Brussels, 10 June, World Bank: Brussels presentation of the Global Monitoring Report 2010

The World Bank logoThe World Bank: Global Monitoring Report 2010 – MDGs after the crisis; Presentation followed by a panel discussion

Location: World Bank, Brussels Office, Avenue Marnix 17, 1000 Brussels
Date: Thursday, June 10 2010, from 10.00 to 12.00 (Registration starts at 9.45)

The global economic crisis has slowed the pace of poverty reduction in developing countries, and is hampering progress toward the other Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), according to the Global Monitoring Report 2010: The MDGs after the Crisis, a joint World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund report. The crisis is having an impact in several key areas of the MDGs, including those related to hunger, child and maternal health, gender equality, access to clean water, and disease control and will continue to affect long-term development prospects well beyond 2015.

As a result of the crisis, report estimates 53 million more people will remain in extreme poverty by 2015 than otherwise would have. Even so, the report projects that the number of extreme poor could total around 920 million five years from now, marking a significant decline from the 1.8 billion people living in extreme poverty in 1990. Based on these estimates, the developing world as a whole is still on track to achieve the first MDG of halving extreme income poverty from its 1990 level of 42% by 2015.

“While the MDGs are still within reach in certain regions and countries, we know from past crises that human progress—whether in terms of income, nutrition, health or education—tends to decline sharply in bad times, while recovery in good times takes much longer,” said Justin Yifu Lin, World Bank Chief Economist.

Long before the crisis, progress in reducing extreme poverty had been uneven across the developing world. East Asia saw extreme poverty plummet from 55 percent in 1990 to 17 percent in 2005, and a likely 6 percent by 2015. In Sub-Saharan Africa, where a resurgence of growth helped extreme poverty fall from 58 percent in 1990 to 51 percent in 2005, the number of poor people still rose from 296 million to 388 million.

Although aid from countries in the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) rose by 0.7 percent in real terms in 2009 to $119.6 billion, it still falls well short of earlier commitments, especially for Sub Saharan Africa. Strong external funding is needed to ensure fiscal sustainability while maintaining key investments in infrastructure and social sectors. Developing countries also need to continue to match external support with domestic reforms to make government spending and service delivery more efficient, the report concludes.

Join us for a panel discussion on the report findings, at an opportune time on the eve of the UN MDG Summit in September in New-York.

Mr. Hans Timmer: World Bank, Lead Author of the GMR

Mr. Stefano Manservisi: European Commission, Director General of DG Development (TBC)
Ms. Elise Ford: Oxfam International, Head of EU Advocacy
Mr. Rudi Delarue: International Labor Office Brussels, Director

Mr. Gie Goris: MO* Magazine, Editor in Chief