Washington: World Bank President Ajay Banga urged the lender’s members to make record contributions in the next funding round for its arm that helps the 75 poorest nations, warning of declining progress in the fight against poverty.
“We are pushing the limits” of the International Development Association, Banga said in Marrakech, Morocco, according to remarks prepared for the plenary of the bank’s annual meeting Friday. “No amount of creative financial engineering will compensate for the fact that we need more funding.”
IDA, started in 1960, provides no- to low-interest loans and grants to countries in need, and is the largest source of donor funds for basic social services in those nations. Donors - who meet every three years to replenish the IDA’s resources and review its framework - in December 2021 provided a record $93 billion for the lending arm through fiscal 2025.
In his first major address since taking over from David Malpass in June, Banga said humanity has never “stared down a set of problems so complex and severe that our very existence is in question,” adding that “a growing mistrust is pulling the Global North and South apart, complicating the prospect of progress.”
On Wednesday, he said the bank must become faster, more efficient and eventually larger so that it can help fund some of the trillions of dollars in global development needs and maintain its relevancy in the coming decades.
Changes at the world’s largest anti-poverty lender will boost its lending capacity by about $150 billion over the next decade, Banga said Wednesday.