The World Bank’s primary goal of ending “extreme” poverty by 2030 is in jeopardy, said new World Bank president David Malpass on Thursday.
At his first news conference since taking office this week, Malpass said poverty is getting worse in some countries in sub-Saharan Africa where per-capita-income is now projected to stay below 1% until at least 2021. By 2030, nearly nine in 10 extremely poor people will be Africans, he noted.
President Donald Trump selected Malpass to lead the World Bank in February. Previously, Malpass had a career on Wall Street, including a stint as chief economist of Bear Stearns. The World Bank executive board approved his appointment last week.
When asked what he wanted to accomplish, Malpass said the World Bank needed to have “effective programs.”
“I think each country is different and so the mix of resources that’s going to be most effective is going to vary by country,” he said.
“The needs are urgent. I’m enthusiastic about the job I’ve undertaken, I’m deeply honored to be here to tackle these challenges,” he said.
In an interview with CNBC after his news conference, Malpass said his selection to the World Bank wasn’t as controversial as sometimes portrayed in the media. Reports often noted that Malpass had been a critic of the organization.
Malpass said he went on a world tour after his appointment and said leaders “were supportive from the beginning.”
“I think they like the U.S. having a very involved, engaged role in the World Bank,” he added.