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This Week in World Bank History: September 29 – October 5

September 29, 2002 A presentation of historical events by the World Bank Group Archives, Information Solutions Group (ISG).

View of the Dakar Railway Station, the terminus of the Senegal Railways (1967 photo)

September 29, 1948 The Third Annual Report is released. The report described the European reconstruction loans made to date, the increased number of projects submitted to the Bank for consideration, the survey missions to member countries, the newly implemented system of supervision of loan proceeds, and the broader market for the Bank’s bonds.

October 1, 1949 – First funding for Yugoslavia: Loan 0020 – Agriculture Timber Equipment Project.

September 30, 1951 – First loans repaid (Finland, Yugoslavia).

October 2, 1952 – J. Burke Knapp is appointed Director of Operations for the Western Hemisphere. Knapp returned to the Bank after two years absence spent on assignment for the U.S. Government, serving as economic adviser to the U.S. Delegation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and U.S. President of the Joint Brazilian-U.S. Economic Development Commission. He originally joined the Bank in 1949. Knapp later served as Vice President of Operations and Chairman of the Loan Committee (from 1956 – 1972), and as Senior Vice President Operations and Chairman of the Loan Committee until his retirement in 1978.

October, 1953 – "We’ve embarked on our 1953-53 bowling season, and all signs point to a very lively, spirited battle to the last pin and the last trophy." International Bank Notes, October 1953.

October 4, 1956 – IFC Articles of Agreement signed by Luxembourg, becoming the 35th member of IFC.

October 3, 1958 – World Bank approves a loan to Brazil equivalent to $73 million for the first stage of the largest hydroelectric project ever undertaken in Latin America (Loan 0211 – Furnas Hydroelectric Project). It was the second largest loan (after the Kariba Dam in Rhodesia) that the Bank had made to date. A power station was built on the Furnas Rapids on the Rio Grande River about 200 miles north of Sao Paolo. The earth and rock-fill dam was nearly 400 feet high, and created a reservoir nearly 150 miles long.

J. Burke Knapp appointed Director
of Operations for the Western Hemisphere, 1952

September 29, 1959 – The World Bank issues its Fourteenth Annual Report. The past fiscal year was the second year in succession that the Bank’s lending exceeded $700 million, and consisted of 30 loans in 19 different countries. Electric power was the sector with the greatest amount of lending, followed by transportation (primarily railway improvements). Loans for industry, mining, and agriculture were also made.

September 30, 1960 – World Bank acts as an executing agency for UN Special Fund in study of transportation in Argentina. The study concentrated on surface transportation – road, rail and water, and prepared an integrated plan of investment and related measures for improvement and development of the transportation system.

October 4, 1960 – IDA Articles of Agreement signed by Jordan, becoming the 16th member of IDA.

October 5, 1960 – First meeting of Pakistan aid consortium is held, sponsored by the World Bank. The Governments of Canada, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States were represented, and the group began preliminary discussions of Pakistan’s Second Five-Year Plan of economic development.

October 4, 1961 – President Eugene Black addresses the Investment Bankers’ Association in New York. Mr. Black referred to his previous career before joining the Bank: "In a very real sense I feel that I have come home. When I left here almost 15 years ago for Washington, it was your support which was my greatest ally in helping to mold the World Bank into what it is today. And though I have had to travel much and have come to know well many parts of the world, it is always Wall Street to which I am drawn again by will and inclination. Yet I would certainly not have wanted to miss the privilege that has been mine during these past 15 years of participating in the exciting, frustrating, perplexing – and yet infinitely hopeful - business of helping to build up the economies of less developed countries around the world…For I am convinced that foreign aid is the concern of Wall Street as much as it is the concern of Washington and that there is a great deal that you, as financial and business leaders of America, can and should do about it." World Bank press release, October 4, 1961.

October 5, 1962 – World Bank announces that it will send a mission to study the economic implications of the proposed merger of the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, and the Borneo Territories to form Malaysia. The mission was headed by Professor Jacques L. Rueff, French Inspector General of Finance, and included Leonard Rist, John A. Edelman, E. Bevan Waide, and others.

