Out of the total of almost $64.2 billion, the World Bank invested in loans, grants, equity investments, and guarantees to its members and private businesses in 2016, Sub-Saharan Africa received the highest amount.
The Middle East and North Africa received $6.3 billion, Latin America and the Caribbean received 11.4 billion.
Europe and Central Asia received $10.3 billion, East Asia and Pacific received $11.4 billion and South Asia received $11.3 billion.
According to the group’s annual report, client demand for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (IBRD) services continues to be strong, and in 2016 it made commitments totaling $29.7 billion—the highest amount ever outside of a financial crisis.
“The International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, committed $16.2 billion to support countries most in need to face their toughest challenges,” President of the World Bank Group and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, Dr Jim Yong Kim was cited as saying in the report.
“Working with the private sector will become increasingly important to meet the scale of financing needs for our development goals.The international Finance Corporation (IFC), and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), our two institutions focused on private sector development, are strengthening their efforts in this regard,” he added.
The IFC delivered a record amount of financing for private sector development—about $18.8 billion, including $7.7 b mobilized from investment partners. The IFC’s investments in fragile and conflict-affected areas climbed to nearly $1 billion, an increase of more than 50 per cent over the previous year.
The report also notes that MIGA issued a record of $4.3 billion in political risk and credit enhancement guarantees underpinning various investments, with 45 percent of its active portfolio in IDA eligible countries and 10 per cent in countries affected by conflict and fragility.
“The progress we’ve made in recent decades shows that we are the first generation in human history that can end extreme poverty. This is our great challenge, and our great opportunity. With the collective determination of the World Bank Group, our member countries, and global partners, I remain optimistic that we can tackle these challenges—one region, one country, and one person at a time—and create a more prosperous and inclusive world for all,” Dr Kim said.
By Pamela Ofori- Boateng
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