NEW DELHI // World Bank president Jim Yong Kim said yesterday the institution would funnel more development support to India's poorest states as part of its drive to end poverty globally within a generation.
Mr Kim, on his first visit to the country since becoming the bank's chief last July, said India's poorest seven states were home to more than 200 million people who have no access to education, health care and other basic services.
"Achieving the World Bank Group's mission of ending global poverty will require us to step up our support for India's poorest citizens," he added. During the three-day visit, he held talks with the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, and other leaders. He said he had gained a deeper understanding of the challenges India faces as it seeks faster and "more inclusive" economic growth.
The World Bank said the plan to focus development resources on India's most deprived states would not mean any increase in the US$3-5 billion (Dh11-18bn) it lends annually to the emerging market giant.
"But over a period of time a higher percentage of the bank's support to India would be aimed at the seven low-income states," said Sudip Mozumder, a World Bank spokesman.
The seven low-income states are home to half of India's estimated 400 million people who are living on less than $1.25 a day - the bank's definition of dire poverty.