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The Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) were set up after the Second World War and were the original impact investors, fighting poverty, inequality and, more recently, climate change.
“To demonstrate our impact is crucial at a time where multilateralism is often challenged, when there is a tendency to think that we are more effective when we work at a country level rather than at the global level,” EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso said at the start of a discussion of the effectiveness of the MDBs’ lending.
Now more than ever, the MDBs have a vital role to play in the global economy. The world is starting its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The climate emergency has not gone away. Furthermore, national governments are piling up mountains of debt.
How can we ensure that multilateral lending helps the world emerge from the current crisis? How can we make that lending as effective as possible? How can we best measure its impact? And what is “iwashing”?
These and other topics were examined by:
Dean Karlan, the Frederic Esser Nemmers Distinguished Professor of Economics and Finance at Northwestern University and President and Founder of Innovations for Poverty Action
Pavan Sukhdev, an environmental economist, banker, former Special Adviser and Head of UNEP's Green Economy Initiative, currently CEO of GIST Advisory, and President of WWF International;
Beata Javorcik, the EBRD’s Chief Economist and Professor of Economics at Oxford University.
The discussion was chaired by the EBRD’s Jonathan Charles.