UK wants G20 "rescue plan" for poorer nations

17/02/2009 - 20:33

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain hopes a conference of advanced and emerging countries in April will produce a "rescue plan" for developing countries struggling to get financing, Foreign Office Minister Mark Malloch-Brown said on Tuesday.

The G20 meeting, to be held in London on April 2, is aimed at agreeing on coordinated action to revive the global economy.

"It is certainly our hope that, at the summit, there will be a very strong rescue plan, if you like, for developing countries -- both middle-income and poor," Malloch-Brown, who is also Prime Minister Gordon Brown's envoy to the G20, told a London conference on anti-Semitism.

The plan would use international financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, to substitute for countries' lost access to commercial credit markets because of the credit crunch, he said.

The aim would be to meet these countries' basic social needs and secure investment in public infrastructure and other job-creating mechanisms, he said.

The plans would be similar to the economic stimulus packages being adopted by many advanced countries, he said.

He sounded the alarm about the possible impact of the worldwide economic downturn on developing countries.

"Nobody has yet fully taken account of the potentially dramatic political and social consequences of this downturn and the impact on the rates of growth across the whole developing world," he said.

(Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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