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Stacks of coins overlaid over clouds with plants growing out of them

Bad versus Better Ways to Leverage Private Investment in the Global Fight for 1.5 Degrees

While hopes for mobilizing private finance for climate response were boosted by the investment firms managing a collective $130 trillion who signed onto net zero pledges at the COP, actually getting the private trillions to move south remains a huge challenge. And two leading proposals point to the risks of missing the mark, one by misdirecting support and the other by failing to achieve adequate scale.

Headquarters of the World Bank. Photo by Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank

Mapping China’s Rise in the Multilateral System

In a new report, we rely on public reporting from multilateral development institutions and funds to provide a clearer picture of China’s participation across the multilateral development system. We find that China has staked out a uniquely important position, one that relies on leading roles as a shareholder, donor, client, and commercial partner. No other country wears so many hats so effectively across these global institutions.  

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.

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.

Stacks of US dollars. Adobe Stock

More Than $1 Trillion in MDB Firepower Exists as We Approach a COVID-19 “Break the Glass” Moment

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.

A worker at a power station in Kabul. Photo by Graham Crouch, World Bank

5 Principles on the Uses and Misuses of Debt Relief to Address the Coronavirus Pandemic

Debt relief for low-income countries is on the table of measures to consider for coronavirus response. The imperative right now is to get cash to LICs as quickly as possible. Suspending some debt service payments may be a good first step in freeing up some budget space for new spending. Beyond that, protracted debt-relief negotiations with multilateral and commercial creditors right now could be a distraction at best but could also actively undermine the ability of institutions like the World Bank to offer new financing for crisis response.

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