Intervention by Mr. Monwar Hossain, Deputy Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN at the Special High-level Meeting with Bretton Woods Institutions, WTO and UNCTAD at the ECOSOC FFDF on “Embracing shared solutions to finance sustainable development in a challenging environment”: Interactive Dialogue with Executive Directors of World Bank and IMF on 13 April 2021 

I thank you Mr. Moderator for giving me the floor.

I also thank President of the ECOSOC, Chair of the Development Committee of the WBG, Chair of the IMFC, and President, Trade and Development Board, UNCTAD for their insightful remarks.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed higher expectations on the WB, IMF and other development partners to ensure greater access to low-cost and low-risk funding, enhanced trade capacity building, and investment etc., especially to LDCs and other vulnerable countries.

Let me share some specific thoughts in this regard:

First, necessary funding to COVAX and ACT initiatives must be a top priority now. We expect the World Bank and IMF to enhance their funding, especially to LDCs and other vulnerable countries, to reduce the growing ‘vaccine divide’. In the same vein, development partners are expected to play a more decisive role to facilitate technology transfer for the local manufacturing of vaccines in developing countries.

Second, the recent decision of G-20 to extend the DSSI until the end of 2021 is commendable. This initiative needs to be expanded further, especially by including private creditors. The G-20 ‘common framework for debt treatments beyond DSSI’ is a welcome development in this regard. Such initiatives need to be expanded further. For lasting solutions, however, it is imperative to come up with comprehensive debt relief measures.

Third, Global trade has been seriously affected by COVID-19.  Our development partners, WTO and UNCTAD need to scale up its support and implement all WTO decisions related to LDCs.

Fourth, the decision to frontload the IDA-19 resources is a right move. We call upon the development partners to replenish the IDA fund with adequate resources keeping special provisions for COVID-19 recovery funding for eligible countries. We also need increased access of concessional resources from IMF’s PRGT fund.

Fifth, we welcome the recent agreement  to allocate US$650 billion SDR to support recovery efforts. We are, however, concerned that due to very low allocation of quota in IMF, the amount of fund that the LDCs and other vulnerable countries will get is far from adequate. We, therefore, call for simplified reallocation of unutilized SDRs by developed and advanced developing countries to LDCs.

Sixth, the COVID-19 pandemic has come as a double blow for climate vulnerable countries like Bangladesh. Amid the pandemic, we are facing recurrent floods, cyclones, and other natural disasters. We need scaled up support from the WBG and other development partners to address the climate change impacts, especially to build our adaptation and resilience capacities.

Finally, Bangladesh is co-chairing the LDC5 PrepCom. We invite WB, IMF, WTO and UNCTAD to remain deeply engaged in our efforts to come up with an ambitious programme of Action for the LDCs in the next decade.

I thank you all.