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Speeches & Transcripts October 31, 2021

Remarks by World Bank Group President David Malpass to the G20 Leaders’ Summit – Session III: Sustainable Development

Thank you, Chair. 

In previous sessions, I discussed our vaccination and climate-related efforts and our initiatives to encourage debt relief for low-income countries. Our COVID-era financing topped $157 billion, the largest and fastest expansion in our history. 

I’ll focus now on digitalization. As Queen Maxima said yesterday: without digitalization, we won’t be able to reap the full benefits of human progress.

Digitalization is vital in transforming social services, finance, health, education, and agriculture. 

Supporting this transformation will require creating an enabling regulatory environment; the elimination of monopolies in the telecom sector; large investments in digital infrastructure; and development of national IDs and social registries. 

Each of these efforts is complex, but it is vital that people in developing countries not be left behind. They need a high volume of low-cost transactions and remittances. This will bring many key benefits, including inclusiveness and access to the financial system for women and the most vulnerable. 

Importantly, it brings the ability to provide digital cash transfers as part of social protection systems. These will be critical in crisis preparedness and resilience. 

I’ve already spoken on the importance of IDA as a non-fragmented platform. IDA is key for digitalization in low-income countries, and the upcoming IDA20 replenishment includes digital transformation as key cross-cutting support for low-income countries. 

Thanks again, Chair.