(MENAFN - Arab News) A top World Bank official has shared her sentiments with Arab Aid organizations as partners in fighting poverty in their respective countries.
On the sidelines of the Arab Aid Group 73rd meeting here, Inger Andersen, World Bank Vice President for Middle East and North Africa, told Arab News in an exclusive interview that Saudi Arabia is a significant partner for its generosity in helping the poor across the globe.
"Saudi Arabia is a very important partner as they are generous donor to the poor across the world. There are donors for many significant organizations, including those that are present here. And we are honored to have the privilege to that relationship with our Saudi friends."
According to the bank, there are 1.3 billion people who continue to live in extreme poverty despite massive economic leaps over the past decade.
"What we do here is we look at where we put our investment to fight poverty to push prosperity to ensure that there are jobs for the young," she noted
Andersen, who is leading a world bank team at the three-day event here, said: "If the concerned organizations come together with all funding that we have and hold together, we can have a much greater impact,"
The Saudi Fund, the AGFUND, the IDB, the Arab Funds, Kuwait Fund and others are very active partners in the region. They are members and fund-raisers of the World Bank, she elaborated.
The visiting official said that the Arab Aid meeting will discuss specific projects and programs in the Arab world and beyond to see how best we can collaborate.
She said mitigating poverty is the prime goal, "but the sad part is you find poor people in many countries. So the work of this group is to help countries throughout the world in Africa, and across the Middle East and the rest of Asia."
She added: "All these organizations that are present here today have programs in all continents."
Besides poverty, she said there are natural calamities that strike many countries in the world; World Bank works with many partners, especially the United Nations to support disaster mitigation."
"Sadly the extreme weather that we have seen, for example, in Philippines recently but also elsewhere around the globe. This kind of program is most important," she added.
"Together with the organizations present here today as well as the UN we are working to provide the kind of assistance that meet emergency needs and also to help countries when in times of such emergencies."
According to a recent report, the World Bank has unveiled a series of new institutional goals aimed at ending extreme poverty by 2030 and focusing on the promotion of shared prosperity, increasing the income of the poorest 40 percent in each country while placing increased focus on dealing with climate change.
With an annual lending budget of around 30 billion, the Washington-based bank remains one of the world's largest development institutions.
A report quoting WB President Jim Kim said people living on less than 1.25 a day stood at 43 percent of the developing world in 1990. By 2010 the figure had fallen to 21 percent.
The new plan would now bring this number down to three percent by 2030. While cutting global extreme poverty levels, the first of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) took some 25 years to accomplish.