OPENING ADDRESS BY THE CHAIRMAN, KORDJÉ BEDOUMRA - The world bank group 2015 annual meetings of the boards of governors...
OPENING ADDRESS BY THE CHAIRMAN, KORDJÉ BEDOUMRA
GOVERNOR OF THE WORLD BANK GROUP
AND THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND FOR CHAD
Welcome and Introduction
I’m very pleased to welcome you to the 2015 Annual Meetings, the 69th Plenary of the
Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund. I would like to
thank the Peruvian government and people, and President Humala in particular, for the warm
hospitality. It’s a pleasure to have our meetings in such a culturally diverse and historical city, with
so much to see and explore.
When one thinks of Peru, one might think of colonial plazas or the majestic Inca ruins of
Macchu Picchu. In fact, Peru has a bounty of pre-Columbian cultures, some preceding the Incas
by millennia. My own country, Chad, the home of the oldest seven million-year-old hominine
cranium, called Toumaï, abounds with some of the richest archaeological sites in Africa, bearing
silent testimony to a vibrant civilization dating back hundreds of thousands of years. Peru reminds
us that there is much to learn from these ancient civilizations. They sought to achieve a better
future by building on the knowledge of previous generations. That is what makes Peru so
fascinating –multiple layers of great civilizations, melded with modernity.
Peru’s story is shared by many emerging markets and developing countries across the globe,
which have largely prospered as they have integrated into the global economy. As a result, there
has been a rapid expansion of growth, trade, and capital flows. Since 2009, developing countries’
GDP and trade have expanded at average annual rates of 10 percent. Yet the gains from this
expansion have not been shared equally. Over the last 15 years, real per capita GDP in low-income
countries has increased by almost 70 percent. However, in fragile and conflict affected countries
it has risen by less than 15 percent.
Today, global growth continues to remain uneven, with a number of challenges on the
horizon reflected in rising financial volatility, large exchange rate variations, and a sharp
slowdown in global trade. For developing countries, prospects are also affected by declining oil
and commodity prices and increased vulnerability to exogenous shocks due to deepening global
This is especially the case for countries in sub-Saharan Africa who, by 2030, will represent
the largest share of the world’s poor living in natural resource-based, and fragile and conflict
affected countries; 29 of the 30 countries with the fastest growing populations are in sub-Saharan
Africa. While scarcity of jobs is an important factor contributing to poverty, conflicts make the
situation more complex, and are considered major drivers of migration.
As of 2014, there were almost 60 million forcibly displaced people in the world. More than
half of all refugees under the mandate of the United Nations are concentrated in only 10 countries,
with Chad being the 8th largest in terms of refugee populations. The World Bank Group, the Fund,
stakeholders and partners need to think seriously about how to provide support to these refugees
and the countries that host them. While these institutions may not be directly involved with conflict
resolution, they can help countries develop programs to alleviate poverty, reduce fragility, and
curb out-migration, by creating much-needed fiscal space.
Sustainable Development Goals
In that sense, the World Bank Group and the Fund are committed to helping reduce global
inequality, recognizing that for growth to be durable, it needs to be equitable. It is fitting that 2015
is a critical year to be talking about shared prosperity. This is the year UN members agreed to the
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a global development path that is more ambitious and
comprehensive than the Millennium Development Goals.
The vision of the Sustainable Development Goals, the SDGs, is echoed by the goals of the
World Bank Group to end extreme poverty by 2030 and to boost shared prosperity in a sustainable
manner. It is also reflected in the Fund’s mandate to promote economic growth and stability.
The financing resources needed to implement the SDGs are immense, however, and exceed
current available development financing. The World Bank Group, the Fund, and multilateral
development banks have recently committed to partner together to attract, leverage, and mobilize
trillions of dollars in public and private investments at the national and global levels.
However, more can be done.
All countries, at all levels, must work in partnership to achieve the goals of the SDG agenda.
The World Bank Group and Fund will support these priorities by guiding, and hopefully everaging,
financing in search of innovative solutions for development, and helping countries find solutions
to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Indeed, creating jobs and fostering
inclusive growth have become increasingly important themes in the work of our sister
organizations. But we must also do our part. If we are to see these investments materialize. We
must also create an environment that supports growth, delivers key public sector services, and
maintains macroeconomic stability.
