World Bank Spring Meetings “Averting a lost decade of sustainable development”

9 April 2021 | Washington D.C./Berlin – Find a way to permanently address LDC debt and adopt a sustainable agenda for post-COVID recovery: those are the messages that Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary in the German Development Ministry, who was taking part in the World Bank Spring Meetings today, shared in his statement as Deputy Governor.

Parliamentary State Secretary Norbert Barthle: “In 2020, we witnessed how the coronavirus crisis turned into a polypandemic. Years of progress in developing countries and emerging economies are threatened by it. We must now find concrete ways to fight the polypandemic, mitigate its impacts in developing countries and emerging economies, and improve the debt situation of those countries. I welcome the recently made G20 decision to extend the debt moratorium for the poorest countries until the end of 2021. In addition to that, the G20 Common Framework needs to be implemented as quickly as possible. Our goal is to avert a lost decade of sustainable development by means of smart and sustainable investments. Germany is willing to contribute to a sustainable agenda supporting Green, Inclusive, Resilient Development (GRID). We need the World Bank and the IMF to present a concept as quickly as possible, showing just how this can be achieved. It is particularly important for us that the World Bank and the IMF integrate climate goals in their programmes. Furthermore, over the next two years, the World Bank needs to align its entire business model with the targets of the Paris climate agreement. That also means gradually withdrawing from financing fossil fuels. On the German side, we are ready to support these actions and work even more closely with the Bank.”

Parliamentary State Secretary Barthle welcomes the G20 agreement to issue further special drawing rights in the amount of 650 billion US dollars:

“It is important here that the new issue then also benefits the developing countries that are facing the greatest hardship. They need these additional foreign currency reserves to fund urgently necessary vaccine imports. They also need funds to pay for investments in the future for climate action, social development and sustainability. The IMF now needs to quickly present concrete proposals so that the decisions in this regard can be implemented. The only way to beat COVID-19 worldwide is through quick and equal access to vaccines. That is why the World Bank should work with the COVAX Initiative and with other multilateral banks so as to make use of every conceivable synergy.”

Via the global cooperation platform ACT-A (Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator), Germany is providing nearly 2.1 billion euros for the development, production and globally fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and therapies, with nearly one billion being earmarked for the COVAX vaccine alliance.