By Osaze Omoragbon
World Bank President Dr Jim Yong Kim said the Bank has set a 9 percent interim reduction in poverty by 2020. If achieved, it will mark the first time the misery index will fall to single-digit since they were first reported in World Development Report in 1990. Calling for intense urgency to end poverty, President Kim said “setting this target reminds us we are at the cusp of something historic-ridding the world of the scourge of people living in such abysmal conditions”.
Dr. Kim’s based his optimism on a World Bank economic analysis of global poverty trends towards reaching a goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030. Citing research by the Bank Group, Dr. Kim showed that if developing countries continued historic growth rates for the next 20 years, poverty will decline by 8 percent in 2030, which falls short of the interim target. He said developing countries will have to match their growth during the fastest-growing period of the last 20 years. “Ending extreme poverty is achievable in less than a generation. But we need strong growth, committed political leaders, and a growing social movement that keeps pushing all of us to focus on results” he said.
Though some analysts are weary of the bank’s estimate given external shocks that buffets developing countries especially geo-political shocks as well as financial and trade contagions.
Last April, Governors of the World Bank Group endorsed the Bank’s twin-goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity of the bottom 40 percent of the population in all developing countries.