October 5, 1962 – The World Bank issues The Economic Development of Spain, a report of an economic mission undertaken by the Bank. The mission was the largest survey mission to date organized by the Bank, consisting of 16 persons. The mission concluded that the prospects for the Spanish economy were very favorable, especially given the government’s decisive role in directing public investment into productive channels and creating an environment in which business men and farmers could make their maximum contribution.

September 30, 1963 – IBRD and IDA Articles of Agreement signed by Rwanda, becoming the 101st member of the Bank and the 86th member of IDA.

September 30, 1963 – Annual Meetings open at Sheraton-Park Hotel in Washington.

An aerial view of the Furnas Hydroelectric Project, with the fill-type dam on the left (1962 photo)

October 1, 1964 – Irving S. Friedman is appointed as The Economic Adviser to World Bank President George D. Woods. Mr. Friedman had been Director of the Exchange Restrictions Department of the IMF, and Mr. Woods expressed his appreciation of the cooperative attitude of Mr. Pierre-Paul Schweitzer, Managing Director of the Fund, in releasing Mr. Friedman. In his new assignment, Mr. Friedman reported directly to Mr. Woods, concentrating his attention on the problems of development finance from the viewpoint of both the creditor and the recipient countries, and on the subject of maximizing cooperation between the Bank, IDA, and the IMF.

October 4, 1964 – World Bank economic mission to Brazil arrives in Rio de Janeiro. The mission was to review and appraise current economic conditions and future prospects, and to study the Government’s economic development program and policies. The mission, expected to last seven weeks, included Barend A. de Vries, Heinz Vergin, S. Shahid Husain, Donald King, Hans A. Adler, and others.

October 1, 1965 – The government of Brazil and the World Bank agree to finance a survey of railways, highways, ports and shipping in Brazil, to assist the government in formulating a ten-year master plan for the years 1967-76 for the modernization and development of transport in the country. The survey was to be completed within one year. (An eight volume report on Brazil’s transport system was issued in 1973).

October 4, 1965 – First meeting of the Malaysia Consultative Group is held, convened by the World Bank.

October 5, 1965 – The government of Korea and the World Bank agree to finance a survey of Korea’s transportation system. At the time, Korea’s transport system consisted of a fairly well developed railroad, a limited system of paved highways and a few ports. The system was barely sufficient to cover the current needs of the economy, and substantial investment in transportation would be needed for further economic development.

September 29, 1966 – First funding for Mali: Credit 0095 – Railway Project. The project consisted of the improvement of parts of the Kayes-Senegal border and Bamako-Koulikoro lines, the purchase of locomotives, rolling stock and equipment, the construction of a workshop, the renewal of telephone lines along part of the track and the provision of consulting services.

The Furnas dam under construction (1962 photo)

September 29, 1966 – First funding for Senegal: Credit 0096 – Railway Project (01). The project consisted of the high-priority items in the Railways’ Four-Year Investment Plan 1965/66-1968/69. It included the re-laying of certain lines and completion of the doubling of the Dakar-Thies line, the purchase of locomotives, rolling stock, spare parts and equipment and the provision of consulting services.

October 4, 1965 – First meeting of countries interested in forming a Consultative Group for the Coordination of Assistance to Malaya (Malaysia) was held in Washington under the auspices of the World Bank. Countries represented were Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The IMF was also represented at the meeting.

October 4, 1966 – First funding for Malawi: Credit S002 – Roads Engineering Project. The project consisted of three separate parts: (a) the services of engineering consultants for the detailed engineering, including design and preparation of tender documents, of the Zomba-Lilongwe road; (b) the review, and revision as necessary, by the same engineering consultants, of the detailed engineering and cost estimates already prepared by the Ministry of Works for the Lilongwe-Zambian border road; and (c) reimbursement to the Malawi Government of the cost of the route selection study carried out last year at the request of the Association.

