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Gender Equality, Jobs Top Development Committee Agenda

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  • Bank shareholders conclude annual development discussion with focus on gender equality and jobs.
  • Group commits to do “everything within our means” to address food and financial crisis.
  • Acknowledges Bank’s work to “open development” and improve accountability.

September 24, 2011—The 2011 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings wrapped up today with the Development Committee’s final statement endorsing the Bank’s emphasis on jobs and growth, gender equality, and recent reforms that have made the Bank more open and transparent.

“The Development Committee meeting is important for the World Bank because it enables us to hear directly from our shareholders beyond the normal country dialogues and in concert with other countries,” Bank President Robert Zoellick told reporters. “This invaluable interaction helps us to make improvements to our work in order to better serve our clients—developing countries.”

“Shareholders want us to continue to assist in real-time to crises as they emerge in the global economy,” Zoellick said, pointing to the recent decision to provide $1.88 billion for the Horn of Africa over the next five years. This includes $250 million from the Crisis Response Window in the International Development Association, the Bank’s fund for the poorest.

The Development Committee strongly endorsed the call for gender equality in the 2012 World Development Report—the formal capstone to a week of gender-focused activities that urge world citizens to “think equal.”

Ministers discussed the current global financial crisis and its potential impact on developing countries, as well as the critical issue of food prices.  “We commit to do everything within our means to support strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth in all our member countries. We reaffirm the need to work cooperatively to meet our development commitments to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and to support the poor in developing and emerging countries through this period of instability, as well as in the long term.”

The communiqué also emphasized the importance of jobs “translating growth into lasting poverty reduction and broad-based economic opportunities.”

The communiqué also acknowledged the Bank’s modernization work: “Greater transparency through the Open Data, Open Knowledge, Open Solutions Initiative, and improved accountability via the new Corporate Scorecard will contribute to a more efficient and effective [World Bank Group].”

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