World Bank-IMF panel calls for steps to reduce poverty

Washington, April 19 | Updated: Apr 20 2005, 05:30am hrs
The joint policy-guiding panel of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged the world community to make tangible action to realise a UN poverty reduction goal.

Without tangible action to accelerate efforts, the vision of the millennium declaration will not be realised, the development committee said in a statement. Under the declaration, the United Nations adopted the millennium development goals in 2000.

Overall progress has been uneven and slower than envisaged, the joint panel said.

The UN poverty-reduction goals include eradicating extreme poverty and achieving universal education. But it is feared that most developing nations, particularly those in Africa, will not meet these goals.

Meanwhile, a gap remained among major donor nations over how to increase funds for debt-relief measures for poor nations.

Regarding the proposed pilot international finance facility for immunization, the committee only said, we encourage interested donors to proceed with the project.

Japanese finance minister Sadakazu Tanigaki said in a statement that Japan finds it difficult to take part in the scheme, though it will continue support in the area of vaccination for children.

World Bank president James Wolfensohn and IMF managing director Rodrigo de Rato were among those who participated in the meeting.