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Annual Meetings: Halving Poverty, Spreading Innovation, Reducing Risk

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World Bank Chief Economist Kaushik Basu discusses strategic policy questions related to shared prosperity. © Brangelina Clawson/World Bank

Can the world cut poverty in half by 2020? In a webcast interview with CNN’s Richard Quest, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim called for reducing extreme poverty to single digits in just seven years. The Bank Group will work with countries and the international community to reduce the number of people living under $1.25 a day to 9% of the global population, down from 18% today. The 2020 target would be an interim step on the way to cutting extreme poverty to 3% by 2030 — a goal approved last spring by the Bank Group’s 188 shareholders. Read more: Blog, Release.

2013 World Bank/IMF Annual MeetingsWhat can you buy for $1? Kim asked that question at From Poverty to Prosperity, an event on how to achieve another goal endorsed last spring by the Bank’s member countries: boosting “shared prosperity.” The Bank will track the incomes of the bottom 40% of the population to measure progress toward the goal. Globally, 1 billion people live below the $1.25 threshold for extreme poverty. Can you imagine getting by on that amount? It’s a question also being asked on Twitter and Instagram. Read our blog and weigh in.

With a new World Bank Group Strategy to modernize and reorganize the institution up for approval this weekend, Kim joined surgeon, writer, and public health researcher Atul Gawande for a conversation on how to drive organizational change and deliver better services to clients and partners. Replay the webcast.

Chief Economist Kaushik Basu (pictured above) led a panel of experts in a conversation on the findings of one of the World Bank’s major research publications, the World Development Report, focusing this year on “Risk and Opportunity.” The report sheds light on ways people, institutions, and countries can reduce risk by being proactive. Replay the webcast.

A new World Bank Group report, “Inclusion Matters,” was the inspiration for a panel discussion on ways to help excluded groups and people share more fully in society and prosperity.  Replay the webcast and read the article.

Of Note: Two Economic Briefings

World Bank Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean Augusto de la Torre said the region’s  economy is decelerating but, in a historic shift, currencies are providing a lift. Growth has fallen from 6% in 2010 to an estimated 2.5% in 2013. Forecasts range from less than 1% growth for Jamaica and Venezuela to 5.5% and 8% for the two best performers in the region in the past decade, Peru and Panama, respectively. Release.

Economic growth in South Asia will be modest this year and in 2014, according to a report released today. Regional GDP is projected to grow by 4.4% in the 2013 calendar year, 5.7% in 2014, and 6.2% in 2015, driven by an improvement in export demand, measures to speed up the implementation of large infrastructure projects in India, stronger private investment activity, and a good monsoon. Release.

Watch Webcasts Thursday, Oct. 10 or follow live on Twitter at #wblive

2013 Annual Meetings Press Briefing: World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim
8:45-9:30 a.m. ET

The Rise of the Middle Class and the Service Delivery Gap in Latin America and the Caribbean
10 a.m.-noon ET, in English and Spanish

Boosting Shared Prosperity by Getting to Youth Employment Solutions (YES)
2-3:30 p.m. ET

The Rise of the Middle Class and the Service Delivery Gap in Latin America and the Caribbean
10 a.m.-noon EDT


Donna Barne

Corporate Writer, World Bank

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