"Venezuela has achieved substantial improvements in the fight against poverty. The statistical evidence that we have compiled shows that from 1995 to 2005 the number of homes under the poverty line has decreased," stated the World Bank.The organization said that in these years the number of homes in poverty decreased from more than 40% to 30%
It described this advance as important and stated that it is related to Venezuelans’ higher income levels and as a result of the social missions.
The Bank explained that there is still a long way to go because “the objective is to not have anyone [living] below the poverty line and Venezuela is a petroleum country that is going through a time of high international oil prices and because of this should apply all these resources to poverty elimination.”
These statements were made during consultations which took place yesterday.…[These consultations], which will be jointly developed with the Planning Ministry, will be a step towards the design of a new cooperation strategy between the Bank and the country.
“The goal, in addition to conducting an analysis of the different priorities in the region, is to learn the opinions of representatives from different sectors in Zulia concerning the role of the institution in the nation and concerning the different options for cooperation,” [David] Varela, [the resident World Bank Representative in Venezuela] said.
Varela has identified four important lines of work in Venezuela—all in accord with the millennium challenge--: water and plumbing, environmental management (solid waste management), [and] social infrastructure in medium size cities with more than 100,000 residents and in indigenous villages.
During the question and answer session, the inability of different local premises to qualify to obtain help from multinational organization in project development was mentioned.
One of the examples of a projected which was not successful in passing the final face to receive World Bank Aid that was mentioned was [a project concerning] the quality of air in an urban space, a proposal which had been presented by Maracaibo’s mayor’s office.
Among the commentaries, one criticized that there was no team prepared to explain technical information on the different problems that could be encountered [when a group is] being backed by international financial institutions, [a situation which creates] and important dependency.
The attendees confirmed that more or less the same thing happened [when groups were working] to obtain financing from the Intergovernmental fund for Decentralization (Fides) and the Law of Special Assignments. In this sense, the representatives of the different Zulian sectors expressed their concern about the little preparation that there was on the topic, which also is necessary and indispensable for the communal counsels to obtain endorsements for many of their programs.
[Valera] said that the [World Bank’s view] for this year and next is that the nation keeps within a program of very modest borrowing, given that the need for external financing is very small.
“Even though we don’t have any prepared figures, if we have a small borrowing program complemented with non financial study services, technical assistance and donations, that will enrich our contribution to the country,” said the World Bank representative.
Cecilia Guerra, the General Director of Multilateral Finance of the Ministry of Planning, said that government representatives met with the authorities of the World Bank to define the area of action. Different projects are being worked on with the IADB and the Andean Development Corporation.
Translated by Venezuelanalysis.com Staff
Originally Published Wednesday, May 31, 2006 by Panorama Digital