Janet Yellen, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, will urge the World Bank on Wednesday to implement further reforms this year to enhance its capability to assist developing nations in tackling global issues like climate change.
On Wednesday, Janet Yellen is leading discussions with global financial officials to explore methods for the World Bank and other multilateral development banks to continue their evolution towards better supporting developing nations in addressing climate change and other global crises while concurrently striving to reduce extreme poverty.
According to excerpts of her comments obtained by Reuters, Yellen stated that the previously authorized modifications have intensified the World Bank’s mission to strive towards ending extreme poverty, enhancing shared prosperity, and establishing resilience.
She said that their integration of global challenges does not imply moving away from the traditional work of the Bank but instead strengthens its efforts towards poverty reduction and development, emphasizing that these objectives are interrelated.
During her visit in January, Yellen mentioned that Zambian women she met had an understanding of how climate change results in a decline in agricultural yields.
She added that global health threats have the potential to disrupt entire societies and economies, and fragility and conflict can cause significant displacement and migration.
Yellen praised the modifications to the balance sheet, which could result in an increase of up to $50 billion in the bank’s financing capacity over ten years, while simultaneously safeguarding its AAA credit rating and long-term financial stability.
“These are very significant achievements. We should acknowledge and celebrate that,” she said in the prepared remarks.
“And then we need to push for more progress. We should use the rest of the year to undertake additional reforms through a staged implementation approach that can be agreed upon by the Board and implemented on a rolling basis.”
Although Yellen did not provide any details in the excerpts, she suggested that forthcoming events could be used to sustain the momentum for the advancement of the World Bank.
These upcoming events include the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact in June, hosted by France, the Group of 20 Leaders’ Summit in India in September, the annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF in Morocco in October, and the United Nations COP28 climate conference, scheduled to take place in Dubai in November and December.
Yellen stated that the World Bank is not only increasing its financing capacity but also systematically integrating regional and global challenges into its country diagnostic reports and country engagement.
Furthermore, the bank is concentrating on raising additional private capital to achieve its objectives.
According to a U.S. Treasury official this week, the financing change is considered a “downpayment” towards additional reforms at the World Bank and other multilateral development banks.
Expected attendees of Yellen’s roundtable include outgoing World Bank President David Malpass, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and Japanese Finance Minister Shun’ichi Suzuki.