Nobel laureate criticises WB's poverty alleviation policy

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Dhaka, Nov 5 (UNI) Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus has criticised the World Bank's (WB) poverty alleviation policy, saying it is ''ineffective'' today.

Speaking to mediapersons after the meeting with WB president Robert B Zoellick at his Grameen Bank office here yesterday, he said,''The world has gone through a lot of changes over the decades but its policy remained the same. That is why it failed to root out poverty, which was main aim since inception of the multilateral donor agency 60-year ago.'' Prof Yunus said time was ripe to reconstitute the WB for ''matching with the present world.'' Noting the importance of people in development, he quipped, ''They always speak of GDP growth by developing infrastructure but I told them poverty reduction is not possible unless people are associated with the development programme.'' Urging the WB president to pump in adequate money in microcredit activities, he said, ''WB lends 20 billion dollars a year on average. Of which less than one percent is allocated for microcredit programme but it should be at least five percent,'' the Bangladesh Today reported.

Mr Zoellick was on a two-day official visit here.

In 2006, Yunus and the Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their pioneering work in micro credit for social uplift of weaker sections.

UNI

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