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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - September 2004

This is the September 2004 edition of the World Bank Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter which is a regular electronic newsletter sent to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) worldwide.  It is produced by the Civil Society Team of the World Bank (WB) in collaboration with other WB units.  This newsletter highlights some of the many policies, programs, and initiatives of the WB which may involve or be of interest to CSOs.

THERE ARE 12 ITEMS IN THIS ISSUE:

1. World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings --- Details on Civil Society Dialogues
2. World Development Report (WDR) 2006 On-line Discussion
3. Grants Facility for Indigenous Peoples Invites Applications for Small Grants
4. World Bank Increases Support to Developing Countries
5. Announcement: New Member of the Inspection Panel 
6. Sector Director for Environment Nominated
7. World Bank and IMF Response to the Irish Coalition's 100 Percent Debt Cancellation E-mail Campaign
8. News from the World Bank's Regional Departments

Africa

  • Emergency Social Action Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Biodiversity Conservation Program in Mali
  • Poverty Reduction Support Operation in Uganda

East Asia and Pacific (EAP)

  • International Workshops Around Laos Dam Project

Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

  • Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) For Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • World Bank Board Endorses New Country Partnership Strategy for Kazakhstan
  • Multi-Annual Programmatic Adjustment Loan in Romania

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

  • Environmental Sustainability Program in Brazil
  • Nicaragua Education Project
  • World Bank Loan To Preserve Natural And Cultural Assets Around Peru’s Machu Picchu

South Asia Region (SAR)

  • Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for India
  • World Bank Supports Health Sector Program in Nepal
  • Poverty Reduction Support Credit in Pakistan

9. New Publications from the World Bank

  • Responsible Growth for the New Millennium: Integrating Society, Ecology, and the Economy
  • World Development Report 2005: A Better Investment Climate for Everyone
  • Doing Business 2005: Poor Nations Struggle To Reduce Red Tape For Business, Miss Large Growth Opportunities
  • Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E): Some Tools, Methods and Approaches
  • An Evaluation of World Bank Assistance to the Transition Economies
  • The Human Right to Water: Legal and Policy Dimensions

10. New Websites/Web Resources

  • PovcalNet

11. Upcoming and Ongoing Global Events/Discussions

  • World Bank Forum: Development Trends and Indigenous Peoples
  • Consultation on IFC's Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies and Policy on Disclosure of Information: First Regional Consultation Workshop
  • OED Conference on Effectiveness of Policies and Reforms

12. Recent Global Events/Discussions

  • Pre-Annual Meetings Videoconference Discussion with WB President and the CSOs
  • World Bank Commits To Support Youth At Global Conference

1. World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings --- Details on Civil Society Dialogues - The Boards of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group will hold the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors, along with related activities in Washington DC, United States October 2-3, 2004.  A number of Policy Dialogue Sessions will be organized for accredited CSO representatives between Wednesday, September 29 and Tuesday, October 5, 2004.  Some 15 different sessions are being held, including a Townhall for Accredited CSOs with the WB President, IMF Managing Director and Trevor Manuel, Chair of the Development Committee (DC) and Gordon Brown, chair of the International Monetary and Finance Committee (IMFC).  Sessions are being organized by WB and IMF departments and also by CSOs.  Details of these can be found at WB's website for civil society. Please visit that website frequently for the most updated information about specific dialogue sessions.  The tentative schedule of events during the Annual Meetings is now available at: http://www.imf.org/external/am/2004/schedule.htm.  The various documents to be discussed by the DC and the IMFC will be posted on Monday, September 27 at the main Annual Meetings website: http://www.imf.org/external/am/2004/index.htm.

2. World Development Report 2006 (WDR) On-line Discussion - Work has begun on the WB's 2006 WDR, which will be on the topic of Equity and Development.  A six-week on-line consultation will begin on October 11, 2004 and focus on the three parts of the report's outline:  How unequal is the world?  Does Inequality Matter? and "Institutions and Policies for Greater Equity and Lower Poverty".  The outline is available at: www.worldbank.org/wdr2006 under Outline.  To get more information on the e:discussion, please go to: http://www.worldbank.org/wdr2006 under Consultations, or send an email to: wdr2006@worldbank.org.  The team welcomes comments and feedback.

