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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Recto heads G24 meeting, asks WB, IMF for more action

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Finance Secretary Ralph Recto called on the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to act decisively and ramp up support for developing nations.

“The peace and prosperity of future generations rest in our hands. We cannot afford any delay or inaction,” Recto said in his opening remarks as chair of the Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-Four (G-24) on April 16, 2024.

Formed in 1971, G-24 helps coordinate the positions of developing countries on international monetary and development finance issues to ensure that their interests are adequately represented in negotiations on international monetary matters.

The Philippines serves as the chair of the G-24 Bureau for 2023-2024. Recto said this is a defining moment that will shape the fate of developing nations.

The ministerial meeting, under the theme, “Building Resilience to Meet Global Challenges”, provided an opportunity for ministers and the international finance institutions to exchange insights on world developments and for the latter to discuss critical reforms to support developing economies in facing global headwinds.

Recto cited the urgency for the World Bank Group (WBG) and the IMF to intensify their efforts in assisting developing countries to mitigate and reverse the factors threatening their growth prospects, which entails immediate access to short-term liquidity and affordable long-term financing solutions.

“Alarmingly, one in every four developing countries is now poorer than before the pandemic. Any slowdown in global economic performance will surely hit the developing economies the hardest. This poses a grave threat to the peace, economic security, and prosperity of all our people,” he said.

Recto underscored the need for innovative and responsive financing solutions that will help developing countries navigate the turbulent waters ahead.

“The ambitious replenishment, expedited disbursement, and efficient delivery of the International Development Association, or IDA21, is an urgent matter as it serves as a critical lifeline for developing nations,” he said.

IDA is part of the WBG that provides grants and low-interest loans for the world’s low-income countries.

Recto warned that without improvements to financing conditions in the short term, decades of individual and global efforts to eradicate poverty and inequality, combat climate change, and invest in growth-enhancing infrastructure projects will be put to a halt, if not reversed.

“We are counting on this meeting to set unprecedented multilateral cooperation. Together, let us find transformative solutions that will reclaim our gains and steer the global economy faster and further on the road to inclusive and irreversible growth,” he said.

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