International Development Association

The International Development Association is an international financial institution which offers concessional loans and grants to the world's poorest developing countries. The IDA is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D. C. in the United States. It was established in 1960 to complement the existing International Bank for Reconstruction and Development by lending to developing countries which suffer from the lowest gross national income, from troubled creditworthiness, or from the lowest per capita income. Together, the International Development Association and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development are collectively known as the World Bank, as they follow the same executive leadership and operate with the same staff; the association shares the World Bank's mission of reducing poverty and aims to provide affordable development financing to countries whose credit risk is so prohibitive that they cannot afford to borrow commercially or from the Bank's other programs.

The IDA's stated aim is to assist the poorest nations in growing more equitably, sustainably to reduce poverty. The IDA is the single largest provider of funds to economic and human development projects in the world's poorest nations. From 2000 to 2010, it financed projects which recruited and trained 3 million teachers, immunized 310 million children, funded $792 million in loans to 120,000 small and medium enterprises, built or restored 118,000 kilometers of paved roads, built or restored 1,600 bridges, expanded access to improved water to 113 million people and improved sanitation facilities to 5.8 million people. The IDA has issued a total US$238 billion in loans and grants since its launch in 1960. Thirty-six of the association's borrowing countries have graduated from their eligibility for its concessional lending. However, nine of these countries have not re-graduated. During the 1940s and 1950s, low-income developing countries began to realize that they could no longer afford to borrow capital and needed more-favorable lending terms than offered by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

At the onset of his inaugural term in 1949, then-President of the United States Harry S. Truman assembled an advisory group to suggest ways to accomplish his Point Four Program, of which a significant component was an effort to strengthen developing countries those nearest to the Eastern Bloc, to dissuade them from aligning with other communist states; the advisory group recommended an international mechanism that would function somewhere in between providing strictly-loaned and strictly-granted funds. The UN and United States government published reports expressing support for the creation of a multilateral, concessional lending program for the poorest developing countries. However, the United States was unresponsive and distracted by its involvement in the Korean War and unconvinced that development needed greater financial stimulation. Developing countries grew frustrated with not being able to afford IBRD lending and perceived the Marshall Plan as a comparatively generous gift to European nations.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, developing countries began calling for the United Nations to create a development agency that would offer technical support and concessional financing, with a particular desire that the agency adhere to other UN bodies' convention of each country having one vote as opposed to a weighted vote. However, the United States opposed proposals of that nature; as the United States grew more concerned over the growth of the Cold War, it made a concession in 1954 at the behest of its Department of State by backing the conception of the International Finance Corporation. Despite the launch of the IFC in 1956, developing countries persisted in demanding the creation of a new concessional financing mechanism and the idea gained traction within the IBRD. Then-President of the IBRD Eugene R. Black, Sr. began circulating the notion of an International Development Association, as opposed to an idea of a concessional named the Special United Nations Fund for Economic Development governed by the United Nations.

Paul Hoffman, the Marshall Plan's former Administrator, proposed the idea of a soft-loan facility within the World Bank, where the US would have a preponderant voice in the allocation of such loans. Democratic Senator Mike Monroney of Oklahoma supported this idea; as Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on International Finance, Monroney proposed a resolution recommending a study of the potential establishment of an International Development Association to be affiliated with the IBRD. Monroney's proposal was more preferred received within the United States than the SUNFED; the resolution passed the senate in 1958, then-U. S. Treasury Secretary Robert B. Anderson encouraged other countries to conduct similar studies. In 1959, the World Bank's Board of Governors approved a U. S.-born resolution calling for the drafting of the articles of agreement. SUNFED became the Special Fund and merged with the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance to form the United Nations Development Programme. By the end of January 1960, fifteen countries signed the articles of agreement which established the International Development Association.

The association launched in September of that same year with an initial budget of $913 million. Over the next eight months following its launch, the IDA grew to 51 member states and loaned $101 million to four developing countries; the IDA is governed by the World Bank's Board of Governors which meets annually and consists of one governor per member country (most the country


In the Hebrew Bible, Abner was the cousin of King Saul and the commander-in-chief of his army. His name appears as אבינר בן נר "Abiner son of Ner", where the longer form Abiner means "my father is Ner". Abner is mentioned incidentally in Saul's history, first appearing as the son of Ner, Saul's uncle, the commander of Saul's army, he comes to the story again as the commander who introduced David to Saul following David's killing of Goliath. He is not mentioned in the account of the disastrous battle of Gilboa. Seizing the youngest but only surviving of Saul's sons, Ish-bosheth called Eshbaal, Abner set him up as king over Israel at Mahanaim, east of the Jordan. David, accepted as king by Judah alone, was meanwhile reigning at Hebron, for some time war was carried on between the two parties; the only engagement between the rival factions, told at length is noteworthy, inasmuch as it was preceded by an encounter at Gibeon between twelve chosen men from each side, in which the whole twenty-four seem to have perished.

