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World Bank President David Malpass announces resignation

February 16, 2023

David Malpass will step down before the scheduled end of his term. He had faced sharp criticism and calls to resign in recent months over his remarks on climate change.

World Bank President David Malpass attends the Reuters NEXT Newsmaker event in New York City, December 1, 2022
Malpass' tenure has been clouded by criticism over his statements on climate change Image: ANDREW KELLY/REUTERS

World Bank President David Malpass has said in a surprise announcement that he will resign at the end of June.

The announcement on Wednesday means that Malpass would step down nearly a year before the end of his regular term.

"The last four years have been some of the most meaningful of my career," Malpass was quoted as saying in a World Bank statement.

 "Having made much progress, and after a good deal of thought, I've decided to pursue new challenges."

"With developing countries facing unprecedented crises, I'm proud that the Bank Group has responded with speed, scale, innovation, and impact," he added.

Hidden debt a concern for developing nations

Criticism and calls to step down

The 66-year-old is a veteran of Republican administrations in the United States. He was appointed as the chief of the Washington-based development bank in 2019 when Donald Trump was president.

His tenure has been clouded by criticism over his statements on climate change, and in recent months there have been calls for his resignation or removal.

Malpass was also accused of being a climate crisis denier.

In September, when asked on stage to respond to a claim by former US vice president Al Gore that he was a climate denier, Malpass declined several times to say if he believed man-made emissions were warming the planet.

He responded, "I'm not a scientist."

Malpass' statement came under heavy criticism including by the White House and Germany's Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze, who deemed it as "irritating."

The World Bank boss said later that he regretted his choice of words.

dvv/fb (dpa, Reuters)