Kim Yong Kim announced that he will step down as chairman of the World Bank Group at the end of the month, leaving a void at the top of the development entity in times of turbulence in emerging markets and US doubts about the usefulness of multilateral institutions.
“It has been a great honor to serve as president of this extraordinary institution, full of passionate individuals dedicated to the mission of ending extreme poverty in the course of our lives,” Kim, an American of Korean descent, said in the statement.
The doctor and anthropologist born in 1959, ran the institution since 2012 and leaves office more than three years before the end of his second term.
Kristalina Georgieva, the agency’s general director, will assume the interim chair on February 1, the Washington-based bank said. In an email to officials of the entity, Kim explained that he will join a private company focused on investments for infrastructure in developing countries.
“The opportunity to join the private sector was unexpected, but I have come to the conclusion that this is the path through which I will have the greatest impact on the main global problems such as climate change and the infrastructure deficit in emerging markets. “Kim argued.
At the beginning of his term in 2012, Kim established two main objectives: to end extreme poverty by 2030 and promote shared prosperity, focusing on the population of developing countries.
The Trump administration has pressured the World Bank to justify its lending practices, particularly its loans to China. But in April, the bank won the support of its member countries to carry out a capital increase of US $ 13,000 million after the United States withdrew its objections.
USA is the largest shareholder of the development agency, which was conceived during the Second World War to finance the reconstruction of Europe, but since then it has focused on combating extreme poverty around the world.