By Folasade Akpan
The World Bank will provide financing to 50 countries to purchase COVID-19 vaccines by mid-2021, said David Malpass, president of the World Bank Group.
Malpass made this known on Wednesday in Washington DC at a press conference during the ongoing 2021 spring meetings that began on Monday.
The president said that for the first time in the bank’s history, it exceeded $ 100 billion in commitments over a 12-month period.
He added that there had been a sharp increase in the growth of the group’s business in response to COVID-19.
On solving the debt problems of developing countries, he said the group was actively working in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the common framework that the G20 has established to deal with the over-indebtedness and the burden. debt.
“The G20 has, I think, during this week’s deliberations, a call for the first creditors committee to be formed under a common framework.
“And the question is directed to middle-income countries, many of which face problems accessing market finance and they also have growing budget deficits which are problematic.
“So, I think, again, I’m going to come back to the fact that transparency is very important. I also believe that we must seek a more balanced relationship between creditors and debtors. “
Malpass said the challenge facing middle-income countries was secured debt, which made restructuring very difficult.
“We are making progress on debt transparency, although debt security remains an issue and the non-disclosure clause by some creditors remains an issue.
Speaking about the effect of climate change on the recovery process in developing countries, he said many of the poorest countries were dramatically affected by climate change but were not big producers of greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse.
He said 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions came from the poorest countries.
He said, however, that one of the ways they could benefit was for the rest of the world to do more, as this would reduce their vulnerabilities and also provide them with resources to adapt to change.
“Second, there is the direct professional aspect of adaptation to climate change and food security in the regions.
“These will be important and important from a job creation perspective.
“There are growing populations of young people and so we are looking for ways to have private sector climates that invite new businesses and allow for job creation.
“Additionally, as countries prepare for recovery and allow their economies to transition to the post-COVID environment, which will be very different from the pre-COVID environment.”
Malpass also said the bank has plans to reduce global poverty, for development and a focus, country by country, to see the developing world do better in 2022.
He said it would mean having a better response to the climate change that was underway, better education and health care systems.
He added that the bank’s liabilities had increased by a record amount both in percentage terms and in dollar terms in 2020.
The president said that in 2020, the bank had increased by 65% compared to 2019 in terms of commitments from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and IDA.
He added that he continued to expand the bank’s engagement capacity and that IDA 20, accelerating the next IDA replenishment cycle would help.
“All of these go hand in hand with the idea that we are trying to achieve transformative and scalable change for people who live in the poorest countries.
“It can take the form of better rule of law, better access to the legal system for women, for girls in the education system.
“Health care systems need to be improved and more accessible to people.
“Critically, access to electricity and clean water is a huge challenge for people living in poverty and for people who are even trying to move up the income ladder.”
He said that the work on all these elements and on the infrastructure was a way forward. (NOPE)
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