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2021 Trust Fund Annual Report

Message from the Vice President

This was a year dominated by COVID-19 and the ensuing global health and economic crisis. The pandemic has taken lives and disrupted livelihoods in every corner of the world. It has raised the urgency of mitigating severe economic impacts on poverty and overcoming the dangers of climate change, systemic inequality, social instability, financial risks, declining growth rates, and conflicts.

The World Bank Group’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 crisis has been massive and decisive, with trust funds and financial intermediary funds (FIFs) contributing to immediate relief initiatives and providing strategic support to countries as they rebuild for a resilient recovery. This report highlights the important work trust funds and FIFs are supporting to help shorten the crisis and lay a strong foundation for a future that is more prosperous and better prepared for disasters like COVID-19.

Ongoing trust-funded activities are part of the World Bank Group’s efforts to build this foundation of greater resilience. Looking across the thematic areas of health, climate action, gender, social protection and jobs, and debt management, this report shows how trust fund and FIF resources—disbursing $51.62 billion from fiscal years 2017 to 2021—support the World Bank Group’s goals to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity through greener, more inclusive and more resilient development.

Trust funds and FIFs complement the core funding and activities of the World Bank Group, increase the scope and reach of its activities, and further its knowledge and learning agenda. They help address global and regional issues that transcend national boundaries and make it possible to support countries, such as non-members and those in arrears, where the World Bank Group cannot provide financing from its own resources.

This report also examines how the World Bank Group brings value to trust-funded partnerships. Its convening power, at both the international and country level, optimizes coordinated action on shared development priorities to achieve impact at scale. Partners benefit from the World Bank Group’s extensive technical expertise, country experience and supervision capacity, and its ability to monitor and report on results. Ongoing reforms in trust fund and FIF management also ensure strategic alignment, efficiency, transparency, collaboration, and predictability in the use of resources. As part of the drive to enhance financial sustainability, new measures are also being implemented to recover costs in delivering externally funded activities.

Partnerships are at the core of trust fund and FIF success, and we thank all our development partners, implementing partners, and client countries for their engagement, collaboration, and dedication to our shared mission and vision. Our work ahead is more critical than ever. Together, we are building on forward momentum to generate a resilient recovery that ensures a broad and lasting rise in prosperity for all.

Akihiko Nishio
Vice President
Development Finance, World Bank Group