World Bank Strategises To Support Poor Nations




World Bank President, Jim Yong KimWith more than a billion people in the world living on less than $1.25 per day, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim says the bank needs to pursue a strategy to realign the global institution to help end poverty by 2030 and boost shared prosperity.

Speaking at George Washington University on the eve of the World Bank Group/IMF Annual Meetings, 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.

Mr. Kim pledged that he would direct more funding to fragile and conflict-affected states, and hoped to increase the share of IDA core financing the Bank’s fund for the poorest to fragile and conflict-affected states by about 50 per cent in the next three years.

Describing extreme poverty as defining moral issue, he also said that the IFC, the Banks private sector arm, also would increase funding by 50 per cent over three years for low-income and fragile states. The IFC increase could amount to more than an $800 million increase over three years; the IDA amount could not be determined until countries made pledges later in the year.

Mr. Kim specifically called on the international community to give greater support to Lebanon, which has allowed more than 760,000 Syrian refugees to settle since fighting broke out in Syria more than two and a half years ago. We need to do much more or we risk catastrophe in Lebanon, Kim said.

In his speech, Mr. Kim said the new World Bank Group strategy, the first ever to bring together the entire organisation, which includes the Bank, IFC, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, which provides political risk insurance, would work towards a common purpose.

For the WB Group, he said its strategy was based on the entire organisation working and pulling together.
Our strategy also forces us to be selective first, choosing our priorities and then, abandoning those activities that are not.

Highlighting three elements of the strategy, he explained that “first, we will partner with the private sector to use their expertise and capital to fight poverty. This is particularly important to create good jobs for the poor.”

“Secondly, we will increase our commitment to fragile and conflict-affected states, which will require us to be bolder, take more risks, and commit more resources.

“And thirdly, we will be as ambitious as possible on issues that are of global importance, including investing in women and girls and climate change. Our response to climate change, for instance, must be bold enough to match the scope of the problem,” he said.

The WB President also called for a social movement to end poverty, and he noted that interest in the issue was coalescing around the globe.

“Just six months ago, the board of governors for the World Bank Group laid a foundation for a social movement by endorsing our two goals and declaring that we can end extreme poverty by 2030.

“Now we are seeing interest from all corners. Political leaders, including President Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron, are calling for an end to poverty. Faith-based leaders are calling for an end to poverty. The One campaign, Oxfam, Save the Children, and RESULTS and many other civil society groups are calling for an end to poverty.

“This is the defining moral issue of our time.  Our goals are clear. End extreme poverty by 2030.   Share prosperity with the bottom 40 per cent, 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,” Mr. Kim said.

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