IFI governance

Background

Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency – the Bank’s foreign direct investment insurance arm

13 July 2021

Former World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim speaks at MIGA's 30th anniversary event in Tokyo, Japan, in October 2018. Photo credit: World Bank.

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) forms part of the World Bank Group and promotes foreign direct investment in its 157 member countries. To this end, MIGA has provided political risk insurance since its inception in 1988. Initially, MIGA provided insurance for private companies investing in the Bank’s member countries in the form of guarantees against political risk, as well as advisory services, capacity building support, and mediation services. In this sense, its mandate was to make it less risky for foreign companies to invest in middle and low-income countries by covering potential risks with guarantees. In 2013, MIGA broadened its non-honouring of financial obligations coverage to include instances where state-owned enterprises failed to meet their financial obligations (for example, see Observer Autumn 2017).

MIGA is currently led by its Executive Vice President Hiroshi Matano, who was appointed in November 2019 (see Observer Spring 2020). Matano is the latest Japanese national to head MIGA – with Japanese nationals serving continuously in the Executive Vice President role since the organisation’s founding. This is a somewhat obscure, but important, footnote to the World Bank and IMF gentleman’s agreement – which has ensured that the World Bank’s president is a US national and the IMF’s managing director is a European for the duration of the Bretton Woods Institutions’ history (see ‘What is the ‘gentleman’s agreement?’). The US is MIGA’s largest shareholder, at just over 18 per cent, followed by Japan (5.06 per cent) and Germany (5.04 per cent).

MIGA states that it, “can provide insurance coverage for up to 15 years (in some cases 20), which may increase the tenor of loans available to investors.” MIGA also claims that its insurance can lower the borrowing costs for projects, as “MIGA-guaranteed loans may help reduce risk-capital ratings of projects.” Beyond political risk insurance, MIGA’s legal staff provide advice to member states on the negotiation of bilateral investment treaties and other investment-related issues. The agency may mediate disputes between states and investors not guaranteed by MIGA, if disputes “inhibit additional investment to the country” (see Observer Summer 2021). In such circumstances, MIGA seeks compensation for its mediation services.

MIGA also provides a range of other services. MIGA’s Small Investment Program (SIP) is designed to facilitate investments in small and medium-sized enterprises involved in the finance, agribusiness, manufacturing, and services sectors. MIGA also extends its political risk insurance to private equity funds.

In fiscal year (FY) 19, MIGA issued $5.5 billion in guarantees to cross-border private investors, its highest ever total; that total fell to $3.94 billion in FY20, as the Covid-19 crisis hit. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, MIGA “launched a $6.5 billion fast-track facility to help private sector investors and lenders tackle the pandemic in low- and middle-income countries”. This allowed for the issuance of guarantees using streamlined and expedited procedures for various aspects of countries’ health- and economic-related responses to the pandemic. According to MIGA’s FY20 annual report, “As of August 2020, MIGA has provided US$2.6 billion for projects to mitigate the impact of the crisis in emerging markets and developing economies.”

MIGA has increasingly prioritised working in countries that are members of the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional lending arm, and in fragile and conflict-affected states (FCS). According to its FY20 annual report, “In FY20, MIGA issued US$1.7 billion in guarantees across 15 IDA-eligible countries. The agency also issued guarantees for US$495 million in support of projects in three FCS countries: Kosovo, Nigeria, and the Solomon Islands.” The report continues, “MIGA’s gross outstanding exposure in IDA-eligible countries and FCS has increased by 13 percent and 25 percent, respectively, since FY19.”

Room for improvement: Concerns around accountability and project selection

MIGA trumpets its environmental and social safeguard credentials, with its website stating that it “helps investors and lenders ensure that projects comply with what are considered to be the world’s best social and environmental safeguards” (i.e. the Performance Standards, which apply to both MIGA and its sister organisation, the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s private investment arm). However, a 2019 external review of the environmental and social accountability framework of the IFC, MIGA, and their independent accountability mechanism, the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), made a number of recommendations pointing to the need for improvement in this area (see Observer Autumn 2020). In alignment with long-standing civil society demands, the review included the recommendation that IFC and MIGA should adopt the “contribute to harm, contribute to remedy” principle, as they currently lack a mechanism to provide remedy for communities harmed by projects benefiting from IFC or MIGA support. It also proposed that the IFC and MIGA actively engage with communities on the ground and attributed to them the responsibility for ensuring clients disclose the availability of the CAO to the communities impacted by the development projects they support.

