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Substance over style at Malpass' first World Bank Annual Meetings (Devex)

October 21, 2019

From the article:

In his speech at the bank’s opening plenary on Friday, Malpass gave an update on the bank’s progress toward implementing its $13 billion capital increase package agreed by shareholders last year, which Malpass helped negotiate U.S. approval for in his former role at the Treasury. But while payments for the IBRD portion have already started trickling in, the IFC’s $5.5 billion boost has not yet been approved, and shareholders have been given more time — until March 2020 — to decide, Malpass said. One of the bank’s executive directors confirmed to Devex that IFC’s budget increase was by no means a “done deal.”

The delay is coming from U.S. senators who have to give IFC increase Congressional approval, according to Scott Morris, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. While the Trump administration supports IFC’s boost and is “committed to securing the necessary legislative approvals,” according to a Treasury statement released Saturday, some U.S. lawmakers still need convincing, notably U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, who has raised concerns about IFC’s additionality and transparency. IFC has since committed to being more transparent, but experts say it still needs to disclose more.

“I suspect that the Trump administration and the bank will need to engage with her [Waters] to work through these issues,” Morris said, adding that it seems unlikely to be resolved and reconciled with U.S. spending bills for this year.

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Director of the US Development Policy Initiative, Co-Director of Sustainable Development Finance, and Senior Fellow