Embassy and Consulates of Belgium in the United States
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Relations with WB & IMF

Introduction

The role of the Embassy of Belgium in Washington DC in the field of development cooperation includes the following issues:

  • To follow up related programs and policy of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund.
  • To follow up matters related to US assistance for the developing world, with a particular focus on the policy and activities of USAID.
  • To report regularly on the lively and interesting debates on development issues within the various think tanks based in Washington DC, aiming at nourishing debate and policy making in the relevant departments of the administration in Brussels and its representatives in our partner countries in the developing world. 

 
Funding of the World Bank Group

Belgium supports  the World Bank because of the synergy and complementarity between the corporate goals of the institution and  Belgian development cooperation policy. The overarching mission of the Word Bank is a world free of poverty, translated in two general goals: ending extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. This mission is fully endorsed by Belgium.

Belgium works mainly with two institutions of the World Bank Group: the International Development Association (IDA) and to a lesser extent the international Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

As a shareholder, Belgium participates in the three-yearly replenishments of IDA and contributes to the World Bank / IMF Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) and Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC). Belgium equally participates in the capital of the IBRD and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). 

Additional to these obligatory contributions, Belgium supports the WB institutions on a voluntary basis, preferably with core funding. Currently, Belgium contributes to a limited number of Financial Intermediary Funds, where the World Bank acts as a trustee:

  • Global Partnership for Education (GPE)
  • Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFTAM)
  • Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)
  • Global Environment Facility (GEF)
  • Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)

 
Funding of the IMF

Currently, Belgium supports two specific programs with the IMF:

  • Technical assistance for capacity building in the field of macro-economic policy, funded by a subaccount with the IMF
  • Capacity building in the field of tax policy and administration, via a multidonor fund.

 
Representation, follow up of programs and policy

Belgium is represented in the Word Bank’s Board of Governors by the Minister of Finance and  by the constituency also including Austria, Belarus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey. Belgium currently assumes the role of Executive Director and counts two advisors in the constituency.

Belgium is represented in IMF’s Board of Governors by the governor of the National Bank of Belgium and in the Executive Board by the constituency also including Armenia, Bulgaria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cyprus, Georgia, Croatia, Israel, Luxembourg, Moldova, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Romania, Ukraine. Currently, Belgium assumes the role of alternate Executive Director.

The Belgian position in the World Bank and IMF is defined by the Ministry of Finance, in consultation with the Director General for Development Cooperation within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 
Contacts

Embassy of Belgium: Melanie Schellens, Counselor for Development Cooperation (melanie.schellens@diplobel.fed.be)

World Bank:

IMF:

Website of the DGD:  http://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/policy/development_cooperation/