Ideas to Action:

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CGD Policy Blogs

 

An image of solar panels and wind turbines.

Don’t Let Arcane Climate Accounting Shortchange Poor Countries on Adaptation

At a glance, it would seem that if you want to tackle climate finance, you ought to look to institutions with “climate” in the name. Yet, whatever the longer-term potential of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the reality is that it has committed just $10 billion and disbursed a meager $1.7 billion in climate financing since it commenced operations in 2015. Of these total commitments, just $2.5 billion have gone toward adaption, suggesting that actual disbursement of adaption funds number in the low hundreds of millions.

A graphic showing money and stocks

If the World Bank Wants to Move On from the Doing Business Scandal, It Should Take a Look at AidData

Today’s release of a new dataset of over 13,000 Chinese-financed projects in developing countries marks a major contribution to our understanding of China’s role as a lender to the developing world, as well as the ways in which these projects are increasingly structured to avoid accounting for direct liabilities on public balance sheets. At a moment of high debt vulnerability in the developing world, both contributions ought to prove valuable to policymakers in rich and poor countries alike as they seek to work through these problems.  

A graphic of the map of Asia.

How Well Has ADB Responded to Government Needs during the COVID-19 Crisis?

Among the multilateral development banks, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) stands out for its strong financial support for COVID-19 response relative to its overall lending volume. While ADB has proven to be responsive to government’s general financing needs during the crisis, has ADB’s performance matched the specific needs of the governments and populations facing the crisis in the region? Have the greater volumes of support actually targeted the people, places, and sectors that most need it? In a new policy paper, we tackle these questions.

A graph of countries where debt service exceeds new disbursements on official debt

Visualizing the Debt Service Drag on Developing Country Governments

The G7 countries pledged a massive scale-up in support of developing-country financing at their recent summit in the UK. How it will be financed remains an open question. But analyzing trends in recent debt flows by lenders to developing countries, and taking stock of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), can provide some important lessons for the G7’s new ambitions.

A road construction project in Sri Lanka. Photo by Deshan Tennekoon/World Bank

In the Secretive World of Government-to-Government Lending, 100 Chinese Debt Contracts Offer a Trove of New Information

Is Chinese financing good for developing countries? Taking stock of China’s lending activities has long been hindered by the lack of publicly available data on dimensions like loan volumes and interest rates, let alone more esoteric features like loan collateral or default contingencies. A pathbreaking new study by researchers at AidData at William & Mary, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Georgetown Law School, and the Center for Global Development changes that.

Joe Biden speaking at the 2019 Iowa Federation of Labor Convention in Altoona, Iowa. Photo by Gage Skidmore / via Wikimedia Commons

$1.9 Trillion and No Money for the Multilateral Development Banks?

The Biden administration and the Congress rightly went big in the recently passed American Rescue Plan at a time of tremendous need. The package was appropriately focused on the domestic side, but it did not neglect the rest of the world. One might reasonably ask then why $1 billion or $2 billion could not have been included for fighting the poverty, food insecurity, and health crises driven by the pandemic. That would have amounted 0.05 to 0.1 percent of the total package. And it would have been multiplied many times over in additional poverty reduction dollars, because that it was the MDB model does.

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.

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