Connect with us

Reports

ADB’s Long-Term Financing Facility Critical for Meeting Financing Gaps

Published

on

The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) multitranche financing facility (MFF) has helped member countries in addressing critical development financing gaps and played a major role in scaling up ADB’s investments in several countries, says a report released by ADB’s Independent Evaluation Department (IED). MFF is a financing modality that supports a medium- to long-term investment program of a developing member country through a series of tranches provided over time up to the maximum amount and period approved by ADB’s Board.

The report, ADB’s Multitranche Financing Facility, 2005–2018: Performance and Results Delivered, assesses the relevance, efficiency, and results of the use of MFF by ADB over 2005 to 2018. During this period, ADB approved 105 MFFs totaling $52.3 billion to 16 countries, which was equivalent to nearly one-third of its total sovereign financing. Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Viet Nam accounted for nearly two-thirds of the approved MFF financing, with South Asia, and Central and West Asia receiving 80% of the approvals and the financing envelope.

ADB introduced the MFF modality in 2005 to be more responsive and efficient, and to deliver results on the ground. MFFs provide governments with a secured investment flow over the facility period (up to 10 years) to finance multiple projects in tranches to address large infrastructure needs of the country with amounts often exceeding $500 million. Long periods and large amounts are also meant to incentivize the borrower to implement a sector strategy more systematically and to improve its institutional capacity.

The evaluation found that MFFs have been well aligned with country and ADB strategic priorities where large funding is required, supporting sector programs and national strategies and medium-term plans, where present. The facility also supported ADB’s key development agenda on promoting inclusive and sustainable growth to achieve poverty reduction through addressing infrastructure gaps. According to the report, MFFs have been well received by several stakeholders. The 2019–2022 operations pipeline includes 22 new MFFs for $14.3 billion in 16 countries, including seven newcomers to the modality.

“The larger size and longer term of MFF compared to stand-alone projects mattered as they allowed governments to pursue investment on a scale not previously possible,” said ADB Director General of Independent Evaluation Department Mr. Marvin Taylor-Dormond. “MFF operations provided viable investments to ADB member countries. If their potential is fully capitalized, they will be a powerful instrument for ADB to serve its client countries and promote transformational development in the region.”

The report states that the MFF modality also performed better than stand-alone projects in raising cofinacing from other sources, and in shortening project processing time. “Cofinancing raised by MFF operations was 27.5% of the ADB approved amount, almost twice the average raised by stand-alone projects,” said ADB’s IED Director Mr. Walter Kolkma. “Processing time for projects under an MFF are also substantially shorter than the time taken by multiple stand-alone projects.”

The evaluation notes that the modality did not always achieve the desired transformational changes at the sector level. It was mainly because components on capacity and institutional development often received less attention in the effort to complete the generally large and complex program of civil works. Also, some MFFs were found not addressing cross-sectoral issues in a more comprehensive way.

The report also notes that some of the MFF’s initial comparative advantages had eroded as the business environment changed. Over the years, in response to evolving conditions in the region, ADB has substantially lowered the commitment fee rates of all its loans, increased its lending capacity significantly, and gradually offered a wider choice of financing instruments. In addition, rules and procedures guiding MFF have been tightened in recent years, making this instrument less flexible.

The evaluation recommends ADB to review the use of the MFF modality and update the policy as necessary to align with its Strategy 2030 to deliver integrated solutions and realize its transformational development potential. It also recommends that ADB introduce measures to ensure that operations under the MFF program are completed during its specified time limit; that learning from prior tranches is captured and applied in subsequent tranches; and that transaction costs of MFF operations are reduced.

Continue Reading
Comments

Reports

Archipelagic Economies: Spatial Economic Development in the Pacific

Published

on

A new World Bank report on the challenges facing the Pacific region’s outer island communities identifies investment in people and livelihoods as a key for inclusive economic growth.    

Archipelagic Economies: Spatial Economic Development in the Pacific looks at the challenges Pacific governments must address to provide services and infrastructure to populations spread across hundreds of islands spanning the vast Pacific Ocean. The report puts forward a series of practical steps that countries can take to overcome these challenges in a way that supports resilient and inclusive economic growth.

“Many Pacific countries are faced with significant challenges in delivering services and connecting remote, outer island communities; with difficult decisions around resources and how to best invest often limited resources into outer island communities,” said the report’s lead author, World Bank Lead Economist for Fiscal Policy and Sustainable Growth Robert Utz.

