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WASHINGTON, October 4, 2005— The World Bank today welcomed a UK Government announcement that they intend to provide GBP£200 million to the new Africa Catalytic Fund.
The UK Secretary of State for International Development Hilary Benn announced his government’s intention to provide the funds during a speech Monday, on the eve of a meeting of the Africa Partnership Forum in London.
“The leaders of the G8 have committed to providing Africa with the assistance it needs to spur stronger growth and provide better living conditions for the three hundred million people struggling to survive on less than one dollar a day” said World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz,. “We commend the UK Government for this initial pledge and hope that other governments follow its example and support this new initiative.”
The Fund is a new financing mechanism proposed by the Africa Action Plan, recently endorsed by the Development Committee of the Governors of the World Bank Group. It will focus on helping African countries that can make good use of additional aid or which have recently emerged from post conflict situations reach some of the Millennium Development Goals—such as reducing child mortality, combating diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS, and ensuring that all children are in school. The Fund will also provide resources for regional integration projects that can generate growth and contribute significantly to reducing poverty.