External finance for rural development: a synthesis of country perspectives

Many governments in low- and middle-income countries see improving rural development as a way to achieve critical national development objectives: economic transformation, eradication of poverty and greater equality. A lack of finance, however, constrains the full implementation of national public policies for rural development. Access to external finance also evolves as countries move up the economic ladder, shifting away from grants towards more expensive loans. A looming debt crisis for many economies will curtail borrowing options. All of these challenges have been exacerbated by the crisis prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic. This synthesis report examines whether and to what extent governments will continue to demand external development assistance to support inclusive and sustainable rural development and, if so, its terms and conditions.