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3. Grants Facility for Indigenous Peoples Invites Applications for Small Grants - This grants facility is the result of a partnership between the WB and Indigenous Peoples.  It supports sustainable and culturally appropriate development projects planned and implemented by and for Indigenous Peoples.  Founded in 2003, the Grants Facility is inviting applications for a second round of small grants.  The application deadline is November 15, 2004.  To learn about the priority areas for funding, who can apply and what are the requirements for applications, please visit the Indigenous Peoples website of the WB, located at: http://www.worldbank.org/indigenouspeoples.

4. World Bank Increases Support to Developing Countries - The World Bank announced on August 24 an increase of its financial support to developing countries in the past fiscal year which ended June 30, 2004.  During that period the WB approved loans and grants totaling $20.1 billion – an increase of $1.5 billion over the previous year – for 245 projects in developing countries worldwide. Of this amount, $11 billion was approved by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) for 87 projects, and $9 billion by the International Development Association for 158 projects, comprising $7.3 billion in credits and $1.7 billion in grants. In the previous fiscal year (2003), the World Bank approved $18.5 billion in loans and grants for 240 projects, including $11.2 billion from IBRD, and $7.3 billion from IDA. More information.

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5. Announcement: New Member of the Inspection Panel - The World Bank's Inspection Panel announced on September 16 the appointment of Mr. Werner Kiene as the newest member of the three-person Panel.  Mr. Kiene replaces Ms. Maartje Van Putten, whose term expires on October 1, 2004. His skills, knowledge, and operational experience in the management of large and complex assistance programs, international agricultural research, and technology development projects complement the expertise in environmental and natural resource issues, and the legal and development background of the current members of the Panel.  His appointment will take effect on November 1, 2004.  To learn more, please visit the Inspection Panel website located at: http://www.inspectionpanel.org.

6. Sector Director for Environment Nominated - J. Warren Evans was appointed as Sector Director, Environment Department in the Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Network Vice Presidency.   He joined the Bank in July 2003 as Sector Manager in the Environment Department, and with the departure of the Director in February 2004 has been Acting Director of the same Department.  Prior to that, he was the Director for the Environment and Social Safeguards Division of the Asian Development Bank in the Philippines.  Prior to joining the WB, his experience in environment policy and management includes his work as:  an advisor to the Thai National Environment Board; managing director of an international environmental consulting firm; and 15 years with the Asian Development Bank working on environmental issues.  His appointment is effective October 1, 2004.

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7. World Bank and IMF Response to the Irish Coalition's 100 Percent Debt Cancellation E-mail Campaign - The September 3 letter addressed to the Coordinator for the Debt And Development Coalition Ireland was signed by Vikram Nehru, Director Debt Department, World Bank and Mark Plant, Assistant Director, Policy Development and Review Department, IMF.  It was sent in response to an email campaign by the the NGO Debt and Development Coalition Ireland, asking the IMF and WB for 100% debt cancellation for poor countries. The letter stresses the WB and IMF's recognition that debt relief is one important component of a comprehensive strategy to help low-income countries to reduce poverty. The WB and IMF are of an opinion that prudent debt write-off is useful and necessary for certain countries to reach the MDGs.  However, according to the organizations, the provision of 100 percent debt relief has implications that must be carefully considered.  To read the response, please visit the website of the WB HIPC team located at: http://www.worldbank.org/hipc.

