The World Bank has launched a financing facility to provide a simple, low cost way for developing countries to share their knowledge and expertise in overcoming poverty.
The initiative, known as “South-South Experience Exchange Facility”, was launched at the weekend in Washington DC at the ongoing World Bank/IMF Annual General Meeting.
PANA described the initiative as a new multi-donor trust fund that promotes the idea that the development successes in one country can pull people out of poverty in another.
“In their quest to accelerate growth and improve living standards, policy makers in the developing world are constantly in search of innovative ideas. They see the experiences of their counterparts in emerging economies as increasingly relevant,” World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick said at the launch.
“Through the first grant from the new South-South Experience Exchange Facility efforts are underway to repeat India’s dairy revolution in Africa,” he added.
India’s unique programme, popularly known as “Operation Flood”, revolutionised the country’s dairy industry.
Once chronically short of milk, India is now the world’s largest producer of milk and dairy products.
Also speaking, the World Bank’s Managing Director, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said: “Countries learn best by seeing how others have tackled similar issues”.
“This initiative will help policy makers and others in low-income countries, who face serious problems and can’t afford the luxury of long waits to receive support, to benefit first hand from other developing countries,” she said.
Okonjo-Iweala said the dairy industry was a good place to start because of its considerable nutritional benefits for the poor.
“It’s credibility relies on the fact that it is developing country people sharing their own successes,” she said.
Seven donors — China, India, Mexico, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK — have already pledged support to the trust fund, and total contributions are expected to be around US$ 10 million over three years.