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Chief must understand global challenges

The World Bank

The World Bank

Washington – The new World Bank chief should have a keen understanding of major global development challenges and facilitate solutions to those critical problems, a US expert has said.

The Washington-based international financial agency is seeking a successor to its outgoing President Robert Zoellick.

“The World Bank is potentially far more decisive than a bank. At its best, the bank serves as a powerhouse of ideas and a meeting ground for key actors who together can solve daunting problems of poverty, hunger, disease and environmental degradation,” said Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

However, without incisive leadership, the World Bank has often seemed like just a bank, the economist said in an article titled “How I would lead the World Bank,” which appeared on The Washington Post on Friday.

He added that “unfortunately, Washington has backed at the helm bankers and politicians who lack the expertise to fulfil the institution’s unique mandate”.

The World Bank presidency should not be a training ground in development, said Sachs, noting that its leader should come to office understanding the realities of major global development challenges, and should understand their causes and interconnected solutions.

“Solutions to critical problems such as hunger, AIDS, malaria and extreme deprivation remain unaddressed because of vast gaps in knowledge, experience and power among those who ultimately need to work together,” he wrote.

Finding the graceful way forward and forging the networks that can create global change should be the Bank’s greatest role, he argued.

Zoellick announced last month that he would not seek reappointment when his term expires on June 30 this year.

Nominations for candidates for the post end on 23 March. – BuaNews-Xinhua