May 22, 2024

Ajay Banga Appointed as World Bank President, Oxfam Urges Focus on Inequality

Ajay Banga
Ajay Banga

Ajay Banga has been selected as the President of the World Bank for a five-year term beginning June 2. In response to the appointment, Katie Malouf-Bous, interim Head of Oxfam International’s Washington DC Office, said that Banga’s true test begins now, as he must reorient the World Bank to tackle extreme inequality and lift people out of poverty.

Malouf-Bous called for substantial new investments in development, emphasizing the need for publicly-led efforts and stronger guardrails around private finance. She highlighted the transformational role the World Bank can play in ending extreme poverty, but noted that significant reform is needed.

Oxfam cited evidence from numerous countries and the Bank’s own analysis, showing that hundreds of millions of people could have been lifted out of poverty had inequality been reduced.

Malouf-Bous urged President Banga to set an ambitious, concrete goal to tackle the widening gap between the richest and people living in poverty. She emphasized that a transformative agenda should build trust in the Bank and genuinely serve the needs of communities in the Global South.

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