Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, May 1, 2009
"One-third of World Bank health, nutrition and population programs from 1997 through 2007 produced unsatisfactory results, with weak monitoring and overly complex projects contributing to the problem, according to the institution's internal watchdog. The report, released yesterday by the World Bank's Independent Evaluation Group, paints a disturbing portrait of ineffectiveness in areas vital to public health in the developing world. Programs designed to combat HIV-AIDS in Africa, for instance, had only a 25 percent success rate, compared with an 80 percent success rate for World Bank programs overall.
"Many projects lacked a procedure to ensure that the poorest and most needy were receiving assistance. Others were poorly implemented. A $26.6 million HIV-response project in Ghana from 2000 to 2005, for example, failed to target populations at risk of contracting the virus. 'A third of the projects did not meet their objectives,' Cheryl Gray, IEG director, said. 'Over-complexity is a problem, as is the lack of capacity of countries to implement the programs.'"
Aditya Chakrabortty , Guardian, July 4, 2008
"Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% - far more than previously estimated - according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian. The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at global financial body.
"The figure emphatically contradicts the US government’s claims that plant-derived fuels contribute less than 3% to food-price rises. It will add to pressure on governments in Washington and across Europe, which have turned to plant-derived fuels to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and reduce their dependence on imported oil."