In the spring and summer of 2020, large parts of the world were hunkering down as governments locked down societies and economies. Millions of families were confined to their homes. Across the globe, people were losing their lives and livelihoods to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, we only had a hunch about how the pandemic would play out differently for different people. We asked ourselves: How is COVID-19 going to affect gender equality across the world?
PRESS RELEASE JUNE 21, 2021
Working with countries and partners across Africa to quickly expand equitable access to vaccines
WASHINGTON, June 21, 2021— The African Finance Ministers and the World Bank Group met today to fast track vaccine acquisition on the continent and avoid a third wave. In a boost to the African Union’s target to vaccinate 60% of the continent’s population by 2022, the World Bank and the AU announced that they are partnering to support the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) initiative with resources to allow countries to purchase and deploy vaccines for up to 400 million people across Africa. This extraordinary regional effort complements COVAX and comes at a time of rising COVID-19 cases in the region. World Bank financing is available to support the purchase and deployment of doses secured by AVATT.
To understand how the Climate Change Action Plan will drive climate action in countries, we sat down with Bernice van Bronkhorst, the Bank’s Global Director for Climate Change; Genevieve Connors, Practice Manager, Climate Change Advisory and Operations; Vivek Pathak, Director and Global Head of Climate Business at IFC; and Merli Baroudi, Director of Economics and Sustainability at MIGA.
I would like to quickly summarize some of my recent activities, and preview a few events yet to come.
My first trip since the start of the pandemic was both productive and informative in equal measure. Ahead of the in-person G7 Finance Meetings in London, I first stopped in Helsinki and Moscow for a series of good meetings.
- The World Bank’s $3.7 billion portfolio of 102 forest projects supports systemic, transformative engagement in more than 50 countries including Ghana, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mexico, Mozambique, Nepal, Vietnam and Zambia.
- From 2016-2020 during the implementation of the World Bank Group’s Forest Action Plan, nearly 6 million people benefited from World Bank forest and land management projects, including 1.1 million women and 225,000 Indigenous People.
- For example, in Indonesia, a Bank program in the Jambi province is reducing emissions from unsustainable land use while promoting alternative livelihoods such as sustainable fisheries, livestock and service industries that help take pressure off the province’s primary forests and peatlands.
For centuries, humans have indulged their vast curiosity by exploring and asking questions. We focused our attention predominantly on the land as it is our home, and let our imaginations fly into the starlit sky.
As the world continues to face the public health, social, and economic unravelling due to the COVID-19 crisis, it should be clear that, The World Bank Group is helping developing countries purchase and distribute vaccines and strengthen health systems through a $12 billion vaccine financing facility, which complements the $6 billion Global COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Program in the health sector approved in April 2020 and that now covers more than 110 countries.
The rapid digital transformation underway in many emerging markets has the potential to have an equally transformative impact for entrepreneurs. However, critical gaps in access to the internet and mobile phones can limit the ability to work in tech-enabled jobs or to compete as entrepreneurs. This event draws on recent IFC (International Finance Corporation) research on rise of e-commerce in Africa and Southeast Asia and opportunities for further growth by exploring more inclusive practices. It will cover two key topics: