WASHINGTON DC —
The annual World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings officially commenced here in Washington on Friday with the World Bank boss, Dr. Jim Yong Kim talking poverty and warning that the political gridlock in the United States over the looming debt ceiling is rattling global markets.
Dr. Kim urged the U.S Congress to find a resolution as quickly as possible to the divisive debt ceiling debate, and avoid what he called “catastrophic impacts” on world economies if America failed to pay its bills.
He said the uncertainty and volatility in the global financial system that could result from a U.S default would make it difficult for developing countries to access financial support from the Breton Woods institutions.
Dr. Kim said this would consequently slow down investment and affect the vulnerable and the poor.
Laying out the World Bank’s vision, Dr. Kim said his institution would continue working especially with developing nations to fight poverty.
He added that more than 400 million children worldwide are living in extreme poverty, a situation he said the World Bank was working to change.
International Monetary Fund managing director, Christine Lagarde, also addressed the seminar, promising central bank governors and finance ministers from more than 180 countries that her institution would make itself more flexible and accessible to countries needing help.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa is representing Zimbabwe at these meetings, which are continuing tomorrow with African finance ministers expected to hold a news conference later in the day.