A World Bank fund that aids the poorest countries will receive $93 billion over the next three years. The International Development Association (IDA) announcement came Wednesday at the end of a two-day donor pledging meeting in Tokyo.
“As poor countries struggle with the pandemic and high levels of debt, they need more support,” said Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network. "Religious groups pushed world leaders to increase humanitarian aid for developing countries struggling with the pandemic."
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Jubilee USA Network wrote a joint letter to President Biden in February urging additional funds for IDA and other development lenders to respond to increased COVID-spurred needs.
“The committed donations are important as these countries need to spend more on social needs and climate challenges," stated Jubilee USA's Aldo Caliari, the group's Senior Director of Policy.
IDA normally receives new funds every three years. The IDA replenishment is the 20th in its history and was originally scheduled for 2023 but rapid depletion of the previous one due to the COVID crisis, prompted donors to advance new funding by one year. The new IDA commitments were 13% higher than the previous replenishment. The Tokyo meeting was the last of four donor meetings to negotiate contributions.
“More money for IDA is good news,” added LeCompte. "As we continue to confront the global health and economic crises, developing countries will also need debt relief and other sources of aid."
Major US churches and international religious groups also signed a letter that Jubilee USA coordinated to the White House, G20 and IMF calling for additional aid to confront the pandemic. The nearly 300 signers included the Union for Reform Judaism, the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist and United Church of Christ Churches.
Read Jubilee USA and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops joint letter to the White House here.
Read Jubilee USA's COVID response letter calling for additional aid and development bank support with nearly 300 signatories here.