Biden administration signals additional funding for World Bank and IMF

4 October 2023

The US administration has proposed scaling up its financing for the World Bank and IMF to generate almost $50 billion additional lending for low- and middle-income countries. Echoing US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s earlier statements, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan noted, at an informal White House briefing on 23 August, that the administration expects this funding will leverage over $200 billion from “allies and partners”, to deliver “poverty reduction and inclusive economic growth, while also addressing global challenges from climate to migration and to the recovery from COVID-19.” Sullivan did not disclose full details of the proposal, but Janet Yellen categorically rejected a capital increase for the World Bank in March.

The funding is intended to facilitate the mobilisation of private capital, which was identified as “one of the greatest opportunities for transformation” in a report by the G20 Independent Experts Group. The report noted the Bank’s cascade principles, which prioritise private investment over public provision, should be used along with guarantees and blended finance.

Civil society has strongly criticised this approach (see Observer Summer 2023) noting that it has not only failed to achieve the desired results, but that prioritising private profits will burden already heavily indebted Global South states (see Observer Summer 2023).