Jim Yong Kim 'can't wait to get started'

    World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. Photo by: Ryan Rayburn / World Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

    Apart from continuity and recognition of the need for the bank to adapt to a changing world, Jim Yong Kim didn’t reveal much of his plans for the World Bank on his first day in office.

    In his first official statement as World Bank president, Kim expressed his intention to continue helping developing countries to combat poverty, invest in infrastructure and support the private sector. He said this is to ensure the bank is aligned with the needs of a “world in transformation and transition.”

    Kim, however, plans to build an economic firewall that will protect people in developing countries “against shocks.” The idea comes from his experience working in poor communities, where he said the effects of a crisis can be “devastating” when no safety nets are in place.

    But how Kim plans to move forward with the idea remains to be seen. His statement was brief, as expected from someone who has not been very big on speeches — from his nomination down to his election in April. Either he “can’t wait to get started” or because his five-year term is too short for him to address the challenges that await him at the bank, which many argue is ripe for much-needed reforms.

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    About the author

    • Jenny Lei Ravelo

      Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.