Regional Development in Foreign Lands

October 1, 1958

Report Outline
Wide Support of Regional Development
Increase in Regional Economic Activity
Conflicts Over Middle East Projects

Wide Support of Regional Development

Eisenhower Administration' Shift of Position

United states assistance in foreign regional development on a substantially increased scale appears to be in the making. The administration, which hitherto has channeled most economic aid of a development nature to individual countries through the regular foreign aid program, now has given its support to various proposals for promoting economic development through regional international organizations. President Eisenhower commented on the shift of position at his news conference on Aug. 20. He said then that he thought “this whole proposition of dealing with areas, sometimes because the problems transcend national boundaries, must be one that we must look at more closely than in the past.”

After pledging a substantial contribution early this year to a United Nations program for financing large-scale development projects, this country in August backed a proposed U.N.-sponsored Arab development agency, which the federal government was reportedly prepared to help finance to the tune of around $100 million. A like sum was mentioned as probably available for a Latin American regional bank for economic development if that proposal, approved by Western Hemisphere foreign ministers at a meeting in Washington on Sept. 24, is carried out. In the meantime, on Aug. 26, President Eisenhower had proposed the organization of an International Development Association as an affiliate of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Proposed International Development Association

The plan for an international development association is expected to be given close attention at the annual meeting of the governors of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund which opens at New Delhi on Oct. 6. The proposed agency would make long-term loans, at low rates of interest, which would be at least partly repayable in local currencies. No international agency now makes such so-called “soft loans.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Humanitarian Assistance
International Economic Development