U.S. wants to see quicker progress on World Bank reforms- Yellen

LUSAKA, Jan 22 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Sunday the United States wants to see faster progress on World Bank plans to increase its lending capacity to tackle climate change and other global crises. .

The World Bank’s “evolution roadmap,” reported by Reuters earlier this month, calls for the bank to discuss proposals with shareholders ahead of its April meetings, including capital increases and loans. Include new tools for giving.

It calls on the World Bank’s management to develop specific proposals to transform its mission, operating model and financing capacity to be approved by the joint World Bank-International Monetary Fund Development Committee in October.

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The plan would mark the beginning of negotiations to change the bank’s mission and financial resources and move it away from the country- and project-specific lending model used since its creation at the end of World War II. Is.

Yellen said the bank’s roadmap was a “constructive document” and formed a good basis for discussion, but more work was needed.

“We have some concerns,” she told Reuters as she traveled from Senegal to Zambia. “We would like to see some progress on a faster timeline. And think there are some things that can be done to increase lending given the current capital release.”

Yellen said working on reform — first at the World Bank and then at other multilateral development banks — was one of her top priorities this year.

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The United States, the bank’s largest shareholder, joined other countries in pushing the World Bank to develop a reform plan, which was discussed by the bank’s board on January 11.

“2023 is the year to achieve concrete progress in the short term with the spring meetings (in April) … and the October meetings to lay the groundwork for more fundamental/complex reforms,” ​​a senior Treasury official said. .

The official said the United States and other stakeholders favor a phased implementation approach, with some reform proposals released in time for the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank for some “quick wins.” are able

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These will focus on the World Bank’s vision and mission, enhancing its financial capacity… and enhancing work to mobilize the private sector, the official said.

More work is needed to realign the World Bank’s operational model to focus more on global challenges, a stronger framework for leveraging its incentives and using concessional, or low-interest, resources, the official said. Is.

The Treasury was also seeking more details on how the Bank could work with supra- and sub-national institutions.

Reporting by Andrea Schall; Edited by Diane Croft

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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