Jim Yong Kim’s Revolution Against Poverty

In order to catalyze radical revolution against global poverty, one group that has long championed the bottom 40 percent of the population in developing countries proposed radical changes to their ambitions.

On October 11 2013, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim delivered a speech at the Annual Meetings Plenary in Washington, D.C. stating significant changes in the Group’s bureaucracy. Such changes include cutting annual costs by at least $400 million in the next three years. Kim was also straightforward in the question of staff cutbacks: “You bet. There will be,” he said.

Kim promises that such changes would tighten efficiency and bring the Group’s best talents together to embark on projects that would make the greatest impact on ending world poverty. The World Bank’s clients consist of low-income countries and poor and emerging economies in need of financial assistance and advice in establishing basic infrastructures.

Kim’s speech paid special attention on the reality of 400 million children living in squalor who need the poverty-combating services the Group provides. The image of 400 million children in need, Kim proposes, is more than enough motivation for the Group to strive harder to surpass initial development goals. Kim’s vision for the new World Bank is ambition and innovation in humanitarian efforts.

The current rate of growth of developing countries reveals that world poverty will reduce to 8 percent by 2030. Kim emphasized that the current rate is too slow and is a breeding ground for paralysis and inaction. A faster rate of growth and more demanding goals are at the heart of the World Bank’s future work and projects.

Kim proposed the Group’s new goal of reducing global poverty to 9 percent by 2020 in order to bring the total percentage down to 3 percent by 2030, virtually ending the pandemic within the next two decades.

Kim concluded with a powerful statement: “We are committed to becoming even better, and we will act boldly, without fear. And always we will speak loudly on behalf of the poor and the powerless…Together, we must urgently lift a billion people from extreme poverty…and the whole world’s future for the better.” Other anti-poverty organizations and governmental bodies should use the current mobilizations of the World Bank as inspiration—as a shining example of passionate and bold commitment to ending world poverty.

– Malika Gumpangkum

Sources: World Bank: President Jim Yong Kim Speech, World Bank: Group President Annual Meetings Plenary, Huffington Post
Photo: Foreign Policy