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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

A chart showing that IFC spend is concentrated in middle-income countries

Making the International Finance Corporation Relevant

Philippe Le Houerou, the Chief Executive of the IFC has announced his intention to step down in September. His legacy will include a significant effort to focus the work of the corporation on development impact and the world’s poorest countries. Le Houerou has had some success. But a look at IFC’s portfolio suggests how far the institution still has to go to have the biggest impact.

Projected IDA allocations under scenario 4, with grants rising to 59%

More World Bank Borrowers Will Need Grants, Not Loans. As a Result, More World Bank Donors Will Need to Pony Up

Rather than providing relief on repayments from existing loans, IDA’s debt sustainability framework adjusts future financing from loans to grants for countries at high risk of debt distress. But what happens to IDA’s loans-to-grants model when a large number of IDA countries trigger the risk thresholds? Can IDA afford its commitment to debt sustainability?

An interactive chart of the lending pipeline for the World Bank in response to COVID-19

Tracking the World Bank’s Response to COVID-19

In recent years, many commentators have asked if the World Bank is still relevant. We’re about to find out. To track the World Bank’s response to COVID-19, we’ve built a small interactive tool to display how much each country has received to date, and what’s currently in the pipeline for approval.

The World Bank's headquarters in Washington, DC. Photo by Ryan Rayburn / World Bank

The COVID-19 Crisis Is the Time for the World Bank to Embrace Bold Economic Policies

It is often said that governments “fight the last war” during times of economic crisis. But based on David Malpass’ remarks from last week’s G20 Finance Ministers call, it appears the World Bank is preparing to fight the wars of the 1990s by revamping old—and largely discredited—crisis policy prescriptions to address what is likely to be a severe economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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