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World Bank Group to support developing countries with $59b

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World Bank Group commitments to help developing countries take on poverty and boost opportunity reached nearly $59 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees in fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017).
A statement issued by the World Bank and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday said the commitments from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)—which provides development knowledge to countries, combined with financing and risk management products—were at $ 22.6 billion in FY17. 
It said this reflected the Bank’s careful attention to ensuring continued strong capital adequacy ratios and prudent financial management into the future while responding to client countries’ most pressing development challenges.
“With aspirations of the poor on the rise, and overlapping crises such as forced displacement, famine, and climate change, adding urgency to our mission, our staff this year worked to provide marked increases in financing from IDA, IFC, and MIGA,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. 
“While this year we have had to actively manage IBRD lending, the Board and management are discussing approaches to ensure adequate capacity across the World Bank Group to best help countries achieve their development goals. As always, we are committed to working with our member countries and other partners to crowd in private investment and maximize resources for the poor,” he added.
The statement said the commitments from the International Development Association (IDA), which provides zero or low-interest loans and grants to the world’s 77 poorest countries, hit $19.5 billion in FY17. 
It said the IDA’s increased commitments reflect strong demand for financing, as well as IDA’s efforts to better leverage resources and expand financing options for borrowing countries. 
It said the FY17 continued to reflect very high demand for IDA financing from clients, fully committing the three-year resource envelope of IDA17.
It noted that these efforts include an additional $3.9 billion allocated for non-concessional lending to finance transformational projects in qualified IDA countries. 
It said increased financing has also allowed IDA to respond rapidly to global crises, including a special allocation to Jordan and Lebanon to respond to the refugee crisis and funding from IDA’s Crisis Response Window to provide immediate relief and strengthen resilience in countries affected by famine.
It said the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector, leveraged its capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities wherever they were needed most.
It said preliminary and unaudited data as of June 30 indicated that IFC’s long-term investments totalled approximately $18.7 billion, including funds mobilized from other investors. 
It said in FY17, IFC made nearly $11.9 billion in long-term investments from its own account and mobilized about $6.8 billion from other investors. 
These often-complex investments supported 342 long-term finance projects in developing countries around the world, it stated.
It said the IFC maintained its strategic focus on the poorest countries and regions; adding that it provided more than $4.6 billion in long-term financing to accelerate development in IDA countries, including funds mobilized from other investors. 
These countries accounted for nearly 25 per cent of IFC’s total investments. Investments in businesses in fragile and conflict-affected areas totalled $858 million, including funds mobilized from other investors. 
It said this was in line with the Bank Group’s broader strategy to channel resources to hard-hit countries.
As the Bank Group continued to look for new ways to ramp up infrastructure investment, in October 2016, IFC introduced MCPP Infrastructure, a pioneering initiative to mobilize up to $5 billion from insurance companies and other institutional investors for investment in infrastructure projects in emerging markets. 
It said the effort builds on the success of IFC’s $3 billion Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Programme, a loan-syndications initiative that enabled third-party investors to participate passively in IFC’s senior loan portfolio.
It said the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm of the World Bank Group, issued a record $4.8 billion in guarantees in FY17 in support of 33 projects, helping draw in $15.9 billion in foreign private capital to developing countries.

Source: GNA

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