03 April 2013

End of Extreme Poverty By 2030? World Bank Says Yes

It’s déjà vu all over again! One global health leader says extreme poverty can be ended by 2030 while another group warns of declining funding.

Yes, you have already read about this. Last time it was Bono telling TED that the end of extreme poverty is in sight while the UN Development Programme played spoiler with a report pointing to significant development obstacles. 

This time it is the World Bank and it’s President Jim Kim who declared yesterday that extreme poverty can come to an end by 2030. Today, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says that official development assistance fell by 4% in 2012

“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,” said Kim at Georgetown University on Tuesday.

This comes on the heals of the leaked World Bank document ”A common vision for the World Bank Group” that garnered quick criticism. Save the Children UK’s policy director Nuria Molina told the Guardian that the plan was ”very unambitious” when two weeks ago.

One of the missing parts was how to address inequality. The issue of inequality is gaining greater attention as development critics have been quick to point out that economic growth measured by GDP does not necessarily show overall growth for a country.

“The narrative is right, the terminology is right, but the devil is always in the details. You need to have a meaningful measure, and just looking at the bottom is not sufficient. It’s very important to look at the gaps,” said Molina.