The United Nations (UN) and World Bank today signed a partnership framework that focuses on building resilience for the most vulnerable people by reducing poverty, promoting shared prosperity, enhancing food security, and sustaining peace in crisis-affected situations.
This framework, signed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, is in response to global calls for our institutions to work more closely together on prevention and reducing needs, risks, and vulnerability as the world faces a spike in violent conflict. The human and economic costs of this conflict are massive, affecting long-term stability and prospects for economic development and poverty reduction. Violent conflict drives 80 percent of humanitarian needs costs, with the UN estimating that $22.1 billion is required in 2017 for humanitarian assistance—a sharp increase from the $9 billion needed just 5 years ago.
Under this framework, the UN and World Bank will work in complementary ways to: reduce the multi-dimensional risks of crisis and help prevent violent conflict; develop joint analyses and tools for more effective solutions; coordinate support to address protracted crises including forced displacement; and scale up impact by leveraging financing.
The framework builds on almost a decade of efforts to strengthen our collaboration in crisis-affected situations, updating an earlier framework signed in 2008. If reflects developments since then, including commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit last May calling for a “new way of working” that shifts the focus from “meeting needs” to “reducing needs, risks, and vulnerability.”
Recognizing that the UN and World Bank have different comparative advantages and mandates, the framework outlines guiding principles. These principles will ensure that collective efforts encompass developmental, humanitarian, political, security, peacebuilding, human rights, economic, and social dimensions, with the goal of advancing integrated solutions based on the needs of each country.
The framework also notes the importance of aligning and leveraging financial resources, doing more through innovative, data-driven operational responses.
To advance this work, our two institutions will focus on building resilience in a variety of situations. These include situations where there is a risk of violent conflict or ongoing conflict; situations with high levels of forced displacement; protracted and post-crisis situations; and when climate change and natural disasters affect these situations.
The framework notes areas for operational collaboration in which the UN and World Bank will:
- identify and reduce critical multi-dimensional risks of crisis, and prevent violent conflict in relevant countries or regions within the mandate of both institutions;
- coordinate support for situations of protracted crisis, including aligning strategies, objectives and collective outcomes, in particular for populations affected by forced displacement, and based on joint analyses and assessments;
- develop joint analyses and tools where the complementarity of mandates may enable more effective solutions;
- scale up impact, by leveraging existing financing and comparative advantages, and ensuring that operational policies, frameworks, and tools used by both organizations facilitate cooperation and improve efficiency and complementarity.