International experts on Thursday called for a joint response and broader cooperation between public development banks and actors in the field to provide concrete responses to fragile countries whose situation has been exacerbated by the global Covid-19 crisis.
They spoke during a virtual session on “Human security in fragile contexts: scaling up humanitarian and resilience investments” on the second day of the ongoing Financial Summit. The high-level panel includes Khaled Sherif, Vice President of the Bank for Regional Development, Integration and Service Delivery, Katherine Garrett-Cox, Head of GIB Asset Management, Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and Shinichi Kitaoka, President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Maurer, noted that COVID-19 has seriously exacerbated the situation in fragile countries, which have already been affected by food insecurity, climate change and armed conflict. Nearly 80 percent of the world’s fragile situations stem from situations in Africa and the Near East, he said.
“Whether it’s a matter of access to health care, access to water, living conditions or employment, we need to analyze each specific context. We need to build programs that meet every need,” he stressed. The urgency of some situations has required greater collaboration between actors in the field and public development banks, he said. These banks alone inject $ 2.3 billion dollars into the world economy each year, or ten percent of the total amount invested.
JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka emphasized his country’s current support to African countries affected by the global health crisis, particularly in health infrastructure and the provision of medicines. “Japan has funded the construction of about 100 hospitals across the continent,” he said. Kitaoka added that Japan is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and that it will support African countries in their pursuit of sustainable development and green and inclusive growth.
Katherine Garrett-Cox, CEO of UK GIB Asset Management, highlighted 34 percent growth in the sustainable investment market between 2016 and 2018 to $ 30 billion, in response to the growing demand for sustainable finance investments over the past decade.
“First, there is a growing consensus that good sustainable development practices can yield a good return on investment,” she said. “Second, there is a growing awareness of the importance of mobilizing capital for sustainable development.” She emphasizes the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic underlined the need for social sustainability.
In the context of a health crisis that could destroy 30 million jobs and increase the number of people living in extreme poverty to 450 million, Sheriff was optimistic about the willingness of development actors to work together to address the situation in regions at risk to strengthen and stabilize. a fragile land. “For too long we have left the issue of the development of vulnerable populations to humanitarian organizations, non-governmental organizations, foundations and civil society actors,” he said. “Now we need to create new and strong alliances to increase the impact of humanitarian and development actions for rural communities and vulnerable populations.”
In conclusion, Khaled Sherif reiterates the strategy of the African Development Bank: “We are convinced that only an integrated Africa is a resilient Africa that creates prosperity across the continent.”
Through its “High 5” operational priorities, the Bank has strengthened its support for fragile states, with commitments increasing by 51 percent between 2014 and 2019 (compared to 2008-2013). Some 345 activities worth S $ 6.45 billion have been approved for these countries, where the biggest development challenge remains fragile.
‘Finance in common’ is a rally held as part of the third Paris Peace Forum, taking place from 11 to 13 November 2020. This first world summit, which brings together 450 public development banks, aims to form a new coalition of development-oriented financial institutions. Such a coalition is essential to meet the new global challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and to divert funding to inclusive growth, taking into account the commitments of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.