Health-e (Cape Town)

17 April 2012

Africa: Health Activists Applaud World Bank Appointment

Photo: Leadership
Nigeria's Finance Minister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Health GAP (Global Access Project) welcomed the appointment of Dr Jim Yong Kim as President of the World Bank. Dr Kim is a transformative figure in global health who lead the "3-by-5" initiative to scale up access to AIDS treatment in Africa at a time when so-called experts in development-including the World Bank-argued it was neither feasible nor "cost effective" to do so.

He also founded Partners In Health-one of the most respected and visionary development NGOs in the world-and has pioneered the field of "Delivery Science" building approaches to service delivery for the poor that rely on evidence.

"Dr. Jim Yong Kim has the potential to transform one of the world's most fraught institutions-to challenge failed orthodox thinking on global development that prescribes austerity, privatization, and indebtedness for impoverished countries. Instead, the globe needs a World Bank focused on results for people-using expansionary approaches to macroeconomics and delivering health, education, infrastructure, and employment at the community level," said Amanda Lugg, Chairperson of Health GAP (Global Access Project).

"Dr. Kim is an outstanding leader entering an institution too-often oriented around policies that have failed. We hope his leadershipwill transform these policies through listening to, and working with, civilsociety movements for health and pro-people economic policies, including civil society groups demanding change at the Bank based on its disastrous record in supporting stronger health outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa.

"Furthermore, Dr. Kim should immediately express his support for a Robin Hood Tax on financial transactions to end AIDS and fight poverty-something supported by his fellow candidate for Bank President, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, when she was managing director at the Bank.

"We agree with many in civil society that drastic reforms are needed in the governance of the Bank and that an open, democratic process for World Bank nominations should have been implemented long ago. Nations of the Global South should be in the lead and rich countries should not control the agenda or the Presidency of the Bank. We hope Dr. Kim will work toward this goal as well."

 - This statement is from Health GAP

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