The World Bank agreed to help developing countries strengthen their economies, bolster their financial systems, maintain growth and protect the poor against the financial turmoil roiling international markets. The head of the bank's policy-setting committee, Mexican Finance Minister Agustin Carstens, and World Bank President Robert Zoellick announced the commitment at the end of a daylong meeting on Sunday.  Zoellick said the financial crisis "has been a man-made catastrophe. The actions and responses to overcome it lie in our hands."  He said as the current crisis has unfolded, people in the United States and Europe reacted first with confusion, then anger and then fear.  "Those natural reactions will spread around the world as the impact spreads," Zoellick said. "We need to take them seriously." He said developing countries , many of them already hit by high prices for energy and food, risk serious setbacks to their efforts to improve the lives of their populations from any prolonged tightening of credit or a sustained global slowdown "The poorest and must vulnerable groups risk the most serious - and in some cases permanent damage," Zoellick said. Zoellick said the financial crisis underscored the need to modernize multilateralism and markets for a new global economy. He said the bank and its sister institution, the International Monetary Fund, must insure that as governments and publics turn their attention to domestic matters they do not step back from their commitment to provide billions in aid to poor countries. "Aid flows must be maintained," Zoellick said. "Today's meeting of ministers was unanimous in that regard."