Record funding of $57bn over three years was announced at a meeting of the G20 finance ministers in Baden Baden in Germany on 19 March but details of how the money will be used are still being decided. World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim has also signalled a change of policy or at least culture by insisting that his organisation will no longer tell African governments what to do.
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. This financing will help African countries continue to grow, create opportunities for their citizens, and build resilience to shocks and crises.”
Some of the money will be directed at regional initiatives, such as supporting refugees and their host communities. It will also fund regional cooperation initiatives, such as the Niger River Basin Management Project, which will enable the Niger Basin Authority to promote greater economic, social, political and security cooperation in the Sahel.
The World Bank will launch the new Private Sector Window, which will promote trade through lending in local currencies. Indeed, the new finance package strengthens the trend of the multilaterals increasingly cooperating with the private sector. The target areas for private sector cooperation across the Group are infrastructure, financial markets and agribusiness
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