World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has warned that most regions of the world will be hurt by the debt crisis enveloping the euro zone and said it was vital to protect the strong economic gains of the past decade in the developing world.
In his first public speech since taking the helm of the World Bank on July 1, Kim said even if the euro zone crisis is contained, it could still reduce growth in most of the world's regions by as much as 1.5 percent.
A major crisis in Europe could slash gross domestic product in developing countries by 4 percent or more, enough to trigger a deep global recession, he said, according to a Reuters report.
"Such events threaten many of the recent achievements in the fight against poverty," he said, noting that over the last decade nearly 30 developing countries have grown by 6 percent or more annually.
Outlining challenges for the global poverty-fighting institution, Kim said his priority was to protect development gains from economic risks, such as the euro zone crisis, which has begun to weigh on growth in large emerging economies like China.
For now, the world's poorest nations appear to be somewhat insulated from the euro zone crisis because they have limited exposure to global financial markets.
But Kim said not everyone would be spared and he urged European policymakers to take necessary steps to restore stability.
The challenge for the World Bank was also to help tackle growing inequality in developing countries, Kim said.