700 million people still living in abject poverty – World Bank


700 million people still living in abject poverty – World Bank

The World Bank has demanded that countries implement sound structural reforms to accelerate development and create the basis for future prosperity.

David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group gave the advice at the 2019 Annual Press Conference in Washington, on Thursday in his opening remarks.

He said that oligopolies, excessive public sector employment and retirement promises and goods subsidy, services and finance are part of the problems confronting countries.

“I’m aware of the strong resistance to many reforms. But they’re crucial for enabling broad-based, sustainable growth”, Malpass noted.

“Global growth is slowing. Investment is sluggish, manufacturing activity is soft, and trade is weakening. The challenges of climate change and fragility are making poor countries more vulnerable.

700 million people still living in abject poverty – World Bank

700 million people still living in abject poverty – World Bank

“This backdrop makes our goals of reducing extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity even harder. About 700 million people still live in extreme poverty. That’s about one in 12 people on the planet.

“With the right mix of policies and structural reforms, countries can unleash growth that’s broadly shared across all segments of society. This is especially true in emerging markets and developing countries, where well-designed reforms can deliver meaningful gains”.

The World Bank urged Governments to ensure a significant impact on rapid growth, transparency, the rule of law and development in the private sector.

“Many countries have already used up their fiscal and monetary-policy space, so structural reforms are essential. Over $15 trillion in bonds have zero or negative yields, which amounts to frozen capital. Debt has climbed to troubling levels. We need fresh thinking to reignite growth.”

Malpass reaffirmed the World Bank’s goal to support the growth of countries.

“We’re helping countries build strong programs tailored to the unique circumstances of their economies. We’re encouraging innovations that attract private-sector investment, such as digital money. We’re promoting the rule of law and transparency in debt management and public finances.

“We’re investing to help countries gain access to electricity and clean water, ensure the full inclusion of girls and women, address climate change and protect the environment, improve health and nutrition, and bolster infrastructure.

“We’re launching a new approach to measure learning. It looks at the proportion of children aged 10 who can read and understand a basic story. We want to reduce learning poverty as much as possible”, he added.

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