The World Bank warned yesterday that as tough as the last decade may have been for the world's poor countries, the next 10 years may be even more traumatic.
The bank's annual report for 1980, a document prepared by its executive directors, notes that despite the oil shocks and other problems of the 1970s, the Third World made remarkable adjustments, and actually outperformed the richer nations in terms of economic growth.
Nonetheless, the report adds, the cost of adjustment to the series of economic shocks "was considerable" in terms of rising debt for some and slackened developments for others.
The legacy of the last decade, the report said, is "that the rich and poor nations alike form a world community and . . . this community will be hard-pressed to survive future decades filled with shocks and turbulences without social upheaval."
The bank said that in the fiscal year ended June 30, it had made lending commitments of $7.6 billion to 48 developing countries. In addition, the bank's soft-loan affiliate, the International Development Association made no-interest loans of $3.8 billion.
Taken together, the $11.4 billion bank-IDA joint lending was up $1.5 billion, or 6.7 percent in real terms -- that is, discounting inflation.
The bank and IDA are positioning themselves to play a larger role in meeting the developing countries' need for the 1980s. The bank's capital has been doubled from $40 billion to $80 billion. In addition, the bank recently indicated that it is discussing a separately funded agency to finance energy development in the Third World.
And to cope better with the problems created by OPEC, the bank since last March has been making structural adjustments to help its members through balance-of-payments problems. Overlapping somewhat with the International Monetary Fund, bank lending for such purposes could run to $800 million in fiscal 1981, and substantially higher in future years.
The report is the last to be submitted by President Robert S. McNamara, who has announced that he will retire June 30, when he reaches the age of 65. He then will have served as president for 13 years.
McNamara's forthcoming address to the joint annual meeting of the IMF-World Bank starting Sept. 30 will also be his last such appearance.
In reviewing the past 10 years of development in the Third World, the report said that the aggregate annual real growth rate was 5.3 percent compared with only 3.1 percent for the richer world.
Thus, despite the economic problems of the 1970s, the developing world almost matched the 5.6 percent growth rate of the 1960s, while the richer nations suffered a major fall from the 5 percent rate they had achieved in the earlier decade.
But the gains of the Third World masked the huge differences between the oil-rich nations and the more advanced developing nations of East Asia and almost every other poor country.
The report cited especially the "dramatic . . . gap" between the Middle East oil cartel earning more than $200 billion this year, and "the massive deterioration" in Western Africa.
The more creditworthy countries such as South Korea and Brazil were able to maintain their growth by borrowing heavily abroad, the report says. Others, such as India, were helped by greater agricultural productivity. But India is still troubled, the report said, by "the sluggish behavior" of its industrial sector.
The report draws a grim picture of deterioration in the debt structure of the Third World in the past decade. From the end of 1970 to 1979, Third World debt zoomed from $64 billion to $376 billion, including $70 billion that is not guaranteed by some public bocy in the borrowing country.
What is even more worrisome, according to bank officials, is the growth in the cost of servicing the debt, which has risen from $8.2 billion at the end of 1970 to $69 billion at the end of 1979.
Putting it another way, the mere cost of servicing the debt is now greater than the actual debt outstanding 10 years ago.
Another dismal set of figures shows that the current account (trade and services) deficits of those poor countries not blessed with their own oil had skyrocketed from $8.3 billion in 1970 (before the first oil shock) to $43.1 billion by by 1979 (which doesn't fully reflect the second oil shock).
Bank officials noted that the OPEC cartel had increased concessional aid from $1.7 billion in 1973 to $8.2 billion in 1979. But OPEC surpluses over the same period have soared from $11 billion to more than $100 billion.