"10 December 2008 – The World Bank has created a $2 billion fast-track facility to speed up grants and long-term interest-free loans to help the world’s poorest countries cope with the impact of the global financial crisis, noting a marked slowdown everywhere, including in formerly resilient developing nations."

"The poorest people will be hit the hardest by the crisis that is likely to get worse next year,” World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick said. “Our Global Economic Prospects report projects developing country growth will be 4.5 per cent next year, down from 7.9 per cent in 2007. We want to help countries manage this downturn with rapid financing to help minimize its impacts and by assisting them in designing supportive policies.”

"The facility will quickly make available an initial $2 billion of the $42 billion International Development Association (IDA) Financial Crisis Response Fast-Track Facility resources to 78 of the poorest countries over the coming three years."

"It will foster rapid Bank response to the pressing needs of IDA countries based on more swift World Bank analysis of those needs. It will finance expenditures needed to maintain economic stability and sustain growth, address volatility, and protect the poor. Operational responses will include funding budget expenditures in infrastructure services, education, and health and social safety nets."

"A new World Bank report, Global Economic Prospects 2009, predicts that global gross domestic product (GDP) growth will slip from 2.5 per cent in 2008 to 0.9 percent in 2009. Growth in rich countries next year will likely be negative."

"A separate report by UN Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean (ECLAC) noted that while the percentage of the population living in poverty in the region dropped to 33.2 per cent or 182 million people in 2008 from 34.1 per cent pr 184 million the previous year, the actual number of people living in extreme poverty rose to 71 million (12.9 per cent) from 68 million people (12.6 per cent)."

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