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A traffic jam on the Ojuelegba Under bridge in Lagos, Nigeria

Africa’s Crisis Recovery Requires Upgrading the Global Financial Safety Net

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on African economies. Despite the significant support for COVID-19 response provided by their bilateral and multilateral partners, African countries continue to face significant financing needs to protect lives and livelihood and bolster prospects for a stronger and more resilient economic recovery. In this light, the time for the international community to go big on supporting Africa’s pandemic crisis recovery is now.

An image of Latin American currency.

The Case for an IDB Capital Increase Is Everywhere Except in the IDB’s Lending Numbers

Today the IDB is again making the case for a capital increase to its shareholders. Yet, despite an unfolding crisis that threatens development progress in Latin America to a degree that eclipses the Global Financial Crisis,  talk of a financing cliff at the bank is absent from its appeal for more capital. That’s because a spike in crisis financing has yet to materialize in IDB’s lending numbers.

Stock photo of a pile of money getting larger. Adobe Stock

Mobilizing $400 Billion: Using the Visible Hand of Development Banks

Is the crisis a signal on how devastating the great problems confronting our future could be in a world that is not prepared for them, in particular to face challenges such as major inequalities, the climate emergency, and the loss of nature. The way in which our world produces and consumes, calls for a recovery that would also imply a structural transformation towards a more inclusive and sustainable economic model. DBs could be a great contributor to such a transformation.

An aerial view of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photo by Dominic Chavez / World Bank

“Spend What It Takes” to Respond to COVID-19 in Poor Countries, Too

It is now only a question of when, not if, the COVID-19 pandemic will exact its human and economic toll on the poor and developing countries of South Asia, Africa, and Latin America the way it is already ravaging East Asia, Europe, and North America. And when it does, they too will need to respond with exceptional heath and financial measures in the face of this unprecedented global challenge.

Parting Words: Stephen Groff on His Tenure at the Asian Development Bank

With Jim Kim’s abrupt departure from the World Bank, there has been a swirl of commentary on questions of legacy, the best of which aim to answer the question, “how is the bank doing?” For large multilateral institutions like the World Bank, that’s a frustratingly difficult question to answer. Seemingly objective measures like volume of financing or sectoral targets are simplistic and bring their own value judgements about what the institution should be doing. Annual reports give us a narrative about institutional performance, but a heavily biased one.

Stock photo of various currencies

How Will Donors Spend $170 Billion This Year and Next?

In 2019-20, donors will commit roughly $170 billion of public funding to an alphabet soup of international aid organisations, many of which their citizens may never have heard of. Each replenishment will be considered as a separate exercise, ignoring the reality that they are competing for limited donor resources.

Figure 3. Number of IDFC institutions active within each SDG

The Biggest Club You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

SDGs. Billions to trillions. South-South development cooperation. Development finance. If these terms resonate with you (positively or negatively), and you’ve never heard of the International Development Finance Club (IDFC), you should rectify that. At least, that’s the conclusion we’ve drawn after a year-long study of the IDFC and its member institutions. This work has culminated in a new CGD report, The International Development Finance Club and the Sustainable Development Goals: Impact, Opportunities, and Challenges

road through forest

China’s “Green” Belt and Road Initiative Isn’t Very Green

What would it look like today if major multilateral finance institutions like the World Bank had never adopted the climate agenda as a binding constraint on their operations? Unfortunately, we have a real-world approximation of that hypothetical in the form of Chinese development finance. At least, that’s a conclusion I draw from an important new report from World Resources Institute (WRI) and Boston University, Moving the Green Belt and Road Initiative: From Words to Actions.

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