Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Reference: ADB revises its strategic priorities, Bangkok Post, March 11, 2008

The draft framework for reform of the Asian Development Bank says in so many words that the organization has lost its focus on its primary objective of eradicating poverty and its reform would re-establish that priority in a meeting to be held far away from Asia in Madrid, Spain. (ADB revises its strategic priorities, Bangkok Post, March 11, 2008). Meanwhile, back at the ranch, led by rapid economic growth in Southeast Asia, India, and China, Asians are doing what they were not supposed to do. They are getting rich. Yes, there are still basket cases like Nepal and Bangladesh but eradicating poverty in Asia at the state level is getting harder and harder to do because there is less and less of it. This reality is missing from the draft framework. Poverty eradication vessels such as the ADB and the World Bank that find themselves blooming into giant self-preserving and self-serving bureaucracies need an overarching framework to eradicate themselves should they actually succeed in eradicating poverty.

Cha-am Jamal

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