Jim Yong Kim

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We understand that peace, justice and development go hand in hand ... we sent that message very strongly.

Jim Yong Kim, also known as Kim Yong (Korean: 김용; born 8 December 1959), is an American and South Korean physician and anthropologist who became the 12th President of the World Bank on July 1, 2012. He was President of Dartmouth College from 2009 to 2012. He was formerly the Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a co-founder and executive director of Partners In Health.



Banker to the Poor, A Conversation With Jim Yong Kim, October, 14


foreignaffairs.com interview

  • We’ve set two goals: ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity. How are we going to get there? Generally speaking, it divides into three main categories. One is economic growth. If you look at the greatest achievements in lifting people out of poverty, China, almost through brute economic growth, lifted 600 million people out of poverty. The second big block is investment in human beings. In other words, making sure that the poorest people have some kind of income or sustenance to be able to consume and, potentially, participate in economic growth. And a third category is social protection.
  • In 1990, East Asia, South Asia, and Africa all had the same percentage of people living in extreme poverty: 55 percent. Now, East Asia is at ten percent, and South Asia has gone down to 30 percent. In Africa, it’s still 55 percent. Why did we succeed in East Asia, and why are we falling behind in Africa? This year, we’re going to be lending over $60 billion. That seems like a lot of money, but every year, sub-Saharan Africa requires about $100 billion in new investment in infrastructure.
  • In the private sector, companies have experts running all over the place figuring out the details of how to solve particular problems, and then they share them with the rest of the organization. But in global health, global education, or global development, that’s been really difficult to do.
  • We think it’s extremely important to have lots of feedback and input from civil society organizations. Something broad like, Does democracy lead to growth? -- these are very difficult questions to answer. It’s almost academic.
  • China and India played a much larger role than they did before in providing these funds for the poorest countries.
  • I have very clear ideas about what it’s going to take to end extreme poverty and to share prosperity. In fact, this is what I’ve been doing my whole life. I feel like I’m here for a reason.

UN News Centre, Interview with Jim Yong Kim, 7 October 13


un.org news

  • We’re interested in the peace but we understand that peace, justice and development go hand in hand. And I think we sent that message very strongly.
  • We’re thinking about other ways we can bring the organizations together. It was always intended that the UN, a political organization focused on justice and development, would work together with the financial organizations in order to make the world a better place.
  • We are trying to end poverty in the world by 2030 and we’re going to focus especially on the well-being of the bottom 40 per cent of every country.
  • If we can unlock the full potential of the World Bank Group staff, I think we can have an even more transformational impact in country after country in the world.
  • So the fact that I had worked in more than a dozen countries and have been working for 25 years trying to implement health, education and social protection programmes, I think really helped me inside the World Bank Group and helped me to feel a sense of closeness to our frontline staff. But it’s a complicated organization… I’m still learning… and the ethnography will continue until I’m done with my work at the World Bank Group.
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