“This report aims to provide Pacific governments, development partners and decision-makers with evidence to assess options for fostering development for the people in those outer islands, so they can make stronger contributions to the larger economic development of the whole country.”   

The report identifies six guiding economic policy principles:

1)     Policy solutions that seek to achieve equitable increases in living standards need to be grounded in an understanding of the economic implications of the Pacific region’s unique economic geography.

2)     Outer islands’ development should be assessed from a spatial perspective; one that considers interactions with the country’s main island and the region beyond.

3)     A balanced approach that combines investments in urban areas to accommodate migration from outer islands to main islands with support for outer island populations is likely to achieve better welfare and equity outcomes than an approach that neglects one side or the other.

4)     Growth-enhancing investments should be guided by clearly-identified opportunities, rather than by a desire to try to equalize economic opportunities across islands.

5)     With limited scope to close the gap in economic opportunities between outer and main islands investments to promote livelihoods and human development should be given preference.

6)     Outer islands are subject to a complex political economy of intra-island and outer island-main island relationships that need to be considered in development interventions.

“This is an important and timely study,” said Denton Rarawa, Senior Economic Advisor at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. “The current COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need to address the institutional, service delivery and capacity gaps of nations across the Pacific. As we strive for greater vaccination rates and begin to think about how we’d like to rebuild after the pandemic, I believe this report has a lot to offer the future of the Pacific, especially in our efforts to leave no one behind.”   

The Archipelagic Economies report is a companion publication to the World Bank’s Pacific Possible series, which in 2017 and 2018 looked at opportunities for economic growth in Pacific Islands Countries across key sectors including tourism, fisheries, and labour mobility. 

The World Bank works in partnership with 12 countries across the Pacific, supporting 87 projects totaling US$2.09 billion in commitments in sectors including agriculture, aviation and transport, climate resilience and adaptation, economic policy, education and employment, energy, fisheries, health, macroeconomic management, rural development, telecommunications and tourism.

Continue Reading

Reports

Global economic recovery continues but remains uneven

Published

on

The global economy is growing far more strongly than anticipated a year ago but the recovery remains uneven, exposing both advanced and emerging markets to a range of risks, according to the OECD’s latest Interim Economic Outlook.

The OECD says extraordinary support from governments and central banks helped avoid the worst once the COVID-19 pandemic hit. With the vaccine roll-out continuing and a gradual resumption of economic activity underway, the OECD projects strong global growth of 5.7% this year and 4.5% in 2022, little changed from its May 2021 Outlook of 5.8% and 4.4% respectively.

Countries are emerging from the crisis with different challenges, often reflecting their pre-COVID 19 strengths and weaknesses, and their policy approaches during the pandemic. Even in the countries where output or employment have recovered to their pre-pandemic levels, the recovery is incomplete, with jobs and incomes still short of the levels expected before the pandemic.

Large differences in vaccination rates between countries are adding to the unevenness of the recovery. Renewed outbreaks of the virus are forcing some countries to restrict activities, resulting in bottlenecks and adding to supply shortages.  

There is a marked variation in the outlook for inflation, which has risen sharply in the US and some emerging market economies but remains relatively low in many other advanced economies, particularly in the euro area.

A rapid increase in demand as economies reopen has pushed up prices in key commodities such as oil and metals as well as  food, which has a stronger effect on inflation in emerging markets. The disruption to supply chains caused by the pandemic has added to cost pressures. At the same time, shipping costs have increased sharply.

But the Interim Outlook says that these inflationary pressures should eventually fade. Consumer price inflation in the G20 countries is projected to peak towards the end of 2021 and slow throughout 2022. Wage growth remains broadly moderate and medium-term inflation expectations remain contained.

The report warns that to keep the recovery on track stronger international efforts are needed to provide low-income countries with the resources to vaccinate their populations, both for their own and global benefits.

Macroeconomic policy support is still needed as long as the outlook is uncertain and employment has not yet recovered fully, but clear guidance is called upon from policymakers to minimise risks looking forward. Central banks should communicate clearly about the likely sequencing of moves towards eventual policy normalisation and the extent to which any overshooting of inflation targets will be tolerated. The report says fiscal policies should remain flexible and avoid a premature withdrawal of support, operating within credible and transparent medium-term fiscal frameworks that provide space for stronger public infrastructure investment.

