Business & Economy

World Bank chief to step down a year early

Washington, Feb 15 (EFE).- World Bank President David Malpass said Wednesday that he will be leaving the post at the end of June, about a year before the end of his term.

“This afternoon, I met with the @WorldBank Group’s Board of Directors and informed them of my intention to step down by the end of our June 30 fiscal year. It has been an honor & privilege to serve as World Bank President,” the 66-year-old economist said.

Malpass was head of international relations at the United States Treasury Department in 2019 when then-President Donald Trump nominated him to serve as World Bank president.

By tradition, the US selects the head of the World Bank, while Europe chooses the managing director of the other Washington-based global financial institution, the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“The last four years have been some of the most meaningful of my career. Having made much progress, and after a good deal of thought, I’ve decided to pursue new challenges,” Malpass said in a statement released by the World Bank The announcement comes months after Malpass rejected calls to resign amid controversy over comments in which he appeared to question the scientific consensus that burning fossil fuels is accelerating global warming.

“I don’t even know – I’m not a scientist,” he said in a response to a question about climate change during a New York Times event last September.

Though Malpass subsequently expressed regret for his response and stressed that the World Bank uses “the science every day,” critics were not mollified.

The original choice of Malpass to lead the bank also spurred opposition, given his history of skepticism about the work of the World Bank, IMF and other international lenders.

“They’re often corrupt in their lending practices, and they don’t get the benefit to the actual people in the countries,” Malpass told a congressional hearing while still with the Treasury Department.

“They get the benefit to the people who fly in on a first-class airplane ticket to give advice to the government officials in the country, that flow of money is large, but not so much the actual benefit to normal people within poor countries,” he said.

EFE pem/dr

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