Civil society organisations (CSOs) have also criticised MIGA’s guarantees for backing fossil fuel projects. Research by UK-based CSO E3G showed that MIGA had the ‘dirtiest’ portfolio in terms of support for fossil fuels projects between FY14-FY16 among the four members of the World Bank Group. In FY16, MIGA did not support a single renewable energy project: “[its] guarantees to energy were worth $1.9 billion in 2016, of which $0.9 billion went to fossil fuel projects,” with the rest going to projects such as hydro-dams, which often carry significant environmental and social impacts (see Observer Spring 2018). The World Bank’s newly published Climate Change Action Plan notes that MIGA, along with the IFC, will align with the Paris Agreement at a slower pace than the rest of the World Bank Group: 85 per cent of its ‘real sector operations’ will be aligned by 1 July 2023 (i.e. the start of FY24), with 100 per cent of its real sector operations becoming aligned two years later (see Observer Summer 2021). This has raised concerns from civil society organisations about MIGA continuing to provide insurance for non-Paris aligned projects in the interim period.

MIGA has also benefited from IDA’s $2.5 billion Private Sector Window (PSW), which was established during the IDA18 replenishment cycle in December 2016. Thus far, at least 14 projects have received support from the PSW, via the MIGA Guarantee Facility. The PSW has been criticised for utilising IDA’s balance sheet to subsidise IFC and MIGA’s activities.

More background on this issue

IFI governance

Background

13 July 2021

Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency – the Bank’s foreign direct investment insurance arm

MIGA principally provides political risk insurance for private investors undertaking foreign direct investment.

IFI governance

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17 April 2016 | Minutes

World Bank EDs and CSOs roundtable

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IFI governance

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2 February 2017 | Resource

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4 October 2016 | Minutes

CSO roundtable with World Bank Group Executive Directors

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IFI governance

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10 February 2016 | Resource

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IFI governance

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7 February 2016 | Inside the institutions

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IFI governance

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25 September 2015 | Inside the institutions

World Bank global practices and cross-cutting solution areas

This Inside the Institutions looks at the World Bank's new global practices and cross-cutting solutions areas that were established to improve how staff share knowledge internally and externally.

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Background

16 April 2015 | Minutes

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IFI governance

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11 October 2014

The impact of the BRICS’ Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) and the New Development Bank (NDB)

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IFI governance

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10 October 2014 | Minutes

UK civil society meeting with UK World Bank Executive Director Gwen Hines

Notes of a meeting with World Bank executive director Gwen Hines in October 2014.

IFI governance

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1 July 2014 | Minutes

UK civil society meeting with UK World Bank Executive Director Gwen Hines

IFI governance

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5 June 2014 | Minutes

UK civil society meeting with UK World Bank Executive Director Gwen Hines

IFI governance

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12 April 2014

An overview of the World Bank Group's new country engagement model

IFI governance

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8 April 2014

CSO roundtable with World Bank Group executive directors

IFI governance

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3 February 2014 | Minutes

UK civil society meeting with UK World Bank Executive Director Gwen Hines

IFI governance

Background

13 October 2013 | Minutes

World Bank Group strategy and reform process

Minutes from a World Bank sponsored event on the new World Bank Group strategy during the 2013 WB/IMF annual meetings.

IFI governance

Background

8 October 2013 | Minutes

World Bank executive directors roundtable with CSOs

IFI governance

Background

4 October 2013 | Minutes

UK civil society meeting with UK World Bank Executive Director Gwen Hines

The Bretton Woods Project convenes meetings with World Bank and IMF executive directors (EDs) several times a year. On 17 September the Project and civil society representatives met with Gwen Hines, the UK World Bank ED. Here are the notes from the meeting.

