Accra, Feb. 20, GNA –  World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick says his five-year term of office had seen a transformed bank that played a historic role during the global economic crisis, using record replenishments to provide more than 247 billion dollars to help developing countries boost growth and overcome poverty.
“I’m honoured to have led such a world class institution with so many talented and exceptional people. Together we have focused on supporting developing countries to navigate crises and adjust to global economic shifts.
“The bank has recognised that we live in a world of multiple poles of growth where traditional concepts of the “Third World” are now outdated and where developing countries have a key role to play as growth drivers and responsible stakeholders.
“At the same time, we’ve scaled up our support to poor people, countries, and communities and shown that the bank can be an indispensable innovator, catalyst, and driver of a modernised multilateralism,” he said.
Mr Zoellick made the observation in an official statement announcing his commitment to step down at the end of his five year tenure as leader of the bank.
“I’m very pleased that when the world needed the bank to step up, our shareholders responded with expanded resources and support for key reforms that made us quicker, more effective and more open. The bank is now strong, healthy and well positioned for new challenges, and so it is a natural time for me to move on and support new leadership,” he added
The statement mentioned Nimble/Activists Crisis Initiatives, Modernised World Bank and Modernised Multilateralism as some of the areas the bank excelled during the leadership under Mr Zoellick.
It said the Nimble/Activist Crises Initiatives provided a record 247 billion dollars of support in the key areas of infrastructure, the private sector, agriculture, trade finance, social safety nets, education, health, and the environment; the first general capital increase for the bank in over 20 years, with over half the new capital from developing countries; and a record $90 billion raised for IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, against a very challenging backdrop of donor austerity.
The statement put food first: alerted the world to the forthcoming food crisis, and helped marshal new resources and tools to address it.
World Bank agriculture lending increased to $6 billion per year; and created a new IFC (private sector) Asset Management Company to channel sovereign wealth funds and pension resources (to date $3 billion) to the private sector in Africa and other emerging markets.
The statement said the Modernised World Bank initiative opened up the World Bank landmark access to information policy, and open data initiative throwing open the doors on bank’s processes, projects, and data; to boost transparency and accountability all bank projects had been geo mapped with clearly defined results-measurement.
Last year, the bank was ranked number one for aid transparency by Publish What You Fund.
“It Increased the bank’s results focus and launched the bank’s third-ever lending instrument Programme for Results, which disburses money after verifiable results have been achieved, advanced the bank’s anti-corruption focus with a new sanctions policy, new preventative unit, new cross debarment agreement with other multilateral development banks, new Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) initiative, and the launch of an International Corruption Hunters Alliance.
Furthermore, it blended innovation and practicality with new programmes such as the Climate Investment Funds ($7.1 billion of contributions leveraged nearly $50 billion of investment spanning 46 countries), transformed the bank’s leadership: half of senior officers are now women; almost half are from developing countries, including the bank’s first Chief Economist from a developing country – Justin Lin from China; and maintained a flat real budget over five years, along with the bank’s AAA rating.
Modernised Multilateralism led the bank’s efforts with the G-20, helping secure progress on development, agriculture, food security, infrastructure, and other issues; create new ventures: Nairobi Centre focusing on security, conflict and development; Gender Equality as Smart Economics; Singapore Hub on Urban and Infrastructure development; Arab World Initiative, expanded voice of developing countries at the World Bank, particularly with an additional board seat for Sub Saharan Africa, thereby launching a new Partnership for Social Accountability to bring citizens’ voices into the development mainstream.
Mr Zoellick was appointed leader of the World Bank in 1997.

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