New York Life, and replaced the existing Blue Cross and Blue Shield health coverage.

November 16, 1970—The new schedule of official Bank holidays is announced: New Year’s Day, George Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. The inclusion of Columbus Day was a change from earlier policy.

November 16, 1971—The Bank publishes its 6th annual edition of the World Bank Atlas. The twelve page pamphlet summarized gross national product, population and growth statistics, and was available free of charge. The Atlas was published by the Socio-Economic Data Group of the Bank’s Economic Program Department.

Loan 0364 New Zealand – Lyttleton Harbour.
November 13, 1973—Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) meets in Washington and pledges $33 million in research assistance for calendar year 1974. This is double the amount made available in 1972, the first full year of the Group’s operation.

November 12, 1974—The Report of the Communications Task Force is issued to all staff. The Task Force was commissioned by President McNamara’s President’s Council to study communications within the Bank. The Task Force recommended that managers at all levels should assign a higher priority to communications with staff; communications skills were to be a criterion for managerial selection; the Information and Public Affairs Department should be responsible for monitoring the flow of internal communication; and a periodic newsletter for staff should be issued. In issuing the Report, Vice President Bernard Chadenet said that upward communication was at least as important as downward communication.

Singapore becomes a member of ICSID, 1968. Present at the signing were Secretary Morton Mendels, His Excellency Professor Wong Lin Ken, and ICSID Secretary-General Aron Broches.
November 10, 1978—Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) meets in Washington, and pledges $103 million in research assistance for calendar year 1979.

November 14, 1978—Mr. Mahmud Burney is appointed as World Bank Representative to United Nations Organizations in Geneva. Burney joined the Bank in 1954. He was an Operations Officer in both the South Asia and Middle East Department and in the Africa Department, later becoming Resident Representative in Ethiopia and Nigeria. Prior to this post, he served as Training Advisor to the Vice President, Central Projects Staff. He served in Geneva until 1983, returning to headquarters as a senior advisor until his retirement in 1990.

November 14, 1979—Rwanda becomes the 75th member of ICSID.

Ceylon (Sri Lanka) becomes a member of ICSID, 1967. Secretary Morton Mendels (left), His Excellency Oliver Weerasinghe, O.B.E. (center), and Aron Broches, ICSID Secretary-General (right)
November 12, 1980—Vice President Martin J.W.M. Paijmans announces that the ongoing Hay survey on staff compensation levels is going well, but that the announcement of the final decisions have been postponed until April 1981. The Hay survey compared the salary levels in private and public sector organizations in France, Germany and the United States, and was used as a basis for setting appropriate compensation levels for Bank staff (to be retroactive from March 1, 1980). Due to the high levels of inflation during the year, the Bank provided a special 5% supplement to individual salaries, effective September 1, 1980.

November 15, 1982—President Clausen announces that a position of Special Representative for IDA is established, reporting to the Senior Vice President, Finance. Andre de Lattre was appointed to the position and was responsible for handling the negotiations for the replenishment of IDA 7 resources.

Credit 0166 Nepal – a man operating the switchboard at the Indian Exchange in Kathmandu, 1969.
November 14, 1983—Warren C. Baum, Chairman of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), announces his retirement, to become effective at the end of 1983. Mr. Baum joined the Bank in 1959 and served as Associate Director and then Vice President for Projects, subsequently serving as Vice President Operations Policy. He wrote the booklet "The Project Cycle," which became standard reading for Bank orientation classes. Mr. Baum was succeeded as CGIAR Chairman by S. Shahid Husain, Vice President Operations Policy.

November 13, 1986—Senior Vice President Finance Moeen A. Qureshi announces a departmental restructuring of the Bank’s borrowing and liability management functions. Joseph P. Uhrig became the new Director Borrowing Relations, reporting to the Vice President and Treasurer. Deputy Treasurer Heinz Vergin became Acting Director, Financial Operations Department, until a replacement for Mr. Uhrig was announced.

November 11, 1987—Unusually heavy snow in Washington closes the Bank. Ian Hume, Director PERCO, issued guidance to managers covering staff attendance. Late arrivals were allowed, but by mid morning it was decided to close at 2:00 pm (staff could use their lunch hour to leave earlier). Late arrival was allowed on November 12, but liberal leave policy could be selectively applied.

Workers operating the switchboard at the Indian Exchange in Kathmandu, 1969.

November 12, 1988—President Conable travels to Jordan and Saudi Arabia for a four day visit. It was his first visit to the two countries since assuming his position in July 1986.

November 15, 1989—Wilfried P. Thalwitz is appointed Senior Vice President Policy, Planning and Research, replacing W. David Hopper.

November 14, 1990—President Conable travels to Moscow for two days of talks with President Gorbachev and other senior Soviet officials. The purpose of the talks was to explore ways in which the Bank could help the Soviet Union in its efforts to move to a market economy. It was the first visit by a World Bank President to the Soviet Union.

November 14, 1991—Albania becomes the 97th member of ICSID.