IFI governance

Background

26 June 2013 | Resource

Leaked documents: World Bank strategy draft recommendations

Web links for the leaked documents about the World Bank's strategy.

Finance

Background

30 May 2013 | Minutes

Notes of a meeting with World Bank Managing Director Caroline Anstey

Notes of a meeting with World Bank Managing Director Caroline Anstey

IFI governance

Background

30 May 2013 | Minutes

Civil society meeting with Steve Field, UK IMF Executive Director

Minutes of CSO meeting with Steve Field UK IMF Executive Director, 9 April 2013

Infrastructure

Background

23 April 2013 | Minutes

Colombia case study: results measurement and poverty eradication

This session examined Colombia's private sector partnerships and poverty eradication programme.

IFI governance

Background

23 April 2013 | Minutes

The private sector and poverty eradication

This session gave an overview on the links between private sector and healthcare provision in tackling poverty.

IFI governance

Background

22 April 2013 | Minutes

Bending the arc of poverty

The session focused on the World Bank's development strategy, poverty eradication goals, global inequality, and the threat of climate change.

IFI governance

Background

22 April 2013 | Minutes

Financial and housing crises, the Bank's safeguards and the right to adequate housing

This session featured a presentation from UN special rapporteur on the links between financial and housing crises, safeguards and the right to adequate housing.

IFI governance

Background

22 April 2013 | Minutes

The challenges of advancing sustainability at the World Bank

This panel discussion reflected on the major sustainability challenges facing the World Bank through exploring two World Resources Institute areas - a portfolio analysis on 2012 projects, and the interaction between country systems and World Bank safeguard approaches.

IFI governance

Background

22 April 2013 | Minutes

From the Arab revolutions to global austerity trends

This session examined issues thrown up by the Arab revolutions, including the fiscal, monetary, tax and investment policies being considered by governments facilitating, or hindering countries in the Arab and other regions in building an inclusive economy and supporting socioeconomic recovery, the impact on public expenditure for the strengthening of education, health, and other social sectors as well as the management of chronic and high unemployment and high food and fuel prices.

Land

Background

19 April 2013 | Minutes

An update and briefing on the global agriculture and food security program (GAFSP)

World Bank briefing on the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) with a particular focus on recent private sector window projects.

Finance

Background

19 April 2013 | Minutes

IDA results and replenishment

Minutes of an event at the 2013 spring meetings

Social services

Background

19 April 2013 | Minutes

Leveraging private finance with public money: Positive Innovation? Corporate Welfare?

This event explored how modalities to "leverage" the private sector are beginning to appear in different ways in the World Bank and donors' agenda, and the challenges they pose.

Environment

Background

18 April 2013 | Minutes

CSO meeting with Ms. Ksenia Yudaeva, G20 sherpa, Russian Federation

This event featured a discussion between CSOs and the Russian Federation G20 sherpa covering topics including food & nutrition security, jobs and the post-2015 development agenda.

IFI governance

Background

18 April 2013 | Minutes

After recent court decisions: how can sovereign debt workouts become fair, comprehensive and account

This session examines the challenges which recent court decisions pose to sovereign debt workouts that allow for burden-sharing and take into account the social development needs of debtor countries.

Private Sector

Background

18 April 2013 | Minutes

Discussion on IMF jobs and growth policies

Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) sponsored discussion on macroeconomic policy in the Eurozone, and the challenges to restoring employment and growth.

Private Sector

Background

18 April 2013 | Minutes

What next for the eurozone? Macroeconomic policy and the recession

Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) sponsored discussion on macroeconomic policy in the Eurozone, and the challenges to restoring employment and growth.

Knowledge

Background

18 April 2013 | Minutes

Frameworks to support IMF policy advice to low-income countries

This event examined financial Sector Surveillance in Low Income Countries - Financial Deepening and Macro-stability Financial Deepening and Macro-Stability

IFI governance

Background

8 April 2013 | Inside the institutions

World Bank staff incentives

The World Bank Group's staff incentives and compensation schemes are considered important drivers of the Bank institution's successes and failures.

