A Challenge, and an Opportunity to Help
For MIGA, 2020 started like many others: staff focused on guaranteeing investments in the poorest countries, with a special emphasis on protecting the climate. Then the pandemic struck, and staff rallied to insure loans and investments that would keep capital flowing—especially to the small companies that employ millions around the world, from Albania to Mozambique. As the months passed, MIGA worked double-time to press forward on both these short-term remedies and long-term solutions. It was quite a year, and here it is, month by month.
MIGA staff work on ways to direct private sector resources to countries served by the World Bank Group’s International Development Association (IDA), which are among the poorest in the world, and on using guarantees to mobilize capital to fragile and conflict-afflicted regions.
Aïssata S. Béavogui, Director General at Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC), receives MIGA’s annual Gender CEO Award. Béavogui oversees sustainable development at GAC, one of the largest greenfield investments on the continent. At full production, GAC will contribute an estimated $700 million to Guinea’s economy annually and employ 1,000 people.
MIGA launches a $6.5 billion fast-track facility to help governments purchase emergency medical equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic and to backstop banks and financial firms so they are able to keep capital flowing to low- and middle-income countries.
Work ramps up at Belgrade’s municipal dump, the last unregulated trash pile in Europe, where MIGA and IFC provided €260 million in loans and guarantees to help ITOCHU Corp. and SUEZ clean up the site and build a state-of-the-art waste to energy plant that will create jobs and curtail dangerous methane emissions from the old heap.
MIGA guarantees $400 million in loans from BBVA and Kairos Global Solutions to Panama’s Caja de Ahorros, supporting the state-owned bank’s mission to lend more money to low- and middle-income homebuyers during the pandemic, especially women.
MIGA guarantees up to $256.3 million of reserves held by FirstRand, one of the largest financial services groups in Africa, in seven countries outside its base in South Africa, helping it sustain lending across the region as COVID-19 spreads. An estimated 60 percent of MIGA’s support is to be directed to IDA countries.
Georgios Papanastasiou, CEO of Alpha Bank Albania, describes how he and his team are using €47.5 million in MIGA guarantees to sustain lending to micro-, small-, and medium-sized businesses, which make up the majority of Albania’s economy, during the pandemic.
To bolster manufacturing in Myanmar, where land is expensive, MIGA guarantees Korea Land & Housing Corp.’s $5.7 million investment in a new industrial park near Yangon that will have apartments, parks, and its own water system.
Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) and MIGA agree to work more closely and provide coinsurance and reinsurance to support foreign direct investment from Japanese investors in developing countries.
MIGA releases a 40-page handbook: Expanding Political Risk Insurance: A Partnership Approach to Grow Private Investment. Created after months of study, the document describes methods for fostering more cooperation among the world’s development agencies to reverse a recent decline in foreign direct investment.