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Multilateral Development Bank Replenishments

Volume 618: debated on Monday 19 December 2016

In a world of global instability, effective international partnerships are more important than ever.

Britain has a proud track record as a global partner, contributor and problem solver. Our investment in institutions such as the World Bank helps us meet our responsibilities to the world’s poorest and is firmly in Britain’s national interest.

As a true leader on the world stage, Britain is successfully driving action to strengthen the multilateral system to ensure it is capable of meeting the unprecedented demands of the 21st century.

The world needs strong global institutions that are relevant not only for today but for the future—which is why ongoing reform at the World Bank is so important.

The UK is succeeding in securing these reforms. Following successful engagement from the UK and others, the International Development Association—which delivers the Bank’s work in the poorest countries—has agreed to:

double the investment that goes to fragile states;

increase support for poor countries dealing with protracted crises and hosting large numbers of refugees;

secure opportunities for job and wealth creation; and

boost investment in the private sector.

These reforms build on good progress made over the past three years. The recent multilateral development review found that the World Bank is one of DFID’s top performing partners, but there are still improvements to be made.

DFID is driving all agencies to be fully transparent about what, why, where and how they spend taxpayers’ money. We are pressing all our multilateral partners, including the World Bank, to publish their spending in line with international transparency standards, open up their management overheads and other costs to greater scrutiny, and push for similar tough requirements all the way down the supply chain.

The UK will continue to press the Bank and its partners to make further progress and deliver even stronger results on the ground.

Last week, the IDA negotiations that took place in Yogyakarta reached agreement on the replenishment of IDA to cover the period July 2017 to June 2020. The negotiations secured a total of $75 billion for IDA 18.

This funding will transform the lives of millions of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. Thanks to this investment up to: 180 million children will receive life-saving vaccines, 20 million births will be attended by skilled health personnel, 45 million will get access to clean water, 35 million people will get access to reliable electricity, 10 million teachers will be recruited or trained, and 200 million children and women will get proper nutrition. These are big numbers—and behind each one are real lives that will be fundamentally improved because of this investment.

Given these impressive results, the reforms made since the last IDA replenishment, and wider reform commitments, the UK has agreed to contribute £2,516 million as a grant over the life of the replenishment, and a highly concessional loan of £820 million that will be repaid to the UK Government, to this total.

This month also saw the conclusion of the 14th replenishment of African development fund negotiations, which secured a total of $7 billion for 2017-2019. This investment will give tens of millions of people in Africa better access to transport and electricity, and millions of people access to clean water. After securing commitments from the AfDF to greater focus on job creation, women’s empowerment, private sector investment and investment in fragile countries, the UK has agreed to contribute £460 million to this total.

The world is changing fast. We all need to raise our game. The great power of the multilateral system is its potential to be more than the sum of its parts. This is why the UK will work relentlessly to drive up its performance and get the most out of every pound of taxpayers’ money.