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We face big challenges to help the world’s poorest people and ensure that everyone sees benefits from economic growth. Data and research help us understand these challenges and set priorities, share knowledge of what works, and measure progress. Dame Shirley Pearce, Director David Webb, distinguished faculty, students, and guests. Thank you for hosting me this evening. It’s a great honor to be here with you, and with representatives from our close partners: the UK Government, including the Department for International Development and Her Majesty’s Treasury. And I want to commend the UK Government for its continued leadership in meeting the commitment to spend 0. 7 percent of GNI on development assistance.
Your commitment is a source of great hope for all of us in the world of development. LSE is one of the world’s great academic institutions, a fitting place to talk about the forces in the world that are making us fundamentally rethink our approach to development at the World Bank Group. I talked about the three paths we would follow to get to our target. The first path is to accelerate inclusive and sustainable economic growth. We’re doing this by laying the foundations for more effective public services, by improving governance and tackling corruption, by accelerating infrastructure investment, by lowering real and perceived risks for private investment, by making trade work for everyone, and by creating markets to bring the benefits of private sector rigor and innovation to developing countries.
We believe that the premium on human capital will get higher and higher every year. The demands for digital competency are accelerating, as indicators suggest that automation will replace many of the less complex and low-skilled jobs. The remaining jobs will demand new and more sophisticated skills. And the third path is to foster resilience to global shocks and threats. We’re living in a time of multiple overlapping crises: pandemics, climate change, refugees, famine. Right now, in parts of East Africa and Yemen, we’re seeing what the UN is calling the worst famine in 70 years. It’s critically important to help countries prepare for these crises.