The International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the world’s less-privileged developing countries, announced its commitment to helping a number of countries in Africa with more than $53bn, out of $82bn allocated for the rest of world countries, through a global coalition of development partners to maintain momentum in the fight against extreme poverty.
The fund will help countries invest in the needs of their people, boost economic growth, and bolster resilience to climate shocks and natural disasters. About 74 countries, including low-income countries, small states, and island economies, are eligible to benefit from this package.
“The commitment by our partners is a strong sign of their support for the urgent mission to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity in the poorest and most vulnerable countries,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass.
“We are grateful for their continued trust in IDA and its ability to deliver good development outcomes for people most in need,” he mentioned.
Two thirds of the world’s less-privileged individuals—almost 500 million people—now live in countries supported by IDA. The funding will allow IDA to reinforce its support to job creation and economic transformation, good governance, and accountable institutions, according to a statement by IDA.
The finance will also help countries deal with the challenges posed by climate change, gender inequality, and situations of fragility, conflict, and violence, including in the Sahel, the Lake Chad region, and the Horn of Africa.
IDA’s resources are replenished every three years. The 19th replenishment will cover the period from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2023. The new funding will support projects that deliver life-changing results.
The focus areas include essential health, nutrition, and population services for up to 370 million people; safe childbirth for up to 80 million women through provision of skilled health personnel; enhanced access to broadband internet for 50 to 60 million people; immunisations for up to 140 million children; and better governance in up to 60 countries through improved statistical capacity.
IDA will also tackle broader development challenges, such as enhancing debt sustainability and transparency, harnessing and adapting to transformative digital payment technology, promoting inclusion of those living with disabilities, strengthening the rule of law, and investing in human capital, including efforts to achieve universal health coverage.
IDA will also sharpen its focus on crisis preparedness, resilience building, and supporting countries in their national climate-related action plans.
Since 1960, IDA has provided more than $391bn for investments in 113 countries. IDA combines global expertise with an exclusive focus on reducing poverty and boosting prosperity in the world’s most less-privileged countries.