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8. News from the World Bank's Regional Departments

Africa

  • Emergency Social Action Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo - The WB Board on August 26 approved an International Development Association (IDA) grant of US$60 million for the Emergency Social Action project which will improve access of the poor to social and economic services and increase the availability and management of development resources at the community level.  Activities under the project will help build local and provincial capacity for planning and implementing sustainable economic and social activities.  The target is to increase self-reliance and social capital; and to encourage initiatives aimed at strengthening local population and civil society participation in development.  To learn more about this, and other WB programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/cd.
  • Biodiversity Conservation Program in Mali - The US$5.5 million Global Environmental Facility (GEF) grant for the Gourma Biodiversity Conservation project in the Republic of Mali was approved by the WB Board on September 2.  The project will help communes and communities better manage biodiversity.  The 18 communes will jointly think their territorial space, their resources as well as options for regulations, planning and organization.  It is expected that, as the entire community is presented with information, experiences and opportunities, behavior change in favor of less damaging modes of resource extraction will be stimulated and, in the long-term, will spread over large portions of the Gourma.  More information on this and other WB projects in Mali, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/ml.
  • Poverty Reduction Support Operation in Uganda - The Poverty Reduction Support Operation (PRSC) grant of US$150 million, approved by the WB Board on September 2, is the fourth sequential annual poverty reduction support operation.  It will fund the service delivery and rural development reform program that was initiated under previous PRSCs.  The grant will help sharpen the focus on gender, infant and maternal mortality, and lay an emphasis on attaining concrete results in Uganda.  The grant supports the economic and institutional environment for the sustained implementation of the Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP) reforms.  It it expected to have even greater impact because a number of bilateral donors will link their budget support to the PRSC. For more information on the WB's work in Uganda, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/ug.

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East Asia and Pacific (EAP)

  • International Workshops Around Laos Dam Project - In late August and September, the WB and the Asian Development Bank sponsored a number of international workshops around the proposed Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Power Project in Lao PDR.  The WB, which has not yet made a decision on whether it will provide a partial risk guarantee for the project, is considering the project's potential to benefit the Lao people by increasing revenues for poverty reduction and environmental conservation.  The five International Workshops are part of the efforts to engage more directly with international stakeholders in a discussion of differing views of the project.  The workshops were held in Bangkok, Tokyo, Paris, and Washington DC, and the final one is scheduled for Vientiane on September 24.  To review the background documents and to learn more about the project, please go to: http://www.worldbank.org/la.  Summaries of the workshops will be posted on this site shortly.

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Europe and Central Asia (ECA)

  • Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) For Bosnia and Herzegovina - The new CAS, discussed by the WB Board on September 16, launches the new WB assistance program, under which the WB will pledge new projects worth between US 100 and 180 million over the next three years.  The CAS is based on the country's recently approved first Medium-Term Development Strategy (MTDS/PRSP), and has been prepared in consultation with the government authorities and other local and international partners.  The CAS recognizes the country's tremendous progress in post-conflict reconstruction, social integration, and state building, acknowledging that the main challenge for further social and economic development and poverty reduction will be the transition from a largely aid-dependent economy to the one that is dynamic and self-sustaining.  To learn more about the WB's work in Bosnia and Herzegovina, please go to: http://www.worldbank.org/ba.
  • World Bank Board Endorses New Country Partnership Strategy for Kazakhstan - The new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Kazakhstan, endorsed by the WB Board on September 9, details areas of engagement of the WB in the country in the coming years.  The strategy was developed in collaboration with the government and discussed with CSOs, research institutes, think tanks, and private sector.  It supports the government's main goals of achieving international standards for public service and enterprises; and increasing the competitiveness of non-oil sectors.  It focuses on four pillars: managing the oil resources and improving public institutions and policies; developing an appropriate role for the government to encourage diversification of the economy; and protecting the environment.  More information on the WB engagement in Kazakhstan can be found at: http://www.worldbank.org/kz.
  • Multi-Annual Programmatic Adjustment Loan in Romania - The WB Board on September 16 approved a US$150 million loan, which is part of the multi-annual Programmatic Adjustment Loan (PAL) to support the Government's structural and institutional reforms.  The PAL actions are synchronized with the European accession goals and the precautionary standby agreement with the IMF, and support the continuation of privatization and other structural reforms initiated under the previous Private Sector Adjustment  Loan programs.  To learn more about this, and other WB programs in Romania, please visit the WB Romania website located at: http://www.worldbank.org/ro.

