1. General role in project finance

Multilateral development banks and regional development banks (MDBs) are international financial institutions created by a group of countries with the primary function of mobilising finance, knowledge and expertise to address the biggest challenges faced by developing countries, including poverty and environmental problems. MDBs are creations of multiple nations and the main features for distinguishing among them is the composition and number of member countries,2 and the region for which financial assistance and the promotion of economic and social development is made available.

The most well-known multilateral development banks are: the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Development Bank of Latin America, the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB), the African Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Among the most recognised regional development banks are the Eurasian Development Bank and the East African Development Bank. Each of these institutions has its own role in helping to design and coordinate approaches relating to global and regional development issues.

As set out in a paper jointly prepared by several MDBs and endorsed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for the Development Committee3 meeting of April 2015, the world needs to move ‘from billions to trillions’ of dollars in order to meet the international community’s need to maximise finance for development and meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda4 and the relevant sustainable development goals (SDGs), such as promoting social inclusion, sustainable growth, reducing poverty and inequality, and protecting the planet.

In this context, the MDBs coordinate with each other through many working groups to address practical issues across the development landscape, supporting and engaging in partnerships and platforms for a broader cooperation across multilateral, regional, national and bilateral development institutions and NGOs.

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