World Bank Should Adopt Clear, Effective Strategy To Achieve SDGs, End Extreme Poverty
Project Syndicate: The World Bank Needs to Return to Its Mission
Jeffrey D. Sachs, professor at Columbia University and director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development and the U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network
“…The World Bank declares that its mission is to end extreme poverty within a generation and to boost shared prosperity. These goals are universally agreed as part of the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)]. But the World Bank lacks an SDG strategy, and now it is turning to Wall Street to please its political masters in Washington. The Bank’s president, Jim Yong Kim, should find a better way forward … Projects [from the World Bank-Wall Street partnership], designed for profit or at least direct cost recovery, are not even remotely sufficient to end extreme poverty. Poor countries need grants, not loans, for basic needs like health and education. Kim should draw on his experience as the global health champion who successfully battled against AIDS, rather than embracing an approach that would only bury poor countries in debt. We need the World Bank’s voice and strenuous efforts to mobilize grant financing for the SDGs. … Bill Gates is [putting his wealth into personal philanthropy], with historic results, for public health. Which billionaires will champion the SDGs for education, renewable energy, fresh water and sanitation, and sustainable agriculture? With a clear SDG plan, the World Bank would find partners to help it fulfill its core, historic, and vital mission” (2/9).