Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 10/2011

The ABCs of the General Capital Increase (ABCs of IFIs Brief)

Todd Moss, Sarah Jane Staats, Julia Barmeier

September 2011

Center for Global Development


The international financial institutions dramatically increased their lending in 2008-09 to help developing countries cope with the global financial crisis and support economic recovery. Today, these organizations are seeking billions of dollars in new funding.The IMF, which only a few years ago was loosing clients and shedding staff, expanded by $750 billion in 2009. The World Bank and the four regional development banks for Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America have asked to increase their capital base by 30 to 200 percent. A general capital increase (GCI) for these development banks is an unusual request. A simultaneous GCI request is a once-in-a-generation occurrence. This brief unpacks the GCI, who pays into it, how much, and why we should care.