The World Bank will need to get creative in raising funds to help the poorest countries now that the richest ones are feeling pinched themselves.
In 2007, the World Bank collected $42 billion for the International Development Association, the world’s largest fund for the poor.
To try to match that total this year, it is tapping a deeper pool of emerging market donors, promising more strenuous oversight of how the money is used and is even prepared to let fiscally strained countries stretch out installment plans.
“Donors are under stress,” said Whitney Debevoise, a former U.S. executive director to the World Bank who is now at the Washington-based law firm Arnold & Porter LLP.
“I don’t think they will talk about anything less (than 2007’s fundraising total) until it becomes obvious that isn’t going to become the case. I do think it will be difficult.”
When IDA donors meet in Mali’s capital Bamako Wednesday as part of the once-every-three-years fundraising, the number of donor countries will have grown to about 50, five more than in the last round when China participated for the first time.
Countries have expressed interest in devoting funds to fragile states emerging from conflict, reducing maternal mortality and helping the poor cope with climate changes.