IFI governance

Background

18 February 2013 | Minutes

UK Civil Society Meeting with Minister of State Rt Hon Alan Duncan MP

This was a meeting on 1 October 2012, between the Minister of State of the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) and civil society representatives, focusing on the World Bank.

IFI governance

Background

13 February 2013 | Inside the institutions

World Bank Group's sub-national lending

The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC, the Bank's private sector arm) are jointly encouraging sub-national lending to states or provinces, aimed at boosting direct engagement at the state or municipal level.

IFI governance

Background

13 October 2012 | Minutes

World Bank Inspection Panel at 19: Some Lessons for Safeguard Policy

This panel discussion centered on the possible policy lessons for the Safeguard Review of learning from the emblematic or most frequently registered cases of non-compliance with Bank safeguard policies, particularly project supervision, environmental assessment, and involuntary resettlement.

IFI governance

Background

13 October 2012 | Minutes

Think tanks: promoting local solutions, influencing global thinking

This session brought together representatives of three leading policy research organizations from Bangladesh, Tanzania and Ecuador, to share their experiences and analysis of the potential of think tanks to promote local solutions and influence global thinking.

IFI governance

Background

12 October 2012 | Minutes

Citizen-Led Accountability at the World Bank Group: experiences of independent recourse mechanisms

This session aimed to gather CSO views, suggestions, and concerns on how to improve the current guidelines, including IMF consultation processes on policies, strategies, and Art. IV consultations.

IFI governance

Background

12 October 2012 | Minutes

Facilitating international adjustment through timely debt resolution

This session highlighted the perspectives of finance ministers, policy makers, and academics on the need to ensure timely, effective international adjustment in a manner consistent with sustained global growth and continued adherence to the system of open, dynamic international trade and payments constructed over the past 65 years.

IFI governance

Background

11 October 2012 | Minutes

The Role of the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG)

This session provided CSOs with the opportunity to have an exchange with IEG's Director-General and Senior Vice President on the role of the IEG.

Land

Background

11 October 2012 | Minutes

Halting the global land rush: protecting land rights and promoting food security

This event discussed how to invest in agriculture in a responsible way, including research on the scale of the global rush for land, and explored potential solutions to the problem, including the role that the World Bank can and must play.

IFI governance

Background

11 October 2012 | Minutes

CSO Townhall with Jim Yong Kim and Christine Lagarde

This townhall was for CSO representatives accredited to the Annual Meetings. The CSO Discussants made initial remarks on Fund and Bank policies and were followed by comments from Mr. Kim and Ms. Lagarde. This was then followed by a general discussion on issues of concern to CSO representatives.

IFI governance

Background

11 October 2012 | Minutes

From country systems to DPLs: understanding the World Bank's approach to social and environmental ri

This session will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the Bank’s approaches with respect to different financial instruments and evaluate the challenges of ensuring coherence in environmental and social sustainability outcomes across instruments.

IFI governance

Background

3 October 2012 | Inside the institutions

World Bank lending facilities

The World Bank's investment lending (ILs) have been joined in recent years by new lending instruments, whilst IL itself faces an overhaul, as the Bank's operational policies come under review and pilots for the use of 'country systems' mature. The Bank is presently using four lending instruments: investment lending, development policy lending (DPL), Program-for-Results, and the World Bank guarantee program.

IFI governance

Background

3 August 2012 | Minutes

IFI re-engagement in Burma

Minutes of Burma and IFIs meeting, Washington DC, 18 April 2012

IFI governance

Background

3 July 2012 | Inside the institutions

Revolving doors: staff turnover between IFIs and African governments

The term 'revolving doors' refers to frequent staff turnover between institutions, usually relevant when these represent different interests working on the same policy issues. This serves to foster cross-institutional networks, practices and alliances. The staff turnover between international financial institutions (IFIs) and borrowing governments works as a mechanism through which specific ideas and practices learnt and promoted in IFIs are translated into policies in borrowing countries

IFI governance

Background

23 April 2012 | Minutes

EIR + 10

Minutes of afternoon sessions of extractives conference, Washington DC, 23 April 2012

IFI governance

Background

23 April 2012 | Minutes

2012 Tokyo Annual Meeting Planning Session

2012 Tokyo Annual Meeting Planning Session held on Saturday, 21 April.

IFI governance

Background

21 April 2012 | Minutes

Lessons from IEG's Cluster Review of IFC-supported Extractive Industries Projects

Minutes of IFC and extractives meeting, Washington DC, 21 April 2012

IFI governance

Background

21 April 2012 | Minutes

Safeguards in a Changing Landscape

Minutes of safeguards meeting, Washington DC, 21 April 2012

Finance

Background

20 April 2012 | Minutes

How can the IMF enhance its focus on growth and poverty reduction in LICS?

