In their discussions this weekend, the Development Committee will be assessing five strategic priorities for the Bank in a post-crisis environment. Gender is considered a cross-cutting issue that will factor into all of the Bank's work in these priority areas.
The joint World Bank-IMF advisory body, known as the Development Committee, committed to the G20’s call for more resources for the Bank to help developing countries respond to the global economic crisis.
Concluding its first day of talks on the Bank’s work and impact at the 2009 annual meetings, the committee expressed support for a general capital increase, a multibillion multilateral food trust fund, and a new crisis facility for the world’s 79 poorest countries.
The Development Committee also agreed to “voice” reform to ensure developing countries get a bigger say in how the institution is run—an increase of at least 3 percentage points in voting power, in addition to the 1.46 percent already agreed. This would give them a share next year of at least 47 percent.
In a statement issued Monday, the Development Committee set a definite decision point for shareholders for Spring 2010 on IBRD and IFC capital needs and “committed to ensure that the World Bank Group has sufficient resources to meet future development challenges.”
The committee noted the Bank’s “vigorous response” to the crisis, including a tripling of IBRD commitments to $33 billion this year and IDA reaching a historic level of $14 billion. They also said that IFC, which has invested $10.5 billion and mobilized an additional $4 billion through new initiatives, “combined strong innovation with effective resource mobilization.”
The Development Committee is scheduled to meet on Monday, October 5.
The committee is a forum of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that facilitates intergovernmental consensus-building on development issues. Its mandate is to advise the Boards of Governors of the Bank and the Fund on critical development issues and on the financial resources required to promote economic development in developing countries.
At their meeting, the Development Committee will review the Bank's financial capacity to provide assistance to countries coping with the economic crisis and beyond, and discuss the issue of "voice" (ensuring people from all parts of the world have a say in key issues that affect them).
At the Development Committee closing press conference, Bank President Bob Zoellick together with Agustín Carstens, who is Mexico's Finance Minister as well as Development Committee Chair, announced that the Bank is giving Mexico more than $205 million to help the country fight the Swine Flu virus.
“We're extremely grateful for the prompt response by the World Bank -- such promptness is always very, very appreciated,” said Carstens. “But beyond resources, what is also important is all the experience that the World Bank has accumulated in precisely having assisted other countries in this type of situation."
The project will be fast-tracked so that funds can be disbursed within 3-5 weeks.
The Spring Meetings 2009 finished earlier today with the final Development Committee press conference, held by Development Committee Chair, Minister Agustín Carstens, World Bank President Robert Zoellick, and IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Speaking on behalf of the Development Committee, Carstens in his opening remarks stressed that "All members of the Development Committee recognized that this is the critical time for developing countries. Impacts from the financial crisis are hitting them hard...The financial crisis is turning into a human and development calamity. Many people have already been driven into absolute poverty."
"In this sense, the Development Committee called on countries to translate their commitments into concerted action and additional resources. We welcome member countries' commitments to a substantial increase in resources for the IMF and we urged all donors to accelerate delivery of commitments to increase aid, and to also consider going beyond existing commitments. We welcome the leadership of the Bank Group and IMF in helping developing countries respond to the crisis,” he said.
- See Development Committee Communique for more info.
In his remarks, Zoellick stressed that “there is a widespread recognition that the world faces an unprecedented economic crisis, poor people could suffer the most, and that we must continue to act in real time to prevent a human catastrophe.”
“Before this crisis, the Millennium Development Goals on overcoming poverty by 2015 already looked like a stretch. Our latest research shows that most of these eight globally agreed goals are unlikely to be met.”
“No one knows how long this crisis will last. We also do not know the pace of the recovery. The Bank’s finances have been prudently run and we are therefore currently in a strong position to help our partner countries,” Zoellick said.
- See the Bank’s Financial Crisis webpage to learn more about the Bank’s initiatives to help poor countries deal with the crisis.
Earlier this week, the Development Committee released the papers they will discuss at their meeting on Sunday, April 26.
Among other issues, they will discuss the current global economic crisis and "voice" (ensuring people from all parts of the world have a say in key issues that affect them).
The Development Committee (DC) is a forum of the World Bank and the IMF that facilitates intergovernmental consensus-building on development issues. Its mandate is to advise the Boards of Governors of the Bank and the IMF on critical development issues and on the financial resources required to promote economic development in developing countries.
Log in on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. to watch the press briefing with DC Chair, Minister Agustín Carstens, World Bank President Robert Zoellick, and IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
- Review of Internal Governance Conclusions and Proposals Apr 26, 2009
- Update to the Development Committee on Key Issues and World Bank Group Activities Apr 26, 2009
- Enhancing Voice and Participation of Developing and Transition Countries in the World Bank Group, Spring 2009 Progress Report Apr 26, 2009
- Global Monitoring Report 2009 - A Development Emergency (Overview) Apr 26, 2009