IFC boss on the institution's role in Jim Kim's new vision for development finance

Philippe Le Houérou, CEO of the International Finance Corporation. Photo by: Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

The International Finance Corporation will be a key partner in carrying out World Bank President Jim Kim’s new strategy to redefine development finance as a vehicle to mobilize the private sector and access trillions in untapped funds, the IFC chief told Devex.

Kim has outlined an ambitious plan to move the bank away from its traditional lending and project finance role, to become instead an “honest broker” that can leverage and move trillions of dollars in private capital into fragile and emerging economies, a common refrain in recent weeks and at the World Bank Group’s Spring meetings, which wrapped up on Saturday.

The IFC, as the bank’s private sector investment arm, is “at the heart” of this new strategy, which signals a new way for the IFC and the bank to work together, Philippe Le Houérou, chief executive officer of the institution, told Devex during a Facebook Live interview as part of the bank’s Mission: It’s Possible series.

Via Facebook

Le Houérou described the IFC’s role in the new strategy as “creating markets and leveraging as much private finance to go to emerging markets which are starved for capital,” and said it would involve a new way of working with the bank.  

The World Bank and the IFC are already taking tangible steps towards greater cooperation — the two organizations have put together a list of countries “where we will systematically work together on infrastructure this year,” Le Houérou said.

Devex was on the ground at the 2017 World Bank Spring Meetings. Read our coverage and analysis and check out our Facebook Live series. Follow @devex, @Sophie_Ed1984 and @AlterIgoe for more World Bank reporting.

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    Sophie Edwards

    Sophie Edwards is a reporter for Devex based out of Washington D.C. and London where she covers global development news, careers and lifestyle issues. She has previously worked for NGOs, the World Bank and spent a number of years as a journalist for a regional newspaper in the U.K. She has an MA from the Institute of Development Studies and a BA from Cambridge University.