Observers reported that the World Bank recently informed the Secretariat of the Convention to Combat Desertification that it is interested in contributing its expertise to the Global Mechanism. The form of such contribution and whether the Bank could act as a partner with the institutions that have offered to host the Global Mechanism, IFAD and UNDP, is reportedly still unclear. Several developed countries have responded positively, although they await more details. Some developing countries are reportedly apprehensive, expressing concerns that the Global Mechanisms assistance then might be tied to economic reforms. An informal meeting on outstanding CCD issues is expected Friday.