Invest in citizens and services or risk future growth, says Kim

12 Oct 18

Future global economic productivity could stall unless governments invest more in their people and services to support them, the World Bank chief has warned.

Two World Bank reports, launched at the IMF-World Bank annual meeting in Bali, call for government to spend more on public services such as health, education and social protection schemes.

“Human capital is a key driver of sustainable, inclusive economic growth, but investing in health and education has not gotten the attention it deserves,” said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, at the launch on the bank’s first Human Capital Index on 11 October.

“The bar is rising for everyone. Building human capital is critical for all countries, at all levels, to compete in the economy of the future.”

Meanwhile, the World Bank’s annual development report, published on 12 October, called for a universal guaranteed minimum level of social protection, something that four out of five people in developing countries live without.

The Human Capital Index is a new project, announced by Kim at last year’s annual meeting.

It revealed that over half (56%) of children born today will lose more than half their potential lifetime earnings because governments are not investing effectively in health, education and their citizens.

Children from countries such as Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Mexico and Thailand, would be 40% more productive as workers in the future if they enjoyed complete education and healthcare, the index said.

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