World Bank support grows

Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank

Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank

World Bank Group support to developing countries rose sharply to $61 billion in fiscal year 2014 as the organization prepared for transition to a new operating model, up from $52.6 billion in FY13.

“This tremendous ramp-up in demand for our services comes at a time when the Bank has been undergoing the most fundamental change in a generation,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.  “It is a credit to Bank Group staff that they worked to meet the needs of our clients while preparing for transition to a new system that will spread our global knowledge more effectively to all 188 member countries.”

The Bank Group provided an estimated 963 loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to promote economic growth, fight poverty, and assist private enterprise in FY14 (July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014).  

World Bank Group financing for infrastructure, critical for job creation and future productivity, is estimated to reach nearly $24 billion in FY14—nearly 40 percent of total Bank Group commitments.  In particular, IBRD/IDA support for infrastructure grew to $19.4 billion, 47 percent of total FY14 IBRD/IDA commitments.

Over the last fiscal year, commitments from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)—which provides financing, risk management products, and other financial services to countries—reached $18.6 billion, up from $15.2 billion in FY13.

Commitments from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s Fund for the Poorest which provides low-interest loans and grants to 79 of the world’s poorest countries, rose to a record $22.2 billion in FY14, from $16.3 billion in the previous fiscal year. FY14 was the third year of implementation under the IDA16 Replenishment, and all remaining IDA16 resources were committed during the fiscal year.

Combined IBRD/IDA lending in FY14 is 65 percent higher than pre-crisis levels, with commitments more than $16 billion above FY07.

“We continued to push frontier issues and expand our work in challenging environments,” said World Bank Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Sri Mulyani Indrawati. “We pledged $1.5 billion to the hard-hit Sahel region, to boost economic growth and lift people out of devastating poverty and committed $2 billion in Myanmar to bring health care and electricity to everyone. We laid the groundwork for a regional power project in Central and South Asia, and are helping neighboring Jordan and Lebanon to cope with influx of Syrian refugees. These are just a few examples of this year’s achievements.”

IFC, the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector, continued to provide strong support to businesses in developing countries—leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s biggest development challenges.

Preliminary and unaudited data indicate that IFC investments totaled more than $22 billion, including funds mobilized from other investors. It included more than $17 billion in commitments made on IFC’s own account. It also included more than $5 billion mobilized from other investors. These investments supported nearly 600 projects across the world.

IFC maintained its strategic focus on the poorest countries and regions. It provided a record amount of financing for private sector development in IDA countries–more than $8 billion in all, including funds mobilized from other investors.

These countries accounted for nearly half of IFC’s projects. IFC financing for businesses in fragile and conflict-affected areas of the world climbed to a record of nearly $950 million, including funds IFC mobilized from other investors.

“IFC achieved significant development impact—and in some of the world’s most challenging environments,” said IFC CEO Jin-Yong Cai. “We did so by focusing on activities with the greatest potential to end poverty and boost shared prosperity.”

FY14 also was a strong year for IFC Advisory Services, which did nearly two-thirds of its work in IDA countries, including almost 20 percent in fragile and conflict-affected areas, and achieved record development-effectiveness and client-satisfaction ratings.

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm of the World Bank Group, saw a record $3.2 billion in new business this year — continuing a strong pattern of growth. MIGA’s support helps mobilize foreign direct investment in developing countries.

MIGA, while adding credit enhancement to its political risk insurance business, is further stepping up its effort to insure private sector investments that create jobs, improve infrastructure, and support economic development around the globe,” said the agency’s Executive Vice President and CEO Keiko Honda.

Commitments to sub-Saharan African countries—the Bank’s top priority—were at a record $15.1 billion in FY14, up from $14.7 billion in FY13. FY14 commitments to Africa included $10.2 billion from IDA and $420 million from IBRD; more than $4 billion from IFC; and $516 million in MIGA guarantees for projects in the region.

Managing Risk

Currency, interest rates, and commodity prices have been volatile, and the impact of natural disasters has become more severe in recent years. As a result, the World Bank continues to engage with countries to support risk management strategies and offer financial products that can help reduce their vulnerabilities.

The World Bank Treasury executed 43 transactions on behalf of client countries this year so they can manage the volatility of currency and interest rates, for a total volume of $3.8 billion.

In addition, the World Bank Treasury provided advisory services on public debt management to 29 countries and on asset management to 53 official sector clients, as well as financial products that meet our member countries’ risk management objectives.

The World Bank Group continued to help clients mitigate natural disaster and weather-related shocks. For example, IBRD completed a $450 million weather and oil price insurance transaction in December 2013 for Administración Nacional de Usinas y Transmisiones Eléctricas (UTE), the Uruguayan state-owned hydro-electric power company. The transaction insures UTE for 18 months against drought and high oil prices, both of which have had negative financial impacts on the company and on government finances in the past.

For the second time, IBRD also provided catastrophe risk insurance to six pacific islands on behalf of IDA for $67 million through the Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Pilot program.

This fiscal year, IBRD developed a new product – the World Bank Capital at Risk Notes Program – that allows countries to access the capital markets to hedge certain risks, including catastrophe risk.

In June 2014, IBRD issued the first bond under this program, which was the World Bank’s first ever catastrophe bond (‘cat bond’). The bond is linked to earthquake and tropical cyclone risk in 16 Caribbean countries and provides re-insurance to the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF). CCRIF is a risk-pooling facility that is designed to limit the financial impact on its 16 Caribbean member governments resulting from catastrophic earthquakes and hurricanes.

About the World Bank Group

The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world.


Source: World Bank