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Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

  • Environmental Sustainability Program in Brazil - The First Programmatic Reform Loan for Environmental Sustainability, in the amount of US$505 million, was approved by the WB Board on August 24.  Overall, the program aims to help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Brazil's environmental management system (SINAMA), and mainstream environmental and sustainable use of natural resources in the government's policy decisions, especially in economic planning.  The loan has promoted a process of bridging the gap between the views of various sectors in government, the private sector, and civil society in a way that will facilitate the modernization of SISNAMA and open the way for the mainstreaming of environmental issues in the Government.  More information about this and other WB projects in Brazil, can be found at: http://www.worldbank.org/br.
  • Nicaragua Education Project - The Nicaragua Education Project (PASEN) aims to strengthen the stewardship of the Ministry of Education, and to improve the framework of accountability for service delivery by supporting school autonomy, and implementing student testing, classroom observation studies and dissemination of results.  The project, in the amount of US$15 million, was approved by the WB Board on September 2.  One of its components is to assist in the implementation of school autonomy program that provides grants directly to schools managed by parent-let school councils.  The website of WB's office in Managua located at: http://www.worldbank.org/ni, provides more information on this and other WB programs in the country.
  • WB Loan To Preserve Natural and Cultural Assets Around Peru's Machu Picchu - The US$5 million Vilcanota Valley Rehabilitation and Management Project was approved by the WB Board on September 15.  It will foster sustainable development initiatives in the Vilcanota Valley, which counts around 100,000 inhabitants, through support to cultural preservation, tourism development, urban infrastructure, environmental protection, and local economic development.  The project will be implemented in partnership with UNESCO, the National Geographic Society, the World Monuments Fund, NGOs and bilateral donors.  To learn more about this and other WB projects in Peru, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/pe.

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South Asia Region (SAR)

  • Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for India - The new WB CAS for India envisages an increased lending program of up to US$3 billion a year to substantially scale up the impact of development efforts.  The strategy has identified three program priorities: to help improve government effectiveness; to support investments in people and empowering communities; and to promote private sector-led growth.  In line with these priorities, the WB program and lending will be expanded in the following sectors: infrastructure, human development, and rural livelihoods - with an emphasis on community-driven approaches.  Also, the WB's global knowledge support - policy dialogue, analysis, technical assistance, and advisory services - will be re-focused to better support the program priorities.  The strategy envisions enhanced analytical work on emerging issues of national interest, as well as strengthening demand-driven responses by the WB.  The India CAS can be found at: http://www.worldbank/indiastrategy.
  • World Bank Supports Health Sector Program in Nepal - The US$10 million credit and a grant of US$40 million for the Health Sector Program in Nepal was approved by the WB Board on September 9.  Its main aim is to expand access to, and increase the use of, essential health care services, especially by underserved populations in Nepal.  It plans to accomplish this objective by developing and disseminating service standards. Responsibility and authority will be decentralized to districts and communities.  The program builds on the government approved "Health Sector Strategy: An Agenda for Change," approved in 2003 and widely consulted over three years with local stakeholders.  To learn more about this and other WB programs in Nepal, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/np.
  • Poverty Reduction Support Credit in Pakistan - The WB Board on September 2 approved a credit of US$300 million in support of the Government of Pakistan's Poverty Reduction Strategy.  The Poverty Reduction Strategy Credit (PRSC) is the first phase of a three-year program to support the country's efforts at sustaining rapid growth and reducing poverty.  The ongoing reform program, supported by the PRSC, is aligned with the government's medium-term program to accelerate growth and poverty reduction and to improve health and education.  More information about this project can be found on the WB's Pakistan website at: http://www.worldbank.org/pk.

