Cheap Shot

Cutting loans for poor nations

The U.S. reputation for international openhandedness has faded a bit more.

At a rancorous three-day meeting in Washington earlier this month, the World Bank's 33 wealthiest member nations agreed to donate only $9 billion over the next three years to the International Development Association (IDA), an agency of the bank that makes interest-free loans to more than 40 of the world's poorest nations. The amount, which represents a reduction of 25% from 1983 levels, is $7 billion less than the $16 billion requested by the bank's management.

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