WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden will focus on reforming the World Bank and urging other multilateral development banks to boost lending for climate change and infrastructure projects during the G20 leaders summit in India, the White House said on Tuesday.
“That’s one of our main focuses heading into the G20: delivering on an agenda fundamentally reshaping and scaling up the multilateral development banks, especially the World Bank,” White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters.
The Biden administration is pushing the World Bank, founded as World War Two drew to a close to alleviate poverty, as a counterpart to China’s overseas lending. New CEO Ajay Banga has pushed to expand climate change and hunger programs, and boost the bank’s lending power with new funding and balance sheet rules.
The White House in late August asked Congress for $3.3 billion in additional funding as part of a supplemental budget request to “materially expand development and infrastructure financing” through the World Bank to offer countries a “credible
alternative to the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) coercive and unsustainable lending and infrastructure projects.”
“We know that these institutions are some of the most effective tools that we have for mobilizing transparent, high quality investment into developing countries,” Sullivan said Tuesday.
“And that’s why the United States is championing a major effort that is currently underway to involve these institutions so that they are up to the challenges of today and tomorrow.”
Biden will also call on G20 to provide meaningful debt relief for low and middle income countries, Sullivan said.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and David Lawder; Editing by Heather Timmons and Deepa Babington)