Ford Scholars and International Students Tour World Bank

Ford Scholars and International Students Tour World Bank

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Christian Holm
September 19, 2014

Two groups of interns from The Washington Center spent an exciting day touring the World Bank on Sept. 15. International students and the Ford Motor Company Global Scholars had a chance to visit the non-governmental organization on the same day a crowd assembled to peacefully protest the Bank's fiscal policies in Latin America.


Students watched the rally, which focused on the Bank's practice of allowing developing countries to receive conditional loans in exchange for adherence to policies that make the nations a worthwhile credit risk. Those policies sometimes include mandated austerity, in which developing nations have to rapidly cut spending, often from social programs and other domestic spending - which makes the Bank very unpopular in these nations.


World Bank staff member Maria Angelica Silvero, who grew up in Brazil, hosted TWC's students for the day. She explained that she grew up with a somewhat negative opinion of the World Bank, given its policies' abrupt impact on Brazil as a developing country. Those opinions changed when she learned how important the World Bank was to international development, and she has seen over the years the radical impact the Bank’s policies have had on increasing human development around the world. In addition to acquainting students with the World Bank's history and practices, Silvero discussed the World Bank’s Millennium Goal: to cut poverty rates in half around the world by 2015. The Bank met the goal in 2010, five years ahead of schedule.

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