WASHINGTON (Reuters) - World Bank members have agreed to pour more capital into the lender and give developing countries a greater voice in running the bank, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Sunday.
“We can feel proud that we have concluded agreements on a transformative financial and governance reform agenda, along with new capital for the World Bank and a new and more representative shareholding formula,” Geithner said in a statement delivered to its development committee.
He also said that the United States, which holds the largest voting share in the World Bank at 16.4 percent, would not seek any increase for itself under a revised voting formula that is to better reflect developing countries’ economic heft.
“Because we believe this overall outcome merits our strong endorsement, the United States agreed not to take up its full shareholding in this new arrangement,” Geithner said.
Geithner said the World Bank deserved more capital to help it in efforts like helping Afghanistan to develop more productive farming and for relief efforts such as those it has undertaken in Haiti after it was struck by an earthquake.
The World Bank had asked for a capital increase of $3 billion to $5 billion, allocated proportionally among its members.
Geithner said he considered the World Bank had made “a strong and compelling case” for a $3.5 billion increase and said he would ask Congress to approve the U.S. share of it.
Reporting by Glenn Somerville; Editing by Padraic Cassidy