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Internal Auditors Blame World Bank For Slow Progress In East Timor

East Timor Family
By ONE liners Agency

INDONESIA/ EAST TIMOR NEWS - A recent draft, yet to be released publicly revealed a candid evaluation by the World Bank’s internal auditors, saying World Bank has be deficient in helping international organizations trying to help struggling nations. The draft, which particularly blames World Bank for its slow development in East Timor, which freed in 1999 after a long fought independence struggle from Indonesia.

However, the draft also exemplifies the problems caused to international organizations to meet the urgent needs of the nation while ensuring a proper utilization of donor’s money. This took a long and tedious process of evaluation of money, ensuring it is not misspent.

The review is done by the Independent Evaluation Group, which reports directly to the World Bank directors, covers the period from 2000 to 2010. The report also says due to bank own stiff procurement rules, it delayed the opening of four desperately needed hospitals for a year. It is reported that the mortality rate of children in East Timor is highest in Southeast Asia.

The report also blames the bank for not supporting the educational system and postponed to build and repair schools. The bank was also biased about the new government who requested to distribute the teaching materials in Portuguese because it had been the primary language before the Indonesian occupation, when East Timor was a Portuguese colony. The report has stressed on the importance of English or indigenous textbook, which could be more functional.

The report also asserts that the bank overlooked its explicit goal of fighting poverty, providing loan to needy nations for their social projects. In East Timor, the government saved money from its petroleum revenue rather than investing on its social development. As a result it contributed to high levels of poverty.

An estimated 70 percent of East Timor’s economic wealth had been destroyed in years of fighting for independence. At present the poverty in the country as double of Indonesia’s level.

Ferid Belhaj, the World Bank’s director for East Timor declined to comment on the report, saying the evaluation was not final. However, he said that the nation has tremendously improved economically and socially in the past decades.

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