Today the fight against poverty will be won or lost in rural areas, home to about 70% of the world's poor. The likelihood of achieving the Millennium Development Goals without a focus on improving the livelihoods and service accessibility of rural dwellers is low.
Reaching the Rural Poor - Video
Kevin Cleaver, former Director of the World Bank's Agriculture and Rural Development Department discusses the Rural Strategy. english| spanish| french
Foremost among the responsibilities of the World Bank's Agriculture and Rural Development Department (ARD) is the formulation of the corporate rural strategy. The rural strategy is one of several thematic and sector-specific strategies developed and implemented by the World Bank in partnership with their client countries. Agriculture and rural strategy development is a dynamic process, responding to changes and evolutions in the broader development arena on an ongoing basis. Depending on the degree of change, every 5 years or so ARD revisits its strategy in consultation with a wide variety of stakeholders. For the current strategy the consultative process began in 2000. The resulting strategy, Reaching the Rural Poor, was endorsed by the World Bank's Board of Directors on October 31, 2002 and published in 2003.
Drawing on regional strategies developed during the consultative process, the current rural strategy focuses attention on the plight of the rural poor. It is a clarion call to address the needs of poor people in rural areas. It stresses that improvements in the well-being of the poor will only be possible through enhancement of their productive, social and environmental assets. This means increasing the productivity and growth of both the farm and non farm economies.
Also see Rural Strategy Background Papers.
The hard copy of the rural strategy is currently available for purchase (US$25.00) from World Bank Publications. To the right, please find links to the full strategy in PDF plus excerpts from the strategy.