September 30, 1968 – Robert S. McNamara addresses the Bank’s Board of Governors at the Annual Meetings held at the Sheraton Park Hotel in Washington.

September 30, 1968 – World Bank announces that it will serve as executing agency for a transport survey for Indonesia, financed by UNDP. Indonesia, made up of several thousand islands, had numerous port facilities, but the road network was badly in need of repair.

September 29, 1969 – Annual Meetings open at the Sheraton Park Hotel in Washington. In his Annual Meeting address President McNamara called for a doubling of the lending rate from the previous five years, so that in the next five years the Bank would lend as much as it had in its first twenty-two years of operations. He called for a new emphasis on population planning, educational advances, and agricultural growth. He also called for development in literacy, nutrition, and water supply

October 1, 1969 – William S. Gaud succeeds Martin Rosen as Executive Vice President of IFC.

President Eugene Black with colleagues

October 1, 1969 A new Central America and Caribbean Department is created in the Bank. The new department was responsible for Bank operations in Mexico, the Central American countries, member countries in the Caribbean area, and Venezuela and Guyana. Mr. Edgar Gutierrez was appointed director of the new department.

October 2, 1969 – Hans Fuchs is appointed Director of the Bank’s newly formed Industrial Projects Department. The new department was responsible for expanding Bank lending in the industrial sector, and to make practical recommendations to developing countries on how to best accelerate their industrial growth. Mr. Fuchs had previously been Director of IFC’s Engineering Department.

October 3, 1969 – IBRD Articles of Agreement signed by People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (Yemen), becoming the 112th member of the Bank.

October 1, 1970 A meeting to consider the establishment of a Consultative Group for the Philippines is held in Paris under the chairmanship of the World Bank. Representatives of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States were present. Also present were representatives from the IMF, UNDP, the Asian Development Bank, and OECD. The meeting concluded that the Philippines had favorable opportunities for rapid economic growth, although no decision on whether or not to form a Consultative Group was reached.

October, 1971 – Iceland, a Part II member of IDA since 1961, is the first country to change to Part I status.

September 29, 1972 IFC Articles of Agreement signed by Lesotho, becoming the 97th member of IFC.

September 29, 1972 – IDA Articles of Agreement signed by Fiji, becoming the 110th member of IDA.

October, 1973 – World Bank establishes Resident Mission in Khartoum, The Sudan, headed by Gautam S. Kaji.

September 30, 1974 – President McNamara opens Annual Meetings in Washington, describing the condition of the world’s poor as "appalling," calling for more concessional aid from the wealthy countries, and proposing to increase World Bank lending to the prudent maximum. McNamara said that the recent oil crisis had a near disastrous effect on the developing nations. Developed nations, preoccupied as they are with the oil crisis would be tempted to put aid considerations aside. But aid was needed more than ever. Affluent nations may have to face selective reductions in their already high standards of living. But while they can absorb such inconveniences, for the poorest nations, further reductions do not mean inconvenience but appalling deprivations and the risk of death.

Irving S. Friedman appointed as The Economic Adviser to President Woods, 1964 (1973 photo)

September 30, 1974 – World Bank publishes Redistribution with Growth, an anti-poverty strategy paper discussing income distribution and economic growth. Hollis B. Chenery, Vice President for Development Policy, was the primary author, and described the book: "The main thrust of the book is the need for fundamental reorientation of development strategies so that the benefits of economic growth can reach a wider range of the population of developing countries…The book is intended as a progress report on our work towards formulating viable strategies for redistribution and growth. We hope that it will make some contribution to the growing debate on these vital questions by sharpening the issues and providing the framework for further analysis." World Bank Press Release, September 30, 1974.

October, 1974 – The Executive Directors approve proposals to directly link the Operations Evaluation Unit to the Executive Directors, to institute the title of Director-General for the manager of the Operations Evaluation Unit, and to separate the Internal Auditing Unit from the Operations Evaluation Unit.

