Sunday, April 13, 2008
WASHINGTON, April 13 (PNA/Xinhua) -- The World Bank Group Saturday unveiled a new initiative to help developing countries manage and transform their natural resource wealth into long-term economic growth that spreads the benefits more fairly among their people.
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Plus Plus (EITI++) seeks to develop national capability to handle the boom in commodity prices, and channel the growing revenue streams into fighting poverty, hunger, malnutrition, illiteracy and disease, said the World Bank in a statement.
"Revenue windfalls from high commodity prices must translate into tangible improvements in the lives of poor people living on the fringes of the global economy," World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick said in launching EITI++ at the Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
"The EITI++ will help client countries to build capacities to draw sustainable benefits from their natural resources," he said.
With commodity prices at historic highs, new opportunities are opening up for some countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, effectively managing revenue windfalls to generate growth and overcome poverty remains a challenge.
The original EITI called for the full publication and verification of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas, and mining.
Since sustainable development requires paying attention to the whole process of natural resource utilization, EITI++ complements EITI's focus on transparency in reporting revenues.
It will provide governments with a slate of options including technical assistance and capacity building for improving the management of resource-related wealth for the benefit of the poor.
Through technical assistance, EITI++ aims to improve the quality of contracts for countries, monitoring operations and the collection of taxes and royalties.
It will also improve economic decisions on resource extraction, managing price volatility, and investing revenues effectively for national development, according to the World Bank. (PNA/Xinhua)