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Fragile state: World Bank poverty target rests on weakest economies (GlobalCapital)
October 11, 2018
By Phil Thornton
From the article:
In the quarter century from 1990 to 2015 more than 1.1bn people were pulled out of poverty. While almost half of this was down to the Chinese government’s economic revolution that pushed 500m people above the basic poverty level of $1.25 a day, it is still hailed as a victory for the development finance industry.
While this still leaves 14.5% of the population in poverty, it is huge progress compared with 1949 when US President Harry S Truman lamented that more than half the people in the world were living in “conditions approaching misery”.
Yet as senior World Bank executives and development ministers from around the world gather in Bali, they will be aware that they have a long way to go to achieve the Bank’s goal of reducing extreme poverty in the world to less than 3% by 2030.
Masood Ahmed, president of the Center for Global Development (CGDev) think tank and a former IMF director, says that the international financial community has not been able to make the progress people would expect.
He says there are good reasons for this. For one, fragile states are inherently much harder to engage with. Allied to this is the tendency of big institutions to talk to each other rather than to the other actors on the ground. “The international community does not have any framework for coordination among the range of actors that are engaged in different ways in a fragile state context.”
Ahmed also says that institutions find it hard not to apply the processes that work in more stable countries, which is especially hard for large institutions that are structured around having a uniform approach.