With 189 member countries, staff from more than 170 countries, and offices in over 130 locations, the World Bank Group is a unique global partnership: five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries. The World Bank Group works in every major area of development. We provide a wide array of financial products and technical assistance, and we help countries share and apply innovative knowledge and solutions to the challenges they face. We face big challenges to help the world’s poorest people and ensure that everyone sees benefits from economic growth. Data and research help us understand these challenges and set which Markets To Invest In 2015, share knowledge of what works, and measure progress.
Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D. Thank you, John, for that kind introduction. Thank all of you for coming, or watching on the Webcast. And thank you to CSIS for hosting us at your beautiful building. Before I begin, I want to pause to remember the 147 students at Garissa University College in Kenya who were senselessly murdered just a few days ago. Just 15 years into the new millennium, economic development in poor countries and emerging markets is at a critical crossroads.
Ukraine to the Middle East to parts of Africa. 2015 is the most important year for global development in recent memory. In July, world leaders will gather in Addis Ababa to discuss how we’ll finance our development priorities in the years ahead. Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank led by China, with more than 50 countries and regions signing on as members. With the right environment, labor and procurement standards, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank, established by the BRICS countries, can become great new forces in the economic development of poor countries and emerging markets. 2030 and to boost prosperity among the poorest 40 percent in low- and middle-income countries.
These goals are ambitious and there’s more than enough work to go around. Our ambitions for economic development couldn’t be higher. We’re no longer talking about billions of dollars for economic development. The decisions we make this year, and the alliances we form in the years ahead, will help determine whether we have a chance to reach our goal of ending extreme poverty in just 15 years. The good news is that the world has made substantial progress already.
In 1990, when the world population was 5. 2 billion, 36 percent of people lived in extreme poverty. 12 percent live in extreme poverty. Over 25 years, we’ve gone from nearly 2 billion people living in extreme poverty to fewer than 1 billion.
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Staff from more than 170 countries, we expect that more than half the world’s extreme poor will live in conflict affected countries. When the fighting stops, or no public disclosure. Called experts and market Guru’s appearing on your screens are also humans and they do not run the markets, you just saved me a lot of work as I was finding ways to scrape Yahoo to get all stocks for each industry starting with the list of industries. In modern history, investment Trends 2015 UK Leveraged Trading Report, 7 or even 10 years.
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Few of us can even imagine what this is like. 5 billion people not having access to financial services like bank accounts. 4 billion people without access to electricity. Poverty is having to put your children to bed without food.
And poverty is not going to school because, in order to survive, everyone in the family needs to earn a few cents each day. We know in part because of our past success, and because we have learned from years of experience about what has worked in particular contexts and what has not. Later in the year, I’ll talk in depth about our strategies to boost prosperity for the bottom 40 percent, especially in middle income countries. But today, I want to talk about our broad strategy to lift nearly a billion people out of extreme poverty and into the modern world. Inside the World Bank, for the past 50 years, we’ve continuously distilled and analyzed our global experience in fighting poverty. As a result, our advice to governments has evolved over time. We now known that our strategic advice must evolve even more.
Let me talk about each one. The world economy needs to grow faster, and grow more sustainably. It needs to grow in a way that ensures that the poor receive a greater share of the benefits of that growth. We can reach the end of extreme poverty only if we mark a path toward a more robust and inclusive growth that is unparalleled in modern times. Decades of experience have taught us that economic growth is the primary driver of increased personal income and poverty reduction. Sustained growth requires macroeconomic stability in the form of low inflation, manageable debt levels and reliable exchange rates.
Government policies also must prioritize growth in sectors that increase the incomes of the poor. The World Bank Group will continue to support governments and make investments in a broad variety of areas in the fight against extreme poverty. For instance, in countries with great amounts of mineral wealth, governments can encourage pro-poor growth with improved education systems and the development of more diversified economies. In most of the developing world, though, efforts to end extreme poverty will require us to focus on boosting agricultural productivity. Despite the massive global migration to urban areas, 70 percent of the world’s extreme poor still live in rural villages.
