Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Chairman Lugar, Members of the Committee, I would like to thank you for inviting me to address the Committee on this important topic. In contrast to just a decade ago, it is no longer necessary to make the argument that corruption impedes economic development in many poor countries and that addressing it should be a priority in international efforts to combat poverty. Despite the change in attitudes, however, corruption remains a serious problem, and the Committee is to be commended for focusing attention on the important role that the multilateral development banks (MDBs) should play in combating corruption. I would like to begin by discussing the broader context in which assessments of that role should be placed. I will then discuss how different approaches could be tailored to different categories of lending and to different types of countries and conclude with some comments on the special problems related to extractive industries.

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