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Report urges shift in global development

A woman looks at a globe model in the climate village during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-16), in the Mexican seaside resort of Cancun, on November 30, 2010.

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: A new World Bank report out this morning recommends re-evaluating the aid developed countries give to developing countries. More focus, the report says, should be placed on building stable government and institutions.

From London, here's the BBC's Jon Bithrey.


JON BITHREY: The World Bank report challenges a common view on how billions of dollars in aid ought to be spent. It says a quarter of the world's population lives in fragile or failed states -- and so far there's been too little focus on building accountable government and legal systems.

Report author Sarah Cliffe says if this isn't improved, other spending won't work.

SARAH CLIFFE: It's much easier for countries to get help with their militaries than it is with police forces and justice systems -- and much easier to get help with growth, health and education -- our analysis indicates that should change.

The report also calls for more focus on job creation to mitigate poverty to help alleviate the kind of dissatisfaction we've seen across the Middle East.

But it's coming in for criticism - some say the World Bank has got this the wrong way round -- and aid should be spent on meeting basic needs like health care before anything else.

In London, I'm the BBC's Jon Bithrey, for Marketplace.

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