By Fuad Rajeh
Washington, Oct. 10 (Saba)-- World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim on Thursday briefed journalists on the group's urgent and bold strategy to fight poverty, while pointing that the group has been going through a renewal, sharpening its direction and focus.
"Just six months ago, we established our two goals: to end extreme poverty by 2030 and boost shared prosperity of the bottom 40 percent of the population in all developing countries. And yesterday we announced an interim target, to reduce extreme poverty to 9 percent by 2020," he told reporters at a press conference which was held at the IMF Headquarters.
"Achieving these goals has become the central purpose of our institution".
He said the World Bank’s Board of Governors will consider a blueprint for transforming the WBG's operations, structure, and culture to serve these goals "This is the first strategy that brings together all the institutions of the World Bank Group under a single framework for results," he affirmed.
Putting the spotlight on poverty challenge, he said: "over 1 billion people live in extreme poverty, earning a dollar-twenty-five or less per day".
"400 million of the world’s extreme poor are children. In low-income countries, one half of the poor are children. How can we in good conscience not do all we can to lift these children and their families out of extreme poverty? They can’t wait for progress to emerge slowly. They need our help today".
Kim said the strategy will help client countries solve their biggest problems: creating jobs; fighting climate change, which hurts so many of the world’s poor; and confronting the issues of fragility and conflict.
"A strong replenishment for IDA, our fund for the poorest, will be critical if we are to meet our bold ambitions. With a strong replenishment, we plan to increase our IDA funding for fragile and conflict-affected countries by 50 percent over the next three years," he continued.
In this context, Christime Lagrade, IMFManaging Director, said at another press conference on Thursday that they have got all necessary approvals from IMF members to use the revenues of gold sales in the past three years to meet the needs low-income countries. "This was the good news," she said, while adding: "Gold incomes will be deposited into a credit fund and with that we can ensure activity to help the poorest will be well financed".
Meanwhile, IMF officials have affirmed that developing countries are directly affected by international financial and economic instability. They have urged IMF members to work together to address financial problems because economies affect each other and mainly to avoid disasters that may shock developing countries.
Lagrade said structural and fiscal policy reforms are required at the moment to facilitate liquidity and then prevent impact when some economies start facing problems.
In her remarks, Lagrade also said the international economy has started to leave recession despite slow growth indicators, and that in some areas which have not even seen growth, indicators remain positive.