Eurodad response to resignation of World Bank President David Malpass


In her response to Malpass' resignation, Eurodad director Jean Saldanha urges the World Bank Group to see this as an opportunity to rethink the role of the institution.

In response to the announcement that World Bank President David Malpass will step down in June, Jean Saldanha, Director of the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) said: 

The World Bank is at a crossroads and pressure for it to reform is mounting. This resignation, which comes as shareholders are discussing its ‘Evolution Roadmap’, offers an opportunity to rethink the role of the institution to address the multiple challenges that countries in the global south are facing. While the current roadmap proposal made by the Bank falls way short of the changes needed in the institution, it will be meaningless if the leadership question is not delivered upon. 

Since its founding, there has been a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ between the US and Europe that an American would lead the World Bank, while a European would lead the IMF. Reform of this unwritten practice is long overdue. If the World Bank’s main shareholders are serious about their commitment to multilateralism and the future of the Bank, they should push for a democratic and transparent selection of a leader with the experience and vision to make the changes to the Bank that are sorely needed, regardless of their nationality. 

“The tenure of Mr Malpass was marked by the most unprecedented crisis in recent history, which pushed the Bank to increase its financing. However, his presidency was also marked by controversy. He was accused last year of being a ‘climate denier’ following a noncommittal response to the question whether fossil fuel burning is warming the planet. He also failed to take substantive action following the publication of two damning reports that revealed serious ethical improprieties and conflicts of interest in the development of its flagship Doing Business Report.

“A new leader must understand the development challenges that the world faces and commit to implement - and not undermine - the global agenda on development, inequality, climate change, and social justice. Only this will ensure that the Bank becomes a legitimate development finance institution in the future.”


Media contact: Julia Ravenscroft, Communications Manager, Eurodad: [email protected]/ +44 7958 184 695