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Zoellick: Millennium Development Goals unlikely to be met
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08:42, April 27, 2009

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World Bank President Robert Zoellick said here Sunday that the Millennium Development Goals are unlikely to be met as a result of widespread economic crisis.

"Our latest research shows that most of these eight globally agreed goals are unlikely to be met," Zoellick said at a press conference held at the IMF headquarters.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations, including the World Bank, have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. They include reducing extreme poverty, reducing child mortality rates, fighting disease epidemics such as AIDS, and developing a global partnership for development.

"An additional 55 to 90 million people will be trapped in extreme poverty in 2009," he said. "The numbers of chronically hungry people is expected to climb to over 1 billion this year."

The press conference was held after the joint World Bank-IMF development committee concluded.

"In anticipation of this unfolding crisis, the World Bank has launched a series of initiatives to address key weaknesses in the global economy," said the World Bank chief.

According to Zoellick, the World Bank plans to triple support for social protection, put in place 55 billion dollars of financing for infrastructure, and 12 billion dollars for agriculture over the next two years to help ensure vital food security and safety. Other initiatives include support for microfinance to help poor borrowers, a global trade finance program, and a capitalization fund for developing country banks.

"The committee underscored the importance of these actions and asked governments to provide additional support for these initiatives," said Zoellick. "It also urged governments to meet their existing commitments on aid and to consider going beyond them."

Each spring, the IMF's International Monetary and Financial Committee and the joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee hold meetings to discuss progress on the work of the Fund and Bank.

Source: Xinhua

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