October, 1974 – The Interim Committee (of the IMF) and the Development Committee (formally, the Joint Ministerial Committee of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on the Transfer of Real Resources to Developing Countries) are established following the approval of a parallel resolution by the Bank and Fund.

October 1, 1974 – IFC Articles of Agreement signed by Cameroon, becoming the 100th member of IFC.

October 1, 1974 IDA Articles of Agreement signed by New Zealand, becoming the 114th member of IDA.

October 1, 1974 – World Bank issues a staff study entitled Agricultural Credit. The study concluded that smallholder farmers should not have to pledge their land as loan security; instead, loan repayments should be coordinated with the marketing of crops, or credit agencies could be paid a percentage of the farmer’s output rather than a fixed amount. Smallholder farmers frequently lacked certified titles to their land, which made pledging land as collateral very difficult. Pledging land as loan security was thought to be appropriate for large landowners however.

October 4, 1976 – President McNamara opened the Annual Meetings in Manila, Philippines. He drew attention to the growing debate within the international development community over the issue of additional support from the developed nations to assist the developing countries achieve acceptable rates of growth. He described the plight of the poorest nations and the growing burden of debt, but stated that the real difficulty faced by the poorest nations was not the burden of debt itself, but the very low level of capital flows, which was so low as to limit economic growth.

September 30, 1977 – IBRD and IDA Articles of Agreement signed by Sao Tome and Principe, becoming the 130th member of the Bank and the 118th member of IDA.

September 30, 1977 – IFC Articles of Agreement signed by United Arab Emirates, becoming the 107th member of IFC.

September 29, 1980 – IBRD, IFC and IDA Articles of Agreement signed by Dominica, becoming the 136th member of the Bank, the 115th member of IFC, and the 123rd member of IDA.

Mali railways – locomotive at the railway station in Bamako, Mali

September 29, 1980 – IBRD Articles of Agreement signed by Seychelles , becoming the 137th member of the Bank.

September 29, 1980 – IBRD, IFC and IDA Articles of Agreement signed by Zimbabwe, becoming the 138th member of the Bank, the 116th member of IFC, and the 124th member of IDA.

October 1, 1980 IFC Articles of Agreement signed by Congo (Brazzaville), becoming the 117th member of IFC.

October 1, 1980 – IBRD , IFC and IDA Articles of Agreement signed by Djibouti, becoming the 139th member of the Bank, the 118th member of IFC and the 125th member of IDA.

October 1, 1980 – Bernard Chadenet retires from the Bank (having left the Bank in 1954 and returned in 1964). Lester Nurick retires as Vice President and General Counsel, and is succeeded by Heribert Golsong. Hugh Scott becomes Associate General Counsel, and David Goldberg becomes Assistant General Counsel.

October, 1981 – Benjamin B. King, Director Development Economics Department, retires from Bank. King joined the Bank in 1947.

October 4, 1983 – IFC establishes a Special Operations Unit, responsible for managing the recovery and rehabilitation of selected investments. The Unit was staffed by Everett J. Santos and Theo K. Zirkel as Chief Special Operations Officers.

October 1, 1984 – Sir William Ryrie becomes Executive Vice President of IFC.

September 30, 1985 – Dr. Andre LeBrun, Director of the Medical Department issues guidelines for the use of Video Display Terminals (VDTs) and Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs). "We all know that problems such as eye strain, blurred vision, fatigue, headaches, muscular tension and improper blood circulation may result from working for long hours with the VDTs or CRTs and, consequently, in the long range a loss of productivity due to disease and absenteeism…The Bank considers it important that staff members operating these devices be allowed to take a break from the screen on a basis of about 10 minutes every hour or 15-20 minutes every two hours depending upon personal preference. Again, it must be noted that this break is not idle time but time that can be devoted to other office activities which do not require intensive use of the eyes, or sitting for extended periods in the same position." Administrative Circular, September 30, 1985.

October 1, 1985 – New grade and salary structure implemented in World Bank.

September 29, 1986 – IBRD Articles of Agreement signed by Kiribati, becoming the 151st member of the Bank.

