TOKYO (AP) — World Bank President Jim Yong Kim says ensuring greater access to affordable health care is a crucial factor in alleviating poverty and promoting economic growth.
Kim announced Friday that the World Bank and World Health Organization aim by 2020 to reduce by half the number of people falling into poverty due to health care expenses.
He also aims to double access to affordable health care to 80 percent of the poor in developing countries.
Kim said that investing in universal health care in the early 1960s was a strong factor in Japan's rapid growth and that developing countries should make such programs a top priority.
At a conference on Universal Health Coverage in Tokyo he noted that improved public health also requires investments in education, welfare, transport, water and sanitation.