The Bank is full of hot passion. Indeed we are expected to fight passionately in our work, and for a small group of us recently the subject of that passion has been tigers. Passion in the World Bank makes for noisy meetings, adrenalin and angst.
I had the chance today to attend a speech by ASEAN's (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Secretary General, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, right after he had met with the Bank's President Bob Zoellick. He told us they discussed ways to increase the cooperation between the two organizations, but the most interesting and pressing aspect of it all is that they talked about specific ways in which the Bank will be helping out the victims of Cyclone Nargis through ASEAN.
As the official estimate of fatal victims of cyclone Nargis raises to 22,000 --not counting the more than 40,000 missing--, World Bank President Bob Zoellick has just issued a statement:
Web reporters were busy last week with news of soaring prices for grains and other agricultural commodities. Economist.com posted an early entry with Food for Thought on March 27. NYT.com ran