Sub-Saharan countries facing threats of famine in the near future could heave a sigh of relief as the World Bank commits 1.6 billion dollars to avert the crisis.
This comes on the back of a record 57 billion dollars from the World Bank to support key developmental projects in Sub-Saharan Africa over the next three years.
President of the World Bank Group, Jim Young Kim revealed this at a meeting with G20 finance ministers and
central bank governors.
According to the World Bank, the bulk of the financing which amounts to 45 billion dollars, will come from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries.
Also, sixty percent of the IDA financing is expected to go to Sub-Saharan Africa, home to more than half of the countries eligible for IDA financing. This funding is available for the period known as IDA18, which runs from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020.
“This represents an unprecedented opportunity to change the development trajectory of the countries in the region,” President Jim Yong Kim said.
“With this commitment, we will work with our clients to substantially expand programs in education, basic health services, clean water and sanitation, agriculture, business climate, infrastructure, and institutional reform,” he added.
In the World Bank’s view, the IDA financing for operations in Africa will be critical to addressing roadblocks that prevent the region from reaching its potential.
It will also support countries’ development priorities, scaled-up investments will focus on tackling conflict, fragility, and violence; building resilience to crises including forced displacement, climate change, and pandemics; and reducing gender inequality.
Efforts will also promote governance and institution building, as well as jobs and economic transformation.
“This financing will help African countries continue to grow, create opportunities for their citizens, and build resilience to shocks and crises,” Kim said.
While much of the estimated $45 billion in IDA financing will be dedicated to country-specific programs, significant amounts will be available through special windows to finance regional initiatives and transformative projects, support refugees and their host communities, and help countries in the aftermath of crises
The priorities for the private sector investment will include infrastructure, financial markets, and agribusiness.