A major new Bank study claims that ethnic tensions and political feuds are rarely the primary causes of civil wars.
The Spring Meetings of the Bank and Fund in mid-April saw sparring between US and European ministers over when and how the institutions might get involved in Iraqi reconstruction. Discussions there and subsequently have focussed on assessments of the economic and development situation, oversight of oil revenues, debt relief and reconstruction finance.
Civil society groups in Afghanistan are complaining that the policy approach being promoted by donors is not appropriate.
A study arguing against a link between terrorism and poverty was pulled at the last minute from the agenda of the Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics in response to complaints from a Kuwaiti Executive Director.
The World Bank president has asked his staff to prepare a human rights strategy, ending a long-standing aversion to engaging in the debate. But how far can the Bank go when its board and legal staff are urging extreme caution?
The importance of economic agendas in contemporary conflicts has been the focus of a series of recent papers by Paul Collier, Director of the Bank’s Development Research Group.
After the first two donor conferences on the reconstruction of Afghanistan - in Islamabad in November and in Brussels in December - some people worry that reconstruction funds could easily be misused and fuel continued civil strife.
By Shahid Husain, Freelance journalist, Karachi, and Charlotte Carlsson, Communications & research officer, Bretton Woods Project
The implications for the World Bank and IMF of the 11 September atrocities and their aftermath are as yet uncertain.
How do donor resources, policy advice and conditions attached to aid affect ethnic conflict? International donor interventions are explored by Milton Esman and Ronald Herring of Cornell University in their new book Carrots, Sticks and Ethnic Conflict: Rethinking Development Assistance.