Washington, United States | AFP | World Bank shareholders approved a “historic” increase in the bank’s lending capacity Saturday after the United States backed a reform package that curbs loans and charges more for higher income countries like China.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said neither China nor any middle income countries was happy about the prospect of paying more for loans, but they agreed because of the overall increase in funds available.
The agreement, which also increase shares and voting power to large emerging market countries like China, was “a tremendous vote of confidence” in the institution that came after three years of tough negotiations, Kim said.
Our shareholders have demonstrated a renewed confidence in global cooperation. By endorsing a vital capital package, our members have asked the World Bank Group to play a stepped up leadership role in addressing global issues. https://t.co/eSHjfCg2e0 pic.twitter.com/lc9IIAhpom
— Jim Yong Kim (@JimYongKim) April 21, 2018
“World Bank Group bureaucrats don’t often jump around and high-five and hug each other,” Kim told a small group of reporters following the Spring meeting.
He said the increase was needed because even with the end of the global financial crisis, the bank has been called on to provide funding to address a new series of challenges facing poor countries, like climate change, refugees, pandemics, “all new things for us.”
The increase provides an additional $13 billion in “paid in” capital: $7.5 billion to the main institution and $5.5 billion to the bank’s private financing arm, the International Finance Corporation.
Kim said the increase will allow the bank to ramp up lending to an average of $100 billion a year through 2030, from $60 billion in 2017 and an expected $80 billion in 2018.
Countries will have five years to provide the funds, but can ask for a three-year extension. The last increase occurred in 2010 and added $5 billion to the bank’s capital and $200 million for the IFC.
.@WorldBank Group shareholders endorse a transformative $13B capital package + new reforms to strengthen our ability to take on global challenges today, and tomorrow. https://t.co/zBYHtlc66c pic.twitter.com/tZcbfrlpTs
— World Bank (@WorldBank) April 21, 2018
– New lending rules –
The United States, the institution’s biggest shareholder, rejected the World Bank request in October and the administration of US President Donald Trump has argued that multilateral lending institutions should graduate countries that have grown enough to finance their own development, like China.
But US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Saturday said Washington supports the increase because of the reforms to lending rules.
“I look at this as a package transaction… we support a capital increase on the World Bank, along with the associated reforms that they’re talking about making,” Mnuchin told reporters.