WORLD BANK / SPRING MEETINGS PRESS CONFERENCE

20-Apr-2022 00:06:45
World Bank Group President David Malpass said the international community needs to “take important steps to address the current set of crises” facing the global economy, including the war in Ukraine, the ongoing pandemic, and rising debt burdens. WORLD BANK
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STORY: WORLD BANK / SPRING MEETINGS PRESS CONFERENCE
TRT: 06:45
SOURCE: WORLD BANK
RESTRICITONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 20 APRIL 2022, WASHINGTON DC
SHOTLIST
1. Various shots, World Bank Group Headquarters
2. SOUNDBITE (English) David Malpass, President, World Bank Group:
“Above all, the war and the consequences of that are putting stress on poor people around the world. It's adding to the debt burden and overburden in many countries, and also the fragility of the world environment. One of the key transmission mechanisms is the shortages of food, of energy, and of fertilizer. Fertilizer and energy are critical for the crop cycle, so, they're building on each other and creating a food insecurity crisis that will last at least months and probably into next year. Food prices are up already 37 percent year-over-year. There's been a shift in relative prices, with food up more than CPI. That's significant because it measures how much it hits the poor.”
3. Various shots, World Bank Group Headquarters
4. SOUNDBITE (English) David Malpass, President, World Bank Group:
“The World Bank has been acting fast in the face of the crisis. Both the COVID expansion in 2020 and 2021, it was one of the fastest and largest in World Bank history. And we are now putting money into Ukraine and have moved quickly both to commitments and disbursements of nearly a billion-and-a-half dollars in our latest announcement that I made last week in Poland. That's part of a surge in World Bank Group financing that we expect to carry out over the next 15 months, which should reach 170 billion dollars. It would be the largest set of commitments by the World Bank, ever.”
5. Various shots, World Bank Group Headquarters
6. SOUNDBITE (English) David Malpass, President, World Bank Group:
“The world needs to take important steps to address the current set of crises. One is to allow more trade. Market opening steps are very important. I was intrigued to see and welcomed India's moves yesterday and today to begin to sell from its stockpiles. That’s one step. I think market opening steps by many of the advanced economies could add a lot to the global supplies and alleviate some of the impact on the poor countries. And they themselves need to build up their systems to produce more. One of the drawbacks is that, in recent years, there's been a shortage of investment, especially in the developing world. So, we need to find policies going forward that will add investment.”
7. Various shots, World Bank Group Headquarters
8. SOUNDBITE (English) David Malpass, President, World Bank Group:
“We wanted to have immediate support to help Ukraine continue some of the government services. So, we were able to mobilize nearly a billion dollars in emergency financing soon after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and that helped pay hospital workers and pensions and other government services. Last week, we announced another 1.5 billion dollars of support for essential government services. And this week, on Thursday, we'll have a meeting with Ukraine and supportive countries to look for assistance that will both consider the near term and also the longer-term needs of the people of Ukraine.”
9. Various shots, World Bank Group Headquarters
10. SOUNDBITE (English) David Malpass, President, World Bank Group:
“So, I think the world can take steps to say that the capital allocation of global resources can be improved. What we have now is a capital allocation that leads to deep inequality. And in fact, the inequality is growing worse. That means more countries falling further behind, not making advancements, and not having the investment that is needed. Some of that owes to the macro policies of the advanced economies. They've been borrowing very heavily from the global capital markets, which leaves less for other countries. That can be improved. And as central banks raise interest rates, it's important for them to use all their tools and not be undercut by government demand stimulus. The central banks can use tools that add to supply and that allow capital allocation to be improved. I think that's going to be vital.
11. Various shots, World Bank Group Headquarters
STORYLINE
World Bank Group President David Malpass today (20 Apr) said the international community needs to “take important steps to address the current set of crises” facing the global economy, including the war in Ukraine, the ongoing pandemic, and rising debt burdens.

Malpass, speaking during the World Bank’s press conference at the 2022 World Bank – IMF Spring Meetings, highlighted how the war is leading to “shortages of food, of energy, and of fertilizer,” which are “building on each other and creating a food insecurity crisis that will last at least months and probably into next year”.

The World Bank leader said that the institution has provided “immediate support to help Ukraine continue some of the government services,” by mobilizing “nearly a billion dollars in emergency financing,” which help “pay hospital workers and pensions” among other services.

Malpass also raised concerns about inequality which he said was partially the result of macroeconomic policies of advanced economies. He called on central banks to “use tools that add to supply and that allow capital allocation to be improved”.
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