Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
A coalition of global development partners has announced $82 billion commitment for the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, to maintain momentum in the fight against extreme poverty.
The financing, which includes more than $53 billion for Africa, will help countries invest in the needs of their people, boost economic growth, and bolster resilience to climate shocks and natural disasters.
The World Bank, which announced this over the weekend said two thirds of the world’s poor, almost 500 million people, now live in countries supported by IDA, stressing that the funding will allow IDA to reinforce its support to job creation and economic transformation, good governance, and accountable institutions.
The Bank added that it will also help countries deal with the challenges posed by climate change, gender inequality, and situations of fragility, conflict, and violence, including in the Sahel, the Lake Chad region, and the Horn of Africa.
World Bank Group President, David Malpass reacted by saying that “Today’s commitment by our partners is a strong sign of their support for the urgent mission to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity in the poorest and most vulnerable countries. We are grateful for their continued trust in IDA and its ability to deliver good development outcomes for people most in need.”
According to the Bank, IDA will renew its support to facilitate growth and regional integration, including investments in quality infrastructure, while the “IDA Private Sector Window will continue enabling the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) to mobilize private sector investment in challenging environments, a critical component to meet the scale of financing needed in developing countries.”
It explained that IDA’s resources are replenished every three years; “this 19th replenishment will cover the period from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2023. The new funding will support projects that deliver life-changing results, including: Essential health, nutrition, and population services for up to 370 million people; Safe childbirth for up to 80 million women through provision of skilled health personnel; Enhanced access to broadband internet for 50 to 60 million people; Immunizations for up to 140 million children;
Better governance in up to 60 countries through improved statistical capacity; An additional 10 GW of renewable energy generation capacity.”
To promote greater equity and economic growth, the Bank said IDA will also tackle broader development challenges, such as enhancing debt sustainability and transparency; harnessing and adapting to transformative digital payment technology; promoting inclusion of those living with disabilities; strengthening the rule of law; and investing in human capital, including efforts to achieve universal health coverage.