World Bank president resigns

Jim Yong Kim will retire in February.

World Bank building Source: Bloomberg

World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, has announced his retirement from the World Bank. Kim will step down in February 2019.

How Kim shaped World Bank

Kim’s abrupt departure from the institution comes before the end of his five-year term. He was picked by former US President, Barack Obama, to head the World Bank in 2012. He will leave before finishing his current five-year term is scheduled to end in 2022. Though he started with Obama’s administration, Kim found common ground with US President, Donald Trump.

Kim helped provide funding to international aid and climate change efforts, such as the $200 billion investment in fighting global warming in many nations despite Trump’s isolationist beliefs and global warming denials. Despite the ideological differences, the Trump administration gave support to a $13 billion capital increase to the organisation.

Eswar Prasad, former head of the International Monetary Fund ( IMF) in China,noted Kim’s ability to compromise with world leaders.

‘Jim Kim had deftly struck a balance between keeping the Trump administration mollified and involving the World Bank in work on areas that the administration has been openly hostile to,’ said Prasad.

What’s next for World Bank

With Kim’s departure, it remains unclear how the new leader of the World Bank can balance global initiatives among nations with Trump’s opposition to such efforts.

‘The new head of the institution will face a difficult challenge in maintaining the institution’s legitimacy and relevance while hewing to the Trump administration’s open hostility to multilateralism,', said Prasad.

Before the new World Bank leader takes over, Kim expressed his gratitude to his fellow employees.

‘It has been a great honour to serve as president of this remarkable institution, full of passionate individuals dedicated to the mission of ending extreme poverty in our lifetime,’ said Kim.

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