World Bank chief calls for ending extreme poverty by 2030

Tue Apr 2, 2013 12:14pm EDT
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By Lesley Wroughton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - World Bank President Jim Yong Kim called for a commitment by the international community on Tuesday to end extreme poverty by 2030 and to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people living in developing countries.

To reach that goal, Kim said the world need to reduce the number of people living below the poverty line of $1.25 per day to 3 percent globally by 2030, and raise the per capita incomes of the bottom 40 percent of every developing country.

The 3 percent level is a new target for the World Bank, which estimated in 2010 that 21 percent of the global population, or 1.2 billion people, lived extreme poverty.

Some World Bank estimates have put the 3 percent target at about 600 million people living below the poverty line by 2030.

The goal will help guide the World Bank's poverty-fighting mission by allowing it to prioritize development projects, Kim said.

"Now is the time to commit to ending extreme poverty," he said in a speech before meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on April 19 and 20 in Washington.

"We are at an auspicious moment in history, when the successes of past decades and an increasingly favorable economic outlook combine to give developing countries a chance - for the first time ever - to end extreme poverty within a generation," he added.

The World Bank's board will consider a new country strategy for India next week that aimed to reduce poverty by an additional 300 million over the next several years. An estimated 50 million people were lifted out of poverty in India over the past five years.   Continued...

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim attends a news conference in New Delhi March 13, 2013. REUTERS/B Mathur