In reading several recent articles in The Post about the World Bank on the occasion of the Board of Governors' meeting, I was startled by the lack of attention to what the bank is and should be about: the eradication of poverty in the world.
The overwhelming attention to the brass tacks of the debt situation, serious though that is, obscured another reality. In a world in which, according to the Hunger Project, 13 to 18 million persons, three-fourths of them children, die annually of hunger-related disease, the World Bank, according to its 1986 Focus on Poverty Report, spends only 2 to 3 percent of its loan commitments on primary health care, and less than one-third of its total loans go to poverty-focused programs.
Recently, 560 elected representatives from the United States, Great Britain, Australia and Canada wrote the bank to express concern about the lack of focus on poverty; 193 of the signers were U.S. congressmen. I hope the press will follow the concern of Congress, which is the expression of citizens' concern, and discuss the great challenge the bank should face in turning back to poverty as the greatest enemy to be conquered. SUZANNE HASSELL MILTON Washington