By engaging and partnering with a wide array of stakeholder groups, we seek to advance development dialogue and action at all levels to help address countries’ development challenges. Our work with partners has helped advance and foster action on issues of critical importance, including human capital, fragility, gender, and sustainability. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have brought together key development partners, facilitating sharing of information and identifying avenues for collaboration.
Multilateral and international affairs. The Bank works closely with shareholders and multilateral partners to enable a favorable authorizing environment for strong country outcomes. In fiscal 2020, we mobilized support for an $82 billion financing package for IDA19, a 3 percent increase in real terms compared to IDA18. We participated in a range of multilateral platforms, such as the G7 under the French presidency, to build high-level support for IDA19 priorities. The latter include scaling up efforts in countries affected by FCV, especially in the Sahel; addressing debt vulnerabilities; empowering women; and combating climate change. In early 2020, the Bank Group engaged closely with the U.S. G7 Presidency, the Saudi G20 Presidency, other multilateral development banks (MDBs), and the UN system to support the globally coordinated response to COVID-19. As part of this effort, in April 2020, the Bank, together with the IMF, called for the suspension of bilateral debt service payments from the poorest countries to ensure they have the liquidity needed to address the impacts of the pandemic. G20 Finance Ministers subsequently endorsed the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), which took effect on May 1, 2020. The Bank also took the lead in developing a coordinated response with nine MDBs on our approach to the DSSI to ensure positive net flows to beneficiary countries so they could focus on their response to COVID-19. During the fiscal year, we have also worked with the European Union to develop efficient and inclusive financial systems, encourage digital transformation, address inequality, and mobilize financing for development.
Civil society. We engage with civil society organizations (CSOs) worldwide through partnerships and outreach, advocacy and campaigns, policy consultations, operational collaboration, and information exchange. They provide regular input through stakeholder consultations, which are now embedded as part of the project cycle under the Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework and our Citizen Engagement Framework. At the October 2019 Annual Meetings, the Civil Society Policy Forum brought together more than 800 CSO representatives from 75 countries. CSOs have also been strong champions of IDA, supporting a successful IDA19 replenishment in fiscal 2020.
Faith-based organizations. The Bank Group works with faith actors that share our mission and have proven experience in advancing country outcomes; engagements include advocacy, relationship building, evidence building, and operations. In fiscal 2020, consultations with faith actors played an important role in supporting the Bank’s new FCV strategy (see page 62). Extensive consultations also helped inform our Country Partnership Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Parliamentarians. Through the independent Parliamentary Network, we engage with over 1,500 legislators from member countries. In 2019, parliamentarians mobilized around the IDA19 replenishment and advocated for gender equality in parliaments. The Global Parliamentary Workshop at the 2019 Annual Meetings convened more than 60 members of parliament from 35 countries to explore ways to strengthen country ownership and leadership on fighting inequalities.
Philanthropy and the private sector. We are able to mobilize new ideas and sources of funding and broaden support for our development mission by partnering with foundations, philanthropists, impact investors, social entrepreneurs, and the private sector. In fiscal 2020, our long-standing partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation focused on boosting human capital, scaling up digital financial services, improving monitoring in primary health systems, strengthening country data analytics, and improving service delivery models. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked closely together on the procurement and deployment of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. We are also joining forces to help countries cope with the economic repercussions of the pandemic, including through the expansion of digital platforms to deliver social protection payments. The 2019 Partnership Forum convened 17 CEOs and senior leaders along with over 30 specialists from the private sector and philanthropy to explore support for the growth of women-owned businesses.
Local communities. The Bank Group’s Community Connections program helps staff live our values in our communities through corporate philanthropy, volunteerism, in-kind donations, and an internship program for local high school students. These efforts leverage our motivated, caring workforce for betterment of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and other communities around the world where we work. This year, we contributed over $9 million to nongovernmental organizations in our communities, with over $4 million of it donated by staff. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we conducted a staff disaster relief drive, which raised $1 million for local and international partner organizations, including the DC Central Kitchen, UNICEF, and the International Rescue Committee. We also gave more than $190,000 in fiscal 2020 to D.C.-based organizations that work for racial justice. In June 2020, Community Connections announced an additional $100,000 in grants to fight racism. The program is adding more new charities to the workplace giving list so that staff and the institution can more actively support work to end racism and increase economic opportunities for those who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color.