- Global Community Makes Record $75bn Commitment to End Extreme Poverty
A coalition of more than 60 donor and borrower governments have agreed to ratchet up the fight against extreme poverty with a record $75 billion commitment for the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries.
“This is a pivotal step in the movement to end extreme poverty,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “The commitments made by our partners, combined with IDA’s innovations to crowd in the private sector and raise funds from capital markets, will transform the development trajectory of the world’s poorest countries. We are grateful for our partners’ trust in IDA’s ability to deliver results.”
The funding, according to a release issued by the global body, will enable IDA to dramatically scale up development interventions to tackle conflict, fragility and violence, forced displacement, climate change, and gender inequality; and promote governance and institution building, as well as jobs and economic transformation -areas of special focus over the next three years. These efforts are underpinned by an overarching commitment to invest in growth, resilience and opportunity.
“With this innovative package, the world’s poorest countries – especially the most fragile and vulnerable – will get the support they need to grow, create opportunities for people, and make themselves more resilient to shocks and crises,” said Kyle Peters, World Bank Group Interim Managing Director and Co-Chair of the IDA18 negotiations. “IDA’s focus on issues like climate change, gender equality and preventing conflict and violence will also contribute to greater stability and progress around the world.”
Financing during the IDA18 replenishment period, which runs from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2020, is expected to support: Essential health and nutrition services for up to 400 million people; access to improved water sources for up to 45 million people; financial services for 4-6 million people; safe childbirth for up to 11 million women through provision of skilled health personnel.
Others are: training for 9-10 million teachers to benefit 300+ million children; immunisations for 130-180 million children; better governance in 30 countries through improved statistical capacity; and an additional 5 GW of renewable energy generation capacity.
“IDA is writing a whole new chapter in the story of development,” said Dede Ekoue, IDA18 co-chair and Togo’s former Minister of Development. “Together with donors, working hand-in-hand with borrower governments, we are putting forward an innovative, ambitious and responsive package of support that gives hope to the poorest. These interventions will help transform the lives of billions of people living in IDA countries.”
To finance this groundbreaking package, IDA is proposing the most radical transformation in its 56-year history. For the first time, IDA is seeking to leverage its equity by blending donor contributions with internal resources and funds raised through debt markets. By blending concessional contributions from donors with its own resources and capital market debt, IDA will significantly increase the financial support it provides to clients.
“The innovative financing package offers exceptional value for money, with every $1 in partner contributions generating about $3 in spending authority,” said Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Vice President for Development Finance. “It is one of the most concrete and significant proposals to date on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda – critical to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.”
The additional financing will enable IDA to double the resources to address fragility, conflict and violence (more than $14 billion), as well as the root causes of these risks before they escalate, and additional financing for refugees and their host communities ($2 billion).
Increased financing will help strengthen IDA’s support for crisis preparedness and response, pandemic preparedness, disaster risk management, small states and regional integration, the release noted.
Efforts to stimulate private sector development in the most difficult environments, at the core of job creation and economic transformation, will receive a major push in the form of a new $2.5 billion Private Sector Window (PSW).
The PSW, being introduced together with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), will help mobilise private capital and scale up private sector development in the poorest countries, particularly in fragile situations. The funds will also help governments strengthen institutions, mobilise resources needed to deliver services, and promote accountability.
A total of 48 countries pledged resources to IDA; additional countries are expected to pledge in the near-term. The World Bank Group is continuing the tradition of contributing its own resources to IDA.
“One of the extraordinary things about IDA is that it brings different countries together to help the poorest. In this replenishment in particular, we’ve really seen that IDA is truly a global coalition,” said van Trotsenburg.
A total of 75 low-income countries are eligible to benefit from the IDA18 financing package.
The World Bank’s IDA, established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low- to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives.
