Monday 17 June 2019

World Bank president quits three years before end of term

Jim Yong Kim
Jim Yong Kim

David Lawder

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, who was at odds with the Trump administration's policies on climate change, will resign - more than three years ahead of his term's expiration, the development lender said yesterday.

Mr Kim, 59, a physician and public health advocate, was nominated by former US President Barack Obama for a first and second term.

Mr Kim had pushed financing for green energy projects and largely dropped support for coal-power investments, but had avoided public clashes with the Trump administration.

Two people familiar with Mr Kim's announcement to the World Bank executive board said he was leaving of his own accord, effective next month, and was "not pushed out" by the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump, however, will wield strong influence in choosing Mr Kim's successor as the United States holds a controlling share of the World Bank's voting rights.

The bank president has traditionally been an American chosen by the US administration.

Mr Kim intends immediately to join a firm to focus on increasing infrastructure investment in developing countries, the bank said.

Kristalina Georgieva, who in 2017 became the World Bank's CEO, will assume the role of interim president when Kim departs.

Ms Georgieva, a Bulgarian national, had previously held senior EU posts after serving 15 years at the World Bank, starting as an environmental economist in 1993.

The World Bank said Mr Kim had emphasised that infrastructure finance was one of the greatest needs in the developing world and had pushed the bank to work with a new cadre of private sector partners on "sustainable, climate-smart infrastructure".

"The work of the World Bank Group is more important now than ever as the aspirations of the poor rise all over the world," Mr Kim said.

Reuters

Irish Independent

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