I am seeking to be president of the World Bank because I believe that with a good strategy, the bank can help solve many of the world’s biggest challenges, including violent conflicts in impoverished regions, sustainable food and energy supplies and economic growth and jobs in both poor and rich countries. Let me explain why this little understood institution can be so useful — if properly led.
Extreme poverty dramatically increases the chances of violence and conflict, which in turn deepen poverty. Ending extreme poverty can help restore and sustain peace in many of the world’s conflict zones. Currently, extreme poverty is concentrated in several high-risk settings, such as the arid (dryland) region that stretches west to east across the Sahel to the Horn of Africa, and across the Red Sea to Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Ending the vicious cycle of poverty and instability in these regions requires a strategy that combines improvements in agriculture, livestock, public health, veterinary care, education, sustainable infrastructure and business development. That’s a complex but doable challenge. My colleagues and I at Columbia University’s Earth Institute are undertaking such “integrated development” programs in the Horn of Africa right now with powerful benefits.
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