04/12/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Poor Countries Hit By Second Wave Of Economic Downturn

"POOR countries are innocent," says Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Nigerian managing director of the World Bank. They did not contribute one jot to the global credit crunch, and their banks and firms have few links to global capital markets. For a while, it seemed as if the rich world's mess might even pass them by. The oil-price fall of 2008 benefited oil-importing developing countries to the tune of 2% of their national incomes. As recently as January, the IMF thought emerging and developing countries would grow 3.3% this year, compared with a predicted fall of 2% for rich economies.

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