Israeli Seeking $125m from World Bank to Finance Development Projects

Moshe Zanbar, Governor of the Bank of Israel, said during this weekend, on his first official visit to Washington, that he is seeking to complete negotiations with the World Bank to finance new development pro- jects in Israel totaling $125 million. The World Bank, he said, will send a mission to Israel in April to examine plans for a sewage construction program entailing 68 projects which will embrace virtually all of the populated area in Israel apart from Jerusalem. This loan would carry 7 1/4 percent interest and would be used up at the rate of $6 million a year.

Zanbar said that he hoped the agreement for the loan will be signed in July and that the funds could be put to work shortly thereafter. Jerusalem, he said, was not included in the planning since the city already has a sewage project under construction. The series of projects would extend from the northernmost towns of Israel to Beersheba. If the loan is completed this would mark the first time that the World Bank would be financing a series of projects. Up to now, the bank has handled single rather than multiple works.

Zanbar said he also discussed a new agricultural loan of $30 million for use next year which would be used to develop new agricultural products for export and which would conserve water resources for agricultural purposes. Another project under negotiation is an investment loan in infrastructure for tourist development. The International Finance Corporation has agreed, he said, to have a mission in Israel next month to examine those plans.

In addition, Zanbar said, he hoped that over the next two years, Israel will use an additional $65 million in loans already negotiated with the World Bank for agricultural and industrial development and road construction. Zanbar said that the projects financed by the World Bank are to be within Israel’s pre-1967 war borders. He met with top international and American government banking officials including Robert McNamara, former Secretary of Defense who is now president of the World Bank.

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