Multilateral Development Finance 2020

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As the “Decade of Action” begins, the world needs an effective multilateral development finance system to deliver on the promises of the 2030 Agenda and support the recovery of developing countries from the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Even before the crisis, the system, torn between high expectations and growing criticism of its perceived lack of accountability and effectiveness, was showing signs of stress.

This report looks at recent trends in the multilateral development system in order to provide the clearest possible picture to those deciding on its future. It presents the evolution of multilateral inflows and outflows, and analyses the strategic implications of the contributions by members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). The report looks at the activities that multilateral organisations finance, and explores their respective strengths. This year’s edition is supplemented by a series of policy briefs, as well as online statistics on DAC members’ multilateral contributions, available in the Development Co-operation Profiles.


Executive summary

Five years on from the launch of the 2030 Agenda, the multilateral development system is under stress, perhaps as never before. The COVID-19 crisis has brought renewed attention to the crucial role multilateral organisations have to play in addressing the triple crisis looming in developing countries: health, economic and humanitarian. The global scale of the virus has highlighted the interdependence of nations and people around the world, demonstrating that the need for international co-operation and solidarity is greater than ever. Yet, the crisis has also exposed some limitations of the multilateral development system that need to be tackled to ensure multilateral organisations can best contribute to the recovery.


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