September 29, 1986 – In response to inquiries, the World Bank issues a statement on its forestry operations. The statement asserts that the Bank is deeply concerned about the destruction of tropical forests, and is intensifying efforts to effectively deal with the problem, including a shift from industrial plantations and logging to social forestry or community forestry.

October 2, 1986 – IFC and IDA Articles of Agreement signed by Kiribati, becoming the 129th member of IFC and the 135th member of IDA.

October 3, 1986 – World Bank announces that Fiji, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, and Yemen Arab Republic have all signed the MIGA Convention, becoming the 46th, 47th, 48th, and 49th members respectively. MIGA awaited ratification and the necessary capital subscriptions before becoming operational.

September 29, 1987 – President Barber Conable announces that Paul A. Volcker, former Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, will serve as a consultant to the World Bank, serving in a general advisory role.

Signing of the loan agreement for the first loan to Senegal. President Woods (left) and Mr. Knapp (right) are joined by His Excellency Habib Thiam, Minister of Planning and Development of Senegal, and Mr. Mohamed Nassim Kochman, Executive Director of IDA for Senegal, 1966

September 29, 1987 – President Barber Conable addresses the Annual Meetings in Washington, pledging that the World Bank will do still more to attack global poverty. Conable said that he has "rededicated a renewed World Bank to economic growth and the fight against poverty. In pursuit of these goals, I have pledged strong action on debt, firm support for economic reform and adjustment, new initiatives to promote the private sector, and renewed and innovative programs to safeguard the human environment." He called for full replenishment of IDA-8, an expanded IFC, and a general capital increase. He said that the newly reorganized Bank provided a better vehicle for success. World Bank Press Release, September 29, 1987.

September 30, 1987 – Final day of the Reorganization’s Round 2 selection process. Of 5910 staff who participated, 5410 were selected during Rounds 1 and 2; 500 selected separation packages.

September 30, 1988 – President Conable opens the Annual Meetings in Berlin, stating that the amount and level of poverty in the world is a "moral outrage".

October 4, 1988 – Announcement of the establishment of a Bank Resident mission in Bangui, Central African Republic, headed by Mr. Jean-Paul Dailly.

October, 1990 – Second phase of Special Program of Assistance (SPA II) is launched. Eighteen donors pledge $7.4 billion in cofinancing to support adjustment programs in low-income, heavily indebted countries of Sub-Saharan Africa.

October 3, 1990 – Results of the fourth Attitude Survey are released to staff. Over 5,000 staff completed the surveys, and President Conable summarized the results: "Although still low, morale in most respects is higher than it was in 1988. Commitment to the Bank Group’s mission continues to be strong, as is the interest in having the Institution pursue its development goals firmly and clearly. Most of you feel your work groups are effective, you enjoy your work, and have a sense of personal accomplishment. You are satisfied with the extent of your authority to carry out your responsibilities, and feel you are able to use and expand your professional skills. Significantly, most of you have confidence in your immediate managers. A strong vote of confidence is also given to the Staff Association and its constructive role in conveying staff views to Management." FYI, October 3, 1990.

October 3, 1991 – MIGA Articles of Agreement signed by Bolivia, becoming the 67th member of MIGA.

October 3, 1991 – Johannes Linn is appointed Vice President, Financial Policy and Risk Management, succeeding Joseph Wood, who is appointed to Vice President, South Asia Region. A region for Europe and the Soviet Union was established, headed by Wilfried Thalwitz. Caio Koch-Weser is appointed Vice President Middle East and North Africa Region. Gautam Kaji is appointed Vice President for the East Asia and Pacific Region. All appointments became effective December 1, 1991.

October 3, 1991 – Citing the size and complexity of the Bank’s budget, President Preston calls for a simplified budget process and reduced time for budget preparation.

October 4, 1991 – Mr. Wadi D. Haddad is appointed to the position of World Bank Special Representative to the United Nations in New York., effective November 1, 1991.

