TOKYO, July 11, 2014 – The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the World Bank Group (WBG)[i] held their first high-level dialogue at JICA Headquarters in Tokyo on July 10-11. At the meeting, participants reviewed existing cooperation between the two institutions and discussed areas for future collaboration.
The meeting, called a “deep dive” on development issues, was attended by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and JICA President Akihiko Tanaka. The discussion topics included collaboration in health (Universal health Coverage: UHC)[ii]; climate change, including disaster risk management/disaster prevention; and regional cooperation in Africa, and South and East Asia. Japan, jointly with the WBG and other partners, hosts the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) every five years, and the WBG and JICA maintain regular consultations on development issues in the South and East Asia, and the Pacific region.
“This meeting is a strong sign of the deepening relations between the government of Japan and the World Bank Group,”Kim said. “We want to learn from JICA as well as share our knowledge. In particular, our joint work and knowledge related to universal health coverage and disaster risk management should be a great benefit for the entire world.”
Dr. Tanaka and Dr. Kim were joined by senior executives from both organizations, including: Keiko Honda, MIGA Executive Vice President & CEO; Cyril Muller, WBG Vice President for External and Corporate Relations; Makhtar Diop,WB Vice President for Africa Region; Axel van Trotsenburg, WB Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Region; Karin Finkelston, IFC Vice President for Asia Pacific; Tim Evans, WB Senior Director for Health, Nutrition & Population; and Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, WB Senior Director for Urban, Rural & Social Development. From JICA, Vice President Kiyoshi Kodera, Vice President Shigeru Kiyama, and Vice President Hiroshi Kato also participated.
Dr. Kim and Dr. Tanaka also addressed over 100 JICA staff at a town hall meeting where they emphasized their commitment to further deepen the cooperation between the World Bank Group and JICA to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
The two leaders participated in a signing ceremony for the IDA 17 Loan Agreement between JICA and the International Development Association (IDA) on the sidelines of the high-level dialogue. Climate Change, including Disaster Risk Management/Disaster Prevention, is one of the four special themes in IDA17, and many IDA countries are located in Africa and South Asia.
“We are deeply grateful for Japan’s generous contributions to IDA 17, especially as it came during a difficult financial time,”Kim said. “Its generosity will have a major impact in making progress toward our two goals – ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.”
The two institutions plan to enhance the partnership through these types of high level dialogues on a regular basis.