The World Bank’s Development Committee’s communiqué asks the World Bank Group to continue helping countries achieve the “twin goals” of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity and to promote green, resilient, and inclusive development and the SDGs.
In a communiqué, the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee agrees on the need to promote more open, stable, fair, and transparent trade policies and to modernize the rules-based trading system under the WTO.
Convening in the margins of the Spring Meetings, the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action shared perspectives on transitioning to a low-carbon and climate-resilient global economy, mitigating climate-related financial risks, and pursuing pathways towards decarbonization.
The IMF launched an international statistical initiative to address the growing need for data in macroeconomic and financial policy analysis to facilitate climate change mitigation and adaptation.
As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expressed concern over growing poverty and worsening inequalities, exacerbated by climate change and other global challenges, and emphasized green, resilient, and inclusive, development.
The Spring Meetings convened virtually from 5-11 April 2021. In addition to the meetings of the Boards of Governors, the event included meetings of the World Bank’s Development Committee and the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC). A minister-level meeting of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action was held in the margins. Regional briefings, press conferences, and fora on international development, debt, economic recovery, vaccines, and climate, as well as events organized by civil society organizations (CSOs) also convened.
In a Communiqué following its virtual meeting on 9 April 2021, the Development Committee notes an “unprecedented public health, economic, and social crisis” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is “increasing poverty, worsening inequalities, and reversing development gains.” The Committee asks the WBG to continue helping countries achieve the “twin goals” of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity and to promote green, resilient, and inclusive development and the SDGs. It asks the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to redouble its efforts to support manufacturing capacity for vaccines and medical supplies in developing countries.
The Committee welcomes the extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) by six months through the end of December 2021. The Initiative aims to help poorer countries concentrate their resources on fighting the pandemic through a temporary suspension of debt-service payments owed to their official bilateral creditors.
The Committee calls on the WBG to scale up support for SDG 2 (zero hunger) to address food insecurity, exacerbated by the pandemic. Among other priorities for investment, the Committee identifies: quality health care, nutrition, and education; social safety nets; digital and other innovative technologies; sustainable and quality infrastructure; access to energy, including renewables; broader opportunities for women and girls; and finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and microenterprises.
The Committee urges the WBG to help countries revitalize trade, support foreign direct investment (FDI), and preserve and create jobs. Addressing the Committee, World Bank Group President David Malpass looked forward to having a “strong focus on trade facilitation and development” in future Committee meetings, with WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as a “champion.”
The Committee supports the WBG’s efforts to scale up climate finance in its “continuing role as the largest multilateral source of climate investments in developing countries.” The Committee asks the WBG to ramp up its comprehensive work on biodiversity, and encourages the WBG and IMF to support a “measurable impact in the transition to a low-carbon economy.” The Committee looks forward to the WBG’s Climate Change Action Plan for 2021-2025, and emphasizes that nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement should be the primary focus of climate strategies.
In a Communiqué following its meeting on 8 April, the IMFC warns that as climate change and other shared challenges are becoming more pressing, the COVID-19 crisis may further exacerbate poverty and inequalities. The Committee undertakes to continue to provide policy support for the work of the World Health Organization (WHO), the ACT Accelerator collaboration, and its COVAX Facility to accelerate vaccine production and support its affordable and equitable distribution. Summarizing key priorities identified in the IMF Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva called for policymakers to give everyone, everywhere “a fair shot” at the vaccine, at recovery, and the future.
The Committee undertakes to strengthen multilateral cooperation towards an inclusive and resilient global economy. It commits to tackle climate change through measures “to accelerate the transitions to greener societies and job-rich economies, while protecting those adversely affected.” The Committee agrees on the need to promote more open, stable, fair, and transparent trade policies and to modernize the rules-based trading system under the World Trade Organization (WTO), which, it says, are “key to boosting global growth.”
Convening in the margins of the Spring Meetings on 6 April, the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action acknowledged the growing global momentum for action on climate change in the context of the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic, and shared perspectives on transitioning to a low-carbon and climate-resilient global economy, mitigating climate-related financial risks, and pursuing pathways towards decarbonization. The Coalition welcomed eight new members: Belgium, Burkina Faso, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Rwanda, and the US. Its membership, now at 60, represents around 63% of global gross domestic product (GDP).
The IMF also launched an international statistical initiative to address the growing need for data in macroeconomic and financial policy analysis to facilitate climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Climate Change Indicators Dashboard brings together experimental climate change indicators and allows comparison across countries. The indicators are grouped into four categories: Economic Activity and Climate; Cross-Border; Financial, Physical and Transition Risks; and Government Policy Indicators, with additional indicators envisioned in the future. [World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings] [Schedule] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on WBG/IMF Spring Meetings 2020]