World Bank to help with Saudi loan plan-Zoellick

World

The World Bank will work with Saudi Arabia to develop a proposed $500 million “Energy for the Poor” initiative to help impoverished nations cope with the rising cost of oil, bank President Robert Zoellick said on Monday.

“We will work with the Saudi government to explore how best to support the initiative announced by King Abdullah to address the energy needs of the world’s poorest countries,” Zoellick said in a statement in response to Sunday’s announcement. “The combination of high fuel and energy costs is having a devastating impact on the poor, putting an especially large burden on the 1 billion people, who live on less than $1 a day, many of whom spend two-thirds of their income on food for their families and on energy and transport,” he added.

At a meeting of oil producing and consuming nations in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday, King Abdullah called on the Saudi Fund for Development to allocate $500 million in soft loans to poor countries’ energy needs. He also asked the World Bank to organize a meeting of donors and development institutions to discuss the initiative. (Reuters)

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