Washington: President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the World Bank called on private-sector lenders to increase efforts to fight poverty across the world, citing the need for trillions of dollars in lending that public institutions alone can’t meet.
The World Bank needs to leverage its current balance sheet and maximize existing resources, but the total resources of development banks are in the billions of dollars, short of what’s needed to boost prosperity and deal with rising challenges, said Ajay Banga, a former Mastercard Inc. chief whom Biden nominated last month.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine has created new threats for poor and vulnerable countries, adding food insecurity and inflation to the pressures from the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change, he said.
“There is not enough capital in either the multilateral development banks or governments or in philanthropy; we do need to get the private sector to be part of this story,” Banga said in an interview with David Westin on Bloomberg Television’s Balance of Power on Friday.
The World Bank must protect its AAA rating, Banga said, citing the credit grade as core to the bank’s model of borrowing and lending at the lowest possible rates and providing grant assistance.
Banga has co-led the Partnership for Central America, an initiative launched by Vice President Kamala Harris to marshal private-sector support for the region aimed at creating more economic activity and jobs, with contributions of more than $4 billion across about 50 companies and organizations.