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Event: Vulnerability in Development Financing: Why is there resistance to formal use?

High-Level Political Forum 2021 Side Event - 18:00 BST / 13:00 EST

Join the side event

The COVID-19 pandemic has re-energised the debate over the use of vulnerability indices in access to concessional financing. This joint side event by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda will focus on the informal use of vulnerability indices in development financing decisions, and to achieve clarity as to why development financing institutions do not find it appropriate to use vulnerability indices formally.

The discussion is important for understanding how vulnerability indices influence the decisions of Regional Development Banks like the Asian Development Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank, as well as how does it determine the flow of financing from the European Union.

Expected Outcomes

The side event will advance current discussions in two ways:

  • Shed light on whether there is a need for a single agreed vulnerability index or whether several vulnerability indices adapted for specific purposes would suffice if enabled and used formally.
  • Inform on whether the informal use of vulnerability indices have a substantive impact on allocation decisions, and if so, is there a case for use of vulnerability indices by Multinational Development Banks  and International Financial Institutions, even if only informally
  • The side event is relevant for Ministers and senior officials of member governments.
  • Panelists and discussants will be from Regional Development Banks, Multinational Development Banks and International Financial Institutions, such as the United Nations, the Commonwealth, Asian Development Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, European Union, World Bank and International Monetary Fund.


  • Hon Paul Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antigua and Barbuda 
  • Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • Mr Elliot Harris, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (TBC)
  • Dr Ruth Kattumuri, Senior Director, Economics Youth and Sustainable Development, Commonwealth Secretariat