COVID-19: Collaboration among devt. partners critical to helping economies recover – Adesina

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By Temitope Ponle

Abuja, Oct. 22, 2020 The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group says collaboration among development partners is ‘more vital’ to helping economies recover from the pandemic and attract private financing to rebuild infrastructure.
The President of AfDB, Akinwumi Adesina, said this at an extraordinary virtual meeting with multilateral development finance institutions on Wednesday.
The meeting, chaired by Hajjar Bandar, President of the Islamic Development Bank Group, was attended by the heads of 12 Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs).
It was also held to discuss the impact of the responses to the pandemic and the worsening debt situation of economies.
“We are really in very extraordinary times. There’s no doubt about it, in terms of the devastation that this pandemic is causing.
“The challenge is huge and the collective resolve must be strong as MDBs,” he said.
Adesina said that efforts must be deepened to help member-states mobilise more domestic resources and attract private creditors to participate in financing capital projects.
“It’s time for us to change the paradigm to get the private sector, with incentives, to do a lot of private-public partnerships,” he said,
The AfDB president restated the bank’s commitment to helping Africa rebuild ‘boldly and smartly’.
He recalled that joint efforts of MDBs had resulted in a COVID-19 response of about 230 billion dollars.
He also recalled the introduction of a COVID-19 Response Facility (CRF) of up to 10 billion dollars by the bank to support regional member-countries and the private sector clients.
According to Adesina, this was part of the bank’s efforts at addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that the IMF had also made financing provisions to 81 member-countries, totalling more than 100 billion dollars since mid-March, with room for member-countries to benefit from its one trillion dollars lending capacity through programme arrangements.
Also speaking, Bandar said that the collaboration by the MDBs had proven meaningful in their efforts to swiftly provide crucial financial relief to member-countries in the wake of the pandemic.
“In the face of this unprecedented crisis, we have shown our responsibility and unity. The disbursement of the total package has already started and is bearing fruits,” he said.
He urged members to sustain the collaboration to steer financing towards development, help communities out of poverty, spur digitisation and promote education.
“This forum is where partnerships make a difference. We need to join forces to support our member-countries more,” Bandar said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that participants at the meeting discussed how to achieve maximum impact in their relief efforts as well as the debt sustainability of beneficiary countries.
They said that sustaining their joint efforts would protect livelihoods, especially among the vulnerable populations, preserve macroeconomic stability and promote a stronger private sector role after COVID-19.
The MDBs also pledged to continue to collaborate in their efforts to mitigate the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerate the recovery of economies and livelihoods.
The MDBs represented at the meeting included the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB).
Others were the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), International Finance Corporation (IFC), International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The New Development Bank (NDB), World Bank Group and the AfDB were also among the participants at the meeting.

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