World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim has made the surprise announcement that he is stepping down after six years in the post.
His resignation will take effect from 1 February.
Kim, 59, was not due to leave until 2022, after he was re-elected for a second five-year term in 2017.
He will “join a firm and focus on increasing infrastructure investments in developing countries”, the World Bank said.
In a statement, Kim said: “It has been a great honour to serve as President of this remarkable institution, full of passionate individuals dedicated to the mission of ending extreme poverty in our lifetime”.
No reason was given for his unexpected resignation.
Kristalina Georgieva, the World Bank’s chief executive officer, will assume the role of interim president.
Kim has avoided public clashes with President Trump, but his policy approach was sometimes at odds with the president’s approach to climate change.
Under Kim, the World Bank has ended its support of coal power projects – in contrast to Trump’s promise to revive the US coal industry.
In April, Kim bowed to pressure from the Trump administration over loan payments to China. The World Bank agreed to change its lending structure in order to secure a $13bn capital increase.
The World Bank has a remit to finance international development projects. Formed in 1947 to help rebuild European countries devastated by World War II, it supports infrastructure projects with traditional loans, interest-free credits, and grants.
Kim, who was born in Seoul, South Korea, trained as a medical doctor.
He was nominated by former president Barack Obama for both his first and second term at the head of the World Bank.— BBC
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