World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim is stepping down from his position after more than six years with the institution, according to a press release. Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank chief executive officer, will assume the role of interim president effective Feb. 1.
“It has been a great honor to serve as President of this remarkable institution, full of passionate individuals dedicated to the mission of ending extreme poverty in our lifetime,” said Kim. “The work of the World Bank Group is more important now than ever as the aspirations of the poor rise all over the world, and problems like climate change, pandemics, famine and refugees continue to grow in both their scale and complexity. Serving as President and helping position the institution squarely in the middle of all these challenges has been a great privilege.”
Under Kim’s leadership, the institution established two goals in 2012: to end extreme poverty by 2030 and to boost shared prosperity, focusing on the bottom 40% of the population in developing countries. These goals guide and inform the institution in its daily work around the globe.
The Bank Group during Kim’s tenure also launched several innovative financial instruments, including facilities to address infrastructure needs, prevent pandemics, and help the millions of people forcibly displaced from their homes by climate shocks, conflict, and violence.
Immediately after his departure, Kim announced, he will join a firm and focus on increasing infrastructure investments in developing countries. In addition, he will be re-joining the board of Partners In Health (PIH), an organization he co-founded more than 30 years ago.
Georgieva is CEO for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association, the World Bank’s lending arms for middle-income and poor countries. Previously, she served the European Commission as Vice President for Budget and Human Resources.
The World Bank is active in financing hydro development, with examples including, most recently, working with the International Hydropower Association and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on developing a document on climate resilience for the hydropower sector.
The bank is also, through its IFC member, supporting construction of the 420-MW Nachtigal hydropower plant in Cameroon.