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How can multilateral development banks better leverage existing resources, and act more cohesively as a system? How should they better align allocation with financing needs and the emergence of global problems that require international solutions?
Lawrence H Summers, former US Treasury Secretary, Harvard professor, and the CGD Board Chair, explains why the World Bank and the regional multilateral development banks (MDBs) are well-placed to help address some of today’s urgent problems, including climate change, pandemics, and the problems of large-scale forced migration.
Finance and development ministers gathered in Washington this weekend at the World Bank’s annual meetings have an ambitious agenda of topics to discuss. But the truth is, it is not nearly ambitious enough. A new CGD report by a high level commission of development and finance experts explains why and what should happen.
Recognizing the growing global premium on environmental sustainability in a climate-challenged world, we call on member governments of the World Bank to take the first step in that direction by renaming the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Sustainable Development (IBRSD)—and to reshape its mission accordingly, toward leadership on issues of the global commons or global public goods that are squarely in the development domain and require a global shareholder base to respond collectively. Shareholders should in turn look to the regional MDBs to take leadership in supporting the new imperative of sustainable development through country and regional operations across all sectors, but particularly in increasing investment in infrastructure that takes into account the logic of low-carbon and climateresilient economies in the developing world. In line with this approach to differentiated roles within an MDB system, the panel makes five recommendations to better realize the MDB system’s potential for meeting today’s development challenges.
At the moment, the issue of US leadership at the multilateral development banks (MDBs) is focused squarely on the World Bank presidency. But there’s a lot more to it than that, and a lot more at risk for the United States in the years ahead. In a new paper for the Council on Foreign Relations, I examine the US role in the MDB system—why it matters for the United States itself, how China has emerged as a game changer, and how the United States is too often its own worst enemy when it comes to effective leadership.
If one thing is for certain following the CGD event, the “Asian Development Bank at 50,” the ADB’s work is far from done, and there will be no lack of ambition on the part of the US government and the bank’s other shareholders when it comes to a forward-looking agenda.
From the superbug scare in Pennsylvania last month to the UK’s recently released Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, slowing the rate at which infections become resistant to antibiotics is rising up the list of global health priorities—and rightfully so. The Review estimates that deaths from antimicrobial resistance (AMR) could reach 10 million people a year by 2050 if we don’t reduce the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials, including antibiotics, and that the economic damage could add up to a staggering $100 trillion by 2050.
The evidence is clear: integrating a focus on gender into the development agenda is essential if we’re serious about eradicating poverty, improving health and education, and promoting inclusive economic growth. Multilateral development banks (MDBs) have taken this lesson to heart, but there’s still work to be done.