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India home to most poor, but poverty rate lowest: World Bank

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epa03394045 Elderly women beg money at a pavement in Calcutta on 11 September 2012. India's official poverty rate as per Planning Commission, stands at 29.8 per cent, or near to 350 million people using the 2010 population figures. EPA/PIYAL ADHIKARY

Washington: India was home to the largest number of poor in 2012, but its poverty rate was one of the lowest among those countries with the largest number of poor, according to a new World Bank report.

A new methodology applied to household surveys in India also suggests that its poverty rate could be even lower, the report noted.

For 2011-12, India’s poverty rate using the so-called “uniform reference period” (URP)-based consumption was 21.2 percent.

But a new method introduced in 2009-10 by the National Sample Survey Organization using a shorter recall period for food items brings down the poverty rate to a significantly lower figure of 12.4 percent.

From a broader historical perspective, the global poverty rate has fallen by approximately 1 percentage point a year since 1990, with rapid poverty reduction in China and India playing a central role in this outcome, the report noted.

Tentative projections for global poverty in 2015 suggest that the global headcount may have reached 700 million, leading to a poverty rate of 9.6 percent.

The number of people living in extreme poverty around the world was likely to fall to under 10 percent of the global population in 2015, according to World Bank projections.

This gives fresh evidence that a quarter-century-long sustained reduction in poverty is moving the world closer to the historic goal of ending poverty by 2030, the report said.

For the last several decades, three regions, East Asia and Pacific, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, have accounted for some 95 percent of global poverty.

In its regional forecasts for 2015, the Bank said poverty in South Asia would fall to 13.5 percent in 2015, compared to 18.8 percent in 2012.

“Development has been robust over the last two decades but the protracted global slowdown since the financial crisis of 2008, is beginning to cast its shadow on emerging economies,” said World Bank Chief Economist Kaushik Basu.

“There is some turbulence ahead,” added Basu, a former chief economic adviser to the Indian government.

“The economic growth outlook is less impressive for emerging economies in the near future, which will create new challenges in the fight to end poverty and attend to the needs of the vulnerable, especially those living at the bottom 40 percent of their societies,” he said.

(by Arun Kumar, IANS)

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After World Bank’s Head Quits, Donald Trump Likely To Determine The Successor

China, though a part of the World Bank, has thrown a challenge to it by setting up its own development banking institutions

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Trump, U.S.
Donald Trump. VOA

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has announced that he is stepping down as the head of the premier anti-poverty institution putting the likely choice of its future leadership in the hands of US President Donald Trump, a sceptic of international development.

Trump’s role is expected reinvigorate challenges to Washington’s monopoly on appointing the Bank’s head.

Announcing his decision on Monday, Kim said in a tweet: “It’s been the greatest privilege I could have ever imagined to lead the dedicated staff of this great institution to bring us closer to a world that is finally free of poverty.”

Kim, 59, who is dropping out 19 months into his second term on February 1, would be joining a private company and focus on infrastructure investments in developing countries, the Bank said.

The Bank’s CEO Kristalina Georgieva will become the interim president till a successor to Kim is appointed.

As the largest share-holder, the US by tradition appoints the head of the Bank, while Europeans determine the chief of the International Monetary Fund.

Kim was nominated for the job by former President Barack Obama in 2012.

Before Trump’s election, Kim was hastily re-appointed in September 2016 to a second term that began in July 2017 with an eye on pre-empting a possible Trump nominee getting the job.

Now, however, Trump will get an opportunity to nominate the Bank’s head.

Trump’s role will resurrect and strengthen challenges to the post-World War II model of the leadership of the 189-member bank that has always been determined by the US .

Already the US nominee was challenged for the first time in 2012 by two contenders.

Trump, U.S.
World Bank head quits, Trump likely to determine successor. VOA

Colombian economist Jose Antonio Ocampo Gaviria eventually withdrew from the race, while Nigeria’s then-Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala lost when the Bank’s directors rubber-stamped Kim’s appointment.

Now there will be robust demands for reconsidering the US leadership of the Bank and stronger non-American contenders for the job.

Kim, a South Korea-born US citizen, was an unusual leader for the Bank: He was a medical doctor by training, a specialist in public health and an academic with a Harvard doctorate in anthropology who had led the Ivy League Dartmouth College.

But his background in health was a plus for the Bank’s mission of fighting poverty and promoting development.

Under his leadership, the Bank adopted in tandem with the UN the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and focusing on the bottom 40 per cent of the population in the developing world.

The Bank’s International Development Association, which funds programmes in the least developed countries, achieved two record replenishments during his tenure, the last one in 2016 for $75 billion.

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Last April, the Bank also increased its capital by $13 billion with the unexpected support of the Trump administration.

Kim also pushed the Bank’s cooperation with the private sector for financing development in the developing world, particularly in the areas of climate change and infrastructure.

China, though a part of the World Bank, has thrown a challenge to it by setting up its own development banking institutions.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), founded in 2016 is one of those institutions and several countries including India, Germany, Britain and South Korea have joined it. (IANS)