November 16, 1992—The Bank announces its first loan to the Russian Federation: Loan 3513 Rehabilitation Loan Project. The project was to provide foreign exchange to finance imports needed in support of Russia's program of stabilization and economic reform.

The oldest telegram delivery man in Kathmandu. The address on the telegram is translated into Nepalase to enable him to make the correct delivery (1972 photo).
November 16, 1993—Bilsel Alisbah retires as Vice President of Personnel and Administration, a position he had held since 1989. Mr. Alisbah also served as Chairman of the Appeals Committee.

November 13, 1997—U.S. Congress approves continued funding for IDA.

November 10, 1998—The World Bank report Assessing Aid: What Works, What Doesn’t and Why is published. The report called for more foreign aid and for open trade, secure private property rights, the absence of corruption, respect for the rule of law, social safety nets, and sound macroeconomic and financial policies.

November 19, 1998—The Government of Japan and the Bank jointly host a symposium entitled, "Partnership for the Road to Recovery in East Asia." The symposium was held to discuss ways in which the two partners could work together to restore economic growth and to protect the poor in East Asia. Bank President Wolfensohn delivered the keynote address.

November 10, 1998—The Bank announces that up to $200 million from existing projects in Central America is eligible for use to assist those countries devastated by Hurricane Mitch. Additional emergency loans were also being prepared.

November 11, 1999—The Second World Faiths Development Dialogue is hosted by the World Bank and the Archbishop of Canterbury at headquarters. The meeting was convened to help bridge the gap between faith communities and the World Bank so that they could work together more effectively. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh faiths, the World Council for Religion and Peace, and senior staff of the Bank.

Mahmud Burney appointed World Bank Representative to United Nations Organizations in Geneva 1978.
November 12, 1999—President Wolfensohn meets with the newly elected President of Indonesia Abdurrahman Wahid in Washington. He applauded the new wave of democracy in Indonesia, and pledged the full support of the World Bank Group.

November 16, 1999—The Bank approves two loans for Turkey to help recover from the effects of the Marmara earthquake of August 17, 1999. The two loans totaled $757.53 million and were approved four days after another major earthquake struck Turkey.

November 12, 2000—The Bank issues a statement on the financial difficulties in Argentina: "The World Bank welcomes the steps announced by President Fernando de la Rua to strengthen the Argentine economy and to accelerate growth. World Bank management and staff are discussing with the Argentine Government a detailed program to enhance structural and social reforms, building on the steps now announced and on the underlying strengths of the Argentine economy. As agreements are reached, Bank management would be prepared to recommend to the Executive Directors that further financial assistance be provided as part of a larger support initiative by the international community, also being announced by the International Monetary Fund and the InterAmerican Development Bank in parallel announcements."

Vice President Martin Paijmans.
November 13, 2000—The Bank releases a series of forty-four country reports entitled, Socio-Economic Differences in Health, Nutrition and Population, urging governments to ensure that the most needy of their populations receive adequate health care.

November 15, 2000—The Bank opens a Japanese language website for Japanese bond investors. The website supplemented the English language site which opened in January 2000, and was testimony to the long relationship between the Bank and Japanese investors.

November 16, 2000—President Wolfensohn announces his support for the final report of the World Commission on Dams. The Commission found that building dams can provide economic benefits, but frequently exacted huge costs in the non-economic sphere. Wolfensohn said, "Dams offer huge benefits but sometimes at a large cost. The Bank is currently funding less than 1 percent of dam projects worldwide within strict environmental and social guidelines. Our involvement in large dams has been decreasing and is focusing more on financing dam rehabilitation and safety and much less on financing new dams. This report will help guide our work in the future and I will immediately pass it to the Bank's shareholders. The critical test for us will be whether our borrowing countries and project financiers accept the recommendations of the Commission and want to build on them."

November 12, 2001—The Bank and the IMF agree that Ethiopia has reached the decision point under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, and becomes eligible for $1.9 billion in debt service relief. Ethiopia was the 24th country to qualify for debt relief.

Andre de Lattre, appointed Special Representative IDA, 1982.
November 13, 2001—A new Bank policy establishes which of the active Trust Funds may not be administered by a Task Team Leader who is also a short-term consultant. Stating that the assignment of temporary staff to manage assets held in trust by the Bank presents a control risk to the institution, the Bank clarified that only staff with "open-ended" or "fixed term" employment status will be eligible to manage trust fund projects.

November 13, 2001—President Wolfensohn and Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon issue a joint statement calling for reduction in agricultural subsidies in the developed world, saying that the subsidies were preventing exports from the developing world to the rich countries. The statement was issued following the completion of meetings at Marlborough House in London.

November 15, 2001—The Bank announces that two staff members aboard a Trans Guyana Airways flight were hijacked during a flight yesterday and are now safe and well in Georgetown, Guyana. James Droop and Keith McLean were two of the twelve passengers on board the flight taken over by four armed men who demanded they be taken to an airstrip in Brazil. The hijackers released the plane and passengers before escaping into the jungle. No one was injured and both Bank employees reported that they were fine.

Without Records there is no History. Courtesy of ISG’s World Bank Group Archives.




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