Cybersecurity: World Bank launches multi-donor Trust Fund

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The World Bank has announced the launch of a new cybersecurity multi-donor trust fund under the broader Digital Development Partnership umbrella programme.


The launch of the Trust Fund is made possible with donor contributions from Estonia, Germany, Japan, and the Netherlands.


According to the World Bank, the new fund aims to better define and systematically roll out the cybersecurity development agenda, helping to ensure a more substantial reflection of cybersecurity considerations across World Bank programs and financing.

“COVID-19 has highlighted the vital role digital technologies and applications play in a resilient development agenda. It keeps people, businesses, and public services connected. As governments are rapidly scaling up their investments into digital technologies, cybersecurity has become a pressing concern to ensure a safe and secure digital transformation for all,” said Boutheina Guermazi, Director of the World Bank’s Digital Development Global Practice.


The work programme will support the development of global knowledge on cybersecurity solutions for low- and middle-income countries.


It will fund country maturity assessments, offer technical assistance, and support training and capacity development for cybersecurity staff in World Bank client countries.


 “It is essential that basic cybersecurity elements are integrated into all digitalization projects in development cooperation,”


“As a highly developed digital nation, we continue to share our expertise, and we are very happy about the launch of the new associated trust fund,” said Mari Tomingas of the Cyber Diplomacy Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia.


“Cyberattacks are becoming more complex and sophisticated across the world.

“Effective communication through digital technologies is a public good and can be best achieved if low- and middle-income countries are included in the effective protection of critical digital infrastructure. The importance of capacity building in matters of cyberspace is therefore increasing rapidly,”  said the representatives of Japan’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Internal Affairs and Communication, Narichika Konno and Atsushi Umino.


Felix Kroll of the Cyber Foreign Policy and Cyber Security Coordination Staff of the German Federal Foreign Office said,

“There is widespread agreement in the international community that significantly more cybersecurity capacity building is needed to help low- and middle-income countries become more resilient against attacks and take full advantage of the development opportunities of the digital economy.”


Commenting, Elizabeth Vish of the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues of the U.S. Department of State, noted,

“All of our economies, including those of rapidly-digitizing lower- and middle-income countries, increasingly depend on good cybersecurity to grow and thrive.

“We believe the international community will be more secure, stable, and prosperous when a broad range of states has the capacity to defend their own networks.”


Kanwaljit Singh of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation:

“Malicious code—whether you call it a software bug, a virus, malware, ransomware, botnet, or phishing—presents a risk that is globally interconnected and potentially devastating to digitally dependent societies.

“Addressing this risk requires collective action. Cybersecurity should be a key pillar of any development conversation.”


Progress will require partnership and collaboration between and among partners, also involving other international institutions and organizations.


“Cybersecurity must become an integral part of the digital agenda. Synergies are crucial, and the activities to be carried out should be taken up broadly through development financing programs.

“Partnerships such as the Global Forum for Cyber Expertise (GFCE), NGOs, and research institutes can help ensure a broad stakeholder process. We are looking forward to great results to be supported through the new trust fund over the years to come,” said Michael Thijssen of the Task Force Cyber Policies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.


Digital transformation is accelerating in many countries, offering new opportunities for economic growth and enabling low- and medium-income countries to leapfrog development through increased productivity and improved service delivery across key sectors, including finance, health, education, and agriculture.

Embracing technological transformation has increased cyber risks and threats to digital infrastructure, services, and data, which rely on increasingly connected systems.


As digital transformation becomes essential to the functioning of states, economies, and societies, cybersecurity solutions must keep up. A partnership approach can help build trust, improve awareness, and deliver the technical solutions that countries require,” says the World Bank.

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