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Business News/ News / India/  ‘World Bank widening vision to work for a liveable planet’

NEW DELHI : The World Bank’s vision is being redefined to eradicate poverty on a “liveable planet" as part of ongoing reforms, its president Ajay Banga said on the sidelines of the New Delhi G20 summit, which has pledged to make multilateral lending work for poverty.

“There’s a lot of work going on with the World Bank on the reform agenda. It starts from redefining the vision of the bank, to not just be focused on poverty, although it’s important, but to also include a liveable planet," Banga said.

‘The idea is to eradicate poverty on a liveable planet and by doing that, we expand the aperture of our view to include climate, pandemics, fragility, things that we are living through, and these are intertwined with poverty alleviation—very difficult to segregate them," he said.

Banga, a former Mastercard executive chairman, noted the need for multilateral development banks to collaborate on climate and digital governance, besides including the private sector to facilitate investments into renewable energy in emerging markets.

“I just announced a very big partnership with the Inter American Development Banks on the Amazon (region) on Caribbean climate and are digitizing governance. We’ve also announced a private sector lab where N. Chandrasekharan (chairman) of Tata Sons is one of the members of that project led by (UN climate envoy) Mark Carney and (former UK minister) Shriti Vadera, and the idea is to get ideas from the private sector, asset managers and operators on what the bank can do to help facilitate much more investing in renewable energy in the emerging markets," he said.

The Private Sector Investment Lab is focused on expanding financing for the transition to renewable energy and related infrastructure.

The New Delhi G20 Leaders’ Declaration on Saturday endorsed a road map for implementing the recommendations of the group’s independent review of multilateral development bank (MDB) capital adequacy frameworks (CAFs) that could generate an additional $200 billion in lending headroom over the next decade for sustainable development goals (SDGs) and climate finance.

In the declaration, G20 leaders acknowledged the need for an international development finance system that was capable of helping developing countries, “in particular the poorest and most vulnerable", overcome economic challenges, including those posed by climate change.

The head of one of the world’s largest development lenders added women must be placed “in the centre" of the reforms as they comprised more than 50% of the labour, management and social workforce.

“Even now around the world, labour force participation, participation in senior levels of management, or even their compensation or their opportunities for growth and social development are still not where they should be.

This is not just a developing country issue. So I’m a believer that we must put 50% of the population in the centre of what we try and do."

Banga said an equal focus must be put on young people, as the developing world had a higher share of a younger population, whose aspirations are the future. “But the trick is to give them quality of life when they are growing up—clean air, water, education, healthcare—once they grow into new jobs. You do those two things for them, and then they become the engine of your future. So our first part is vision and inclusion."

Banga lauded India’s efforts on inclusion of over 1 billion people of the African Union in G20, calling the move ‘excellent’. “The African continent is full of young people like India. Their aspirations are important for the future. I think this is a really good move and India should be complimented for championing it, but they got support from the other countries," he said.

India in its G20 presidency had set a path for the world amid challenges, he said, noting the country’s efforts on achieving a consensus on all issues.

“I consider the fact that there was a declaration, a tribute to the fact that the G20 leadership found a way to give and take and negotiate and find a right way to agree and set a path for the world. The world is watching, the G20 has got the developed world and the developing countries,"

He went on to add that 80% of the world’s GDP was sitting in the G20 room. “I actually compliment India, its leadership and the G20 leaders for being able to make sure that a terrific declaration comes out. There will always be challenges."

“No 20 countries will agree on everything. People will have to look after their national interests. But I am optimistic by the mood I saw in that room" he added.

Banga met finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday. They stated that they looked forward to Volume 2 of the expert group report on strengthening of multilateral development banks, that will be submitted during the 4th Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Morocco in October.

During the meeting, Banga agreed to work closely with the department of economic affairs, ministry of finance, to create a market structure from the corporate social responsibility demand side for maximising social impact.

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Gulveen Aulakh
Gulveen Aulakh is Senior Assistant Editor at Mint, serving dual roles covering the disinvestment landscape out of New Delhi, and the telecom & IT sectors as part of the corporate bureau. She had been tracking several government ministries for the last ten years in her previous stint at The Economic Times. An IIM Calcutta alumnus, Gulveen is fluent in French, a keen learner of new languages and avid foodie.
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Updated: 11 Sep 2023, 11:53 AM IST
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