World Bank meets over Wolfowitz

BBC
The board of the World Bank has met to discuss the fate of the organisation's president, Paul Wolfowitz.
Mr Wolfowitz has faced calls for his resignation over the promotion and pay of an ex-colleague with whom he is romantically involved.
He has apologised for his involvement in the negotiations and said he will accept any decision taken by the board.
Her promotion and pay rise has attracted strong criticism from staff within the Bank.
It has weakened Mr Wolfowitz at a time when he is facing controversy over his anti-corruption drive that has led him to suspend aid to some countries.
Mr Wolfowitz's partner, Shaha Riza, was moved to the state department on secondment when he took the World Bank's top job in 2005, but her salary was still paid by the Bank.
'Uncharted waters'
Mr Wolfowitz at first had denied that he was involved in the decision about her salary.
"In hindsight, I wish I had trusted my original instincts and kept myself out of the negotiations. I made a mistake, for which I am sorry," Mr Wolfowitz said on Thursday.
He said he had been in "uncharted waters" in his new job and would follow the recommendations proposed by the board.
"I will accept any remedies they propose," he said.
The bank's staff association says the pay rises and promotions Ms Riza received were "grossly out of line" with the World Bank's staff rules.
"The president must acknowledge that his conduct has compromised the integrity and effectiveness of the World Bank Group," staff association representative Alison Cave said in remarks presented during a staff meeting on the matter.
Trust
She added that his actions had destroyed the staff's trust in his leadership.
The controversy comes ahead of joint World Bank and IMF spring meetings.
Mr Wolfowitz - formerly US deputy secretary of defence - has adopted a fiercely anti-corruption stance.
The latest furore threatens to undermine his personal campaign to combat corruption and poor governance.
Ms Riza had been a high-ranking communications employee at the bank working in the Middle East section.
When Mr Wolfowitz took over at the Bank in mid-2005, Ms Riza - then a World Bank employee for eight years - was transferred to work for the US state department, to avoid any conflict of interest.
But rapid rises in her tax-free World Bank salary to about $193,000 - more than the $186,000 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice receives before tax - have aroused ire among other Bank employees.
Aid
While facing press questions about the case, Mr Wolfowitz has tried to shift focus back to the bank's remit of fighting global poverty.
He said the world's richest nations had given 5% less aid over the past 12 months.
"We have yet to see evidence of significant new flows translate into real resources for development programmes on the ground," he said.
Ministers and trade leaders from the 185-nation organisation are to meet on Saturday and Sunday in Washington.
The agenda will include issues including fighting diseases and the state of the world economy.

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