World Bank Rural Week 2000
28- 31 March, Westfields Conference Center, Virginia
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Photos and RealAudio of Wednesday 29 March


Arthur Hall in action during his morning (right) and afternoon (below) team-building exercises

Robert L. Thompson (RDV) delivered the first keynote address of the day, entitled "Rural Poverty: An Action Framework". He called for World Bank leadership in an action-oriented framework for rural poverty alleviation in conjunction with participatory sustainable natural resource management and enhancement of agricultural productivity. Noting linkages between lack of purchasing power, food insecurity and poverty, he stressed the need to dynamize farmer and non-farmer rural economies via electrification, legal structures, telecommunications, education and health care. He lamented recent loss to retirement of 25% of the Bank's senior technical staff and the rural portfolio's declining performance rating: a sustainability index of 33%.
Ian Johnson, Vice-President of ESSD (on the right) cut the ribbon and officially opened the InfoFair. The goal of the exhibit area was to inform participants of the many strategies, initiatives, tools, systems and sources available for rural development.
A number of regions and organizations displayed exhibits, including: an African region booth on empowering local communities; the Rural Integrative Data System exhibit on sourcing specific World Bank information; activities of the World Bank Institute to enable Learning Through Technology and Partnership; and the US Department of Agriculture's exhibit on Building Market Capacity for Rural Development. Johnson is seen here at the Bank's "Gender in Rural Development" information stand.
In the afternoon, participants met in 6 parallel sessions. Most sessions were formal panel discussions, but some (like the group shown here on the right) met in smaller, more intimate groups.

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