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World Bank President Jim Yong Kim says his is a ‘a very different bank’

April 1st, 2014
03:31 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

From Ukraine to Russia, Tunisia to Egypt, it’s the economy, stupid, as Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign famously put it during his 1992 campaign.

How to get nations into better health, and thus greater wealth? That is the herculean task of Jim Yong Kim and the institution he leads, the World Bank.

“Twenty years ago I was actually on the streets protesting against the World Bank,” Kim said. “I was part of the ’50 years is enough’ movement, and we wanted to shut down the World Bank on its 50th anniversary.”

Now, as president of the organization, he says it is “a very different bank.”

“Twenty years ago the World Bank wasn’t focussed so much on health and education,” he said. “The World Bank was saying, ‘Well, let’s just make the economy grow, and then once the economy grows then we can think about health and education.’”

“We now know that investing in health and education is critical for economic growth. So in many ways what’s great is that the World Bank does rely on evidence.”

What is the Bank doing to fight climate change, and why does Kim say the conflict in Ukraine could have severe consequences for Russia’s economy?

Click above to watch Amanpour’s full interview with the World Bank president.

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