An end to poverty? WB’s new strategy unveiling at 2013 Fall Meetings

Read below extracts of commentary from IBON international on the World Bank’s new vision to end poverty by 2030:

“Washington, D.C., October 9—The goal to end extreme poverty worldwide by 2030 is now part of the World Bank Group’s (WB) new vision, adopted at its 2013 Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C. in April. The WB also adds the promotion of “shared prosperity” as another goal. The Bank’s strategy based on this vision is set to be unveiled in the 2013 Annual Meetings on 11-13 October.

At present, the WB estimates that some 20% of the world’s population, or roughly 1.2 billion people, live below the poverty line pegged at $1.25 per person per day. The WB aims to reduce this to 3% by 2030. Meanwhile, it intends to promote the rapid growth of per capita income particularly of the bottom 40% of the populace in developing and transition countries through so-called inclusive growth.

The 2030 goal is familiar as it echoes US President Barack Obama’s promise early this year that “the US will join with our allies to eradicate such extreme poverty in the next two decades.” Likewise the post-2015 process is expected to produce new development goals led by a promise to end extreme poverty by the same year.

But with the Bank’s emphasis on private sector-led economic growth and infrastructure investments through public-private partnerships, as expressed in various policy pronouncements, many are asking: Whose interests will really be served by the new vision and strategy—the world’s poor or big business?”

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