In response to the selection today of Ajay Banga as President of the World Bank for a five-year term beginning 2 June, Katie Malouf-Bous, interim Head of Oxfam International’s Washington DC Office, said:
"The true test of Ajay Banga starts now: to reorient the World Bank to tackle the extreme inequality that robs billions of people of economic security and dignity. We need huge new investments in development but we need them to be publicly-led and purposed to lift people out of poverty —and we need guardrails around private finance that has run riot for too long.
"Let us not doubt: the Bank can play a transformational role in getting the world back on the road to ending extreme poverty —but it needs serious reform. The evidence from country upon country, and the Bank’s own analysis, has shown how hundreds of millions of people could have been lifted out of poverty had we reduced inequality. The Bank needs to set an ambitious and concrete goal to tackle the widening gap between the richest and people living in poverty. This is what a transformative agenda would look like for President Banga —one that should also build trust in the Bank and genuinely serve the needs of communities in the Global South."