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Counting the Cost

Ending poverty: A realistic goal?

We speak to the heads of the World Bank and the IMF about extreme poverty and the state of the global economy.

Last updated: 11 Apr 2014 19:57
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This weekend, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are holding their crucial Spring Meetings in Washington DC.

The World Bank, which turns 70 this year, has 188 member nations and provides $30bn every year in low interest loans to both countries and the private sector for projects aimed at reducing poverty.

However, the World Bank is currently undergoing a massive internal restructure, with $400m worth of cost cuts in the pipeline. And constantly looming above, is its key goal of ridding the world of extreme poverty within a generation.

The World Bank defines people living in extreme poverty as those who survive on less than $1.25 a day. Currently, about 17.7 percent of the world's population falls in that category; the World Bank aims to reduce that figure to about three percent.

To achieve the goal, Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank, says that the group aims to lift 50 million people a year - or one million people a week - out of poverty from now until 2030, by investing in health, education, roads, energy, infrastructure and more.

"We're very focused on lifting the billion or so people living in extreme poverty out of that condition so that they can have those things that everybody in the world wants," said Kim. "It's a state that almost goes beyond human imagination …and it's a condition we should not tolerate any more on earth."

So is this an attainable goal? And what needs to be done to reach it? This week on Counting the Cost, Ali Velshi from Al Jazeera America's Real Money talks to Jim Yong Kim. 

The decline of the Russian economy?

The IMF, which is the body essentially charged with keeping the world's economy and currencies stable, sees the global economy expanding by 3.6 percent this year - up from three percent last year.

However, a lot of advanced economies are included in the list.

The US has stagnated for a while but is now looking at closer to three percent growth. China is also providing an anchor for global growth at 7.5 percent, which is strong and unchanged.

However, the IMF is predicting a weaker outlook for emerging markets than previously thought.

Russia is one of them: 1.3 percent is the prediction, down from two percent estimated in January. Meanwhile Brazil was reduced to 1.8 percent from 2.3 percent.

Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF, joins us in the second half of the show.

Ali Veshi spoke to Lagarde and asked her if she is worried about the deterioration of the Russian economy and the effect that is going to have on both Europe and the rest of the world. 

Watch each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630.  Click here  for more  Counting the Cost .  

Follow Kamahl Santamaria  @KamahlAJE and business editor Abid Ali  @abidoliverali  

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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