World Bank in talks over early IDA replenishment this year

23 March 2021

The World Bank is in discussions with donor countries over plans to bring forward the 20th replenishment cycle of the International Development Association (IDA20), its low-income country arm, from 2022 to 2021.

The news comes in response to the World Bank front-loading IDA financing for Covid-19 recovery programmes in 2020, making its financing needs greater than anticipated. According to development news site Devex, World Bank President David Malpass told journalists that the Bank had seen a 65 per cent increase in commitments in 2020 compared with the year before, “depleting” IDA resources with its Covid-19 emergency financing. The World Bank’s 2020 Annual Report shows that IDA’s net commitments were $30.4 billion, 39 per cent higher than the previous year.

At the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in October Malpass called for shareholders to provide an additional $25 billion in financing for IDA, but this was rejected by the US (see Dispatch Annuals 2020).

The 19th replenishment of IDA, agreed in December 2019, saw a record financing package of $82 billion for the period 2021 to 2023, but was mired by accusations that the Bank had excluded Southern civil society from the process of identifying policy commitments linked to the funding cycle (see Observer Autumn 2019).

Nadia Daar, of Oxfam International’s Washington DC office, said “Donors need to step up to ensure low-income countries have access to more grant resources through IDA20. And with those resources, the Bank has to offer a robust policy package which seeks to radically alter the systems which have gotten us here, especially the inadequate and under-resourcing of quality universal social services from health to education and social protection. Through IDA20’s policy package, the Bank needs to show it will be ready to support countries on a recovery path that massively reduces gender and economic inequalities and takes an urgent approach to climate action.”