New York Times

September 16 1971


World Bank Says Refugee Cost May Stunt Indian Development

By Sydney H. Schanberg

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That report, by a special Washington team, concluded that East Pakistan had been so ravaged that new international development efforts “will have to remain in a state of suspension for at least the next year or so.”

The new report by the bank's New Delhi staff, which visited refugee camps late last month, avoids any mention of military action and sticks to an analysis of the cost of caring for refugees and the impact on the strained Indian economy.

Military Aspect Ignored

The report, authoritative sources said, estimated that of the present 8.5 million refugees, 6 million were living in camps and the rest with friends and relatives. The World Bank used only the camp population in estimating costs, because it was too difficult to assess with any degree of accuracy the burden on the economy of those living elsewhere.

The report estimated that if the camp population rose to nine million by the end of December, as expected, the cost of the refugees in India's 1971– 72 fiscal year will be $700‐ million. Foreign countries have pledged relief aid of $200‐million, but even if all of it is delivered before the end of the fiscal year in March, which some observers doubt, India's burden will be $500‐million.


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