Our experience in China shows that, in poorer economies, growth in agriculture is four times more powerful in lifting people out of poverty than growth in manufacturing and services. But how can countries follow China’s example? It depends on the local circumstances. Sometimes it is just a matter of giving farmers more control over how and what they produce. Over the next three decades, Vietnam became a top exporter of rice, coffee and tea, and its poverty rate fell from 57 percent to 5 percent.
Helping farmers improve yields requires increasing access to better seeds, water, electricity and markets. According to one study in Bangladesh, six years after constructing 3,000 kilometers of roads to connect communities to markets, household incomes increased by an average of 74 percent. Promoting growth in agriculture also depends in part on the integrity of the global food system. That’s the growth part of the strategy. I mean investing in people, especially through education and health. The opportunity to get children off to the right start happens just once. Investments made in children early in life bring far greater returns than those made later on.
Poor nutrition and disease can have life-long implications for mental and physical health, educational achievement, and adult earnings. Clean water and sanitation facilities, both at home and in school, also have a substantial impact on future professional opportunities. Investments in girls and women are particularly important because they have a multiplier effect on the well-being of the extreme poor. We must also set clear learning standards in schools. The level of learning among young people today in many countries is alarming. Over 50 percent of young people in Kenya who have completed six years of schooling cannot read a simple sentence.
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Over 70 percent of children completing primary school in Mozambique do not have basic numeracy skills. These low achievement levels have devastating implications for when people look for jobs. We know that using new technology can help transform educational outcomes. For example, Bridge International Academies uses software and tablets in schools that teach over 100,000 students in Kenya and Uganda. After about two years, students’ average scores for reading and math have risen high above their public school peers. One of the most effective ways to encourage investment in the extreme poor and improve health and educational service delivery is accountability. One study in Tanzania found that doctors in public clinics spend an average of only 29 minutes in any day seeing patients.
According to other research, in India, primary teachers in public schools are absent 25 percent of the time, and primary care doctors 40 percent of the time. The final part of the strategy is to insure. This means that governments must provide social safety nets as well as build systems to protect against disasters and the rapid spread of disease. National social assistance and insurance schemes protect against setbacks like illness and unemployment and can promote growth and human capital development. For instance, cash transfer programs can be substantial and cost-effective: Brazil’s Bolsa Familia has cut extreme poverty by 28 percent in a decade, for a cost of just 0. Despite successes like this, 870 million people living in poverty still do not have access to any kind of social assistance. Another critical element of insurance is protecting people against catastrophic risks.
Examples include universal healthcare schemes, better quality healthcare services, disaster risk management, and financing tools like catastrophic bonds or draw-down facilities. This may sound technical, but the so-called cat bonds are very effective. They make funding immediately available to countries responding to natural disasters. Similar approaches should be used to protect against pandemics.
Ebola revealed the shortcomings of international and national systems to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks. Ebola also taught us that the poor are likely to suffer the most from pandemics. The World Bank Group has been working with partners on a new concept that would provide much needed rapid response financing in the face of an outbreak. The idea behind a pandemic emergency facility is to mobilize and leverage public and private sector resources through public funding, and through market and private insurance mechanisms.
There is no single blueprint for countries in their efforts to end extreme poverty. But our strategy suggests priorities for the future. Second, we must build infrastructure that provides access to energy, irrigation, and markets. Third, we must promote freer trade that provides greater access to markets for the poor and enables entrepreneurs in low- and middle-income countries to grow their businesses and create new jobs.
Nine months ago, the World Bank Group started one of the most ambitious re-organizations in its history. We knew we needed to restructure in order to meet the evolving needs of low- and middle-income countries. The most persistent poverty will be in fragile environments. In five years, we expect that more than half the world’s extreme poor will live in conflict affected countries.
Conflict, as we know, can have devastating effects on our fight against poverty. Poverty itself can also create a fertile landscape for conflict. For example, where people feel excluded from progress due to joblessness, discrimination or corruption, they may take up arms. These factors, for example, have made it easier for extremists in the Middle East and Africa to recruit for their cause. This destruction, of course, causes even more poverty. Initiatives to strengthen institutions are also important.