Multilateral development partners pledge African support

Donald Kaberuku, AfDB president. (Image source: AfDB)Donald Kaberuku, AfDB president. (Image source: AfDB)Leaders of the African Development Bank (AfDB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) have pledged their close cooperation to support development

The partners met recently in Washington, US, and emphasised the need for coordinated efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

The goals aim to end poverty and hunger, increase access to education and health care, improve gender equality and ensure environmental sustainability.

"Nothing could be more important than ensuring young people get the right start in life," said Donald Kaberuka, president of AfDB. "We aim to make 2015 the year in which children no longer negotiate access to basic education, mothers to the most basic health care, households to water and sanitation. Or girls to the most fundamental opportunities for schooling, work or voice in their communities. And we aim to ensure these gains are permanently sustained in the post-2015 era."

The leaders pledged strong support for and vowed to collaborate with the UN-led process of defining the post-2015 development framework. They voiced support for an approach that integrates concepts of economic, social and environmental sustainability

Noting that even recent gains in social indicators are at risk in the absence of a long-term financing plan, leaders pledged to work together to develop options for long-term investment to strengthen the foundations of growth.

They called for a renewed focus on financing for development, with greater leveraging of official development assistance and private sector investment. They also vowed to create better domestic resource mobilisation and management and stronger institutions.

They pledged to help build the statistical capacity of governments and to enable better policies, for example by deploying the latest techniques for monitoring poverty and inequality, and factoring natural wealth into decision-making.

"We are at a critical time where, working together, we can bend the arc of history – eliminating absolute poverty, boosting shared prosperity, and defining a pattern of growth that demonstrates that we care for our planet and all its people," said Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group.

Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the IADB, said, "In these tough economic times, we’ll only reach our goals by pulling together. We will work with a wide variety of partners to reach our goals, thoughtfully and creatively. Civil society, business and government need to think and work together. Our banks aim to create an atmosphere for open dialogue and imaginative solutions to emerge."

Issues of inclusive growth, environmental sustainability, and long-term financing are global in nature and affect rich and poor countries alike. Recognising this, the leaders of the banks welcomed the G20 and G8 analysis of related issues, and committed to harnessing their own institutions analytical and convening power to identify solutions to these and other global issues.

"The very large gaps in development finance mean we’ll need to search for ever better ways to encourage investment," said Min Zhu, deputy managing director of the IMF.

"Recent economic crises, which have put so many people at a risk of falling into poverty, mean we need to do more to promote macroeconomic stability, and to build strong and transparent financial systems."

The leaders reiterated their commitments to maintaining the highest standards in serving clients, staffing and professional development, and vowed to strengthen the collaboration between banks.

"The development challenges we face at the global and national levels are of such scale that we must work together," said Suma Chakrabarti, president of the EBRD.

"It’s not only a question of financial resources, but of ensuring we can deliver the best available knowledge, best people, and best models of cooperation to our clients. They expect nothing less, and we aim to deliver nothing short of their expectations."

Nawa Mutumweno

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