Vice President Kamala Harris met today at the White House with World Bank President Ajay Banga. This meeting was the first official U.S. engagement since President Banga took office.
The Vice President underscored the Biden-Harris Administration’s strong support for World Bank efforts to make investments and spur policy reforms that reduce poverty and advance achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. She praised the steps taken to evolve the World Bank—including expanding its mission to include building resilience to global challenges like climate change, pandemics, fragility and conflict. She underscored that addressing these global challenges is interlinked with and indivisible from the Bank’s work to eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. The Vice President welcomed President Banga’s commitment and high ambition in driving forward this evolution initiative.
The Vice President conveyed the United States’ intention to work with World Bank shareholders and President Banga in the leadup to the September G20 Leaders Summit to agree to steps we will jointly take to deliver:
- Significant new concessional World Bank financing delivered through a new window or other innovative mechanisms to incentivize action on global challenges across all borrower countries. A new framework and principles for the targeted use of concessional resources will help deploy new financing to where it is most additional and has the highest impact.
- Enhanced support for addressing the urgent needs of low-income countries, including through contributions to support crisis response in International Development Association recipient countries.
Recognizing that the public sector alone cannot meet the immense development needs, the Vice President also underscored our commitment to work with the World Bank and other shareholders to develop and implement an action plan to raise the level of ambition in mobilizing private investment.
The Vice President discussed with President Banga her work around the world, from Southeast Asia to Africa to the Caribbean. In particular, as the Vice President has made clear in this and other meetings, countries should have access to the finance and tools they need to accelerate the clean energy transition and build resilience to shocks. The Vice President and President Banga also discussed ongoing work to galvanize private investment in developing countries, particularly in Central America and Africa. This meeting comes just before the Vice President’s upcoming trip to The Bahamas on June 8 to participate in the U.S.-Caribbean Leaders Meeting, alongside President Banga, where she will further discuss the U.S. commitment and actions to support sustainable and inclusive economic development in the Caribbean. To this end, she raised the importance of all creditors offering Climate Resilient Debt Clauses to allow a temporary suspension of debt service after a natural disaster.