The World Bank has doubled its previous promises and pledged a record $3.5B in grants and credits to aid the world's poorest countries. The bank's new president said the dramatic move is intended to spur an increase in donations from rich countries, the BBC reports. The bank also eased loan conditions for middle-income countries.
The simplification and reduction of loan charges is part of a strategy to help poverty-fighting efforts in middle-income countries such as India, Brazil, Russia and South Africa. Robert Zoellick, head of the World Bank since July, hopes to repair damage done to the bank's trust, credibility and relations with member countries under his embattled predecessor, Paul Wolfowitz.