The World Bank announced Michel Kerf is the new director for the six Central American countries and the Dominican Republic, effective 18 January 2021. The World Bank says the seven countries represent a portfolio of 43 projects worth US$4.7 billion. Project areas include education, health, disaster risk management, violence prevention, social protection, rural competitiveness, land management, and public-sector efficiency.
The Dominican Republic is a member of the Central American Integration System (SICA) bloc of countries with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.
“I look forward to working with the governments, civil society organizations, businesses and other stakeholders in these seven countries to support inclusive and resilient recovery from the toll the pandemic and recent cyclones have taken on their countries, especially on the poor,” says Michel Kerf. “This is an opportunity to rethink development through more dynamic growth and job creation to make true headway in reducing poverty and promoting shared prosperity.”
Kerf, a Belgian national, comes to the position from his most recent role as Country Director for Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. He joined the World Bank in 1993 working on private sector development. He has also held a range of positions working on sustainable development, infrastructure, transport and information and communications technology, including across Latin America and the Caribbean.
He is a graduate in Law from the University of Liège, Belgium, and obtained a Master of Science in Economics from the London School of Economics. He has taught as Visiting Professor at the University of Liège and at the College of Europe in Bruges.
19 January 2021