On 28 February, renowned aid expert Richard Manning delivered a GEG Special Lecture on the future of multilateral aid.
Former Chair of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee, Richard recently served as Vice Chair of the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria’s replenishment and as Coordinator of the Replenishment of the African Development Fund, the soft-loan arm of the African Development Bank. Richard’s remarks focused on these two replenishments, as well as that of the International Development Association, the principal source of World Bank funding for low-income countries. He noted that, contrary to the fears that austerity-focused Western governments would cut back on multilateral aid commitments, for the most part governments maintained or even increased their contributions. However, emerging donors in general did not significantly increase their core funding contributions, although some – notably China – have demonstrated interest in engaging with multilateral banks in new and creative ways. Richard also argued that the governance of multilateral institutions continues to lag behind shifting economic realities, and that the BRICs deserve a say in these institutions commensurate with their weight in the global economy.