We need to find innovative and effective ways to address climate change and combat natural
disasters. We need to strengthen our regulatory and institutional environments, make our tax
systems more effective, and improve transparency and governance to help manage and mitigate
Promoting this type of development calls for sustainable and inclusive growth, driven by
investment in infrastructure, quality health care, and education. It calls for measures to mitigate
the effects of demographic shifts and immigration, climate change, and rising inequality. It implies
investments in better and more reliable data to help improve accountability and service delivery.
It calls for building open competition, facilitated by a well-performing labor market. It demands
suitable policies and regulatory frameworks that drive job creation and technology transfer.
Our collective international efforts require solutions to issues that reach across borders.
Coordination of policies across countries, together with open dialogue on both the programs and
financing of solutions, are imperative.
Developing initiatives to respond to these global concerns speak to the strengths of the World
Bank Group and Fund to mobilize stakeholders and partners to respond. As we all know, public
resources are limited, and support from international financial institutions can be vital for
development. It is therefore important to ensure the financial adequacy of development partners to
play their role in the 2030 agenda so that they can better leverage available public funds. We must
continue to make these organizations stronger and relevant, with a successful replenishment of
IDA, working to deliver all the commitments of the shareholding review, and implementing the
outstanding 2010 quota and governance reforms of the IMF.
These are ambitious requirements to address ambitious goals. Achieving them requires more
than reliance on official assistance from financial institutions. It requires deep partnerships across
the globe and in our backyards, with coordination between the private sector, governments, and
the international organizations.
It also requires finding ways to ensure people have a voice in decisions which affect their
lives and are able to enjoy equal access to markets, services and political, social and physical
spaces. In that sense perhaps we can learn from President Humala’s intention to build what he calls
“a government of agreement, of a wide base where no one will feel excluded.”
OPENING ADDRESS BY JIM YONG KIM
PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD BANK GROUP
The Lessons of Carabayllo: Making Tough Choices
Welcome to the 2015 IMF/World Bank Group Annual Meetings.
We’re very grateful for the warm welcome from President Humala and the people of Peru.
The preparations have been exceptional for this gathering - the first Annual Meetings in Latin
America since 1967. Please join me in thanking all the organizers who have done so much to make
this event such a success.
I’d like to thank our Chair, and my friend Christine Lagarde for our close cooperation over
the past year.
I’d also like to take a moment to thank our Board and to our very hard-working staff, and to
our Governors who have assembled here today. I say a quiet thank you to all of our Governors
every day, because two and a half years ago you adopted our twin goals: to end extreme poverty
by 2030 and to boost shared prosperity for the bottom 40 percent of the populations in developing
countries. Those goals have given us a clarity of purpose and force us to align our work to our
mission: We must do all we can to support the poor and the vulnerable, and, with the climate
conference in Paris looming, to preserve our planet for future generations.
I’m very pleased to be back in Peru. This country is a far more prosperous and just society
today than a generation ago. Over the past 10 years, Peru’s GDP has increased at an average rate
of over 6 percent each year. During the boom years, strong domestic demand and high commodity
prices fueled a decade of robust growth. Growth was inclusive and the size of the middle class
became larger than that of the poor. But Peru, like other countries in Latin America, is now feeling
the headwinds of a slowing global economy, with lower commodity prices that may stay depressed
for some time, and an exodus of capital from developing countries that seems to be accelerating.
I’ll say more on this in a few minutes.
When I arrived in Lima last week, I traveled to Carabayllo, about 20 miles north of here. I
know Carabayllo well - I helped establish an NGO there called Socios en Salud in 1993. The next
year, we discovered an alarming number of patients suffering from multi-drug resistant
tuberculosis, a form of tuberculosis that is resistant to the most powerful and effective medicines.
When we reported our findings and proposed to treat the patients, the Ministry of Health and the
World Health Organization told us not to take on this fight - that the drugs were too expensive and
treating drug-resistant TB would be a distraction from their single-minded approach to treating
ordinary TB. The government actually threatened that if we treated a single patient, we would be
kicked out of the country. Despite our fears of getting evicted from Peru, we started treating the
patients - we could see that the patients were suffering, they were infecting their families and
neighbors, and, in the end, we knew it was the right thing to do. We put nurses and community
health workers in charge of monitoring and supporting the patients, and their work, under the
supervision of Dr. Jaime Bayona, led to cure rates of the first 50 patients of more than 80 percent,
which was higher than many of the best hospitals in the United States. Our work, in turn, had a
huge impact - the courageous health workers and patients of Carabayllo helped prove to the world
that a small band of committed doctors, nurses, and community health workers could successfully
treat a complicated disease in a poor community. That led the World Health Organization and
Peruvian government to change their policies, recommending that persons with multi-drug
resistant tuberculosis should be treated, no matter the cost, no matter where they lived, and no
matter whether they were rich or poor.
