Will the World Bank's response to COVID-19 help people and the planet?

Countries struggling to recover from COVID-19 are getting World Bank budget support.  But will it help people and the planet?

The World Bank provides budget support to countries through its Development Policy Loans (DPLs). DPLs are especially needed by countries struggling to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and can be a powerful tool for reform, since they are typically conditioned on governments taking specific steps, known as prior actions. The content of these prior actions can help determine the direction the country takes, including on issues of global concern like climate change.

For this reason, the Big Shift Campaign, of which BIC is a member, has written to the World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development to encourage the use of DPLs to advance both health and climate goals by supporting policies to curb air pollution, whether from fossil fuels or solid cookfuels, while avoiding lock-in of carbon- or energy-intensive technologies. Using DPLs in this way could help the World Bank lead countries to indeed “build back better.” Read the full letter here.