Pope talks joint action with World Bank in struggle against extreme poverty

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Francis and World Bank president Jim Yong Kim on Wednesday discussed the possibility of working together in the struggle against global extreme poverty during a meeting at the Vatican.

"What the Holy Father has been saying about inclusion and poverty is exactly the same thing as what we've been saying," Mr Kim, a trained doctor, told reporters after his audience with the Pontiff.

"We discussed how we could work more closely together... We feel that if we can find ways of working together we could build a social movement that could accelerate progress," he said.

Mr Kim, who worked in Latin America for many years and spoke with the Argentine Pope in Spanish, said Pope Francis has already become a powerful voice against poverty since his election in March.

"As an advocate, Pope Francis I think is unparalleled," he said. "His participation and his leadership in the global movement to end poverty would really solidify that movement."

Mr Kim explained that the World Bank is also looking at restoring an inter-faith advisory council and had already reached out to leaders of other faiths. He said he told the Pope during their 25-minute meeting that as an activist he had once campaigned against the World Bank but added that the institution had now changed "dramatically".

"He emphasised to me that growth has to be for the people and not for the sake of money. A point on which he and I on a very personal level agree".

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