His Excellency Mohamed bin Hadi Al Hussaini, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, today chaired the main session of the 108th meeting of the joint World Bank Group (WBG)/International Monetary Fund (IMF) Development Committee. Image courtesy: Ministry of Finance

His Excellency Mohamed bin Hadi Al Hussaini, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, today chaired the main session of the 108th meeting of the joint World Bank Group (WBG)/International Monetary Fund (IMF) Development Committee.

Along with ministers of finance and development from all around the world, the WBG and IMF boards of governors, as well as Ajay Bunga, president of the WBG, Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, and Mercy Tembon, executive secretary of the Development Committee, were present at the meeting. It was held concurrently with the WBG and IMF’s annual meetings in Marrakech, Morocco.

Addressing attendees in his opening remarks, His Excellency Al Hussaini said: “The committee expresses its solidarity with the Moroccan and Libyan people and authorities and offered its deep condolences to the families of the earthquake and flooding victims. We collectively call on international partners, including the World Bank and the IMF, to provide the necessary assistance for reconstruction efforts.”

He thanked the members for their constructive contributions, adding: “We endorse the World Bank’s new vision to create a world free of poverty. We also endorse its new mission, to boost shared prosperity by strengthening inclusion, resilience, and sustainability. This vision and mission will underpin a new playbook with solutions to support country priorities and address intertwined global challenges to drive impactful development with speed and scale.”

The Development Committee said it looked forward to the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference 2023 (COP28) in Dubai and called on the World Bank to further strengthen its engagement and collaboration with partners to lead climate change adaptation, mitigation, and biodiversity.

The attendees reviewed the enormous development challenges that have been exacerbated by numerous global crises that affect the world’s most vulnerable people. The committee acknowledged that these crises had undone decades of hard-won development gains and urged the development community to work together to respond in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, which include eradicating poverty, fostering shared prosperity, and promptly addressing global issues.

The committee welcomed progress on the World Bank Evolution Roadmap, which strengthened the Bank’s operational and financial model, enhancing its country-driven model, included an agreement on eight global challenges and the US$50 billion of additional lending capacity over the next ten years.

Beyond Marrakech, the committee noted, further work is needed to complete these ambitious reforms, which could further increase World Bank financing and operational capacity to become a better, bigger, and more effective Bank. This includes increasing private and public resources, while also using knowledge more effectively and further development of the Global Challenge Programs.

On the issue of debt sustainability, the development committee recognized World Bank and IMF collaboration, together with the Paris Club and G20 non-Paris Club creditors and reaffirmed the importance of efforts by all actors, including private creditors, to continue working to enhance debt management and transparency.

The members discussed the transformative impact of the empowerment of women and girls, agreeing that the next phase of Evolution places a greater emphasis on the Bank’s role in driving progress on gender equality and human development.

His Excellency Al Hussaini will work with committee members during his two-year term as chairman to advise the WBG and IMF Board of Governors on promoting sustainable economic development and creating and enhancing resources in developing nations.

The Joint Ministerial Committee of the Boards of Governors of the Bank and the Fund on the Transfer of Real Resources to Developing Countries, which was created in 1974, is the official name of the development committee. It has 25 members, most of whom are ministers of development or finance. The Chair is chosen from among the members of the Committee, while the Executive Secretary is chosen by the Committee. The Development Committee will convene again in Washington, D.C., in April 2024.