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9. New Publications from the World Bank

  • Responsible Growth for the New Millennium: Integrating Society, Ecology, and the Economy - This publication contends that economic growth is essential for development, but that it is not enough. It presents a vision of a responsible approach to growth – sustainable growth in consumption, healthfulness, human capital, environmental quality and social equity – that can achieve a far more equitable world in 2050.  Conceiving the sheer scale of the world economy in 2050 (as much as four times the current economy) this book raises stark questions: How resource and pollution-intensive will this economy be, particularly in the developing world? How will critical resources, such as biodiversity, be shielded from development pressures? How will we deal with impending water scarcity?  The publication can be preorder, and will be launched during a panel presentation on September 29 at the WB.
  • World Development Report 2005: A Better Investment Climate for Everyone - The World Development Report 2005 argues that improving the investment climates of their societies should be a top priority for governments.  In addition to detailed chapters exploring these and related issues, the Report contains selected data from the WB's new program of Investment Climate Surveys, the Bank's Doing Business Project, and World Development Indicators 2004—an appendix of economic and social data for over 200 countries. The Report offers practical insights for policymakers, executives, scholars, and all those with an interest in economic development. The report will be launched on September 28.  It can be preordered at: http://econ.worldbank.org/wdr/wdr2005.
  • Doing Business 2005: Removing Obstacles to Growth - This report, cosponsored by the WB and International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World Bank Group, finds that investment climate reforms, while often simple, can help create job opportunities for women and young people, encourage businesses to move into the formal economy, and promote economic growth.  The report, which benchmarks regulatory performance and reforms in 145 nations, finds that poor nations, through administrative procedures, still make it two times harder than rich nations for entrepreneurs to start, operate, or close a business, and businesses in poor nations have less than half the property rights protections available to businesses in rich countries.  Investment climate indicators and analysis, along with information on ordering the report, are available on the Doing Business website at: http://rru.worldbank.org/doingbusiness.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E): Some Tools, Methods and Approaches - The M&E booklet presents a sample of M&E tools, methods and approaches, including several data collection methods, analytical frameworks, and types of evaluation and review. For each of these, a summary is provided of the following: their purpose and use; advantages and disadvantages; costs, skills, and time required; and key references.  This second edition of the booklet includes an expanded discussion of various types of impact evaluation.  It is available in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. It can be viewed at: http://www.worldbank.org/oed/ecd/tools/.
  • An Evaluation of World Bank Assistance to the Transition Economies - The complete OED's Evaluation of Bank Assistance to the Transition Economies is available for download at: http://www.worldbank.org/oed/transitioneconomies/.  The publication examines the development effectiveness of the WB's lending and non-lending assistance since 1989 in 26 transition countries of the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Region (excluding Serbia and Kosovo). The review focuses on the Bank's role in supporting the transition and on the lessons for Bank programs. By looking at Bank assistance across all of the transition countries, and comparing and contrasting their experiences, it seeks to distill lessons of experience that may be useful for formulating continued assistance in this region. An additional objective of this study is to establish benchmarks for evaluations at the country and regional levels to be carried out in the coming years.
  • The Human Right to Water: Legal and Policy Dimensions - The publication intends to trace the issue of the right to water through a number of international legal instruments, particularly General Comment No. 15, which recognizes such a right.  It analyzes the international legal regime for human rights, and argues that the nexus between development, water and human rights is well established therein.  The study argues that the Comment supports the idea that there is an incipient right to water emerging in international law today.

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10. New Websites/Web Resources

  • PovcalNet - PovcalNet is an integrative computational tool that allows you to replicate the culminations made by the World Bank's researchers in estimating the extent of absolute poverty in the world.  It also allows you to calculate the poverty measures under different assumptions and to assemble the estimates using alternative country groupings or for any set of individual countries.  PovcalNet is self-contained; it has reliable built-in software that immediately does the relevant calculations for you from the built-in database.  To access the database, please visit: http://iresearch.worldbank.org.

