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2021.01.21

IDJ ENGLISH Responses from the perspective of “human security” should be strengthened

Responses from the perspective of “human security” should be strengthened

Naoki Ando,
Director General, Operations Strategy Department
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

Developing countries with smaller fiscal space

The spread of COVID-19 has had a huge negative impact on the world. When I stayed in Zambia in the 1990s, people faced the threat of the HIV/AIDS. 30% of adults were infected with the disease that would likely lead to death at that time if infected.  The city was full of orphans who had lost their parents. The routes of infection of COVID-19 are very different and the fatality rate is far lower than HIV/AIDS. However, COVID-19 is as severe as HIV/AIDS due to the negative impacts to the global economic system.

Although the infection rates differ from country to country, the impact through the economy affects all developing countries. Especially, the spread of COVID-19 has hit the vulnerable such as women, children, and the poor. According to the United Nations and other international organizations, the world’s poverty population, which has been decreasing until 2019, is likely to grow by 100 million in 2020. It is also estimated that job opportunities equivalent to 400 million full-time workers have already been lost. It is apparent that COVID-19 is a crisis of “human security” through economic damage. It is an issue that the international community must work on together.

Developed countries, including Japan, have taken large-scale fiscal measures, such as cash benefits. But developing countries have smaller fiscal capacity, and it is not easy to strengthen health care measures and to support their economic situations. The vulnerable in developing countries would be under threat without even small support. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and others, foreign direct investment (FDI) is expected to decline by 30~40 percent globally from the previous year, even below the level following the Lehman crisis. Remittances from overseas are a valuable source of foreign currency revenue but are also expected to decrease significantly. Important sources of funding are being cut off in developing countries. We need to support the economies and finances of developing countries facing this situation.

JICA is currently implementing the “COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan”, mainly in Asia and the Pacific. This is based on Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga’s international commitment to provide “up to 500 billion Japanese Yen or 4.5 billion USD over the course of two years” in his speech at the United Nations in September, 2020. Until early November, a total of 245 billion yen has already been signed in seven countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Mongolia, India, Myanmar and the Maldives.

Development funds for the COVID-19 countermeasures

The global economy is slowing and developed countries are also struggling with the COVID-19 crisis. In this situation, resources for official development assistance (ODA) might be a concern.

However, the UK is still sticking to its international commitment of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI).  France would increase ODA to 0.55% in 2022. Germany is also expected to increase ODA measures against COVID-19.

JICA is now enhancing cooperation to support the prevention, research and surveillance, and treatment of infectious diseases with both soft and hard investment. In addition, it is also important to support developing countries to get benefits from new digital technologies and systems of societies in the Post-Corona Era. Japan is required to secure such a scale of ODA despite the current severe fiscal situation.

We will also pursue financing of development funds from the capital markets. JICA has long issued social bonds. JICA bonds have recently become more and more popular as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ESG investment spread in the Japanese business community. In December 2020, we issued new JICA COVID-19 Response Social Bonds, following the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) Bonds in 2019. The funds will be used to combat infectious diseases and support economic activities in developing countries.

The COVID-19 crisis must be properly controlled and overcome worldwide. If there are fragile points throughout the world, we will respond together with our fellow development partners.

“International Development Journal”, 2020 December edition
(Special feature stories on the Debt Crisis in Developing Countries)

 

 

*****以下、日本語原文*****

特集・途上国の債務危機

「人間の安全保障」の視点から対応強化
国際協力機構(JICA) 企画部長 安藤 直樹氏

財政余力が小さな途上国

新型コロナウイルスの感染拡大は世界に甚大な影響を及ぼしている。私が1990年代にザンビアに駐在していた時も、エイズウイルスの脅威に直面していた。当時は感染すれば確実に死に至る病に成人の3割が感染し、街には両親を亡くした孤児があふれた。今回のウィルスは感染経路も致死率も異なるが、世界経済システムを介して途上国を苦しめている。

感染拡大が厳しい国の報道が目立つが、経済を介した影響はあらゆる途上国におよぶ。特にコロナ禍は女性や子供、貧困層を直撃している。国連などによれば、これまで減り続けてきた世界の貧困人口は今年、1億人規模で増える恐れがある。また、フルタイム4億人分に相当する仕事が既に失われたという試算もある。コロナ禍は健康面の脅威であることに加えて、経済面からも明らかに「人間の安全保障」の危機へとつながる。世界が協調して取り組むべき課題だ。

先進国は日本も含め、現金給付など大規模な財政措置を講じているが、開発途上国は財政余力が小さく、保健医療対策の強化や経済のテコ入れは容易でない。

加えて、IMFなどによれば、外国直接投資(FDI)は世界全体で前年より3~4割減り、リーマン危機後をも下回る水準に低下すると見込まれる。出稼ぎなどの海外からの送金は国によって貴重な外貨獲得源だが、これも大幅減少が見込まれる。途上国では重要な資金源が遮断されつつある。我々は途上国の経済と財政を支えていく必要がある。

JICAは現在、日本との繋がりが強いアジア・大洋州を中心に「新型コロナ危機対応緊急支援円借款」の実施を進めている。これは菅義偉総理が9月の国連演説で「今後2年間で最大5,000億円」の支援をするという国際約束を踏まえてのものである。既にインドネシア、フィリピン、バングラデシュ、モンゴル、インド、ミャンマー、モルディブの7カ国で計2,450億円の貸付契約を締結している。

コロナ対策に向けた開発資金

世界経済全体が減速しているため、前述のFDIを含めて開発資金は世界的に不足している。先進国もコロナ禍で苦境にあり、政府開発援助(ODA)の動向も心配される。しかし、英国は国民総所得(GNI)比0.7%の国際公約を堅持し、仏も2022年に同0.55%に増加する方針を示し、独もコロナ対策のODAを増やす見込みだ。

JICAは感染症の予防、警戒、治療の強化をソフトとハードの両面から支援する協力も充実させている。またポストコロナも見据え、途上国がデジタル経済など新しい社会づくりをするための支援も重要だ。厳しい財政事情ではあるが、日本もしっかりODAの規模を確保しなければならない。

開発資金の資本市場からの調達も進めていく。JICAは債券の発行を長く行ってきたが、最近では持続可能な開発目標(SDGs)とESG投資を背景に、JICA債は人気だ。去年はアフリカ開発会議(TICAD)債も出した。今年12月には「JICA新型コロナ対応ソーシャルボンド」を発行する予定だ。調達予定の資金は、途上国における感染症対策や、中小企業などの金融支援に充てる。

コロナ禍は世界できちんとコントロールされ、克服されなければならない。全地球で脆弱なところがあれば、他の開発パートナーとも力を合わせて対応していく。

 

『国際開発ジャーナル』2020年12月号掲載記事
(特集 途上国揺るがす債務危機より)

 

 

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