UK Affirms Maximizing Shareholding to Influence World Bank Practices

The logos of the International Finance Corp. and World Bank. The U.K. has revealed its plans to work with the financial institution over the next year. Photo by: Addy Cameron-Huff / CC BY

The U.K. government revealed Aug. 12 how it plans to work with the World Bank over the next year.

The release of the report took place more than five months since the U.K. multilateral aid review, where the bank, particularly the International Development Association, performed strongly as it offered “very good value” for British taxpayers’ money.

>> UK Releases Aid Review Results

The United Kingdom is the fourth-largest shareholder of the World Bank. It said it had contributed 250 million pounds ($406.8 million) as paid-in capital to the bank and will provide 2.66 billion pounds to IDA from 2012 to 2015. The European donor said it intends to maximize its shareholding to help modernize the bank.

The report said: “Demand for global governance in general, and for the services of the Bank in particular, will continue to grow. As the world’s largest development institution, with uniquely effective convening power, it remains a critically important partner for us as we combat these challenges. It is the UK’s responsibility as a major shareholder to ensure that the Bank is equipped to tackle these challenges.”

The priorities have five areas of focus, which mirror themes of previous DfID pronouncements: results and efficiency, fragile states, climate change, support to the private sector through the International Finance Corp., and off-track Millennium Development Goals.

Some highlights:

  • The U.K. government will support timely recruitment of qualified staff, human resource reforms and revised employee incentives in World Bank country offices in fragile states.

  • It will also press IFC to develop a new strategy for and scale up its activities in conflict and fragile states.

  • It will likewise urge the bank to stop lending for fossil fuels, a move that could be seen as a response to an earlier clamor for the British government to use its shareholding to end the lender’s investments in carbon-intensive energy projects.

>> UK Urged to Press World Bank to Rethink Coal Investments

>> UK Parliament’s Environmental Panel Slams World Bank Funding for Coal Power Plants

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    Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.