At the peak of the global financial crisis, the World Bank Group (WBG) emerged as the largest multilateral development financier in infrastructure, with US$30 billion in new commitments in fiscal year 2010. This outcome stems from a massive scale-up in infrastructure, which started in 2003 under the Infrastructure Action Plan. Infrastructure is now the single largest business line of the Group: It represents 43 percent of the total assistance of the Group to low- and middle-income countries and the private sector.
The World Bank Group played a strong countercyclical role throughout the global financial crisis by maintaining long-term infrastructure investment programs and by sustaining the potential for private-sector led economic growth and employment creation. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) delivered positive results primarily in low-income countries, with existing clients and in cofinancing operations, while the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) provided guarantees to several key financial institutions in Eastern Europe. The distribution of lending in infrastructure broadly mirrored the differences in crisis impact and financing needs.
Under the Sustainable Infrastructure Action Plan, FY08-11, the WBG continued to ramp up its infrastructure business, with an increased focus on leverage, sustainability and governance. The Bank Group exceeded lending targets set by the strategy by more than US$23 billion over FY08-11, with infrastructure projects performing highly in terms of safeguards (design and supervision). Beyond compliance with safeguards, increased integration of broader environmental concerns (especially climate change) was achieved in the design of infrastructure projects, although relatively less significant progress was made on integrating social issues.
Transformation through Infrastructure, the updated World Bank Group Infrastructure Strategy FY12-15, lays out new directions for the World Bank Group's engagement in infrastructure. ... more