I think about those tough moments now as we face a significant major global economic
slowdown that affects most of the developing world, which in turn has great impact on our efforts
to end poverty.
The lessons of Carabayllo are quite clear to me:
First, listen to the aspirations of the poor and lift up your own to meet them.
And second, don’t be afraid to make the tough decision and do the right thing even if you
have to stand alone.
Just a few days ago, the World Bank Group made a major announcement that for the first
time ever the percentage of people living in extreme poverty - now defined as less than $1.90 a
day - will likely fall to under 10 percent this year, to 9.6 percent. This is the
best newsin the world
today! But in order to reach our goal to end extreme poverty by 2030 our aspirations must be
higher and many tough decisions will have to be made - especially by the people in this room. We
have no choice.
We can and
we mustbe the generation that ends extreme poverty.
I stand before you today, not as a member of a small group of committed activists, but as
president of an organization of more than 15,000 people who are passionate about fighting poverty
- we are economists, transport professionals, health and education specialists, asset managers,
public and private finance experts, administrators, assistants - who share the same mission and the
same high aspirations for the poor.
The question we ask today is how can developing countries grow in the face of slow global
growth, the end of the commodities super-cycle, pending interest rate hikes, and capital flight from
Our overarching strategy, based on more than 50 years of experience, is that three things
must happen - inclusive economic growth, investment in human beings, and insurance against the
risk that people could fall back into poverty. We summarize this in three words - grow, invest,
In tough times, countries that do well have already made the difficult choices. But countries
that haven’t yet, still can. It’s not too late. Tough policy choices will send signals to the world that
governments are serious about laying the groundwork for future growth.
To spur growth, every dollar of public spending should be scrutinized for impact. Every
effort must be made to improve productivity. And in a period when banks are derisking, we have
to ensure that capital is accessible - especially for small business owners and entrepreneurs who
will create jobs.
More specifically, countries should invest in women, which can be one of the most effective
progrowth strategies by any government.
Countries such as
Bangladeshare encouraging female
participation in the workforce. If they stay on track, their female workforce will grow from 34 to
82 percent over the next decade, adding 1.8 percent to their GDP.
Closing the gender gap can raise
incomes by 27 percent in the Middle East and North Africa, 19 percent in South Asia, and 14
percent in Latin America and the Caribbean. And research confirms something we all know - when
women earn more money, they invest in their families’ education and health.
Government officials also must root out corruption wherever it exists, and promote
transparency in official business that can prevent future corruption. Every stolen dollar, euro, or
sole robs the poor of an equal opportunity in life.
There also are simple reforms governments can undertake now, with immediate effects, and
with no cost or investment needed. The Presidents of Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda reduced barriers
on the Mombasa to Kigali trade corridor, eliminating road blocks and administrative barriers that
slowed traffic on this important trade route. Transit times fell by about 50 percent, and Kenya and
Rwanda leapfrogged about 50 countries each in the Bank’s 2014 logistics performance index.
These countries experienced immediate gains to productivity and competitiveness of their
Let me give you a few more examples now underway of strong reforms that promote growth.
Malaysiaset up a Special Economic Committee just two months ago and is directing more public
resources toward growth enhancing programs. About 10 months ago, it eliminated subsidies on
gasoline and diesel, generating about 1 percent of GDP savings, and continued to fund key
infrastructure programs such as a rapid transit system. The country’s economic growth last year
was 6 percent and is projected at 4.7 percent this year and 5 percent next year.
In North Africa,
Moroccohas phased out tariffs and non-tariff barriers, and simplified
foreign trade procedures. In recent years, it concluded preferential trade agreements with the EU,
the United States, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, and Turkey - and Morocco’s trade-to-GDP ratio
increased from 53 percent in 1990 to 81 percent in 2013. By improving the business environment,
Morocco has been able to accelerate annual per-capita income growth to 3.2 percent on average
during the last 15 years. Moreover, the well-being of the bottom 40 percent grew and the average
literacy rate among adults more than doubled to around 70 percent.
