World Bank to increase lending to lower middle-income countries

Updated 2018-04-20 09:17:03 Xinhua

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim attends a press conference during the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington D.C., the United States, on April 19, 2018. (Xinhua/Yang Chenglin)

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said on Thursday that the multilateral lender would increase lending to lower middle-income countries over time.

Kim made the remarks in response to a question about a 13-billion-U.S.-dollar capital increase plan for the World Bank and its lending practices to be discussed during the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank later this week.

About 7.5 billion dollars of the capital increase would go to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the group's primary lending arm, and 5.5 billion dollars would go to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the group's private sector lending arm, according to local media reports.

While many of the board of governors of the World Bank wanted to focus the lending on the lower middle-income countries, the capital increase plan doesn't target changes of loans to any specific country, Kim said at a press conference.

"There's nothing in the agreement that we've put together and presented to the governors that remarks on any single country's borrowing," he said.

"It's about how we think about income levels and how the World Bank Group can continue to be a partner and to support all of our member countries who are still clients," he argued.

Kim said the capital increase for the IFC means that the lending arm will be able to "do more in higher middle-income countries as well."

"So just to be clear on this there's nothing in the agreement that targets any specific country," he said.

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