WASHINGTON  - The World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Saturday called for global efforts to end extreme poverty by 2030 and enhance prosperity sharing in different countries.

“We believe that we have a historic opportunity to end extreme poverty within a generation,” the two organizations said in a statement after a joint development committee meeting, adding that the global target of reducing the extreme poverty rate — the proportion of people living on less than 1.25 U.S. dollars a day to 3 percent by 2030 — is ambitious.

“Achieving this goal will require strong growth across the developing world, as well as translation of growth into poverty reduction to an extent not seen before in many low income countries,” the statement said.

It will also require overcoming institutional and governance challenges, and investing in infrastructure and in agricultural productivity, it said.

“We are no longer dreaming of a world free of poverty. We have set an expiration date for extreme poverty. With commitment, cooperation, and the vision of leaders from around the world, we have great faith that we can make it happen,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said at a press conference after the meeting.

“This will be hard work. The target of 2030 is closer than you think — just 17 years away,” Kim told reporters during the ongoing Spring Meetings of the two institutions.

“We will bring the urgency of the task to the world every year by reporting on our progress, country by country, on the rate of extreme poverty around the world as well as the changes in the income of the bottom 40 percent in each country, the people who are vulnerable to slipping back into poverty in the event of losing a job or suffering a health crisis,” Kim said.

Developing economies are growing on average about 6 percent annually, lifting millions of people out of poverty and creating a new global middle class, which has also given rise to growing inequality.

“We recognize that sustained economic growth needs a reduction in inequality. Investments that create opportunities for all citizens and promote gender equality are an important end in their own right, as well we being integral to creating prosperity,” the Development Committee said.

The new World Bank target aim to guide the work of the institution, and coincides with efforts by the United Nations to draw up a post-2015 poverty strategy to replace existing goals.

New figures released by the World Bank this week show that extreme poverty globally has plunged to 21 percent in 2010, from 43 percent in 1990, with most of the world’s poor now concentrated most heavily in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, as China has successfully slashed extreme poverty.