The World Bank may lend China up to US$1.5 billion a year until 2010 as part of a program to combat poverty, improve the environment and promote sustainable development, state media reported. The bank also hopes to help China strengthen its financial sector and improve public and market institutions. The deal falls under a new Country Partnership Strategy that would make China the bank's largest recipient. About 70% of the funds would go to projects in inland provinces. The bank said China remains a developing country, with per capita GDP at about US$1,740 and more than 135 million people living on less than US$1 a day. The bank's private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), expects new investments in China to surpass US$500 million per year.