In the general engagement which followed, Abner was put to flight. He was pursued by Asahel, brother of Joab, said to have been "light of foot as a wild roe"; as Asahel would not desist from the pursuit, though warned, Abner was compelled to slay him in self-defence. This originated a deadly feud between the leaders of the opposite parties, for Joab, as next of kin to Asahel, was by the law and custom of the country the avenger of his blood. However, according to Josephus, in Antiquities, Book 7, Chapter 1, Joab had forgiven Abner for the death of his brother, the reason being that Abner had slain Asahel honorably in combat after he had first warned Asahel and had no other choice but to kill him out of self-defense; this battle was part of the son of Saul. After this battle Abner switched to the side of David and granted him control over the tribe of Benjamin; this act put Abner in David's favor. For some time afterward the war was carried on, the advantage being invariably on the side of David.

At length, Ish-bosheth lost the main prop of his tottering cause by accusing Abner of sleeping with Rizpah, one of Saul's concubines, an alliance which, according to contemporary notions, would imply pretensions to the throne. Abner was indignant at the rebuke, opened negotiations with David, who welcomed him on the condition that his wife Michal should be restored to him; this was done, the proceedings were ratified by a feast. After, Joab, sent away intentionally returned and slew Abner at the gate of Hebron; the ostensible motive for the assassination was a desire to avenge Asahel, this would be a sufficient justification for the deed according to the moral standard of the time. The conduct of David after the event was such as to show that he had no complicity in the act, though he could not venture to punish its perpetrators. David had Abner buried in Hebron, as it states in 2 Samuel 3:31-32, "And David said to all the people who were with him,'Rend your clothes and gird yourselves with sackcloth, wail before Abner.'

And King David went after the bier. And they buried Abner in Hebron, the king raised his voice and wept on Abner's grave, all the people wept."Shortly after Abner's death, Ish-bosheth was assassinated as he slept, David became king of the reunited kingdoms. The site known as the Tomb of Abner is located not far from the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and receives visitors throughout the year. Many travelers have recorded visiting the tomb over the centuries. Benjamin of Tudela, who began his journeys in 1165, wrote in the journal, "The valley of Eshkhol is north of the mountain upon which Hebron stood, the cave of Makhpela is east thereof. A bow-shot west of the cave is the sepulchre of Abner the son of Ner."A rabbi in the 12th century records visiting the tomb as reprinted in Elkan Nathan Adler's book Jewish Travellers in the Middle Ages: 19 Firsthand Accounts. The account states, "I, the son of R. Nathaniel ha Cohen, journeyed with much difficulty, but God helped me to enter the Holy Land, I saw the graves of our righteous Patriarchs in Hebron and the grave of Abner the son of Ner."

Adler postulates that the visit must have occurred prior to Saladin's capture of Jerusalem in 1187. Rabbi Moses Basola records visiting the tomb in 1522, he states, "Abner's grave is in the middle of Hebron. Another visitor in the 1500s states that "at the entrance to the market in Hebron, at the top of the hill against the wall, Abner ben Ner is buried, in a church, in a cave." This visit was recorded in Sefer Yihus ha-Tzaddiqim, a collection of travelogues from 1561. Abraham Moshe Lunz reprinted the book in 1896. Menahem Mendel of Kamenitz, considered the first hotelier in the Land of Israel, wrote about the Tomb of Abner is his 1839 book Korot Ha-Itim, translated into English as The Book of the Occurrences of the Times to Jeshurun in the Land of Israel, he states, "Here I write of the graves of the righteous. Hebron – Described above is the character and order of behavior of those coming to pray at the Cave of ha-Machpelah. I went there, between the stores, over the grave of Avner ben Ner and was required to pay a Yishmaeli – the grave was in his courtyard – to allow me to enter."

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Yana Plateau

The Yana Plateau is a mountain plateau in the Sakha Republic, Far Eastern Federal District, Russia. The plateau lies in an uninhabited area, it was first surveyed and mapped in 1868 by Gerhard von Maydell, a Russian Government officer in East Siberia of Estonian descent. The Yana Plateau is located in the middle basin of the Yana River; the Yana Plateau is limited by the Nendelgin Range, part of the Chersky Range to the northeast and by the Verkhoyansk Range to the southwest, connecting both mountain regions. Together with the Elgin Plateau to the south, it is part of the Yana—Oymyakon Highlands with which it forms a tectonic continuum. However, there is no clear geomorphological boundary with the Elgin Plateau; the average elevations of the plateau surface are between 800 metres. Individual mountain massifs with elevations up to 1,500 metres rise above the plateau. Rivers flow across the Yana Plateau from the south to the north, including the Yana River with its tributary Adycha and its tributaries Derbeke and Tuostakh, as well as the Sartang and Bytantay, among others.

The middle courses of the Derbeke and the Nelgese, tributaries of the Adycha flowing northwards across the Yana Plateau, have swamps and numerous lakes, including Lake Emanda, the largest lake in the area. There are taiga-type sparse larch forests on the plateau. Oymyakon Plateau Physiogeography of the Russian Far East Moss flora of the Yana-Adycha Plateau