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The World Cannot Afford to Ignore the Poorest Countries

In the coming decades, the world will need to summon every available reserve of economic potential to achieve peace, prosperity, and stability in the face of challenges such as climate change. It cannot afford to turn its back on the 75 poorest countries; but that is precisely what is happening.

WASHINGTON, DC – They are home to a quarter of humanity – 1.9 billion people. They possess prized natural resources, including one-fifth of the world’s copper and gold reserves, as well as many of the rare metals essential for the transition to clean energy. Their working-age populations are set to expand for the next five decades amid demographic decline nearly everywhere else. Yet a historic reversal is underway among the world’s 75 countries eligible for grants and low-interest loans from the World Bank’s International Development Association.