October 4, 1991 – President Preston announces Senior Management appointments, describing the responsibilities of the three Managing Directors Attila Karaosmanoglu, Sven Sandstrom, and Ernest Stern. A Policy Review Committee was created, chaired by Mr. Sandstrom; the Loan Committee was chaired by Mr. Stern.

September 30, 1992 – New operational travel policy guidelines are described, to become effective January 1, 1993. The guidelines described travel zone designations, usage of rest stops, class of travel, provisions for policy exceptions and examples of policy application. Zone designations are based on flight time plus connecting time, rather than simply flight time as under the previous policy. Staff and long term consultants travel in business class; short term consultants travel in economy class. EXC, VPs, and EDs continue to travel in first class.

October 1, 1992 – World Bank establishes Resident Mission for Central Asia in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to serve Kyrghyzstan, Tadjikistan and Turkmenistan. The Resident Mission is headed by Mr. Parvez Hasan.

Vendors sell their wares to passengers aboard the train from Dakar to Thies as they board at Dakar Railroad station

October 2, 1992 – First funding for Estonia: Loan 3522 – Rehabilitation Loan Project. The purpose of the loan was to finance imports for the energy, agriculture, transport, and health sectors. The loan also provided advisory services for legal reform, pilot privatization, auditing, procurement and local government finance.

September 29, 1993 – IFC Articles of Agreement signed by Latvia, becoming the 159th member of IFC.

September 30, 1993 – IFC Articles of Agreement signed by Uzbekistan, becoming the 160th member of IFC.

September 30, 1993 – IFC Articles of Agreement signed by Kazakhstan, becoming the 161st member of IFC.

October 1, 1993 – MIGA Articles of Agreement signed by Turkmenistan, becoming the 114th member of MIGA.

October 1, 1993 – World Bank and European Investment Bank (EIB) announce the second three-year phase of the Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Program (METAP). METAP II has a broadened geographic scope, an increased scale of operations, and a sharper focus on water quality, urban environmental management and domestic capacity building.

October 4, 1994 – MIGA Articles of Agreement signed by The Bahamas, becoming the 125th member of MIGA.

October 5, 1994 – MIGA Articles of Agreement signed by Vietnam, becoming the 126th member of MIGA.

October 5, 1994 – First funding for Turkmenistan: Loan 3791 – Institution Building / Technical Assistance Project. The project was to: (a) provide assistance in the design and development of the Government's reform policies and programs; and (b) help build the institutional capacity and skills base to carry out these reforms. The loan financed the following components: (a) privatization and private sector development; (b) financial sector modernization; (c) social sector which included financing of a living standards measurement survey and the development of policies for the design of basic pension systems to cover private sector employees; (d) energy sector to include: 1) strengthening joint venture administration in the Ministry of oil and gas; and 2) providing training for the oil and gas sub-sector in technical and management skills; and (e) institutional support and development. In addition, the loan financed the establishment of a Project Implementation Unit (PIU) to support the implementation of this loan.

September 29, 1995 – Palestine Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat visits the World Bank Headquarters in Washington to thank Bank staff for their assistance following the 1993 peace accord with Israel. (The Bank had provided a sector-by sector analysis of the area’s most crucial needs, and provided $30 million for an Emergency Rehabilitation Project to rehabilitate roads, power, schools, water, sanitation and other infrastructure.)

October, 1995 – Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) announces the release of its Investment Promotion Network (IPAnet), an Internet-based information exchange targeted to the international investment community.

October 3, 1995 – World Bank and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) release a study on the conservation of terrestrial biodiversity: A Conservation Assessment of the Terrestrial Ecoregions of Latin America and the Caribbean. The study was conducted by the World Wildlife Fund over a period of two years, and was funded by the World Bank, the WWF, and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The report provided a map of suggested biodiversity conservation priorities which could be used by individual countries in setting specific investment priorities.

