Sept. 11 Fallout: 20,000 More Child-Deaths, 10 Million More Poor

World Bank Report Foresees «Hidden Victims» of U.S. Tragedy

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ROME, OCT. 3, 2001 ( An additional 20,000 to 40,000 children will die worldwide, and 10 million people will join the ranks of the poor, as a consequence of the Sept. 11 attack on the United States, the World Bank predicts in a bleak new report.

These «hidden victims» will suffer because of an expected drop in economic growth in 2002 related directly to the terrorist attack on New York and Washington, said James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank.

In a written statement published Monday, Wolfensohn explained that the decrease in economic growth would especially affect developing countries in two ways.

Among the poorest countries, growth will be reversed because of the decrease in exports, tourism, the price of raw materials, and foreign investments, he predicted. The hardest-hit nations will include Caribbean countries, Mexico, Costa Rica and Brazil, he stated.

The World Bank´s prognosis was made five days after the International Monetary Fund stated that the Sept. 11 attacks would affect the developed countries by causing a recession, or something close to it, within the next 15 months.

The World Bank has appealed to governments, especially in developed nations, to take steps to avoid a worsening of the situation.

First, it proposes an increase in aid for development, respecting commitments already made, such as allocating 0.7% of the gross national product for this purpose. The average is 0.22% now.

Second, it suggests a reduction in customs barriers. In this regard, the measures approved at the next summit of the World Trade Organization will be important.

Third, it urges industrialized countries to coordinate their economic policies more, and suggests that developing countries more quickly implement those reforms that will facilitate national and foreign investments.

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