WBG/IMF meeting discusses issues of multilateral concern - GulfToday

WBG/IMF meeting discusses issues of multilateral concern


Mohamed Bin Hadi Al Hussaini with other top officials during the development committee meeting.

Mohamed Bin Hadi Al Hussaini, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, chaired the main session of the 107th meeting of the joint World Bank Group/International Monetary Fund (WBG/IMF) Development Committee, which marks the first meeting since Mohamed Bin Hadi Al Hussaini became the committee’s chair for 2023. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 2023 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC.

David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group; Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF; and Mercy Tembon, the Executive Secretary of the Development Committee, attended the meeting, along with a number of the Development Committee members from ministers and the Board of Governors of the IMF and WBG, during which they discussed issues of multilateral concern in a world in which crises overlap.

During his speech, Mohamed Bin Hadi Al Hussaini expressed his thanks for working with the members of the Development Committee on numerous issues and challenges related to international development that are jointly addressed by the WBG and the IMF.

Hadi Al Hussaini noted that last October, the World Bank Group was asked to prepare an Evolution Roadmap to enhance its operating model and financial capacity to end extreme poverty, boost shared prosperity, address global challenges, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Development Committee members took stock of this work. Governors welcomed the ambition and progress to date and look forward to additional constructive work to prepare and update a roadmap during the 2023 Spring Meetings and achieve major milestones by their meeting in October in Marrakech”, Hadi Al Hussaini said.

Al Hussaini mentioned that the committee members commended WBG management and staff for responding at scale to the unanticipated crises, with historic surges in development financing that have sustained the fight against poverty. The WBG delivered a record $330 billion during the last three-and-a-half fiscal years. It was also the world’s largest provider of climate finance to developing countries in this period, reaching almost $90 billion, and has outlined its plan for alignment with the Paris Agreement.

Hadi Al Hussaini highlighted that WBG and IMF governors recognised that WBG programmes have contributed to emergency response and longer-term resilience; boosted inclusive and sustainable growth; supported macroeconomic and financial stability; addressed water and energy access; tackled food insecurity and malnutrition; provided assistance for pandemic preparedness and response, including medical supplies and vaccines; expanded social protection for the poor and vulnerable; strengthened education systems; promoted job creation and private sector development; helped countries address debt transparency and sustainability issues; and fostered gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Al Hussaini pointed out that the WBG’s vision is a world free of poverty, and its goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity will remain at the core of its work. “Progress toward these goals requires a stronger focus on sustainability, resilience, and inclusiveness”, Al Hussaini said.

Hadi Al Hussaini remarked that “Governors look forward to options for a strengthened approach to crisis preparedness and response, including contingent instruments to meet surge-financing needs. They called for proposals to deepen strategic partnerships, and for WBG-wide ambitious and integrated approaches to increasing private capital, facilitating investment, and leveraging the role of the public sector—while improving the business environment.

They underscored the role of domestic resource mobilisation and called on WBG management to develop ambitious commitments in this area. Governors supported discussions on ways to effectively mobilise and allocate concessional resources, including utilising existing pools of concessional finance in WBG operations.

They also look forward to continued discussions on how to build on the WBG’s core strengths: the country engagement model; the One WBG approach; a strong country presence; global knowledge creation and dissemination; and partnerships, including with the IMF and other Multilateral Development Banks, the United Nations system, bilateral partners, and the private sector.”

Al Hussaini said: “Members are committed to ensuring that the WBG has adequate financial capacity to respond to development challenges and support its expanded mission. They strongly reaffirmed their commitment to boosting the WBG’s financial capacity, including through a revision of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)’s minimum Equity-to-Loan Ratio to 19 per cent, a Hybrid Capital pilot for capital-market investors, and a scaled-up bilateral guarantee programme.”

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