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At IDA20 Launch in Japan, Sahr Jusu Calls for Effective Aid Coordination in Low-Income Countries

The Financial Secretary, Sahr Lahai Jusu who also doubles as the country’s borrower representative, during a panel discussion at the ongoing IDA20 replenishment launched in Tokyo, Japan has called on development partners and donors to align aid coordination and effectively partner with governments in time of crisis and normal programmes implemented.

Making his case, Sahr Jusu stated that the global aid architecture is getting complex and changing rapidly with issues relating to climate-resilient, debt vulnerabilities and transparency, pandemic preparedness and health systems strengthening, and migrants and refugees adversely affecting IDA. Noting that the re-emergence of increased aid proliferation and fragmentation needs enhanced coordination at national, regional, and multilateral levels to deliver results.

He furthered that, Sierra Leone has gone through overlapping crises over the last two decades with one of the highest number of shocks ranging from what he referred to as the twin shocks to the economy-the collapse of the iron prices in 2014 and also in the same year (2014), the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in the sub-region that killed nearly 4,000 people in Sierra Leone, mudslides in August 2017 with over 1,000 deaths, the COVID 19 pandemic and the Crisis in Ukraine as well as the most recent floods and mudslides (two weeks ago) in the Capital, Freetown resulting into the loss of lives and properties.

“Therefore, as a country, during the periods of crisis and normal programme implementation, we have experienced increased proliferation and fragmentation of external assistance inflows that require effective partnership and coordination among donors and with the Government” he added.

He reiterated the Call by African Heads of States and Governments on debt issues, for the World Bank, to create a special Forum for Finance Ministers to exchange views, monitor progress on debt transparency and debt management and assess the impact of debt on economic management, noting that nearly 60 percent of the 74 IDA countries are either in debt distress or at high risk of debt distress which is a threat to the achievement of desired of outcomes under IDA 20.

Making his opening statement, the World Bank Group President, David Malpass stated that the world is facing severe crises, which continue to destabilize the global economy.

“On top of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation, the war in Ukraine is having dire effects on energy supplies. Of particular concern are the natural gas shortages alongside the significant increase in fertilizer and agricultural prices, which are exacerbating food insecurity and extreme poverty” he added.

The World Bank President continue to state that global growth is expected to slow sharply from 5.7 percent in 2021 to 2.9 percent in 2022, with further slowing likely as more countries fall into recession.

In developing economies, he noted, COVID-19 has already had a devastating impact on income growth and poverty reduction with the war in Ukraine dealing yet another blow to their growth prospects.

David Malpass furthered that developing countries are now expected to grow by a mere 3.4 percent in 2022 – well below the average from 2011 to 2019 with each step in the progression of crises in recent years leaving poorer countries further behind, adding to inequality.

In this context, the twentieth replenishment of IDA David Malpass said that it comes at the right time describing the $93 billion IDA20 replenishment package as the most ambitious ever, and it is backed by a policy package that is fit for purpose.

He thanked all our partners for the confidence they have in IDA in supporting the world’s poorest countries to tackle the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, food insecurity, climate change, rising debt, and other reversals in development.

He informed participants that this record financing envelope was made possible by donor contributions from 52 high- and middle-income countries totaling $23.5 billion, with additional financing raised in capital markets, through repayments from borrowers, and the World Bank’s sizeable contributions from net income.

IDA20 is designed to help countries respond better to the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises, recoup development reversals and restore growth. It builds on decades of work and raises ambition in several areas to be fit for today’s challenges.

The International Development Association (IDA) is one of the largest and most effective platforms for fighting extreme poverty in the world’s poorest countries. IDA is the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s 74 poorest countries and is the single largest source of donor funds for basic social services in these countries.

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