Presenting the Interim Economic Outlook alongside Chief Economist Laurence Boone, OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann said: “The world is experiencing a strong recovery thanks to decisive action taken by governments and central banks at the height of the crisis. But as we have seen with vaccine distribution, progress is uneven. Ensuring the recovery is sustained and widespread requires action on a number of fronts – from effective vaccination programmes across all countries to concerted public investment strategies to build for the future.”

Ms Boone said: “Policies have been efficient in buffering the shock and ensuring a strong recovery; planning for more efficient public finances, shifted towards investment in physical and human capital is necessary and will help monetary policy to normalise smoothly once the recovery is firmly established.”

Continue Reading

Reports

Financing Options Key to Africa’s Transition to Sustainable Energy

Published

on

A new whitepaper outlining the key considerations in setting the course for Africa’s energy future was released today at the 2021 Sustainable Development Impact Summit. The report, “Financing the Future of Energy,” outlines Africa’s electricity landscape and financing options in context with the global drive to reduce carbon emissions.

Africa’s power sector will play a central role in the transition from fossil fuel-driven power generation to a renewable-strong energy mix. According to the whitepaper written in collaboration with Deloitte, the migration to a multi-stakeholder-oriented net-zero power grid is being driven by “the 3Ds:”

  • Decarbonization: moving from fossil fuel sources to renewables
  • Decentralization: Shifting from centrally managed generation, transmission, and distribution to decentralized systems
  • Digitalization: Leveraging digital technology to advance the transition

The report contends that new coalitions and investments with developed nations and NGOs including the World Economic Forum must coordinate and enable countries to leapfrog existing technologies and infrastructure.

“The need for digitally smarter utility platforms and sustainable development programs will guide global leaders in helping to shape equitable and inclusive recovery programs,” said Chido Munyati, Head of Africa at the World Economic Forum. “The entire continent remains vulnerable, but this whitepaper offers a view on what are viable financing options that exist today for clean energy sustainability and equitable recovery for all of Africa.

Funding will be the biggest hurdle to ensuring Africa’s sustainable transition to Renewables at scale; there are many financing solutions available,” said Mario Fernandes, Director, Africa Power Utilities and Renewables, Deloitte. “Africa’s winners will be the ones that are able to leverage what exists while creating an enabling environment for the private sector through a Renewables Energy Investment facility.”

Case studies in China and India showed that financing solutions for a clean energy transition often involve long cycles. Economic booms in these countries resulted in a significant shift in carbon emissions. Since similar economic booms are expected across Africa, the report highlights how crucial it is to anchor growth in technologies that can enable lower emissions.

While Africa’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel significantly lags behind those of other continents, it still carries a huge potential to accelerate the transition to a net-zero future. Currently, half of the continent lives without adequate access to electricity. As energy demands increase, the energy gap could be bridged through clean energy alternatives, if the financing solutions are employed now.

Continue Reading

Publications

Latest

Middle East2 hours ago

Syria: 10 years of war has left at least 350,000 dead

A decade of war in Syria has left more 350,200 people dead, High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet told the Human Rights...

Economy5 hours ago

Afghan crisis: Changing geo-economics of the neighbourhood

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has caused a rapid reshuffle in the geo-economics of South, Central and West Asia. While...

Intelligence7 hours ago

The Role and Place of the Taliban on the Global Map of Islam: Challenges and Threats

The rise to power of the Taliban (a terrorist organization banned in Russia) in August 2021 has raised a number...

Human Rights9 hours ago

Millions in Yemen ‘a step away from starvation’

The crisis in Yemen, now in its seventh year of war, continues unabated, with thousands of people displaced and millions...

Economy11 hours ago

Turkish Economy as the Reset Button of Turkish Politics

Democracy has a robust relationship with economic growth.  Barrington Moore can be seen as one of the leading scholars focusing...

Africa Today12 hours ago

South Sudan ‘determined to never go back to war’

South Sudan is “ready to turn a new page” towards greater peace, development and prosperity, Vice-President Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior said in her speech in the UN General Assembly...

Health & Wellness15 hours ago

WHO backs Regeneron COVID-19 drug cocktail – with equal access, price cut

The Regeneron antibody drug cocktail – casirivimab and imdevimab – has been added to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) list of treatments for COVID-19 patients, the...

Trending