Infrastructure projects around the world have received a financial boost following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the World Bank Group and Brics’s New Development Bank.
The memorandum, aimed at strengthening co-operation in addressing global infrastructure needs, was signed on Friday by World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim and New Development Bank (NDB) president KV Kamath, and paves the way for the two institutions to explore country-level co-operation.
"Signing this agreement enables our institutions to strengthen our collaboration. When the world’s multilateral banks work closely together, and support development that promotes inclusive growth in low-and middle-income countries, the poor and the vulnerable benefit the most," Kim said.
Infrastructure such as electricity and sanitation services are expected to benefit most from the co-operation between the two banks.
About 1.2-billion people around the world lack access to electricity while 2.4-billion others do not have basic sanitation services. In the fiscal year ending June 30 the World Bank Group invested $25bn in infrastructure.
Co-operation will also include the co-financing of projects; facilitation of knowledge exchange regarding their operations in accordance with their respective policies and procedures; exploring and pursuing opportunities for advisory services; and facilitating secondments and staff exchanges.
"We greatly appreciate timely support offered by the World Bank Group throughout our establishment process, and look forward to advancing and deepening our co-operation," Kamath said. "We at the NDB will listen, learn and collaborate to promote sustainable infrastructure development in our member countries."
The NDB, an initiative of the member countries of Brics, pools financial resources together so member countries can lend to one another and other emerging markets, to bridge infrastructure gaps. The bank became fully operational in February 2016.
by Ntsakisi Maswanganyi