With 189 member countries, staff from more 170 countries, and offices in over 130 locations, the World Bank Group is a the study of methods of speech development of children global partnership: five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries. The World Bank Group works in every major area of development.
We provide a wide array of financial products and technical assistance, and we help countries share and apply innovative knowledge and solutions to the challenges they face. We face big challenges to help the world’s poorest people and ensure that everyone sees benefits from economic growth. Data and research help us understand these challenges and set priorities, share knowledge of what works, and measure progress. Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D. Thank you, John, for that kind introduction.
Thank all of you for coming, or watching on the Webcast. And thank you to CSIS for hosting us at your beautiful building. Before I begin, I want to pause to remember the 147 students at Garissa University College in Kenya who were senselessly murdered just a few days ago. Just 15 years into the new millennium, economic development in poor countries and emerging markets is at a critical crossroads.
Ukraine to the Middle East to parts of Africa. 2015 is the most important year for global development in recent memory. In July, world leaders will gather in Addis Ababa to discuss how we’ll finance our development priorities in the years ahead. Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank led by China, with more than 50 countries and regions signing on as members.
With the right environment, labor and procurement standards, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank, established by the BRICS countries, can become great new forces in the economic development of poor countries and emerging markets. 2030 and to boost prosperity among the poorest 40 percent in low- and middle-income countries. These goals are ambitious and there’s more than enough work to go around. Our ambitions for economic development couldn’t be higher. We’re no longer talking about billions of dollars for economic development. The decisions we make this year, and the alliances we form in the years ahead, will help determine whether we have a chance to reach our goal of ending extreme poverty in just 15 years.
The good news is that the world has made substantial progress already. In 1990, when the world population was 5. 2 billion, 36 percent of people lived in extreme poverty. 12 percent live in extreme poverty. Over 25 years, we’ve gone from nearly 2 billion people living in extreme poverty to fewer than 1 billion. Few of us can even imagine what this is like. 5 billion people not having access to financial services like bank accounts.
4 billion people without access to electricity. Poverty is having to put your children to bed without food. And poverty is not going to school because, in order to survive, everyone in the family needs to earn a few cents each day. We know in part because of our past success, and because we have learned from years of experience about what has worked in particular contexts and what has not. Later in the year, I’ll talk in depth about our strategies to boost prosperity for the bottom 40 percent, especially in middle income countries. But today, I want to talk about our broad strategy to lift nearly a billion people out of extreme poverty and into the modern world. Inside the World Bank, for the past 50 years, we’ve continuously distilled and analyzed our global experience in fighting poverty.
As a result, our advice to governments has evolved over time. We now known that our strategic advice must evolve even more. Let me talk about each one. The world economy needs to grow faster, and grow more sustainably.
It needs to grow in a way that ensures that the poor receive a greater share of the benefits of that growth. We can reach the end of extreme poverty only if we mark a path toward a more robust and inclusive growth that is unparalleled in modern times. Decades of experience have taught us that economic growth is the primary driver of increased personal income and poverty reduction. Sustained growth requires macroeconomic stability in the form of low inflation, manageable debt levels and reliable exchange rates. Government policies also must prioritize growth in sectors that increase the incomes of the poor. The World Bank Group will continue to support governments and make investments in a broad variety of areas in the fight against extreme poverty.