This evening, the global development community was left surprised after Jim Yong Kim, the President of the World Bank stepped down from his position unexpectedly.
The unexpected announcement means that Kim will be leaving his post at the start of next month for a position in the private sector. His decision comes three and a half years before the expiry of his term which was set in 2022.
In a statement that was released by the World Bank today, it said that Kim will “join a firm and focus on increasing infrastructure investments in developing countries,” even though the reason for his resignation was not disclosed.
Kim is a former doctor who was born in South Korea. He spent much of his time at the helm of the World Bank concentrating on tackling issues on global health. Last year, he was listed as the 41st most powerful person by Forbes.
Some commentators said that the vacuum that was left by Kim could possibly prompt a row between President Trump and those who are critical of the control of the United States of America at the institution.
Kristalina Georgieva, the current chief executive of World Bank, is set to assume the position of interim president at the global lending institution when Kim leaves.
The organisation is based in Washington. It is considered to be one of the largest donors to developing countries and, while most of its policies have proved to be controversial, it has been credited with supporting large infrastructure projects across Africa, South America, and Asia since its creation after the second world war.
The decision of Kim to step down from his position and work in the private sector was described by sources who are close to the bank as a sudden and “personal decision” that shocked its shareholders – the 189 nations that support its work.