WASHINGTON — Though faced with an enormous task, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim believes he has a plan to rid the world of extreme poverty by 2030.
According to a speech Kim gave at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, there are three main things that need to happen for this goal to become reality: growth, investment and insurance.
“The world economy needs to grow faster, and grow more sustainably. It needs to grow in a way that makes sure some of our vast wealth goes to the poor,” Kim explains. “The second part of the strategy is to invest – and by that, I mean especially to invest in people through education and health. The final part of the strategy is to insure. This means governments providing social safety nets as well as building systems to protect against disasters and the rapid spread of disease.”
While growth, investment and insurance could look different for individual countries, Kim suggested many ways to drastically change the quality of life for billions of people. His suggestions are agriculture productivity, the building of infrastructure, the promotion of “greater and freer” trade, investment in the health and education of women and children, implementing “social safety nets” and providing social insurance.
Evidence shows that this plan will work as it has shown its effectiveness in the past. The number of those living in extreme poverty has decreased from almost two billion to less than one billion since 1990.
Kim says that the decisions made this year between governments, the private sector and banks will impact the future of global poverty. “The decisions we make this year, and the alliances we form with other institutions in the years ahead, will help determine whether we have a chance to reach our goal of ending extreme poverty in just 15 years,” Kim says.
World leaders are scheduled to meet later this year at the United Nations to discuss potential solutions to the world’s biggest problems. Kim hopes that the meeting will begin a transformation. “There is more than enough work to go around,” he says of the future challenges.
– Melissa Binns
Sources: Voice of America, World Bank