Maputo — The World Bank plans to boost lending to African countries to help fight poverty, the bank's new president said on Friday after touring three sub-Saharan African countries. David Malpass, who has pledged to step up the bank's antipoverty mission, visited Madagascar, Ethiopia and Mozambique from April 29 to May 3, meeting leaders and stakeholders and visiting World Bank-funded projects. "Africa is working at [reducing poverty] and there have been some reductions in some countries, but as a whole there is an increasing amount of the number of people that are in extreme poverty," Malpass said "So the bank will be making more of its grants, more of its loans to Africa as a percentage and also in absolute dollars." Malpass added that the bank's International Finance Corporation would also boost its activities on the continent. "It's going to try to have 40% of its activities in IDA eligible countries and in fragile countries, much of it in Africa, over the next few years," he sa...

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