| WASHINGTON, April 20
WASHINGTON, April 20 Global finance officials
endorsed a new World Bank goal to end extreme global poverty by
2030 and emphasized that its focus should be on ensuring that
the poorest benefit from strong growth and rising prosperity in
"For the first time in history we have committed to setting
a target to end poverty," World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said
on Saturday following a meeting of the World Bank's Development
Committee. "We are no longer dreaming of a world free of
poverty; we have set an expiration date for extreme poverty," he
The goal aimed to reduce extreme poverty to 3 percent
globally and targets the bottom 40 percent of people living in
each country in the developing world.
Developing economies are growing on average about 6 percent
annually, lifting millions of people out of poverty and creating
a new global middle class, which has also given rise to growing
"We recognize that sustained economic growth needs a
reduction in inequality. Investments that create opportunities
for all citizens and promote gender equality are an important
end in their own right, as well we being integral to creating
prosperity," the Development Committee said.
The new World Bank target aim to guide the work of the
institution, and coincides with efforts by the United Nations to
draw up a post-2015 poverty strategy to replace existing goals.
New figures released by the World Bank last week show that
extreme poverty globally has plunged to 21 percent in 2010, from
43 percent in 1990, with most of the world's poor now
concentrated most heavily in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia,
as China has successfully slashed extreme poverty.
Kim said climate change and the need for more investment in
health and education were also discussed by ministers.
"As I talked about in several meetings, we need a plan that
is equal to the challenge of a disastrously warming plant," said
Kim, who has made tackling climate change one of his main
priorities since taking the reins of the institution 10 months
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said there was no
better opportunity while developing countries are growing
strongly to tackle extreme poverty.
"Timing is everything," Lagarde said, adding that the global
economic recovery was proceeding at a three-speed recovery with
strong growth in emerging and developing economies. She said the
IMF would step up its policy advice to developing countries on
managing natural resources, job creation, financial sector
development, and subsidies.
FUNDRAISING FOR THE POOREST
The Development Committee called for a "robust" donor
fund-raising campaign by the World Bank's fund for its poorest
borrowers and urged "strong participation" by all countries.
Donors from rich and developing economies gather every three
years to pass the hat around to raise funds for the Bank's
International Development Association, or IDA.
Traditionally, the United States, Britain and Nordic nations
have been the biggest IDA funders, but over the past several
years countries such as Brazil, India and China, Chile,
Argentina and Peru have also ponied up money.
With belt-tightening across Europe and in the United States,
the World Bank will have to show more strenuous oversight of how
the money is used and that it does have an impact on the poor.
Kim has said more emphasis should be on helping fragile and
"Given the fiscal pressures on donors around the world, we
believe that the World Bank can and must do more to maximize the
development impact of each dollar spent," new Treasury Secretary
Jack Lew said in a statement to the Development Committee.