May 11, 2022/EBRD
By Odile Renaud-Basso
Image Credit: EBRD
- War to shape Bank’s activity for years to come, President Renaud-Basso says
- Addresses EBRD’s 2022 Annual Meeting and Business Forum in Morocco
- Praise for size of Bank’s green investments and profits in 2021
Addressing the Board of Governors’ Opening Session at the EBRD’s 2022 Annual Meeting and Business Forum, Ms Renaud-Basso predicted that the war ‘will affect every EBRD region…by increasing energy and food prices, undermining energy and food security, increasing inflation, and weakening growth’.
The EBRD’s response to Russia’s invasion, which has already included an initial €2 billion Resilience and Livelihoods Package to help Ukraine and other countries affected by the war and the deployment of the full range of instruments to counteract its impact, was the right one, she said
‘Time after time, the EBRD has shown its true character during a crisis,’ she told the event, held this year in Marrakech. ‘And we’re demonstrating that character again today.’
Focusing on the support for Ukraine, President Renaud-Basso said: ‘We’ve continued to disburse, and have increased our Trade Facilitation Programme limits, in part to boost global food security.
‘We’ve proposed reallocating donor resources to help with the crisis.
‘We repurposed existing projects to provide liquidity to clients in Ukraine.
‘And with the support of our donors and shareholders, we will be able to do much more to keep the Ukrainian economy afloat, focusing on the private sector, and key infrastructure.’
The EBRD support is complementary to funding from other international organisations focusing on budgetary support to Ukraine’s government.
Over the entire three decades of its history ‘the events of the last few months have proved the sternest test of the EBRD and our mission to date,’ the President said.
This crisis followed another, the coronavirus pandemic, ‘which put the whole world, the Bank, and all our staff, under huge stress and strain,’ she added.
Despite such challenges, the EBRD last year invested a record €5.4 billion in the green economy, 51 per cent of its 2021 business volume. It also returned record profits of €2.5 billion last year.
The EBRD had previously committed to making a majority of its investments green by 2025 just as, at its last Annual Meeting, it agreed to align all its activities with the goals of the Paris Agreement on limiting climate change by the end of this year.
Such a commitment was even more urgent as emissions continue to rise and the Bank was making real progress towards hitting the target, the President said.
She also updated the Bank’s Governors and others watching the event on the Bank’s performance on two more strategic priorities for the period 2021-2025: equality of opportunity and gender equality; and the shift to digital.
And she expressed the intention that the Bank’s work on Ukraine and its three priorities would ‘not obscure our long-term vision for investing in Sub-Saharan Africa too’ and the hope that Governors would approve the proposed phased approach, beginning with a decision in principle.
This year’s EBRD Annual Meeting and Business Forum, its 31st, is only the second to be held in what the Bank calls the southern and eastern Mediterranean and, because of the pandemic, the first to be held in a physical setting since 2019.
The 2022 Annual Meeting and Business Forum, which ends tomorrow and features numerous panels all being livestreamed, is the first to be held on the continent of Africa.
The Bank has invested €3.3 billion in Morocco since it began working in the country 10 years ago – and €15.8 billion in the wider southern and eastern Mediterranean, which also includes Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia and the West Bank and Gaza.