As governments pursue their growth strategies - even in the face of shrinking revenues -
leaders must continue to invest in their people, especially through education and health programs.
Peru’s Minister of Education, Jaime Saavedra, was one of our top macroeconomists at the World
Bank before he accepted his current position. As a brilliant economist, Jaime knew that Peru’s
future would depend on a more effective educational system. With President Humala’s strong
leadership, Peru has increased its education budget by 90 percent and important reforms are
Peru has also been a leader in investing in the health and well-being of women and children.
In 2005, 28 percent of Peru’s children were stunted, a condition that imposes permanent limits on
cognitive and physical development due to malnourishment and lack of appropriate stimulation
during pregnancy and early childhood. This easily preventable condition impairs learning ability
and lowers lifetime earnings. In just eight years, the country reduced the rate of stunting by half,
to 14 percent. They used results-based financing to reward programs that produced better health,
social development and sanitation outcomes. And they targeted assistance to those areas most in
need, resulting in rapid progress in rural areas and the poorest communities.
Even in hard times, there should be no retreat from investing in people as well as supporting
social protection programs that prevent people from plunging back into poverty. When it comes to
ensuring that people stay out of poverty, Latin America has set a high global standard. One of the
best programs is Peru’s Programa Juntos, which began a decade ago. Juntos has reached half a
million poor families with conditional cash transfers worth $38 dollars each month, based on
regular health and nutrition check-ups for young children.
But when it comes to insuring people against risks, one of the most frightening threats is
climate change. If world leaders do not find a path to low carbon growth that will keep global
warming below an increase of 2 degrees Celsius, there is little hope of ending extreme poverty -
and even more broadly, there is little hope of preserving the Earth as we know it for our children
and grandchildren and all future generations.
Scientists tell us that the warmer our planet becomes, the more we will experience droughts, floods,
stronger hurricane or typhoons, and brushfires that consume vast forests. They call these extreme
weather events - or events that used to happen once a century and now are happening year after
year. Just look at what’s happening in the Pacific right now with this year’s El Nino event, which
some are predicting will cause more havoc than any El Nino in the past 50 years. Ocean
temperatures off the coast of Peru are as much as 6 degrees Celsius higher than normal. Already,
we’re seeing major impacts from El Nino - huge fires in Australia, the heaviest rainfall in Chile’s
desert areas in 80 years, and destructive typhoons in the Asia Pacific.
In just 52 days, international leaders will meet in Paris for the 21st session of the Conference
of the Parties to secure an international agreement to reduce the amount of harmful emissions put
into the atmosphere. Led by countries around the world, as well as funding from the multilateral
development banks - including the World Bank Group - we are seeing that there is a politically
credible pathway toward the $100 billion dollars promised ahead of Paris. We will significantly
scale up our commitments to battling climate change. This was a tough decision for us, but it is
the right thing to do.
Here in Lima, let us recommit to making the tough choices as we work together to grow,
invest, and insure. The challenges we face are so great that we may just have to accept being
uncomfortable and unpopular for a while.
Just a few days ago, a group of documentary filmmakers showed me old footage from a
decade ago of a former patient of mine by the name of Melquiades Huaya Ore. He was just 17 at
the time. Melquiades’ arms were the circumference of a few of my fingers, and his skin was
stretched taut over his ribs. Tuberculosis was literally consuming him. He didn’t want to take his
medicine because they were making him very sick. When I met him, I didn’t know if he would
survive. Let me show you the clip.
And then this happened when I visited Carabayllo on Monday.
All I could think of as I watched this video of Melquiades, was that we almost let him die -
just because he was poor. He’s now an accountant. He told me he’s well enough to be playing
We are in a difficult time in the world. Governments now must make tough choices in order
to grow their economies in a way that helps the poorest. But with every reform we make, with
every road we build, with every health clinic we support, are millions, even billions of people, like
Melquiades, who only want a chance to live and pursue their dreams. We must do all we can,
together, to ensure that every person on this earth can live a more dignified, healthier, and more
And now I have the great privilege of introducing to you, Melquiades Huaya Ore.
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