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Address to the Board of Governors by Robert S. McNamara (English)

This speech by Robert S. McNamara, President of the World Bank, was addressed to the Board of Governors in Nairobi, Kenya on September 24, 1973. He gives an overview of results for the Bank's Five-Year Program for the fiscal years 1969-73. He then outlines the financial objectives for a second five year plan for the years 1974-78. He examines three interrelated difficulties that most developing member countries are faced with. One, the foreign exchange earnings from trade is insufficient. Two, the flow of Official Development Assistance is inadequate. Third, the severe burden of external debt is increasing. Each of these problems is serious in itself, but together they threaten the outcome of the entire development effort. He reviews the critical relationship of social equity to economic growth and emphasizes the need to design development strategies that would bring greater benefits to the poorest groups in the developing countries particularly to the approximately 40 percent of their populations who are neither contributing significantly to economic growth nor sharing equitably in economic progress. He adds that in the twelve months since the last meeting, the Bank has given high priority to further analysis of the problems of poverty in the developing countries and to an evaluation of the policies available for dealing with them. He discusses the nature of the poverty problem, particularly as it affects the rural areas, and suggests some of the essential elements of a strategy for dealing with it. He outlines a plan for World Bank operations in support of this new strategy. He concludes by saying the goal is to eradicate absolute poverty by the end of this century. That means in practice the elimination of malnutrition and illiteracy, the reduction of infant mortality, and the raising of life-expectancy standards to those of the developed nations. He adds that to accomplish this objective, an increase in the productivity of small-scale agriculture is essential.


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    McNamara,Robert S.

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    President's Speech

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    The World Region,

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    Address to the Board of Governors by Robert S. McNamara

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McNamara,Robert S.

Address to the Board of Governors by Robert S. McNamara (English). Presidential speech Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.