IDA is a multi-issue institution, supporting a range of development activities that pave the way toward equality, economic growth, job creation, higher incomes, and better living conditions. Its work covers, for example, primary education, basic health services, clean water and sanitation, agriculture, business climate improvements, infrastructure, and institutional reforms.
The Drop in US Crude Oil Inventories Boosted Oil Prices on Wednesday
Crude oil prices rose on Wednesday following a decline in US crude inventories last week.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) had reported that United States crude oil inventories declined by 5.3 million barrels in the week ended January 22, 2021, more than a reduction of 430,000 barrels predicted by a Reuters poll.
The unexpected decline, coupled with slowing new COVID-19 cases in China, the world’s largest importer of crude oil, boosted oil prices on Wednesday.
Brent crude, against which Nigerian crude oil is measured, rose by 41 cents or 0.7 percent to $56.32 per barrel.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil also gained 56 cents or 1 percent to $53.17 a barrel.
“WTI is slightly firmer on the back of a larger-than-expected draw in US crude inventories reported by the API, which is offset by builds in gasoline and distillates,” said Vandana Hari, oil market analyst at Vanda Insights.
The data, however, showed petrol inventories grew by 3.1 million barrels in the week, more than experts projected.
Similarly, API data revealed that distillate fuel inventories that include diesel and heating oil, jumped by 1.4 million barrels, far higher than the 361,000 barrels decline predicted. However, refinery runs declined by 76,000 barrels per day.
“Market participants are now in ‘wait and see’ mode, wanting to see how lockdowns evolve in the coming weeks and months, and how successful countries are in rolling out Covid-19 vaccines,” ING economics said in a note.
COVID-19 Plunges Nigeria’s Oil Revenue by 41% in the First Nine Months of 2020
Nigeria’s oil revenue declined by 41.44 percent in the first nine months of 2020 to $2.033 billion, according to the latest data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
This represents a decline of 41.44 percent from $3.47 billion filed in the same period of 2019 when there was no COVID-19.
In the September 2020 edition of NNPC’s Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR), revenue from oil and gas rose by 16 percent to $120.49 million in the month of September, a 66 percent or $234.81 million drop from $355.3 million posted in the same month of 2019.
The global lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic plunged Nigeria’s crude oil sales and global demand for the commodity. This was further compounded by Nigeria’s high cost of production compared to Saudi Arabia, Russia and others that were offering discounts to boost sales during one of the most challenging periods in human history.
Experts like Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, President of Nigeria Association of Energy Economics, NAEE, were not surprised with the drop in earnings given the effect of COVID-19 on the world’s economy.
She, however, called for the revamp of the nation’s petroleum sector laws and diversification of the economy away from oil revenue dependence. She said “Covid-19 made 2020 a very hot year and it battered the oil industry internationally and we are not an exception; so we could not have been unaffected”.
She also said the effect of the fall “is definitely a wake-up call; we have to diversify, strengthen our other resources and capabilities”.
Omorogbe, a former NNPC Board Secretary, urged the government and the operators in the sector to look inward and think strategically, stating: “think medium term, think of where they want to be and the government, above all, must think of how best we can utilize our resources, so that we can achieve our objectives once we know and define them.
“It is a clear wake-up call, if not we will just sit here and find that we have become one of the poorest nations in the world”, she noted.
Crude Oil, Other Commodities Closing Price for Monday
Brent crude oil, Nigeria’s crude oil benchmark, gained 47 cents to $55.88 per barrel on Monday, while the US crude oil expanded by 50 cents to $52.77 per barrel.
Gold for February delivery fell $1 to $1,855.20 an ounce. Silver for March delivery fell 7 cents to $25.48 an ounce and March copper was little changed at $3.63 a pound.
The dollar fell to 103.80 Japanese yen from 103.83 yen. The euro fell to $1.2139 from $1.2167.
Wholesale gasoline for February delivery rose 1 cent to $1.56 a gallon. February heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.59 a gallon. February natural gas rose 16 cents to $2.60 per 1,000 cubic feet.
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