Ajay Banga, who began his five-year term as World Bank Group president in June, is ushering in a new mission for the institution: eradicating poverty while fighting climate change. “If you can’t breathe and you can’t drink clean water, there’s very little point in eradicating poverty,” he said at the 2023 World Bank Group-IMF Annual Meetings in Morocco. Banga is calling for more money to “widen the aperture” of the Bank to structure incentives and loans for projects that lower emissions and advance sustainable development. He is also pushing to reduce how long it takes to approve projects, so that billions of dollars can quickly reach the countries that need it. As he said in October announcing the new vision: “Time is of the essence.”
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