World Bank Support For Low Income Countries Hits $6.7bn

World Bank Acting Vice President Keith Hansen said the overall bank financing for safety nets in low and middle income countries had reached 6.7 billion dollars in the past three years.

Hansen, who is the bank’s Human Development Network, said this at the spring meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC.

“Bank support for building safety nets from the International Development Association (IDA), the Bank’s fund for the poorest countries reached 769 million dollars in the last fiscal year, an eight-fold increase over the past decade.

“Overall Bank financing for safety nets in both low and middle-income countries totalled 6.7 billion dollars over the past three years.

“Every year, safety nets in developing countries lift over 50 million people from absolute poverty,” he said.

According to him, the bank is committed to helping countries build effective and affordable safety net systems needed to end poverty, build shared prosperity, protect access to health, education, and other basic social services.

UK Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening, said UK? support for the World Bank managed Rapid Social Response (RSR) programme would help support investment in job creation across the world.

He said at least 60 per cent of people in developing countries and nearly 80 per cent in the poorest countries lacked effective social safety nets coverage to protect them against sudden shocks and chronic poverty.

“What happens across the world matters more than ever for the UK and our support for the World Bank’s RSR Fund means we are investing in jobs, opportunities and peace.

“It will help governments in developing countries start to develop strong economies and strong societies of the future,” Justine said.

He said that the UK had announced an additional ?15 million (23 million dollars equivalent) in support of the RSR.

The Bank-managed RSR Programme had been supporting efforts in low-income countries to construct and assemble critical building blocks for safety nets and related social protection systems.

According to him, it will lead to enhanced country capacity, effectiveness, and efficiency in protecting their people from poverty and economic shocks.

The RSR was created in 2009 with Russian, Norway, UK, Australia and Sweden contributing 70 million dollars to support 83 projects in 42 countries.

These countries have an estimated 1.6 billion poor and vulnerable people.

The RSR has played a catalytic role in 15 of 22 IDA-eligible countries that have started plans for comprehensive safety nets.?