WASHINGTON, D.C. -- World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim commended Bangladesh on Wednesday for its significant progress in overcoming poverty at a meeting in Washington, D.C., with Bangladesh Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith. They also discussed ways to make economic development reach more of the Bangladeshi people through ensuring good governance and strengthening the country’s own institutions and processes.
Bangladesh has made remarkable progress toward achieving the poverty reduction targets set by the Millennium Development Goals for 2015. Sustaining annual growth rates of around 6% in the past decade, the country has witnessed a profound social transformation with an influx of girls into the education system and women into the labor force. Economic growth has pulled 16 million people out of poverty in the last 10 years. Development needs, however, remain large and pressing, with around 47 million people still living in poverty.
"Bangladesh has the potential for faster economic growth and poverty reduction. The World Bank Group can work together with the government of Bangladesh to reduce the number of poor more rapidly, while having governance and anti-corruption measures in place to ensure that every dollar is used for the intended purpose of benefiting the poor," said Kim.
The World Bank has provided around $16 billion since 1972, shortly after Bangladesh’s independence, for enhancing access to and quality of the health and education systems, strengthening of the social safety net, modernization of infrastructure, adaptation to climate change, development of agriculture, empowerment of local governments, and the promotion of reforms to encourage broad-based economic growth.