Outside of the security domain, overhauling the World Bank offers US President Joe Biden's administration its greatest opportunity for a key foreign-policy achievement. The World Bank should be a major vehicle for crisis response, post-conflict reconstruction and, most importantly, for supporting the huge investments necessary for sustainable and healthy global development. But currently it is not.
The remarkable feature of the World Bank's financial model is that even before it is reformed, which is very necessary, and even without considering its ability to mobilise private-sector finance, each US$1 (S$1.43) of appropriated funds from the United States catalyses a permanent increase in lending of more than US$15. (This is because other countries contribute to the bank as well, and paid-in capital is leveraged many times over.)