Experts’ advisory: What should the World Bank do about poverty?

Ending extreme poverty will be one of the key issues discussed at the annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on Friday in Washington. Experts at Heifer International will be available for interviews with reporters covering the meeting.

They include:

Pierre Ferrari, president and chief executive officer, received a master’s degree in economics from The University of Cambridge and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He has more than 40 years of business experience at companies such as Coca-Cola USA, CARE and the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund.

Ferrari says:
“Extreme poverty will never be eradicated by programs that continue the cycle of dependency. In rural areas, where people are disproportionately likely to live in extreme poverty, eradicating that poverty can largely be achieved by helping families become self-reliant for food and achieve living incomes. Multilateral agents, such as the World Bank, as well as governments, must invest in improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and support the creation of markets and value chains that benefit, rather than exploit, the poor. The integration of livestock onto small farms offers a unique opportunity to both increase families’ incomes while also dramatically improving the nutritional status of the children.”

Akoto Osei, nutrition director, earned a doctoral degree in food policy and applied nutrition from Tufts University. He has several years of experience working on nutrition policies and programs in many countries across Africa and Asia, with agencies such as the African Union Commission, Helen Keller International, UNICEF and other UN agencies.

Osei says:
“The World Bank needs to prioritize and invest in scaling up programs that help families and communities provide better nutrition for women and children because a malnourished country will always be a poor one. Systems must be changed to bring equity through self-reliance, and in rural areas this means empowering farmers. Evidence shows that programs providing productive assets, including livestock, and training create lasting improvements in malnutrition and poverty.”

Heifer’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. For more than 70 years, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in nearly 30 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant. Heifer’s goal is to help 4 million families achieve living incomes by 2020, which will allow them to feed their families daily; educate all their children; and have proper housing, water, hygiene and other essential resources. For information, visit, read our blog, follow us on Facebook, on Twitter or call 888.5HUNGER (888.548.6437).