New World Bank President Says Institution Open To Assisting High-Income Countries But Gives No Indication Of Refocusing

On his first day on the job, the World Bank’s new president, Jim Yong Kim, said Monday “that the institution would be open to offering technical assistance to crisis-plagued high-income countries like Greece,” the New York Times reports (Lowrey, 7/2). While Kim “emphasized that his top priority would be to protect developing nations at a ‘pivotal moment’ for a world economy that is losing steam rapidly, he said the bank could also deploy its technical know-how to help richer nations with structural problems,” Reuters writes (Wroughten, 7/2).

“Kim has not yet articulated whether or how he wants to refocus the World Bank, which has been criticized for taking on too many different types of projects,” the New York Times writes, adding, “Some have speculated that the Obama administration’s selection of Dr. Kim indicates that it wants the institution to emphasize helping the poorest countries or focus on public health” (7/2). “An HIV/AIDS specialist who co-founded a non-profit organization that has opened clinics in countries including Haiti and Peru, Kim … has said he will serve as a bridge to the developing world,” Bloomberg notes (Rastello, 7/2). The Lancet features an article highlighting reaction from global health, economic, and development experts to Kim’s leading the World Bank (Samarasekera, 7/2).