Istanbul, Turkey (BBN)- The global economic crisis has hit the economic growth of many developing countries including Europe and Central Asia through hitting families hard with higher unemployment and lost wages, the World Bank said.

“The global financial and economic crisis has literally hit home in many parts of Emerging Europe and Central Asia,” said Philippe Le Houérou, World Bank Vice-President for Europe and Central Asia, said in a press beefing at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual meetings on Saturday.

The World Bank also suggested the financially weaker governments to protect poor people through strengthening institutions and infrastructure to attract investors.

The economic growth of Europe and Central Asia is projected at negative 5.6 percent this year after growing 4.7 per cent in 2008, according to the World Bank statistics.

The global crisis has hit some countries worse than others that the region faces a weak and jobless recovery. Some countries such as, Poland, have fared better than others.

“Still, the number of jobless in the region has jumped from 8.3 million in 2008 to 11.4 million in 2009. It has doubled in the Baltic countries, grown by 60 percent in Turkey, and by one-third in other countries in the region,” the World Bank said.

“Instead of the number of poor falling by 15 million in 2009, we now project poverty to increase by about 15 million,” Indermit Gill, World Bank Chief Economist for the Europe and Central Asia Region, said.

Gill also said that governments’ debt levels would rise to 5.5 percent in 2009 from 1.5 percent in the previous year of gross domestic product (GDP). “This will put more pressure on governments to make spending more efficient.”

BBN/SS/SI/AD-04October09-2:00 am (BST)