Reaching the Rural Poor: A Renewed Strategy for Rural Development

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The world confronts major challenges in rural development as it enters the 21st century. Most of the world's poverty is in rural areas, and will remain so, yet there is a pro-urban bias in most countries' development strategies, and in their allocation of public investment funds. Rural people, and ethnic minorities, in particular, have little political clout to influence public policy to attract more public investment in rural areas. This document outlines a holistic and spatial approach that tackles some tough and long-ignored issues and also addresses old issues in new ways. The revised action-oriented strategy provides guidelines and focal points for enhancing the effectiveness of the World Bank's rural development efforts.