Paris, 12 December, 2017 – At the One Planet Summit convened by President Emmanuel Macron of France, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank Group made a number of new announcements in line with its ongoing support to developing countries for the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement’s goals.
The World Bank Group’s (WBG) Universal Financial Access 2020 (UFA2020) envisions that all adults worldwide will have access to a transaction account or an electronic instrument to store money, send payments and receive deposits by 2020.
The lack of financial inclusion is a pressing issue in Bangladesh, and women are disproportionately excluded: only 26% of women have accounts at financial institutions. Mobile financial services (MFS) are well positioned to deliver financial services to segments that can prove prohibitively expensive for banks, such as women in rural areas. Despite the strong growth of the mobile financial services (MFS) market, only 6% of women have MFS accounts. Continue reading
In early 2016, the Fiji province of Ra was hit by Cyclone Winston, the biggest storm ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere, impacting 62% of the Fiji population and caused F$2 Billion in damage (20% of GDP). It killed 44 people, injured hundreds and left 131,000 people homeless. The Category 5 storm first made landfall in Ra, leaving its communities completely devastated. Cyclone Winston was an example of new enemies facing communities. Enemies that are linked to climate change.
Getting to commercial close on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) transaction is a major milestone. But the deal is far from done. Getting from commercial close to financial close involves satisfying a long list of PPP contract Conditions Precedent, the terms, and conditions of lenders, among other requirements. The process is tricky and involves a lot of heavy lifting, particularly in emerging markets where the market for PPPs and supporting institutional structures may not yet be robust. None of this is news. Continue reading
When Agnes became a young widow with four children still to raise, many people in her community thought she would have to take her children out of school. But education is important to Agnes and to support her family, she turned to business and became a cross border trader.
“I buy millet in Uganda and sell it in Kenya,” she explains. “In Kenya, I buy sugar and then bring back to Uganda.”
December 1, 2017– While the developing world has made strong progress towards
universal primary education, education is still largely an unfulfilled dream for millions of children with disabilities. Leroy Philips, a youth leader and radio broadcaster from Guyana, recalls what it was like growing up blind.
Those of you who have visited Dubai in recent years may relate to what I am going to say: Dubai is in the middle of the desert, and its land, not that long ago, was really worth nothing. Now it is one of the most vibrant international cities in the world. All this happened in a relatively short time span.
Behind this impressive development, there was leadership, a vision that was converted into laws and policies, institutional reforms, and human resources development that made it possible. At the center of it all, was land and real estate policies. The Dubai Land Department is one of the best in the World. According to the World Bank Doing Business Report, Dubai ranks No. 10 in the world in registering properties, which far exceeds the ranking of many of the developed economies.
It’s now 2017 and I’m in Washington DC at the latest leg of my journey. Just a few days ago the World Bank’s Water Global Practice launched a toolkit and background report that explores why, when and how water utilities can work together to provide better services. This is the culmination of a years-long team effort and, for me, a particular satisfaction to have even more evidence to inform our policy advice on the matter. As often, the conclusions are more nuanced than my (and many of my colleagues’) Cartesian mind would like. The success of an aggregation depends very much on your starting point and what you are trying to achieve, and so you really need to think about those two points as you design your reform process…. But I don’t want to give all the insights away – check out the toolkit, discover the case studies, listen to the interviews and read the report if you want to know more!