World Bank Group President Claims Poverty Can Be Eradicated In 15 Years – But Do The Countries Know Their Ground Reality?

World Bank Group President claimed that the world’s poverty can be eradicated within 15 years. However, he cautioned that the countries would have to take a lot of unpleasant decisions and enforce reforms that are aimed at even growth with long-term prospects.

During a visit to Ghana, one of the highly impoverished regions of the world, World Bank Group head Jim Yong Kim, said that poverty isn’t something that should be considered as perpetual. He confidently added that poverty can be eradicated if the local governments of the regions that are battling with it, enact reforms aimed with long-term growth prospects. Kim was speaking in the capital, Accra, to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, reported Yahoo.

The countries that are faced with extensive poverty must first start to invest in their citizens. This will allow them to work for themselves without being burdened about survival. Moreover, these nations should offer insurance that accords a safety-net to citizens so that they do not stumble back into the abyss of poverty, said the World Bank Group head. He added that the World Bank fully intends to improve the lives of people around the world. The group has set two goals.

“End poverty by 2030 and to boost shared prosperity for the bottom 40 percent of the population in developing countries.”

Despite his optimism, the World Bank Group head cautioned that there are quite a few hurdles in reducing poverty, let alone eradicate it completely. Reducing poverty in the next 15 years is primarily difficult because of the significant regression observed in the global economy, continually low commodity prices and the ever-looming interest rate hikes that significantly impact people’s savings and render the people poor, despite working consistently hard.

World Bank Group Poverty

Apart from the hurdles, the World Bank Group head added there was a critical piece of information still missing and the countries that are fighting poverty need to buckle-up to get. He was referring to huge gaps in the collection of poverty data. Fortunately, the World Bank Group has pledged to work with developing countries and international partners to ensure that the 78 poorest nations have household-level surveys every three years. The first set of the comprehensive reports are expected to be completed within the next five years and they should offer an in-depth and realistic view.

The reason there appears to be rampant poverty is primarily because there is a huge lack of dependable data in many countries. In fact, the World Bank identified as many as 29 countries that simply hadn’t bothered to collect data from 2002 to 2011. Another 28 countries had conducted a single survey during the same time period and abandoned the venture. Such data is nowhere near to offer observable trends about how countries and more importantly the citizens, have been progressing.

World Bank Group

Fortunately, there were a few indicators around the world that do indicate that poverty is slowly reducing, said the World Bank Group head. Kim noted that that the number of people who earn less than $1.90 a day, is likely to fall below 10 percent this year. Though not highly encouraging, it is for the first time that the percentage is expected to be about below 10 or 9.6 to be exact. Moreover, poverty in the sub-Saharan Africa, which has traditionally been plagued with acute poverty due to rampant violence, has fallen significantly. Beating seemingly insurmountable odds, poverty in the region has fallen from 56 percent in 1990 to a projected 35 percent in 2015, indicated the figures obtained by the World Bank.

To tackle poverty, countries need to first address the rampant growth in population, said the World Bank Group head. Moreover, there needs to be transparency about the flow of funds. He ended his speech saying the most basic things that the countries could do to eradicate poverty was to develop sustainable agriculture, create long-term jobs and offer basic nutrition to its people.

[Image Credit | Vanderlei Almeida, Bruno Vincent, Paul J Richards / Getty Images]