David Malpass, World Bank Chief and ex-undersecretary for international affairs at the U.S. Department of Treasury, arrives to a Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

New World Bank Chief Says World Needs Faster Economic Growth to Curb Poverty

(Bloomberg) -- New World Bank Group President David Malpass said he’s concerned the global economy isn’t growing fast enough to lift people out of poverty.

“It’s very important that global growth be faster,” Malpass told reporters on Tuesday, in his first media appearance since being confirmed last week as the development lender’s chief. “That’s a key part of meeting the challenges in poverty, on shared prosperity, to have more growth from the developed countries as well as the developing countries.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for global growth to the lowest since the financial crisis a decade ago, amid a bleaker outlook for major advanced economies. The move came as finance ministers and central bankers gather in Washington for this week’s semi-annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank, which focuses on reducing extreme poverty.

“The mission of the bank is urgent, and that’s because every day more people are needing jobs and working in challenging situations, either in fragile or conflict states,” said Malpass, a former senior Treasury official who was nominated for the World Bank position by President Donald Trump.

Malpass said there was no need for a restructuring at the development lender, though he’d like to see it focus its programs on specific benchmarks, such as raising median incomes. He also said that the bank will continue to fight climate change, which he described as a “key problem.” The U.S. under Trump has pulled back from international efforts against global warming.

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