UN development official welcomes plan for financing investment in developing nations

UN development official welcomes plan for financing investment in developing nations

The top United Nations development official, Mark Malloch Brown, today warmly welcomed a plan announced in London by the United Kingdom's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, to create a new fund aimed at doubling investment in developing countries.

"Not only is development firmly back on the global agenda, but it is being driven by innovative ideas," Mr. Malloch Brown, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), said, referring to the proposed International Finance Facility (IFF). "The Chancellor's bold proposal to leverage development assistance commensurate to the scale of the problems the world is facing is one of the most important new ideas to come in a long while."

The new IFF would raise additional funding needed to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of quantified targets for development and poverty eradication to be achieved by 2015 and endorsed by all Heads of States at the Millennium Summit held at the United Nations in 2000. The IFF would borrow funds by issuing bonds, which would be distributed as grants and concessional loans.

The proposal "is a response to the fact that with new political will to solve development problems, the debate has moved on to not whether we should finance the fight against global poverty and HIV/AIDS or to improve education, but on to how," Mr. Malloch Brown said.

The UNDP chief also called for developing new forms of public-private partnerships and for boosting the private sector in developing countries. "At the recent World Summit on Sustainable Development, over 200 partnerships initiatives were officially launched, but so far relatively few have taken off," Mr. Malloch Brown noted. "We need to accept that while in Johannesburg we talked a good line about the business, we have not begun to ignite a real private sector economy over much of the South."