Oxfam response to World Bank Group President Jim Kim's speech today at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

In response to the World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim announcing cooperation between the World Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the BRICS New Development Bank, Nicolas Mombrial of Oxfam International said::

“More money for development and better cooperation is always good news so Jim Kim’s willingness to work closely with these banks is welcome. But fighting poverty and inequality, operating transparently, and respecting high environmental and social standards must be at the heart of what these banks do if they are to truly benefit poor countries and emerging economies as opposed to starting a race to the bottom.”

In response to the World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim’s speech outlining the Bank’s strategy to end poverty, Nicolas Mombrial said:

“Jim Kim is right to say we can end poverty by 2030, but his strategy to achieve this can only be a start. To escape from poverty, people need much more than "Grow, Invest, and Insure". People living in poverty need power over decisions that affect them and institutions which are accountable to them. 

"Poor people also need more ambitious action that tackles rising inequality and the gathering pace of climate change. There is no ending poverty without reducing extreme inequality and fighting climate change. This is surprisingly missing in this speech.

“The richest one per cent is expected to own more than everyone else by next year. By then new Sustainable Development Goals will have been set and world leaders will have met to agree on global action to tackle climate change. At the Spring meetings next week, Jim Kim can help influence these by placing inequality and climate change at the heart of the discussions, pressing other big banks to follow, and ensuring poor people are given a voice so we move closer to sustainable prosperity for all.

“This strategy will need to be financed but trillions of dollars for economic development cannot come from the private sector alone as Kim seems to suggest. The World Bank needs to help countries raise more domestic resources by tackling tax avoidance and tax evasion."

In response to the World Bank Group President’s focus on private education, Nicolas Mombrial said: 

“Jim Kim rightly emphasizes that investments in education and health are one of the most important strategies to end extreme poverty.  But his suggestion that low-cost private schools are the answer to the learning crisis in education is profoundly troubling.

“Poverty can only be deepened through this privatized education model which makes money off the backs of poor families' aspirations to send their children to school, while substituting professional teachers for technology.  This is a throwback to the Bank-sponsored privatization programs of the 1980s and 90s.  Technology is a critical tool in improving learning, but it cannot substitute for building a strong public education system with quality teachers, materials and facilities available to all.”
 

Contact information: 


Oxfam will have a team at the Spring Meetings in Washington DC next week. For more information contact Lucy Brinicombe (in Washington from April 14) on lbrinicombe@oxfam.org.uk  or at  +44 7786 110 054.

For updates, please follow @Oxfam or @OxfamIFIs.