A civil society meeting held at the World Bank and the IMF hold their 2012 spring meetings in Washington DC on Friday 20th April.

IFI governance

Background

20 April 2012 | Minutes

Seminar - Time for a New Consensus: Regulating Financial Flows for Stability and Development

As the World Bank and the IMF hold their 2012 spring meetings in Washington DC this week, Latindadd and the Bretton Woods Project organised a seminar about regulating financial flows on Thursday 19 April.

IFI governance

Background

20 April 2012 | Minutes

Austerity in the Eurozone

Seminar at the Spring meetings 2012, 19 April 12

Infrastructure

Background

20 April 2012 | Minutes

Kosovo's options for a sustainable energy future

Minutes of presentation and discussion on Kosovo's options to develop a sustainable energy future, Washington DC, 20 April 2012.

Infrastructure

Background

20 April 2012 | Minutes

World Bank's Climate Investment Funds 4 years later

Minutes of meeting on the World Bank-housed Climate Investment Funds and the Green Climate Fund, Washington DC, 19 April 2012

Land

Background

20 April 2012 | Minutes

Agriculture and Food Security

Minutes of agriculture and food security meeting, Washington DC, 19 April 2012

Infrastructure

Background

20 April 2012 | Minutes

Climate change, energy access and sustainable development

Minutes of climate change and energy access meeting, Washington DC, 18 April 2012

IFI governance

Background

19 April 2012 | Minutes

Supporting Social Accountability for Better Results

Minutes of World Bank Social accountability plenary, Washington DC, 19 April 2012

Land

Background

5 April 2012 | Inside the institutions

The World Bank and agriculture

Agriculture re-emerged in the last decade as a focus of World Bank Group lending, with the Bank claiming that "improving agricultural performance is the most powerful tool we have available to reduce global poverty and hunger."

IFI governance

Background

23 September 2011 | Minutes

CSO Townhall with Robert Zoellick and Christine Lagarde

Notes of meeting, Washington DC, September 22, 2011

IFI governance

Background

14 September 2011 | Inside the institutions

China and the World Bank

China joined the World Bank in April 1980, and since then has been one of its largest borrowers and recipients of technical assistance. In recent years, China has gone beyond the only role of recipient country and has increased its influence on the Bank.

Finance

Background

13 June 2011 | Inside the institutions

The IFC's approach to international trade finance

Trade finance refers to financing arrangements that support international trade transactions. It is one of the central parts of a new ten-year strategy paper on international trade currently being developed by the World Bank for the period between 2011 and 2021.

Accountability

Background

17 February 2011 | Inside the institutions

The IFI's approach to tax avoidance and evasion

The World Bank and the IMF formally recognise tax avoidance and evasion as a critical problem for developing countries' domestic resource mobilisation. The Bank's public position on tax evasion and tax havens does not however identify concrete measures to stop investing in companies practicing tax avoidance. The IMF addresses tax policy under its surveillance mandate and in its technical assistance, but does not have an explicit framework to deal with tax evasion.

Environment

Background

29 November 2010 | Inside the institutions

The role of the World Bank in carbon markets: The Carbon Finance Unit

The World Bank's engagement in carbon finance has expanded from its "pioneering" Prototype Carbon Fund in 1999, which provided the groundwork for the continuously popular market-based approach to emission reductions.

IFI governance

Background

25 June 2010 | Inside the institutions

The IMF's policy advisory role to the G20

The G20 has turned to the IMF to operate as a research and advisory body on their behalf since those governments’ leaders first met in November 2008. The IMF’s work in this area has mainly fallen in three areas: technical advice, surveillance, and research.

