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New World Bank President David Malpass Must Strengthen Institution’s Commitment To Equity, Achieving SDGs

Project Syndicate: Will David Malpass Trump the World Bank?
Kevin Watkins, CEO of Save the Children U.K.

“David Malpass has taken over as World Bank president, and he carries some heavy political baggage. … At this week’s [International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank] Spring meetings, Malpass needs to address these concerns head-on. … The Spring meetings provide an opportunity to put words into action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) … These are areas in which the World Bank and its new president can make a difference. To its credit, the Bank has increasingly turned the spotlight on inequality. But it has been curiously reticent about advocating for the redistributive policies in taxation, public spending, and regulation needed to narrow social disparities. Malpass may not be an obvious champion for pro-poor redistribution, but that is what is needed. … The World Bank could help improve accountability for fulfilling [the commitment to ‘leave no one behind’] by working with the U.N. and national agencies to monitor and report on the pace at which disparities in key indicators, from mortality to education, are being narrowed. Both the World Bank and the IMF should also use their public-finance reporting to monitor whether fiscal policies are aligned with the pledge to narrow social inequalities. Malpass has the unique privilege and responsibility of overseeing one of the world’s largest sources of development finance … He must not drop the ball” (4/10).