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World Bank needs to get ‘bigger’ — Banga

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MARRAKESH, Morocco —The World Bank could raise its lending capacity by $150 billion in the next decade, but it will need to become “bigger” to respond to global challenges, its president said Wednesday.

Reforming the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to make them better equipped to deal with climate change, debt and poverty is a central issue at their annual meetings in Marrakesh, Morocco.

World Bank President Ajay Banga

World Bank President Ajay Banga, the former CEO of Mastercard, laid out his plans to redefine the vision of the bank towards “eradicating poverty on a livable planet”.

Banga said challenges including poverty, pandemics and climate change were “almost like a perfect storm” that can no longer be treated separately.

He said balance sheet changes and contributions from countries could increase the lender’s firepower by $150 billion over the next decade.

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“It’s a substantial number, but it’s not going to be enough for the kinds of challenges the world has,” he said at a press conference.

“There is no doubt that we need to be a bigger bank,” Banga said.

He cited an independent expert group commissioned by the G20, which recommended the tripling of financing of multilateral development banks.

“The G20 expert group has put out its own thinking on that. That has not yet been accepted by the G20,” Banga said.

“I’m definitely going to go back to our shareholders to seek a bigger bank because I believe that is what the world needs for the next coming decades,” he said.

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