The Development Committee of the World Bank at the end of its meeting as part of the just concluded Spring Meetings of the the International Monetary Fund (IMF), expressed optimism about global economy which it claimed was gaining hopeful momentum.
This was contained in its communique which stressed that regardless of the risks that were tilted towards the downside, further improvements in the global outlook will require policies that foster inclusive and sustainable growth, address financial vulnerabilities, and create jobs and economic opportunities for all.
The communique maintained that actions to tackle the adverse impact of the decline in correspondent banking relations are an important priority for many countries. This was even as it adviced that the World Bank Group (WBG) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) provide important support required to advance such policies, deliver the 2030 agenda, and protect the most vulnerable.
The committee in its reflections pointed out that reducing inequality was necessary to ensure long-term and sustainable growth and also commended the impact of technological change, trade, financial flows, and economic integration that have helped boost incomes and have narrowed the economic gaps between countries. The committee in the communique expressed concern that these gains have not always been shared evenly within countries and urged the WBG and IMF to redouble efforts to eradicate poverty and ensure that the benefits of international economic integration wereshared widely.
The committee also welcomed the implementation update on the WBG Forward Look and made reference to its endorsement at its October meeting of the vision for a better, stronger, and more agile WBG and also identified areas for improvement. Similarly, it recognised the progress so far in becoming a better WBG and encouraged continuing efforts, in coordination with development partners, to implement and report on the Forward Look commitments and associated policies to (i) prioritize private sector solutions when deploying scarce public resources, including for infrastructure; (ii) strengthen domestic resource mobilization; (iii) support global public goods; (iv) assist all WBG client segments; (v) be more agile, responsive, and results-focused in working across the public and private sectors; and (vi) pay special attention to stabilizing the economy as well as supporting growth in situations of fragility, conflict, and violence, according to the development needs of small states.
The committee in that communique offered its support to the WBG’s scaled-up activities in the areas of crisis preparedness, prevention, and response, through investments to address the root causes and drivers of fragility by helping countries build institutional and social resilience. This was even as it encouraged further efforts to mobilize and rapidly disburse support
for countries, communities, and refugees that are affected by famine or forced displacement, in close coordination with the United Nations (UN) and other partners while at the same time acknowledging the various initiatives by the WBG to strengthen the Humanitarian-Development-Peace nexus. The communique continued: We are encouraged by the WBG’s efforts to become more efficient through reforms of its operational and administrative policies and its People Strategy. We welcome the budget discipline introduced by the Expenditure Review, acknowledge WBG efforts to ensure transparency and accountability in tracking and reporting how it uses its scarce resources, and urge continued commitment on these fronts; we also welcome progress and discussions to strengthen the WBG’s financial capacity; we are greatly encouraged by the successful International Development Association’s (IDA’s) replenishment negotiations. IDA18 delivered a record $75 billion thanks to the generosity of partners and the plans to leverage IDA’s equity. Innovative measures introduced, such as the Private Sector Window, will help catalyze additional resources for IDA countries. We look forward to successful implementation that maximizes development impact;. we take note of the ongoing discussions to enhance the WBG’s financial capacity and enable it to deliver on the ambition of the Forward Look. We ask the Board and Management to develop a set of options by the Annual Meetings in October 2017; we welcome the progress made in the Shareholding Review and recall our commitment to the principles we endorsed in Lima toward a WBG that reflects the evolution of the global economy and contributions to the WBG’s mission. We are encouraged by progress on diversity and inclusion in WBG staff and management, and we support similar progress on gender diversity in the Executive Board.