LONDON, (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said yesterday the World Bank and leading global economies would work towards a new fund to help the world’s poorest through the global recession.
“In the run-up to the London Summit next month, we will work with the World Bank and our G20 partners to build support for a new fund specifically to help the world’s poorest through the downturn,” Brown told an International Development Conference in London.
“Too often in the past our responses to such crises have been inadequate or misdirected — promoting economic orthodoxies that we ourselves have not followed and that have condemned the world’s poorest to a deepening cycle of poverty.”
The G20 summit of leading and developing nations, which will be chaired by Brown in London on April 2, is to focus on the global economic and financial crisis.
Brown said it offered an opportunity to tackle global poverty at the same time, without revealing the size of the fund.
The World Bank’s Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala urged the G20 leaders to pledge 0.7 percent of their recovery packages for a fund to help the poorest nations.
The money should be added to existing commitments, she told Reuters in an interview.
Brown said the fund would target the very poorest, encouraging universal education and allowing people to contribute to the economy once it picked up again. He said the fund would form part of a global new deal which must underpin future international policy.
“Now is the time to make the development agenda for addressing poverty a central part of the global agenda for restoring growth,” he added.
Brown also called for transparent reporting by companies “so that developing countries don’t lose their fair share of revenue through creative accounting”, and new measures to crack down on tax havens “that siphon off money from developing countries”.