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11. Upcoming and Ongoing Global Events/Discussions

  • World Bank Forum: Development Trends and Indigenous Peoples - The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) celebrated its Grand Opening on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on September 21, 2004.  As part of the week-long festivities for the museum opening, the WB's Sustainable Development Vice Presidency will host a special forum on Thursday, September 23, to celebrate the NMAI's focus on the Indigenous Peoples of North America and Latin America. The forum will focus on the importance of cultural diversity of Indigenous Peoples and its implications for development.  Opening with a traditional ceremony , the event will be addressed by WB President.  Director of NMAI, Richard West; Manuel de Jesus Salazar Tatzaguic, Minister of Culture and Sports of Guatemala; and Louis Eveliz, Vice President of Fondo Indigena will provide their perspectives on the linkages between indigenous culture and development.
  • Consultation on IFC's Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies and Policy on Disclosure of Information: First Regional Consultation Workshop - International Finance Corporation (IFC), WB's lending arm for the private sector, has launched the public consultation phase for the update of its Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies and a review of its Policy on Disclosure of Information. The primary objective of the public consultation is to determine whether the new policies will enable IFC to fulfill its social and environmental objectives, enhance transparency and whether they can be implemented by its clients. Regional consultation workshops, thematic meetings and web-based feedback will be the main means for stakeholders to engage in the process. Four regional consultation workshops will be convened to which stakeholders will be invited. The first Regional Consultation Workshop will be held on September 27-29, 2004 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for Latin America and the Caribbean region.  More information.
  • OED Conference on Effectiveness of Policies and Reforms - The Operations Evaluation Department (OED) of the World Bank Group will host a Conference on the Effectiveness of Policies and Reforms on October 4, 2004. The main purpose of the conference is to provide a forum in which government officials, civil society and Bank staff can discuss how to improve the effectiveness of Bank support for policies and programs.  Key Questions to Be Addressed at the Conference Are:  What Are the Links Between Good Performance and Policy Change? How Best To Use Windows of Opportunity Be Used for Reform? How Best To Judge and Encourage Ownership? How Could Developed Country Policies Be Improved to Create a Better Global Environment for Development?  OED evaluations on key topics will be used to lead off the discussion, with noted experts providing the external perspective on these issues.  To learn more, please go to: http://www.worldbank.org/oed/conference2004/.

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12. Recent Global Events/Discussions

  • Pre-Annual Meetings Videoconference Discussion with WB President and the CSOs - On September 21, WB President hosted a video conference discussion with CSO representatives from Brazil, Egypt, Georgia, Nigeria, Japan and The Netherlands. Mr. Wolfensohn has held similar video conferences with CSOs from a variety of countries during each Spring and Annual Meetings of the WB and the IMF over the past several years. The discussion provided an opportunity for the WB President to exchange views and interact with a range of CSO representatives from a number of developed and developing countries ahead of the Annual Meetings.  It also gave him and the Bank to get valuable feedback on how the institution can improve the quality of dialogue and engagement with CSOs, and on how the WB is handling specific issues which are of interest or concern to the CSOs.  Among the many issues raised by the participating CSOs included how the Bank is following up on the Extractive Industries Review; proposals for expanding debt relief to help countries reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); and the IFC's review of its environmental and social safeguard policies.  A summary of the discussion, as well as the list of participating individuals will soon be posted on the Bank's website for civil society located at: http://www.worldbank.org/civilsociety.
  • World Bank Commits To Support Youth At Global Conference - More than 170 youth representatives from 83 countries met September 5-7 with WB President and 40 senior officials in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina for the second Youth, Development and Peace (YDP) conference.  The conference expanded on the initiatives and dialogue started a year ago at the first conference in Paris, when representatives of the world's seven largest youth organizations and the Bank convened a diverse group of youth to explore ways to collaborate in such critical areas as education, employment, risky behavior, HIV/AIDS, and conflict prevention and resolution.  Youth representatives and the WB agreed to set up an informal network for regular interaction.  The network will help raise awareness of youth issues by disseminating information and knowledge sharing, facilitating joint work on selected issues, empowering and strengthening youth organizations and ensuring inclusiveness.  To learn more about the Conference and its outcomes, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/ydp2004.

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