October 4, 1995 – President Wolfensohn announces the retirement of Vice President Wilfried Thalwitz, effective November 30, 1995. Thalwitz had spent 32 years in the Bank, working in DEC, West Africa, as Chairman of CGIAR and GEF, and Vice President of ECA.

October 5, 1995 – MIGA Articles of Agreement signed by Guinea, becoming the 130th member of MIGA.

The Honorable John E.U. Tembo, Minister of Finance of Malawi and Mr. J. Burke Knapp, Vice President of IDA sign the agreement for the first credit to Malawi, 1966

September 29, 1996 – The Interim Committee of the IMF formally endorsed the Heavily Indebted Poorest Countries (HIPC) Debt Initiative, a commitment to reduce the debt burden of countries that must spend the benefits of their economic growth on servicing their debt.

September 30, 1996 – President Wolfensohn announces that the World Bank will establish and manage a Trust Fund to serve as the principal vehicle for the HIPC initiative. The Bank immediately transferred $500 million to the Trust Fund to launch the HIPC initiative. The Ministers of the Group of 24 (G-24) issued a statement applauding progress on the HIPC Initiative.

September 30, 1996 – The World Bank and the European Commission issue the first annual status report on the reconstruction of Bosnia. The majority of funds pledged had been translated into commitments for specific programs. Marks of progress included the rehabilitation of railway lines, the re-emergence of commercial air traffic, repairs on key bridges, rehabilitation of power generation plants and power transmission lines, the import of livestock, repairs to residential areas, among others.

October 1, 1996 – At his Annual Meetings speech, President Wolfensohn argued for a "new development compact’ for transparent and efficient development assistance that will enjoy the support of the citizens of donor and borrower countries alike. He said that the Bank is ready to help tackle the need for greater transparency, accountability and institutional capacity in borrowing country members. He identified corruption as a "cancer" and a barrier to development, and called for a new compact between donors, investors and recipients in which the Bank would work to attract more private capital to the poor countries which were largely cut off from foreign direct investment. He called for better integration of social, cultural, and institutional issues with development; he envisioned the Bank serving as a knowledge organization; and pledged to revitalize the Bank’s quality.

October 1, 1996 – Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt initiative was approved by governments around the world meeting in Washington, enabling poor countries with good policy performance to escape from unsustainable debt and to focus their energies on sustainable development and reducing poverty.

October 4, 1996 – World Bank creates a new information clearinghouse for private businesses wanting to become involved in the Bank’s development projects. The Business Partnership Center (BPC) served as a central contact point for information and referral services for the private sector. (The BPC ceased operations in June, 2002.)

October 1, 1997 – World Bank announces a new Global Debt Issuance Facility (GDIF), which replaced the World Bank's existing multicurrency note program, and which served as the general documentation platform for a wide range of the Bank's bonds, ranging from international benchmark issues to small private placements.

October 3, 1997 – MDOPS hosts a Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) Seminar to instruct staff on the latest CAS innovations and requirements. The Seminar was opened by Managing Director Sven Sandstrom, who related the new CAS process in the context of the Strategic Compact. The Discussion Panel included Lyn Squire, Dan Aronson, Colin Bruce, Michel Cardona, John Clark, Shanta Devarajan, Jeff Lewis, Ian Porter, Enrique Rueda-Sabater, and Ulrich Zachau, and was chaired by Joanne Salop.

President Robert S. McNamara addresses the Annual Meetings

October 2, 1998 – The ASEM-EU (Asia – Europe) Trust Fund commits an additional $3.7 million in aid to assist countries affected by the East Asian financial crisis. This brought the total amount committed to $16 million since the inception of the trust fund in April 1998.

October 3, 1998 – The World Bank joins with over 70 private sector and civil society organizations to implement new ways of working in partnership with governments and communities to maximize development impact through a new initiative called Business Partners for Development (BPD). It was a three-year initiative utilizing a $3 million grant from the World Bank.

