KABUL, November 2, 2016—Shubham Chaudhuri joined the Kabul office on November 1 as the World Bank’s new Country Director for Afghanistan, succeeding Robert Saum who has left after completing his appointment term.
Shubham, an Indian national, joined the World Bank in 2004 and has since held a number of leadership positions, his most recent being Practice Manager in the Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice for the South Asia Region.
“It is an honor for me to be in Afghanistan and serve this great country,” said Shubham. “The World Bank Group has a long-standing partnership that has benefited millions of Afghans in all walks of life. Together with my colleagues in Kabul and across the institution, I look forward to deepening our engagement with government, development partners, civil society, the private sector, and other stakeholders to further boost shared prosperity and reduce poverty in the country.”
From August 2012 up until June 2014, Shubham was the manager of the Washington, DC-based team of the World Bank’s Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Department for East Asia and the Pacific. Before that, he was the World Bank’s Lead Economist for Indonesia.
Prior to joining the Bank, Shubham spent a decade at Columbia University in New York, where he was an economics professor and Director of the Program in Economic and Political Development. His research was published in journals such as the American Economic Review, Review of Economic Studies, Econometrica, Journal of Public Economics and Journal of International Economics. It spanned a number of areas within development economics, from poverty and vulnerability to trade and investment climate to participatory budgeting and fiscal decentralization. Shubham obtained his bachelor's degree from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from Princeton University, both in economics.
About the World Bank activities in Afghanistan:
The World Bank Group’s (WBG) program in Afghanistan is currently governed by its Country Partnership Framework (CPF) Strategy for fiscal years 2017-2020. The Bank also administers the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), the World Bank Group’s largest single-country multi-donor trust fund. The amount of finance available for the CPF will be determined when the World Bank Group’s International Development Association (IDA) – the fund for the poorest countries - is finalized in December and new commitments under the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) are confirmed. Additionally, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) aims to expand its commitments in Afghanistan from its current portfolio of $53.92 million to a cumulative investment of about $80 million over the CPF period. The WBG’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) has $154 million of gross exposure for three projects in Afghanistan. MIGA stands ready to provide additional support with a focus in the finance, manufacturing, agribusiness and services, and infrastructure sectors.