News story

UK challenges World Bank to work smarter and harder to end aid dependency

The world’s poorest people will continue to be blocked from opportunities for jobs and wealth creation unless the World Bank radically reforms, International Development Secretary Priti Patel will say in Washington DC this weekend.

Ms Patel will be speaking at the World Bank Annual Meetings ahead of the next funding negotiation for the World Bank’s International Development Association.

The International Development Secretary will continue her drive to challenge and change the global aid system to ensure it effectively serves the poorest people in the world, while delivering value for money for UK taxpayers.

Attending the World Bank Annual Meetings for the first time, Ms Patel will set out how the Bank must commit to radical reforms in order to remain relevant at a time when global security and prosperity are threatened by mass migration, disease and conflict.

Speaking in Washington DC Priti Patel said:

“No country can defeat poverty without sustained economic growth.

“The World Bank has the reach and expertise to boost developing economies; but it must work harder and smarter to help end aid dependency and achieve maximum impact for UK taxpayers.

“As a globally engaged, outward-looking nation Britain is challenging the Bank to focus its support on those who need it most, ensuring the world’s poorest are not blocked from the opportunities they need to stand on their own two feet.

“Boosting global prosperity by creating jobs, investment and trade in countries where they are desperately needed is firmly in the UK’s interests.‎

“That is why we are using our position in the Bank to push for significant reforms that work for Britain and the world’s poorest.”

During the meetings the International Development Secretary will push the Bank to reform by:

  • Ensuring the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) double the value of loans and grants they provide to the poorest countries eligible, so they can access much needed funds to invest in tackling the root causes of poverty.

  • Setting out a comprehensive plan by Spring 2017 for how they will, taking greater risks as needed, leverage private sector investment to transform economies in places where jobs are needed the most - the hardest markets; the poorest, most fragile and conflict affected states.

  • Collaborating and not competing with other Multilateral Development Banks, Development Finance Institutions, humanitarian agencies and private sector investors, to focus on creating deals that achieve the highest impact and value for money.

The Annual Meetings bring together finance and development ministers from over 100 donor and developing country governments, as well as senior representatives from private business, the banking community and NGOs.

The International Development Secretary has already made clear at the recent Global Fund replenishment in Montreal and the UN General Assembly in New York that the UK will use its position as one of the world’s leading aid donors to challenge, change and reform the wider global aid system.

Ms Patel will be speaking at number of events in Washington to highlight the UK’s stance on World Bank reform.

These include:

  • The meetings of the Development Committee to push for implementation of reforms set out in the UK-initiated Forward Look.

  • A flagship event on mobilising investment from the private sector to press the World Bank to be more specific and focused on what it will do differently to deliver the scale of investment needed.

  • Meeting ministers from key bilateral country partners to discuss her vision for reform of the global aid system.