October 5, 1998 – The World Bank joins with the governments of Japan and the United Kingdom to sponsor a multi-donor technical assistance facility to help developing country governments improve the quality of their infrastructure through private sector involvement. The Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) would channel technical assistance to governments, and identify, disseminate and promote best practices on matters related to private sector involvement. The PPIAF was expected to be launched in early 1999.

October 5, 1998 – The Development Committee meets in Washington to discuss the Asian financial crisis and the Bank Group’s response, Bank-Fund collaboration, the increase role of partnerships, HIPC implementation, and post-conflict assistance.

September 29, 1999 – Barbados signs the IDA Articles of Agreement, and becomes the 161st member of IDA.

September 29, 1999 – During the World Bank Annual Meetings, the international community expressed strong support for East Timor and endorsed a plan to jumpstart reconstruction and development assistance.

September 30, 1999 – The World Bank warned that the fight against world poverty is failing. The warning was based on new poverty data and consultations with poor people throughout the world (the consultations to be later published as Voices of the Poor.) The Bank announced an enhanced poverty strategy that relied on closer partnership with the IMF and client governments, and the launch of a new initiative aimed at creating a single document – the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) – which would be a joint production of the Bank, the IMF and the client government. Emphasis was placed on client government "ownership" of the development process. The enhanced strategy was presented to the Development Committee, and put into practice many of the elements of the Comprehensive Development Framework, which aimed at a balanced approach linking macroeconomic and financial parameters in a country with the human, structural and social aspects.

October 1, 1999 – Ms. Joanne Salop is appointed Vice President, Operations Policy and Strategy.

October 1, 1999 – Ms. Ann Bensinger is appointed Ombudsman.

October 1, 1999 – Mr. Maartje van Putten is appointed to the World Bank Inspection Panel.

October 4, 1999 – World Bank, the Government of Italy, and UNESCO jointly convene a conference in Florence, Italy entitled "Culture Counts". The conference addressed the importance of financing, resources, and the economics of culture in sustainable development, and offered methods for integrating culture more fully into the development process.

October 5, 1999 – Bangladesh launches a nationwide arsenic screening program, funded in part by the World Bank. The program was designed to test tubewells for naturally occurring arsenic, to identify patients suffering from arsenic poisoning, and to educate communities on how to deal with the problem. A partnership between government and grass roots NGOs implemented the program.

October 2, 2000 – World Bank places Zimbabwe on Non-accrual status, due to payments on loans and credits being more than six months overdue.

October 5, 2000 – MIGA issues a $90 million guarantee for the securitization of loan and lease receivables from the financing of medical equipment in Brazil. It was the first capital markets issue supported by MIGA. MIGA Vice President for Guarantees Roger Pruneau stated "We hope this pioneering transaction will open the way for more companies to use this mechanism to raise capital for much-needed investments in other developing countries." Bank’s World Today, October 5, 2000.

President Wolfensohn is greeted by Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, 2001

October 5, 2000 – President Wolfensohn begins a two-day official visit to Ukraine, meeting with several NGOs dealing with HIV/AIDS, Ukraine’s Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), and other civil society organizations, as well as with government officials.

September 29, 2001 – GSD Security announces that demonstrations in Washington DC will result in street closures around the Bank headquarters and an increased police presence. Headquarters staff are instructed not to come to work on these days. (The Annual meetings were cancelled due to the September 11 terrorist attacks.)

October 1, 2001 – The Islamic Development Bank provides a $7 million grant for the West Bank & Gaza Emergency Response Program. The grant was channeled through a multi-donor trust fund facility administered by the World Bank.

October 1, 2001 – World Bank Group/IMF Arab Club, the Human Resources Vice Presidency, and the Staff Association conduct a meeting for World Bank Group Staff who might be at risk of harassment and discrimination in light of the terrorist attacks on NY and Washington, and for staff who are concerned about the issue.

October 4, 2001 – President Wolfensohn meets with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze in Washington to discuss the Bank’s program in Georgia and the economic outlook for the country. Wolfensohn pledged the Bank’s continuing assistance to Georgia, but noted that further Bank support will depend on tangible results in Georgia’s reform program.

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




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