WORLD


World Bank president resigns

Baku, January 8, AZERTAC

The World Bank said on Monday that its president, Jim Yong Kim, would step down from his post in February to join a private infrastructure investment firm, an unexpected departure that comes nearly three years before the end of his term, according to The New York Times.

The abrupt resignation, which is effective February 1, could prompt a clash between the Trump administration and other governments over the future of the international body. The United States traditionally selects the president of the World Bank, which is made up of more than 100 countries, but Mr. Trump has taken a skeptical view about the importance of multilateral institutions. The World Bank’s priorities — like combating climate change and engaging in foreign aid — also tend to be at odds with those of the Trump administration. Last month, the bank announced it would invest $200 billion toward fighting climate change over a five-year period.

The Trump administration did surprise some development experts last year when it supported a $13 billion capital increase for the World Bank, the first such boost since 2010. The increase, which the White House had initially resisted, was conditional on the bank putting cost controls in place and came with the understanding that lending to China would be expected to decline. The bank lent $64 billion to developing countries last year, a figure that included China.

Mr. Kim said that in addition to joining a fund focused on investment in developing countries, he will rejoin the board of Partners in Health, a nonprofit health care organization that he helped found more than 30 years ago. The name of the investment fund was not released by the bank.

“The work of the World Bank Group is more important now than ever as the aspirations of the poor rise all over the world, and problems like climate change, pandemics, famine and refugees continue to grow in both their scale and complexity,” Mr. Kim said in a statement.

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