World Bank president Jim Yong Kim abruptly resigns.

Jim Yong Kim resigns as president of the World Bank, shocking the business world and causing uncertainty across the international business and aid community.

Yong Kim will stand down by February 1st to join a firm focused on infrastructure investments, leaving the bank nearly three years before his term was set to expire in 2022. He was at the helm of the World Bank since 2012, and was re-elected for a second five-year term that began in 2017.

Kim’s decision to quit for the private sector was described by sources close to the bank as a “personal decision”.

Mr. Kim said in a statement on Monday:

“It has been a great honor to serve as President of this remarkable institution, full of passionate individuals dedicated to the mission of ending extreme poverty in our lifetime (…) “The work of the World Bank Group is more important now than ever as the aspirations of the poor rise all over the world, and problems like climate change, pandemics, famine and refugees continue to grow in both their scale and complexity.”

The World Bank is one of the largest donors to developing world countries. Despite its controversial policies, the Washington-based organization works behind huge infrastructure projects across South America, Asia and Africa.

Kristalina Georgieva, the World Bank’s chief executive officer, will assume the role of interim president when Kim departs.


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