Digital public infrastructure concept

G20 – a unique opportunity to advance digital public infrastructure


By Liv Marte Nordhaug, Co-Lead, Digital Public Goods Alliance


Faced with recurrent shocks and crises, countries everywhere are looking to build more resilient and inclusive digital foundations for public and private service delivery. As they enter this next stage of their digital journeys, advanced and emerging economies alike should apply an infrastructure mindset that drives inclusion, empowerment, and innovation. India’s G20 presidency offers a unique opportunity to convene the international community around advancing this agenda.

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Debt relief in developing countries

It is time to give highly indebted countries a fresh start


By Rachid Bouhia, Economist, and Patrick Kacmarczyk, Consultant, UNCTAD[1]


Fast deterioration of financial conditions in the Global South

Sustained investments are a prerequisite for attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Without stable financial conditions, however, these investments are not possible. Roller coaster capital markets prevent investors in the real economy from predicting their rate of return, leaving only financial speculators in the game.   

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Development finance

Four ways to make development finance fairer and more effective


By Harald Hirschhofer, Senior Advisor, TCX


Low-income country debts are mostly owed to multilateral and bilateral official lenders. Unfortunately, these development institutions’ default practice is to lend – from a borrower’s perspective – in foreign currency, i.e. USD, Euros or Yen. As they are risk conservative, they put the currency risk on the shoulders of low-income country borrowers. Although on concessional terms, such hard-currency development finance frequently turns out to be more expensive than borrowers can afford. The true costs of borrowing are hidden behind a veil of currency risk.  

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India G20

India at the helm of the G20


By Ambassador Dr. Mohan Kumar, Former Indian Ambassador to France and Dean/Professor, OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India


On 1 December, India assumed the presidency of the G20 for the first time.  This is a momentous event for India and for the G20, at a crucial time in the world.

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Multilateral development system

Three challenges threatening the multilateral development system and possible solutions


By Abdoulaye Fabregas, Economist, Jieun Kim, Policy Analyst, OECD Development Co-operation Directorate, and Olivier Cattaneo, Head, Policy Analysis and Strategy Unit, OECD Development Co-operation Directorate, and Adjunct Professor, Paris School of International Affairs in SciencesPo


Halfway into the implementation timeframe of Agenda 2030, the multilateral development system is under growing pressure, faced with the continued fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war launched by Russia against Ukraine. The war has aggravated global inflationary pressures; food and energy prices are soaring, threatening the livelihoods of the most vulnerable. This week, the UN launched a record USD 51.5 billion humanitarian appeal for 2023. In this challenging context, our new report shows that the multilateral development system is confronting three paradoxes.

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debt

Why today’s debt crisis requires a different kind of thinking


By David McNair, Executive Director for Global Policy at The ONE Campaign and Non-Resident Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Daouda Sembene, CGD Distinguished Nonresident Fellow and AfriCatalyst CEO


African countries have more than doubled their debt stocks in the last decade. In an era of historically low interest rates that made sense, given the continent’s massive infrastructure needs, high security spending and rising social expenditure driven by a rapidly growing population. But that era is now over. 

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Ukraine wheat food exports

Preventing developing economy debt disasters


By Rabah Arezki, Former Chief Economist and Vice President at the African Development Bank, Former Chief Economist of the World Bank’s Middle East and North Africa Region and Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School & Mahmoud Mohieldin UN Special Envoy for Financing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. 


The world’s breadbasket is being wrecked by war. Ukraine and Russia account for 30% of global wheat and barley exports and are leading exporters of other grains. The two countries are also the source of nearly 70% of the world’s sunflower oil exports, while Russia accounts for 13% of all crude petroleum exports. As the conflict in Ukraine rages and sanctions on Russia escalate, food and energy prices – which were rising even before Russia invaded Ukraine – are spiking in countries far away from the front lines, with devastating implications for the world’s most vulnerable communities.

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Support to Ukrainian refugees and official development assistance


By Haje Schütte, Senior Counsellor and Head, Financing for Sustainable Development Division, Development Co-operation Directorate, OECD


In the first week of the Ukraine war, roughly 6,000 people crossed the border into neighbouring countries every hour. This sort of displacement is unprecedented in modern day Europe. At the time of writing, two thirds of Ukraine’s refugees, mostly women and children, are hosted by Poland, Hungary and the Slovak Republic. 

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The IMF and the capital account: Another step forward but still out of step


By Kevin P. Gallagher, Professor and Director of the Global Development Policy Centre at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies, and Co-Chair of the ‘Think 20’ Task Force on International Finance to the G20 and José Antonio Ocampo, Professor at Columbia University and former UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Finance to the G20


Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) took another step forward in recognising that regulating international capital flows is important to maintain financial stability. However, the IMF’s new policy change is still not fully in step with the policies needed to manage the capital account volatility that emerging and developing countries face. 

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Covid-19 vaccines and official development assistance


By Haje Schütte, Senior Counsellor and Head, Financing for Sustainable Development Division, Development Co-operation Directorate, OECD


When scientists announced the discovery of a Covid-19 vaccine, the world sighed with relief. But soon after, many people around the globe discovered that others would get access to jabs faster than them. The sad term ‘vaccine inequality’ was coined. Only 6% of people are fully vaccinated in low-income countries today. In a bid to fill the gaps and curb the pandemic, there were calls for high-income countries to share and donate vaccine doses to developing countries, in particular through the COVAX Facility – the multilateral mechanism for providing developing countries with vaccines.

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