Latin American nations are scheduled to receive five times as much aid from the world's multilateral development banks on a per capita basis as Asian nations and more than twice as much as African nations, according to a new guide to Third World lending patterns.
The reference guide, "The Development Bank Business Market" compiled by Nicholas H. Ludlow, managing director of Development Bank Associates Inc., shows loans by the multilateral lending institutions are concentrated in 20 nations.
According to Ludlow, a record $28 billion was committed by 25 development banks and funds in 1984, an amount equal to $8.30 for every man, woman and child in the Third World. In turn, the loan aid generated additional spending by the recipient nations. In the case of the InterAmerican Development Bank, for example, between $3 to $4 is contributed by the host country for each $1 of IADB aid.
More than half of the $28 billion, or $15.5 billion, came from the World Bank group, according to Ludlow's report. The IADB is the second-largest lender, with $2.6 billion in loans in 1983, closely followed by Japan's Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund, with $2.5 billion, mostly in the form of subsidized loans to other Asian countries. The Japanese commitment, which has expanded rapidly in recent years, runs about twice the level of the European community's development lending program.
Ludlow, a former China business specialist, said the tendency is for those Third World countries with the highest per capita incomes to get the most money. The World Bank classfies 34 countries as "low-income economies." Of these 34, only four -- India, Pakistan, China and Bangladesh -- are among the top 20 recipients of help from the "big four lenders": the World Bank, the IADB, the Asian Development Bank and the African Development Bank.
Almost 80 percent of all MDB lending is done by the World Bank, the IADB, the Asian Development Bank and the African Development Bank. Analyzing 1,096 project loans worth $37 billion being prepared by these "big four," Ludlow found that the top five recipients -- India, Brazil, Indonesia, Pakistan and Mexico -- are scheduled to receive 41 percent of the money.
Using the World Bank's data on population and GNP for 1982, Ludlow found that five of the recipients of these proposed loans for the next two years have per capita GNP of more than $2,000. Four of the five -- Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Ecuador -- are in Latin America. The fifth, with the highest GNP of the group, $2,800, is Yugoslavia.
Only one African country, Nigeria, is among the top 20 nations receiving aid. India is the leader, based on $4.99 billion worth of "big four" financed projects in the pipeline as of March 1985, followed by Brazil, with $3.89 billion; Indonesia, with $2.39 billion; Pakistan, with $1.93 billion, and Mexico, with $1.92 billion.
China, the most populous nation, ranks eighth on the list, with scheduled loans of $1.05 billion, which amounts to only $1 per capita, compared with an average of $10 for the 20 leading recipients.
Ludlow points out that a major implication of this lending pattern is that "if one is looking into the medium- and long-term future, development bank lending must surely increase its per capita delivery in Asia and Africa to spur economic growth, and provide the same kind of grass-roots opportunity that Latin Americans have had from the banks for many years."