WASHINGTON — Lending by the World Bank, the biggest source of aid to the Third World, has declined in the last 12 months for the first time since 1985, the bank reported today. The decrease was due partly to a reduction in loans to China after tanks rolled into Tian An Men Square last year.
Figures for the bank's year, which runs from July 1 to June 30, were made public by Moeen A. Qureshi, a Pakistani who is the bank's senior vice president for operations.
New loans for the year just ended came to $20.7 billion. That was $600 million less than the $21.3 billion of the year before.
Loans to China dropped more than $700 million, falling to $590 million from $1.3 billion in the year before the suppression of the democracy movement.
The last year also brought a large drop in World Bank lending to India, where loans fell to $1.9 billion from $3 billion the year before. But bank officials said that was a coincidence and not the result of policy.
Mexico displaced India as the biggest borrower, taking $2.6 billion, compared to $2.2 billion in the previous year.