I t has been a difficult time for the World Bank. The international development organization has been challenged by the maturation of capital markets that threaten to supplant its lending function as well as by questions about its priorities.

The turmoil that accompanied former President Paul Wolfowitz’s tenure compounded the confusion and contributed to a sense of a loss of purpose. Earlier this month, though, new President Robert Zoellick provided a vision for the World Bank, one that reflects old concerns and new realities. The new statement is critical for an organization under siege. Its success depends on his ability to get the bank’s richest donors to move beyond rhetoric and deliver on pledges to help the bank and the world’s poorest citizens.

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