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Last Updated: Friday, 15 September 2006, 10:57 GMT 11:57 UK
Wolfowitz plays down funding row
Woman and child in Chad refugee camp
The World Bank's loan conditions have drawn criticism
World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz has sought to play down a row with Britain over the way conditions are attached to funding for poorer countries.

Mr Wolfowitz said he and International Development Secretary Hilary Benn were in "complete agreement" on the issue.

The UK has threatened to withhold 50m it pledged to the bank in protest at some of the organisation's policies.

Mr Benn voiced concerns that the Washington-based lender was telling poor nations how to run their affairs.

But speaking a day after the UK minister's comments, Mr Wolfowitz said: "I don't think it's a row and I don't think it's out of control. Hilary and I are in complete agreement."

Mr Wolfowitz also defended the World Bank's anti-corruption campaign, arguing that the lender could not turn a blind eye to graft in nations targeted for aid.

Several European countries, including the UK and France, have raised concerns that the campaign could slow down lending to poorer nations.


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