The World Bank may consider a major strategic revision as it plans to combat poverty through strategic lending across the globe, Reuters reports. The bank is trying to accomplish its goals of vanquishing extreme poverty and aiding the income of the poorest 40 percent of people in each country. However, the bank has made only sluggish progress towards revamping its image since the era of globalization.
Often overshadowed by organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank faces new challenges and problems if it is to continue to be a worldwide presence. Some have criticized the bank for being too slow to provide effective aid and for being prone to avoid risks in favor of more sound, calculated procedures. While this has helped the bank maintain its reputation of solidity, it has not helped the bank expand its lending programs to more of the world’s poor.
As emerging markets such as China have become more capable of providing for their own banking needs, the World Bank has needed to focus more and more on populations that are still in extreme poverty, which often are located in politically unstable or war torn regions.
The report, which will be under consideration by the bank’s executive board presently, may form the first part of the plan of action of Jim Yong Kim, the bank’s president who has been in power for a little over a year. Kim has promised changes and overhauls to the bank’s objectives, including becoming a resource for its knowledge as well as for its funds as lending needs have decreased in many developing countries.
Kim himself spoke in Shanghai this past weekend about how the World Bank can work together with China to assist the country’s transition towards focusing on sustainability rather than industrialization.
Kim said that, “We continue to support China as it moves to reform its fiscal system, financial oversight, land rights, and social programs to achieve growth that reaches more people.” He also tied in environmental goals to the problem of tackling climate change, which he referred to as a “real and present danger” not only for the planet but also for the health of developing economies.
One problem for the World Bank has been the number of companies that they have stopped lending to due to various allegations of bad business practices and corruption.
Surprisingly, one of the biggest offenders is Canada, accounting for nearly half of the 250 institutions that have been blacklisted from receiving funds from the bank this year. The figure of 250 is more than four times the number of institutions that were barred last year and is more than the total number that were banned over the course of the seven previous years.