Expatica news

Millions pledged to support development banks

The Swiss government has reaffirmed its commitment to development banks – which help support the world’s poorest countries – by pledging CHF978 million ($970 million) towards four key institutions.

Funding will be given to the International Development Agency (IDA) and the World Bank, as well as the African and the Asian Development Funds over the next nine years, the economics ministry said.

“The multilateral development banks are priority partners in Switzerland’s international cooperation efforts. Their political neutrality allows them privileged access to the beneficiary countries,” it added.

The organisations are able to achieve an impact beyond that of individual donors and contribute towards implementing international goals for sustainable development, according to a ministry statement published following Wednesday’s regular cabinet meeting.

The bulk of the funds – CHF645 million – is to go the IDA. The institution’s goals are to encourage more private investment, expand its involvement in fragile regions and invest more in climate protection measures.

Switzerland has been a long-standing member of the banks which provide low interest loans and grants to countries with the lowest incomes and limited access to capital markets.

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs says Switzerland is also continuing its commitment to the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative. This is aimed at cancelling debts as long as the countries carry out specific reforms.

swissinfo.ch with agencies/ug