How is the World Bank Group focusing on resilient recovery in the post-pandemic era? In the first virtual Civil Society Townhall held on October 13, World Bank Group President David Malpass discussed the Bank’s efforts to protect human capital, address countries’ excessive debt burdens, and facilitate an inclusive, resilient recovery from COVID-19. Joining him were Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, Vice President of the LAC region; Jean-Christophe Carret, Country Director, DRC, Angola and Burundi; Stephanie von Friedeburg, Chief Operating Officer at IFC; and Victoria Kwakwa, Vice President of the EAP region.
The CSO Townhall provides an opportunity for civil society representatives to dialogue with the President and Bank leadership. Around 150 Civil Society representatives participated in the event which was conducted via Zoom. The event was also streamed on World Bank Live to a wider audience. CSOs posed questions on topics such as climate change and resilience; debt relief and the DSSI initiative; inclusion of marginalized communities such as peoples with disabilities; support for public health programs, anti-corruption and accountability measures; and the role of the Bank in supporting countries experiencing conflict and fragility during COVID-19.
President Malpass and the panel gave an overview of the Bank’s efforts to help countries respond to the crisis and build back better. Depending on the needs of countries and regions, the World Bank Group is focused on alleviating poverty and inequality, debt relief for the poorest countries, increasing access to strengthened health systems and reduced health care costs, expanding safety nets, ensuring climate change adaptation and mitigation, and supporting the private sector. Inclusion of marginalized communities and vulnerable groups remains a top development agenda while carrying out these relief efforts.