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Speeches & Transcripts April 22, 2022

Remarks by World Bank Group President David Malpass to the African Consultative Group at the 2022 Spring Meetings

Chairperson, Governors, Executive Directors, colleagues. Thank you for your invitation.

Minister Nadia Fettah Alaoui, it was nice to see you during my recent visit to Morocco. I look forward to next year’s Annual Meetings in Marrakesh.

I have seen many of you throughout the week and earlier this morning at the Development Committee Plenary. Good to see you again. I’m also pleased to be joined by ten of the WBG’s senior management – we’re looking forward to the discussion.

Since we had our last meeting during the Annual Meetings, there have been many new and disturbing developments in the world. The war in Ukraine is an added challenge to catastrophic droughts, the surge in food prices, and disruptions of food supply chains. An estimated 100 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa are expected to face food insecurity in the coming months.

In Ethiopia, South Sudan and Madagascar, there were no rains for the past three years.

In the Horn of Africa alone, twenty-five million people are facing famine.

The Sahel faces drought, environmental degradation, displacement, poor trade integration, and the deteriorating security situation are key factors.

Cameroon, the Gambia, Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa were major importers of agri-food products originating from Russia.

Djibouti, Egypt, and Tunisia have already been experiencing high food price inflation over the past year owing to the region’s dependence on cereal imports.

I encourage you to continue raising your voices to support a strong IDA. We were pleased to put together the largest ever financing package in IDA’s history: a $93 billion replenishment for IDA20. Africa will receive about 70 percent of the funding.

Our focus on supporting Africa remains strong. Nearly half of the World Bank resources (IDA + IBRD) are committed to the continent.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank has committed more than $41 billion to African countries across three vice presidencies (AFE, AFW, and MNA) to help strengthen health systems and services, establish and expand social safety nets, and weather the economic impacts of the crisis.

Africa is IDA’s biggest beneficiary. Since April 2020, over $51 billion has been delivered to African countries. This represents almost 70 percent of IDA’s overall financing.

We continue to target fragile and conflict-affected sub-regions. IDA support to the Horn of Africa reached $3.3 billion in 2021, up from very little, $54 million, in 2010. For the Sahel, support increased from under $400 million in 2010 to $2.3 billion in 2021.

On Regional Integration, the current World Bank Group active portfolio in Africa amount to over $15 billion.

Also, IFC is looking to invest $1 billion through its Africa Trade Recovery Initiative (ATRI) to augment the trade and supply chain finance for importers and exporters of essential goods throughout Africa, including food and medical products.

MIGA has about $7 billion in active guarantees supporting cross-border private sector investors across Africa, including $526 million in North Africa.

Finally, I want to emphasize the importance of access to reliable energy and Internet connectivity. We continue to invest in a comprehensive approach to universal energy and digital access and regulatory frameworks.

Let me stop here, as I would like very much to hear from you, and we’ll have a chance to exchange further later in the agenda.