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You might find this question odd. After all, since the outbreak of COVID-19, the development finance institutions DFIs have been busy announcing financial goals for crisis response, and offering reassurances of proactive stances. But it is important to recall at this moment that their financial models are not well suited for the purpose of crisis response. In this blog we explore their challenges and suggest how they can stretch and deploy their capital effectively at this moment of global crisis.
Overall public debt in IDA countries has risen rapidly since before the global financial crisis; and while debt to private creditors (mostly in the form of bonds or bank loans) has increased, the biggest increases have come from multilateral and official bilateral credits.
Gender gaps in participation in the labor force, entrepreneurship, pay, share of senior management, and executive board positions–as well as access to finance, markets, and skills–have been well documented. But how far do development finance providers truly support gender equality?
In retrospect, the scale up in MDB financing during the 2008-2010 crisis, though significant, now looks conservative as we consider the potential scale of damage from the current COVID-19 pandemic. To put the question bluntly, if the human and economic devastation follows a worst-case scenario, just how much could the MDBs do to respond? We attempt to answer that question by assessing the legal, rather than prudential, constraints on MDB lending.
Our team has just launched (to our knowledge) the first ever survey of the gender policies and practices of 21 multilateral and bilateral DFIs in order to gain a better understanding of DFI gender strategies.