London, United Kingdon. The head of the World Bank has declared that needs of developing nations populations for more money must be met by those already in a developed state or risk widespread unrest, chaos and destruction.
The failure to meet the internet-inspired aspirations of people in poor countries runs the risk of creating the conditions for war, terrorism and increased migration, the president of the World Bank has warned.
In London ahead of the Bank’s spring meeting next week, Jim Yong Kim said an urgent development package was needed in order to meet the demands for a better life by those in developing countries, increasingly aware through their smartphones of how rich western people live.
The Bank is particularly worried about recent low growth in Africa and Kim said official aid money should be used to turn the billions of dollars provided by western countries into trillions of dollars of investment from the private sector.
“We’re already seeing worrying trends – 2 billion people live in countries affected by fragility, conflict and violence. After a period of decline since the end of the Cold War, violent conflicts have increased rapidly since 2010. Terrorism incidents have increased by 120% since 2012.”
Kim stated that an individual’s happiness was linked not just to their own income but also to the income of others. As internet coverage had expanded, the comparison was increasingly with people in rich countries. Leading to a “satisfaction” gap or income envy, all ingredients in unstable societies.
“This is a fundamental shift in our conception of who we are,” Kim said. “For too long, our first thought was how can we get the loan or the grant out of the door? But that’s often not what’s best for poor people and poor countries, and it’s not what’s best for the world. We need to have a different and difficult conversation about how we approach development finance.”