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Officials from the World Bank and IMF are meeting in Turkey, for talks dominated by the world economic crisis and the fragile recovery that is now underway in some countries. The head of the World Bank is giving a mixed forecast for the coming months.
World Bank chief Robert Zoellick was keen to dispel any sense of euphoria about the much talked-about world economic recovery.
"We've broken the fall of the financial crisis, but it is certainly too early to declare success, 2009 will continue to be a difficult year, and 2010 when much of the stimulus action will run out, remains highly uncertain economic year," said Robert Zoellick.
Zoellick said a key factor to sustaining the recovery will be the ability of the private sector to maintain economic momentum as the effects of massive international state interventions start to wane, stressing that nothing was certain. Even with the recovery Zoellick warned that unemployment will remain a major problem.
"Even though you are starting to see signs of recovery, we and the IMF and others expect that unemployment will continue to go up and its going to be slow in coming down," he said.
The World Bank head said people at the bottom of the economic ladder continue to suffer the worst.
"Countries around the world, particularly low income countries, are still suffering as the global economic crisis undermines exports, cuts remittances, curbs tourism and lowers their investment," said Zoellick.
Zoellick made an appeal for more funds from developed economies to assist those suffering the most in low income countries. But he acknowledged he is facing a hard sell. With the IMF having already received massive donations and the with most governments having already injected huge amounts into their own economies, donor fatigue is a problem, Zoellick acknowledged. But he stressed that its in everyone's interest that developing economies are supported.
"The latest economic forecast show how China and India are helping to pull the global economy out of recession," he said. "But we should also remember that countries in south east asia latin america and the wider middle east and africa as well can be engines of growth.
Zoellick stressed that the crisis and its aftermath have revealed a new economic order in which the developed world, and in particular the United States, no longer have total hegemony. He says a multi-polar economy has emerged. He said that change has to be reflected in the running of institutions like the World Bank and IMF.