Washington, DC – June 15, 2021: In the face of two crises—COVID-19 and climate change—the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund launched a High-Level Advisory Group (HLAG) on Sustainable and Inclusive Recovery and Growth today to help secure a strong recovery and set a path for green, resilient, and inclusive development over the coming decade.
The HLAG will be jointly led by Mari Pangestu, Managing Director for Development Policy and Partnerships, World Bank; Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, Director, Strategy, Policy and Review Department, International Monetary Fund; and Lord Nicholas Stern of the London School of Economics. It aims to advance understanding of key policy and institutional issues that will inform a response to multiple interconnected challenges – the two crises, which are exacerbating poverty and inequality, as well as structural weaknesses that existed before the pandemic.
Comprised of experts from research institutions, private sector, and governments, in addition to senior staff of the World Bank Group and IMF, the HLAG will propose ideas and frameworks for strategic and practical national and global action. These would contribute towards a sustainable and inclusive recovery, as well as setting the agenda for a sustained transformation based on new perspectives and models of growth and development.
“The poor and most vulnerable have been hit hardest by COVID-19, as well as climate change, and other challenges. I look forward to this High-Level Advisory Group offering new ideas for impactful action, both at country-level and globally, to foster green, resilient and inclusive development and help developing countries get back on track to reduce poverty and inequality,” said David Malpass, President, World Bank Group.
“The world faces two huge crises—the pandemic, and the climate emergency—that demand radical and coordinated action. Through policy analysis and practical proposals, the High-Level Advisory Group will play a key role in this effort, and I look forward to this important collaboration,” said Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund.
Over the next eighteen months, the HLAG will marshal the combined and complementary policy experience and analytical strengths of its members to set out practical proposals in two phases:
- First, focus on the immediate challenge of a sustainable and inclusive recovery to inform the processes and meetings in 2021 leading up to the G20 Summit in Rome (October) and the COP26 in Glasgow (November).
- Second, deepen the analyses and formulation of actions for sustained transformation in 2022.
HLAG experts include:
Philippe Aghion, Centennial Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, at the Collège de France, and at INSEAD; Montek Ahluwalia, former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India; Masood Ahmed, President, Center for Global Development; Timothy Besley, School Professor of Economics and Political Science and Sir W. Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science; Amar Bhattacharya, Senior Fellow, Center for Sustainable Development; Laurence Boone, Chief Economist and Head of the Economics Department, OECD; Ottmar Edenhofer, Professor of the Economics of Climate Change, Technical University of Berlin and Director of the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research; Gita Gopinath, Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department at the IMF; Homi Kharas, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; Eliana La Ferrara, Fondazione Romeo ed Enrica Invernizzi Chair in Development Economics, Bocconi University; Joaquim Levy, Director for Economic Strategy and Market Relations at Banco Safra S.A., and former Finance Minister, Brazil; Zhu Min, former Deputy Managing Director, IMF; Maria Ramos, Chair, AngloGold Ashanti Limited and former CEO of Absa Group Limited; Carmen Reinhart, Vice President of Development Economics and World Bank Group Chief Economist; Andres Velasco, Professor of Public Policy and Dean, School of Public Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has committed over $125 billion to fight the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic, the fastest and largest crisis response in its history. The financing is helping more than 100 countries strengthen pandemic preparedness, protect the poor and jobs, and jump start a climate-friendly recovery. The Bank is also providing $12 billion to help low- and middle-income countries purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments. On climate change, the World Bank Group is the largest multilateral financier of climate action in developing countries, having provided $83bn in finance for climate from 2016-2020.
The IMF has been at the forefront of the international response to the pandemic, and recently published a $50 billion roadmap to accelerate the equitable distribution of health tools to help end the health crisis that has devastated lives and livelihoods. Since the start of the pandemic, the Fund has approved over $109 billion in financing to 84 countries of which 52 are low-income countries. The Fund has also provided capacity development to 160 countries during this period. In addition, debt relief under the IMF’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust CCRT has been extended to 29 of the Fund’s poorest and most vulnerable members reaching almost $700 million for eligible debt service falling due to the IMF through October 15, 2021.