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COVID-19: Public Development Banks convene to proffer sustainable recovery solutions

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For the first time, all Public Development Banks have convened on a platform in Paris at a Summit dubbed France in Common, in an attempt to join forces to proffer sustainable recovery solutions to the impact COVID-19 has had on people, society, and on the bank’s operations in general.

At the end of the Summit, the 450 Public Bank Representatives signed a declaration to strengthen investment governance, openness and transparency including regarding procurement, anti-corruption efforts, compliance with Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing rules and access to adequate information and data. Their hope among others is also to implement coherent pricing policies to ensure economic efficiency and with the hope of building a resilient recovery post-COVID-19.

GBC’s Rebecca Ekpe reports that the Covid-19 pandemic and its subsequent socio-economic crisis has indeed generated profound and enduring impacts on the people and communities. The crisis reveals and amplifies vulnerabilities and inequalities calling for the need to reconsider development models.

This calls for a rethink and the factoring into policies environmental and social issues in the production and consumption modes in order to build a more just and resilient society.

Leadership of the Public Banks are united in reason that disruptions generate opportunities for major transformations and how they respond to the crisis will have long-lasting and potentially irreversible consequences.

The banks have therefore agreed to shift their strategies, investment patterns, activities and operating modalities, collectively and consistently with their mandates and governance, and long-term strategies to reflect the following.

On climate change, the banks have committed to the adoption of the Paris Agreement by governments, hence committing to align their activities to the objectives of the Paris Agreement, which includes striving to develop, operationalise and scale-up strategies and methodologies to align with zero net emissions.

On energy transition, they committed to increasing the pace and coverage of investment in renewable energy, efficiency and clean technologies to accelerate equitable access to clean energy.

The banks agreed that, on biodiversity, oceans and nature, and their conservation, sustainable management and protection are an essential foundation for development and for the well-being of all, including in designing sustainable food systems. – On health, in the context of Covid-19 and beyond, the banks have stepped up cooperation for more resilient health systems to realize human security and achieve health and well-being for all.

The 450 public banks representatives agreed in all to foster equality and social inclusion, by striving to increase access to affordable and accessible essential services such as education, housing, sustainable energy, safe water, hygiene and sanitation, social protection, including facilitating social and financial integration of vulnerable people globally.

“Because we have so much to share because there is already a strong consensus on what needs to be done on climate issues and on the fight against social inequalities because we are all seeking solutions to make our investments more sustainable, it only seemed natural to form this global coalition of Public Development Banks,” said Audrey Rojkoff, the Secretary-general of the Summit.

By: Rebecca Ekpe.

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