World Bank must be bold, take smart risks to end extreme poverty – Dr Kim

Dr Jim Yong KimPresident of the World Bank, Dr Jim Yong Kim, is calling for bold steps to be taken by the Group to end extreme global poverty within a generation.

With more than a billion people in the world living on less than $1.25 per day, Dr Kim said extreme poverty was the defining moral issue of his time and called for a social movement to end poverty.

Speaking at the George Washington University October 1, 2013, Dr Kim said “the Bank must be bold and not be afraid to take smart risks to support projects that have the potential to transform a country or a region”.

He later announced a new strategy by the World Bank Group which would realign the global institution to help end poverty by 2030 and boost shared prosperity.

“This is the defining moral issue of our time.  Our goals are clear. End extreme poverty by 2030. Share prosperity with the bottom 40%, and share it with future generations. We have an opportunity to bend the arc of history and commit ourselves to do something that other generations have only dreamed of,” Dr Kim said.

The World Bank Boss highlighted three key elements of the new strategy – Partner with the private sector; Increase the Bank’s commitment to fragile and conflict-affected states; and Be ambitious as possible on issues that are of global importance .

“…our strategy is based on the entire organization working and pulling together,” said Dr Kim.

He added “Our strategy also forces us to be selective first, choosing our priorities and then, abandoning those activities that are not.”

Dr Kim pledged to increase IFC and IDA funding to fragile countries by 50% each in the next three years.

The new World Bank Group strategy is said to be the first ever to bring together the entire organization, which includes the Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) to work towards a common purpose.

By Ekow Quandzie

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