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Reforming the System May Increase Lending by $50 Billion – World Bank

david malpass

World Bank Group President David Malpass holds a press briefing during the IMF and the World Bank Group annual meeting at the IMF headquarters in Washington, DC, on October 13, 2022. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

Prior to stakeholder meetings next week where significant changes are anticipated to be declared, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told AFP that the World Bank’s recurring reform could increase lending by $50 billion over the following ten years.

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank’s spring briefings will take place next week in the US capital, attracting central bankers, finance ministers, and attendees from more than 180 member nations.

The development of the World Bank will be a major topic of discussion in light of calls for lenders to modernize and address issues like climate change. The World Bank Group’s largest shareholder is the United States.

In the interview with AFP on Thursday, Yellen stated, “I expect to get a notification of the bank’s mission to add building resilience against climate change, pandemics, and conflict to the core objectives.

Furthermore, it must be acknowledged that these problems are not independent or in opposition to one another, but are instead inextricably intertwined.

“Second,” Yellen said, “there will be an acknowledgment that the bank is spanning its financial capability to accomplish these goals and adopting changes or endorsing changes which might result in an additional $50 billion in additional lending capacity over the next decade.”

The action would represent a significant increase in resources, increasing the sustainable lending level of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) by 20%. The World Bank’s middle-income lending division is called the IBRD.

Seeking Additional Changes

A statement modifying the bank’s operating plan to “orient it towards the goals that we’re setting,” according to Yellen, would also be made.

This includes enhancing incentives for the mobilization of both domestic and private capital, among other things.

Throughout the remainder of this year, “we seek additional reforms,” Yellen said.

The World Bank signed an evolved plan in March, and on April 12 during the spring meetings, it will be discussed with its development committee.

Ajay Banga, a US candidate running for the position of World Bank president, is expected to be chosen and will carry on the organization’s reorganization, according to Yellen, who noted that World Bank President David Malpass has laid a “solid foundation” for the ongoing work.

After Malpass declared this year that he would leave his position early, Banga was the only candidate for the position.

A Ray of Hope

Next week, policymakers will also be discussing debt restructuring and assistance for the war-torn Ukraine.

The fact that China has shown some movement toward taking part in Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring is encouraging, according to Yellen.

The World Bank previously cautioned that as global growth slows, the outlook is particularly difficult for the poorest economies, which face sluggish growth caused by high debt loads and weak investment.

Yellen had previously stated that China should proceed with some debt restructurings more quickly.

Next week, when a newly formed global sovereign debt roundtable meets, dialogue on this topic will continue, she told AFP.

“We’re having helpful technical discussions about crucial debt restructuring components. China has been taking part, and we all keep calling for China to improve,” she said.

Washington will keep pushing for the G20 “common framework” for debt restructuring to operate more quickly and predictably.

Yellen stated the following in regards to Ukraine: “Once again, we will work with all of our allies to insist that Russia cease its brutality in Ukraine.”

She continued by saying that the United States would advocate for financial assistance on this front alongside its allies.

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