July 22, 2024

Yellen Urges Multilateral Development Banks to Take Decisive Action on Global Challenges

OCTOBER 12, 2022 - WASHINGTON DC. 2022 IMF/WORLD BANK ANNUAL MEETINGS: Second Ministerial Roundtable Discussion for Support to Ukraine Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is having devastating and far-reaching human and economic impacts. Economic support from the international community has been instrumental to ensuring continuity of essential services—such as healthcare, education, pensions, and social protection—for the people of Ukraine as well as providing for humanitarian needs. A ministerial roundtable, co-chaired by the Government of Ukraine, the World Bank Group, and the IMF to discuss Ukraine’s financing needs, priorities for sustaining essential services during wartime, as well as priority recovery and reconstruction projects that can be quickly initiated. Speakers: David R. Malpass, President of the World Bank Group; Kristalina Georgieva Managing Director, International Monetary Fund; Volodymyr Zelensky, President, Ukraine; Janet Yellen; U.S. Secretary of the Treasury; Denys Shymhal, Prime Minister of Ukraine. Photo: World Bank / Ian Samuel Foulk

Secretary of the Treasury, Janet L. Yellen, delivered remarks at the Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) Evolution Roundtable, where she called on MDBs to take bold action to address the increasing scope and complexity of global challenges.

Yellen emphasized that the world is facing critical challenges such as climate change, pandemics, and fragility and conflict, which are disproportionately impacting the poorest and most vulnerable. She urged MDBs to evolve and redouble their vital development and poverty reduction work to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The Secretary spoke about the progress that has been made so far and what more needs to be done. She highlighted the sharpening of the World Bank’s mission to include inclusion, sustainability, and resilience, as well as the strengthening of the Bank’s operational model and steps taken to increase its financing capacity.

“We should acknowledge and celebrate these significant achievements. And then we need to push for more progress,” said Yellen. “We can leverage upcoming events to keep the momentum strong – including the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact in June, the G20 Leaders’ Summit in September, the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF in October, and COP28 in November and December.”

Yellen also expressed her confidence in Ajay Banga, the U.S. nominee for President of the World Bank, as the right leader to accelerate the work to evolve the institution. The World Bank will elect new leadership in the coming weeks to carry this work forward.

During the roundtable portion of the meeting, Yellen encouraged participants to share their insights on how the MDBs can best be taken forward and what reforms the World Bank should implement to help address global challenges.

“We need to seize this moment and take decisive action to protect past development gains and spur progress on new opportunities. The MDBs have a critical role to play in this effort, and I look forward to working with you all,” concluded Yellen.

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