Environment

Background

20 November 2009 | Inside the institutions

The role of the World Bank in climate finance

The World Bank currently plays four different roles in arrangements to distribute finance for mitigation and adaptation to climate change in developing countries. In addition, its overall lending portfolio can have significant environmental impacts.

IFI governance

Background

10 July 2009 | Inside the institutions

The International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)

The International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), part of the World Bank Group, is an arbitration forum between governments and foreign investors to settle investment disputes. Two thirds of international investment disputes go through ICSID.

IFI governance

Background

1 April 2009 | Inside the institutions

The IMF's special drawing rights (SDRs)

The special drawing right (SDR) is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement the existing official reserves of member countries.

Environment

Background

27 November 2008 | Inside the institutions

International financial architecture

National and international financial bodies frequently overlap both in function and membership. Below are some of the main regulatory or influential bodies within the financial system. In most, the IMF is a participant, and in some, a central player.

Accountability

Background

26 September 2008 | Inside the institutions

IFC advisory services

The advisory services (AS) department of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has grown rapidly since its establishment in 1986 and is seen by the IFC as one factor that distinguishes them from other financiers.

Environment

Background

25 July 2008 | Minutes

Highlights: Meeting of UK NGOs with UK Alternate Executive Director to the World Bank

Meeting between UK NGOs and UK Alternate Execituve Director to the World Bank -Caroline Sergeant- on July 22, 2008.

Infrastructure

Background

17 June 2008 | Inside the institutions

The World Bank and transport

Given that the World Bank's primary activity in its first decades of operation was financing infrastructure projects, the fact that the transport sector is the single largest sector for Bank lending should come as no surprise. However with the prevalence of concerns about underinvestment in social sectors, transport lending was on the decline in the late 90s and early part of this century. Now the pendulum is swinging back and transport sector lending is on the rise in both the public and privat

Social services

Background

1 April 2008 | Inside the institutions

The World Bank and health

In the last five years the global system for channelling development finance to the health sector has changed radically, causing the Bank to seriously re-examine its role in health finance. This article covers the who, what, where and how much of the World Bank's work with in the health sector.

Environment

Background

18 February 2008 | Minutes

Highlights of BWI-UK network meeting with Caroline Sergeant, 7 February 2008

Highlights of NGO meeting with alternative executive director to the World Bank, Caroline Sergeant

IFI governance

Background

1 February 2008 | Inside the institutions

The IFIs and Islamic finance

The World Bank Group and the IMF have become more involved in assistance to and oversight of Islamic financial institutions.

IFI governance

Background

31 January 2007 | Inside the institutions

The IMF programme cycle

The IMF has regular, systematic engagement with government representatives at many levels. Implementation of the IMF’s programme cycle varies from one country to the next, depending on the situation and need of the country in question. The nature of the programme cycle is highlighted by looking at the cases of Uruguay and Mozambique.

Accountability

Background

5 October 2005 | Minutes

Highlights of meeting with UK Secretary of State for International Development, Hilary Benn

Highlights of meeting with UK Secretary of State for International Development, Hilary Benn

IFI governance

Commentary

12 September 2005 | Guest comment

Giant taming: 10 years of the Bretton Woods Project

Director, European Network on Debt and Development; Coordinator, Bretton Woods Project, 1995-2004

IFI governance

Background

13 June 2005 | Inside the institutions

The executive boards of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (archive)

contribution from Tom Scholar, UK executive director to the World Bank and IMF

Environment

Background

26 January 2005 | Inside the institutions

IMF and World Bank emergency response

The role of the IMF and World Bank in responding to emergencies and coordinating with relief efforts.

IFI governance

Background

26 July 2004 | Inside the institutions

The World Bank’s project cycle explained

The World Bank's public-lending institutions (IDA and IBRD) lend about US$ 15-20 billion annually to 100 countries to Projects ranging from infrastructure, education, health and government financial management.

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IFI governance

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IFI governance

Analysis

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IFI governance

Analysis

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IFI governance

Background

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Environment

News

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IFI governance

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