$100 billion in IDA funding a great opportunity to reduce poverty
16 December 2016
For immediate release
At a time when Australian aid levels are at a record low, the Government has maintained its commitment to the World Bank with a three year $75 billion commitment to the International Development Association (IDA).
In Yogyakarta yesterday donors committed a record $100 billion at the World Bank’s 18th replenishment of IDA, the World Bank agency which provides interest-free loans and grants to support economic development and poverty reduction in low-income countries.
According to advocacy group RESULTS Australia it is essential that the World Bank and its member countries make the most of the increase in funding for the International Development Association (IDA) to $US 75 billion (or $A 100 billion) in 2017 to 2020 by targeting this huge amount to programs that have the greatest impact on poverty.
“We welcome the fact that Australia has maintained its support to IDA in real terms and that increased funding will be available to the lowest-income countries, but supporting poorer countries is not a guarantee that the poorest people will benefit,” said RESULTS Australia CEO Maree Nutt.
The World Bank has identified a number of encouraging outcomes expected from the IDA pledge, including: providing health and nutrition services for up to 400 million people; access to improved water for up to 45 million people; safe childbirth for up to 11 million women; training for 9-10 million teachers and immunisation of 130-180 million children.
However, the specific use of IDA funds for vital investments in basic education, clean water and sanitation and control of infectious diseases rely on negotiations between the World Bank and its member countries.
“These negotiations need to focus on these objectives to achieve the potential of the huge IDA replenishment” adds Ms Nutt.
The replenishment also includes some changes to the minimum support that IDA provides to smaller countries and allows for a longer period for countries with growing economies, such as Vietnam, to make the transition from IDA funding to support on less favourable terms.
“We welcome the increase in minimum funding for smaller countries, which will benefit the Pacific countries, and increased time and funding for countries making a transition from IDA support. This more flexible approach to transition is needed from many international donors,” Ms Nutt said.
“The Australian Government should also plan to match its increased support to IDA with increases in funding for other aid initiatives to ensure we are contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals which Australia and many other countries agreed last year,” Ms Nutt added.
Monique McDonell I firstname.lastname@example.org I 1300 713 037 I 0414555653