World Bank planning to trim US$400m from budget
WASHINGTON: The World Bank plans to cut US$400 million (RM1.28 billion) from its budget as part of a sweeping reorganisation to make the global development lender more efficient and responsive, its chief financial officer said on Monday.
The savings, which have not yet been publicly disclosed, are part of the World Bank's first major strategic realignment in 17 years. The US$400 million figure will be presented to the World Bank's member countries later this week during its annual meetings, along with a new strategy to focus the institution on its poverty-fighting goals.
The US$400 million in savings will be phased in over three years and mark an eight per cent cut from the bank's current US$5 billion in annual expenses, said Bertrand Badre, who is also the bank's managing director for finance.
Badre said the ultimate goal of the cuts was to help the bank grow and better serve governments.
Long criticised for a slow bureaucratic process for approving lending, the World Bank has more recently had to contend with greater competition for development funds.
In response, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim has launched the first new strategy for the lender since 1996, aiming to make it more selective and better attuned to the needs of the governments it serves.
The strategy should make it easier for the bank to meet its twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting the incomes of the poorest 40 per cent of people in each country.
In its strategy, the bank said it was looking at ways to trim its budget while putting more funds into priority areas, including "transformational" projects such as large-scale energy investments.
Badre said every US$100 million reinvested into the bank's operations could help mobilise US$1 billion to spend on development.
The bank has not yet outlined exactly where it will find the savings, although Badre suggested travel policies, information technology and real estate would be good places to start. Reuters