The New Development Bank (NDB)’s financing facility of up to USD 10 billion for loans in response to the COVID-19 emergency in its founding member countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa benefitted 400 million people, including women, health workers, senior citizens, people with disabilities, farmers and more, according to an evaluation report by NDB’s Independent Evaluation Office (IEO).
The report estimates that through this financing, the member countries were able to provide much-needed support, including life cover of USD 67,400 to 2.2 million health workers, USD 4.17 billion in income support to 206.5 million women, ex-gratia payments of USD 13.5 each to 28.1 million senior citizens, widows, and individuals with disabilities, USD 26.9 each in advanced funds to 95 million farmers, and deliver 142 million gas cylinders to 75.6 million people.
Additionally, the India focused COVID-19 Response Programmes generated 5.4 billion person-days of employment, with 52% going to women, and ensured 100% of district hospital doctors and nurses were trained to meet WHO standards, with 61% of them being women.
NDB’s first COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Programme Loan was approved on March 19, 2020. This was the first such loan by any multilateral development bank in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to address the health and economic consequences of the outbreak. The report applauds NDB’s agility in responding to the pandemic and the needs of the member countries and recommends formulating a crisis response policy that can help shape the Bank’s response to a wide range of significant global crises.
The pandemic triggered substantial economic challenges, trade volume contractions, and a surge in global unemployment, posing a unique set of difficulties for nations worldwide.
NDB’s Independent Evaluation Office presented its findings from the comprehensive evaluation of the Bank’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic at a stakeholders’ seminar today in New Delhi, India. This was followed by an Evaluation Capacity Development seminar.
According to Mr. Anil Kishora, Vice-President & Chief Risk Officer, NDB, “The COVID-19 pandemic was one of those rare global crises which demanded a response from almost every institution having a stake in human well-being or global development. It was a reminder that multilateral organisations, in particular, need to stay ever prepared and equipped to respond to global crisis situations which might hit us in future.”
He further added, “The COVID-19 pandemic challenged both the member countries and NDB in terms of magnitude, dynamics, and complexity. However, the Bank demonstrated exceptional agility and speed in its response, prioritizing the immediate needs of its member countries. The COVID-19 Response Programme Evaluation was the logical next step to identify lessons that need to be thought through and internalized.”
The NDB’s response was characterized by the implementation of the Policy on Fast-Track Emergency Response to COVID-19 and the subsequent COVID-19 Emergency Programme loans aimed at alleviating the pandemic’s impact.
Speaking about the evaluation and its learning, Mr. Ashwani Muthoo, Director General of the IEO at the NDB, said “The evaluation accounted for the exceptional challenges posed by the pandemic and the absence of well-established benchmarks. When one comprehensively considers all aspects, it becomes evident that the NDB’s COVID-19 Response Programme played an instrumental role in the triumph of the individual country programs. It is heartening to witness the commitment of all stakeholders discuss the lessons and recommendations from this independent evaluation.”
Among other topics, the stakeholders discussed the need for strengthening coordination and cooperation among different actors including governments, international organisations, civil society, private sector and others for deeper efficiency and better results in crisis-response situations. Participants also discussed the setting up of institutional arrangements to support operational teams when implementing specific multi-country programmes: providing guidance and templates specifically tailored to the programme; as well as ensuring that key quality at entry requirements for funding are met.
Pursuing its commitment to strengthening evaluation capacities across all member countries, NDB also hosted an Evaluation Capacity Development seminar today in New Delhi. This seminar focused on measures to enhance evaluation practices and methodologies that need to be tailored to the local context for promoting improved accountability and learning.
The NDB seminars saw over 100 participants from relevant government offices, development partners, officials from all NDB member countries, NDB project staff, representatives of the NDB Board of Directors, relevant research and academic organizations, non-governmental organizations, foundations and private sector organizations and others.