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World Bank: Rival Chinese Bank Potential Ally Against Poverty

  • VOA News

FILE - World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

FILE - World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim says he will do everything possible to work with a new Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in the struggle against poverty.

Washington opposes the new bank, but dozens of other nations support it. In a Washington speech Tuesday, Kim urged the new bank to adhere to high standards for dealing with environmental and labor issues.

The World Bank leader said nearly one billion people are surviving on less than $1.25 a day. While that is a big improvement over the past few decades, there is still "plenty of work to go around" to reduce the number of people in dire poverty.

He said ending poverty will take trillions of dollars, cooperation from the private sector, and continued reforms at the World Bank. But Kim said the final push must “begin right now” because poverty means millions of children miss out on health care and education, and are sent to bed hungry at night.

He spoke in advance of next week’s gathering of top officials of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington, where they will seek ways to cut poverty and improve global economic growth.

A separate study published Tuesday by the IMF says global economic growth may be disappointing for both developed and emerging economies for the next few years.

The authors say growth in wealthy nations will be hampered by aging populations and the slow recovery of capital for investment after the recession that hit in 2007. The study predicts that developed nations' economies will expand at a 1.6 percent annual rate in the medium term, which is more than half a percentage point slower than before the financial crisis.

The global lender says growth will also slow for emerging economies, as an aging population limits the workforce and investment remains weak.