World Bank Reviews $157bn Support To Nigeria, Others
The World Bank Group (WBG) has assessed its $157 billion support given to Nigeria and other developing economies to fight COVID-19 pandemic. Nigeria got $3.4 billion support from the bank in May to strengthen the economy and support recovery from the pandemic.
Speaking to the bank’s development committee at the end of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual Meetings held in the United States, World Bank President, David Malpass, said from April 2020 through June 2021, the multilateral institution committed more than $157 billion, the largest crisis response and fastest growth in its history.
“Our support for the poorest countries is at an all-time high, including grants and highly concessional loans to countries eligible to borrow from International Development Association (IDA).
“On COVID-19 and vaccines, we worked closely with the Board to develop and implement a fast-track approach that has helped nearly 150 countries tackle the health emergency. We’re providing financing for COVID-19 vaccines in 61 countries and currently have 250 million doses under contract with World Bank financing. We’re pleased to partner with COVAX, AVAT, the African Union, and UNICEF on our shared priority to accelerate the purchase and deployment of vaccines in developing countries,” Malpass said.
The G20, working the IMF, created the Common Framework, that focused on debt transparency and sustainability, debt reconciliation, and a sense of speed.
Malpass said the International Debt Statistics – IDS – report, which was just released on Monday, shows that low-income country debt rose 12 per cent to a record $860 billion.
There remain huge amounts of work to be done to achieve debt sustainability and transparency. He said the World Bank has generated vital reports that are important additions to the knowledge base, including Global Economic Prospects (GEP), Global Waves of Debt, and an upcoming flagship report on debt transparency.
Now is the time for countries and people to be detailed and look for solutions on debt.
On climate, Malpass said the bank outlined a powerful new path forward using the World Bank Group’s Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) for 2021-2025.
“The CCAP focuses on integrating climate and results, achieving the maximum impact from climate finance, and improved diagnostics and data. The way to achieve impact is to prioritize interventions; create a just transition from coal; and focus on adaptation. The CCAP does these through diagnostics and work with the IMF and other partners on climate action,” he said.
“We’ve had extensive discussions this week, and indeed this year, on these challenges. This week, I’ve participated in lengthy discussions in the G24, G20, G7, and IMFC, with G20 Leaders on Afghanistan, the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action, and others, and I met with many finance ministers.”
“Each of the discussions focused on problems and possible solutions, but I’m afraid that progress is still slow. The reality is that there’s been a stark reversal of development gains. Development is going backwards on poverty, median income, education, nutrition, security and many other areas. A failure to address these would leave us with a decade of regrets,” he said.
Malpass said the COVID-19 crisis has affected every aspect of commercial and social activity. “Developing countries have made extraordinary efforts to keep economic activity going during the pandemic, but they face grave challenges: climate change, debt, inequality, and vulnerabilities to future shocks. Per capita income is expected to grow nearly five per cent in advanced economies in 2021, but only 0.5 per cent in low-income countries,” he said.