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Don’t punish a country’s progress

Marketplace Staff May 18, 2007


LISA NAPOLI: Tackling the trouble with aid to developing nations. Rich countries usually turn off the spiget of aid once a poor country shows some progress. Tomorrow at the Dead Sea, four presidents, two prime ministers and a king will be among the 11 members of an exclusive club needing to address this problem. From Amman, Jordan, Orly Halpern reports.

ORLY HALPERN: The so-called G-11 group was launched by Jordanian King Abdullah II last September. This club of lower-middle income countries is troubled by rising oil prices, large debts and decreasing foreign aid packages.

Farouk Kasrawi is a special advisor to the Jordanian king and the coordinator of the G-11.

FAROUK KASRAWI: There is a notion that the more you are successful, the less aid you will get. And we don’t want this to be a punishment for countries who are doing very well.

The G-11 hopes that industrialized countries will forgive some of their debts and promote foreign investment. Kasrawi says this will benefit everyone.

KASRAWI: If we become middle-income countries, this is good for international coexistence, it is good for trade, it is good for economic relations.

The G-11 plan is contingent on the cooperation of donor countries. Germany and Japan are already showing interest. They will have observers at tomorrow’s summit.

In Amman, I’m Orly Halpern for Marketplace.

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