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World Bank Group to support developing countries with $ 59 billion

By
Iddi Yire, GNA
 

Accra, July 21, GNA –
World Bank Group commitments to help developing countries take on poverty and
boost opportunity reached nearly $59 billion in loans, grants, equity
investments and guarantees in fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017).

A statement issued by
the World Bank and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday said the
commitments from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
(IBRD)—which provides development knowledge to countries, combined with
financing and risk management products—were at $ 22.6 billion in FY17.

It said this reflected
the Bank’s careful attention to ensuring continued strong capital adequacy
ratios and prudent financial management into the future while responding to
client countries’ most pressing development challenges.

“With aspirations of
the poor on the rise, and overlapping crises such as forced displacement,
famine, and climate change, adding urgency to our mission, our staff this year
worked to provide marked increases in financing from IDA, IFC, and MIGA,” World
Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said.

“While this year we
have had to actively manage IBRD lending, the Board and management are
discussing approaches to ensure adequate capacity across the World Bank Group
to best help countries achieve their development goals. As always, we are
committed to working with our member countries and other partners to crowd in
private investment and maximize resources for the poor,” he added.

The statement said the
commitments from the International Development Association (IDA), which
provides zero or low-interest loans and grants to the world’s 77 poorest
countries, hit $19.5 billion in FY17.

It said the IDA’s
increased commitments reflect strong demand for financing, as well as IDA’s
efforts to better leverage resources and expand financing options for borrowing
countries.

It said the FY17
continued to reflect very high demand for IDA financing from clients, fully
committing the three-year resource envelope of IDA17.

It noted that these
efforts include an additional $ 3.9 billion allocated for non-concessional
lending to finance transformational projects in qualified IDA countries.

It said increased
financing has also allowed IDA to respond rapidly to global crises, including a
special allocation to Jordan and Lebanon to respond to the refugee crisis and
funding from IDA’s Crisis Response Window to provide immediate relief and
strengthen resilience in countries affected by famine.

It said the
International Finance Corporation (IFC), the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector, leveraged its capital,
expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities wherever they were
needed most.

It said preliminary
and unaudited data as of June 30 indicated that IFC’s long-term investments
totalled approximately $ 18.7 billion, including funds mobilized from other
investors.

It said in FY17, IFC
made nearly $ 11.9 billion in long-term investments from its own account and
mobilized about $ 6.8 billion from other investors.

These often-complex
investments supported 342 long-term finance projects in developing countries
around the world, it stated.

It said the IFC
maintained its strategic focus on the poorest countries and regions; adding
that it provided more than $4.6 billion in long-term financing to accelerate
development in IDA countries, including funds mobilized from other investors.

These countries
accounted for nearly 25 per cent of IFC’s total investments. Investments in
businesses in fragile and conflict-affected areas totalled $858 million,
including funds mobilized from other investors.

It said this was in
line with the Bank Group’s broader strategy to channel resources to hard-hit
countries.

As the Bank Group
continued to look for new ways to ramp up infrastructure investment, in October
2016, IFC introduced MCPP Infrastructure, a pioneering initiative to mobilize
up to $5 billion from insurance companies and other institutional investors for
investment in infrastructure projects in emerging markets.

It said the effort
builds on the success of IFC’s $ 3 billion Managed Co-Lending Portfolio
Programme, a loan-syndications initiative that enabled third-party investors to
participate passively in IFC’s senior loan portfolio.

It said the
Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance
and credit enhancement arm of the World Bank Group, issued a record $4.8
billion in guarantees in FY17 in support of 33 projects, helping draw in $15.9
billion in foreign private capital to developing countries.

GNA

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