Ebola, climate change, lack of money for crucial infrastructure – the world’s risks loomed large as the World Bank Group-IMF Annual Meetings drew to a close. But solutions, too, were on the table.
Among them: much swifter action on the Ebola epidemic.
“We have to get high-quality treatment and prevention services in those three countries immediately,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim at a press conference following the Development Committee meeting.
“The humanitarian response, the public health response, and the response that can blunt the economic impact are all the same.”
With the epidemic accelerating, Kim organized a high-level meeting on the eve of the Annual Meetings to hear from the leaders of Ebola-stricken countries. Later, he called for a new pandemic emergency facility that could disburse money immediately to countries in the face of an outbreak.
Kim announced a new Global Infrastructure Facility to help close an estimated $1 trillion annual financing gap in developing countries. The partnership among some of world’s largest private funds, multilateral development institutions, and donor nations could help unlock billions of dollars for infrastructure in the developing world.
To fight climate change, the Bank Group won support for a price on carbon from 74 governments accounting for up to 54% of the world’s carbon emissions, as well as more than 1,000 companies and investors, in the days before the Climate Summit in September.
“We take very seriously our responsibilities in the area of global public goods like fighting climate change and will continue to do this work,” said Kim.