World Bank calls for more investment health, education

Dr. Jim Yong Kim President of the world Bank Group during the official opening of the 6th TICAD conference at KICC on 27th August 2016. [PHOTO:WILBERFORCE OKWIRI]

Kenya and her African peers have been challenged to invest more in education and health as the suitable avenue to alleviate poverty.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in the wake of inconsistent and dwindling donor funding, it is a wake up call that developing countries should delve more into human capital.

Mr Kim said the way the world is moving it is no longer how much a country can produce, or the natural resources, but how rich is the human resource.

He however noted that African nations have been reluctant to pour more money into health and education by themselves, and would rather ask donors to do so.

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Kenya is one of such nations where World Bank supports education programmes through Kenya Primary Education Development Project.

Also, most of Kenya's programmes in malaria, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and vaccines are also funded through initiatives by Global Fund, GAVI(for vaccines) United States Aid(USAID), and President Emergency Plan for Aids Relief.

"When we tell countries to invest more in human capital(health and education), they are like-but if we get more(from donors) then we will invest more," said Kim during the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Goalkeepers conference held in New York, US. 

Kim said it is high time that even donors should revise their funding in developing countries so that it is strategic to health and education.

He said the World Bank will on October 11 release a ranking of human capital which will 'get many countries by surprise in terms of ranking.'

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"I know some countries may not like it, as they will be ranked below countries they thought they have always been above them," said Kim.

The Goalkeepers event is mean to track the progress of Sustainable Development Goals(SDG) which Kenya is signatory.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, organiser  of the event has been investing in initiatives that support education and health, one of them being a research into Human Papilloma Virus(HPV) vaccine in Kenya as well as family planning.

"Contraceptives and vaccines are the greatest antipoverty tool. The piece that we are looking in education(that is missing) is the quality of education," said Melinda Gates. 

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KenyaAfrican peersWorld Bank President Jim Yong KimWorld BankKenya Primary Education Development ProjectPresident Emergency Plan for Aids Relief