World Bank Spring Meetings Schulze sees progress on globally coordinated response to food crisis

Press release 22 April 2022 | WASHINGTON – German Development Minister Svenja Schulze welcomed the outcomes of this year's Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund with regard to global food security. The proposal presented by the Minister for the creation of an alliance for global food security that is able to respond to the food crisis in a quick, far-sighted and coordinated manner has met with broad agreement among World Bank governors.

Logo of the Spring meetings 2022 of World Bank and International Monetary Fund

Development Minister Schulze said: “As G7 Presidency, Germany has a special responsibility this year to develop global solutions. I am glad that my proposal for the creation of an alliance for global food security has met with so much support. Now we need to translate our agreement into practical action – in order to address what may become the most severe food crisis in decades. My visit to Washington has shown that strengthening multilateral cooperation is worthwhile. Only through close coordination among partner governments and international organisations will we be able to overcome this huge crisis.”

Schulze presented her plan at a high-level event on Thursday together with World Bank President Malpass, WFP Executive Director David Beasley and the G20 Presidency, represented by Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati. At the meeting, many countries supported the idea and announced that they would participate. Germany will provide very active support, including financially: Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz had already announced before the Spring Meetings that Germany would be providing an extra 430 million euros to help cushion the impact of the Ukraine war on global food security.

Support for Ukraine was a major point in the discussions during the World Bank / IMF meetings. In her capacity as Governor, Development Minister Schulze participated in a high-level roundtable meeting on reconstruction in Ukraine. President Zelensky took part in the meeting via video and called on governors to continue to do everything in their power to support Ukraine, and to adopt further sanctions against Russia. Schulze assured Ukraine of continued support and underlined that Ukraine had the full solidarity of the German government.

View of Kyiv

Schulze said, “We stand firmly by the side of Ukraine. Russia's attack on Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law. We will continue to support Ukraine, both by civilian and by military means. We assured President Zelensky and Prime Minister Shmyhal of this during our exchange. At our meeting, I announced further financial support, which we will provide through the newly established Ukraine fund of the World Bank, in order to ensure that we have a closely coordinated, quick and effective multilateral support package for Ukraine. In addition, I announced the provision of an extra 37 million euros in bilateral assistance for Ukraine, most of which will go towards housing for internally displaced persons and towards maintenance of the power grid. The 150 million euro loan which Chancellor Scholz promised to President Zelensky in February will be implemented in cooperation with the World Bank.”

Discussions at the Spring Meetings also covered other global impacts of the war. It is becoming clearer than ever that there is no alternative to ending dependency on fossil fuels. Together with Germany, the World Bank can make a major contribution to this, for example through the partnerships for a just energy transition with various developing countries and emerging economies which Germany, as G7 Presidency, is pursuing together with other donors.

Another topic was debt. The soaring food and energy prices will exacerbate the debt situation in many countries. Development Minister Schulze had a meeting with World Bank President David Malpass, during which they discussed ways in which the World Bank could contribute towards monitoring debt situations more closely and improving the implementation of existing tools.

View public events with the participation of Development Minister Schulze here: live.worldbank.org (External link) (events will remain available to watch on demand)