Published on Voices

How We’re Taking On Extreme Poverty


Next week, we’ll be hosting our Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C., which will attract a few thousand leaders in development from around the world. To set the stage for these meetings, I talked this week about the fundamental issues in global development and how we’re undergoing dramatic changes inside the World Bank Group to meet those great challenges.

We live in an unequal world. The gaps between the rich and poor are as obvious here in Washington, D.C., as they are in any capital. Yet, those excluded from economic progress remain largely invisible to many of us in the rich world. In the words of Pope Francis, “That homeless people freeze to death on the street is not news. But a drop … in the stock market is a tragedy.”

While we in the rich world may be blind to the suffering of the poor, the poor throughout the world are very much aware of how the rich live. And they have shown they are willing to take action.

We must not remain voluntarily blind to the impact of economic choices on the poor and vulnerable – not only because of the moral argument of treating your neighbor with dignity but also because of the economic argument that when growth includes women, young people, and the poor, we all benefit.

Please take a few minutes and watch this video of my remarks on Tuesday at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. It describes how we’re taking major steps to make us fit for purpose, including increasing our financial firepower for global development. In a few years, our annual commitment will rise to more than $70 billion – up from $45 to $50 billion today. We will be able to mobilize and leverage hundreds of billions of dollars annually in the years ahead. These will be key parts of our strategy that ensures that no country is left behind as we move toward the target of ending extreme poverty by 2030.

This post first appeared in LinkedIn Influencers.


Jim Yong Kim

Former President, World Bank Group

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