World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announces resignation

US President Donald Trump looks on during a discussion after delivering his speech during the World Economic Forum annual meeting

Kim was was re-elected for a five-year term in 2017.

Nonetheless, the Treasury backed a $13 billion capital increase for the World Bank past year, which imposed some lending and management reforms, including some caps to the rate of salary increases. The Trump administration would be expected to nominate its preferred candidate to succeed Kim. The choice could prove controversial if the nominee shares Trump's own disdain for global institutions such as the World Trade Organization and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The Trump administration has put pressure on the World Bank to justify its lending practices, including loans to China.

The World Bank said it would "immediately start the process" of appointing a replacement.

The 189-nation World Bank is the largest government source for development funding, providing low-priced loans for projects around the world.

The US is the largest shareholder in the development lender, which was conceived during the Second World War to finance the reconstruction of Europe.

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The World Bank's main role is to finance projects to fight poverty and its causes around the globe. The IMF, which provides emergency loans to countries in economic crisis, is now headed by former French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde.

But some nations have been pushing for a representative from emerging markets.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin looks forward to working with other countries on the bank's 24-member executive board to select Kim's successor, a Mnuchin spokesperson said.

Announcing his decision on Monday, Kim said in a tweet: "It's been the greatest privilege I could have ever imagined to lead the dedicated staff of this great institution". He later went on to join the World Health Organization as an adviser, later rising in ranks at the World Bank in 2012. "The details of this new position will be announced shortly".

Other experts believe Trump may find it hard to push through his desired candidate. In that race, Kim beat out Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, then Nigeria's finance minister, and Jose Antonio Ocampo, a Colombian national and professor at Columbia University in NY. The physician and former Dartmouth College president said he would also rejoin the board of Partners in Health, a health advocacy group he co-founded 30 years ago.

Kim, who was born in Seoul, South Korea, trained as a medical doctor.

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