« | »


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)





国際協力機構(JICA) 企画部長 安藤 直樹氏













(特集 途上国揺るがす債務危機より)



Comment & Trackback

Comments and Trackback are closed.

No comments.

Positive SSL Wildcard