Can Kim Save the World Bank?

The World Bank’s new president faces problems of global proportions. Poverty, pestilence and famine go hand in hand with international wars, natural disasters and man’s inhumanity towards man.

Jim Yong Kim has a lot on his plate when he gets up in the morning and I don’t mean breakfast.

By the year 2015, one billion people will be living below the poverty line. The old ways of doing things will not work in today’s world or the future. The root of the problem is the political structural as well as economic. Once an individual learns he cannot spend more money than he makes, he is on the road to recovery. The governments, however, seem to think they can print as much money as they need, take it back from the private sector or continue to borrow.

One of the World Bank’s purposes is to promote private foreign investment for the development of the productive resources of members and to help reduce poverty. Priority lending goes to financial and private-sector development.

Out-going president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick admitted that economic growth can only do so much to alleviate poverty.

Many people remain on the fringes of poverty and are falling further behind. An educated guess says the causes are; conflicts, poor government, corruption, discrimination, lack of basic human needs, disease, and absence of infrastructure, weak or nonexistent economic management and even geography (location) and weather.

Many of these causes may have little to do with economic growth, but if the World Bank truly desires to reduce poverty, they need to focus on education and health investments. Invest in people! That’s the ticket.


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