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Could investment in taps and toilets be the key to unlocking developing economies?

*This piece was originally published by the Financial Times as part of its Partner Content.wateraid-hero_pic

Investing in universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene could yield massive economic gains over the next two decades – but mobilizing finance is not easy

Global leaders seeking a way to rebuild battered economies could hold the key to prosperity in their bathrooms. Among the many infrastructure investments that could help create prosperity in the years to come, one of the most potent – and overlooked – is universal access to taps and toilets. Research by Vivid Economics for international NGO WaterAid has shown that each dollar invested in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) could generate up to a $21 return. The analysis showed that giving every home a toilet connected to a safely managed sewerage or off-mains system could generate $86bn in wealth a year.

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Changing the Narrative – Trade is Part of the Solution to Climate Change

Climate discussions often focus on trade as a contributor to global warming. But with the right

Kitabi Tea Processing Facility in Kitabi, Rwanda

Kitabi Tea Processing Facility in Kitabi, Rwanda

policies to encourage cleaner production and trade in climate-friendly goods and services, it can be part of the solution. Join us for a discussion on expanding this positive role in facilitating climate change mitigation and adaptation. Panelists will discuss how policymakers from low- and middle-income countries can help shape trade to address climate change policy, including potential areas for collaboration and partnerships, as well as ideas for capacity-building and technical assistance.

This event will be LIVESTREAMED on Sept. 29 at 8:30am ET

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Solving the vaccination gaps

Widespread access to COVID-19 vaccines is critical for development. The world is currently vaccines_dm_blog_shutterstock_1905454567_herofaced with heavy COVID-19 caseloads, high death rates, and related reversals in development. Vaccinations appear to be the best single development investment available. Access is achievable, but urgent action is needed.

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Groundswell Part 2 : Acting on Internal Climate Migration

This sequel to the Groundswell report includes projections and analysis of internal climate migration for three new regions: East Asia and the Pacific, North Africa, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Qualitative analyses of climate-related mobility in countries of the Mashreq and in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are also provided. This new report builds on the scenario-based modeling approach of the previous Groundswell report from 2018, which covered Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. The two reports’ combined findings provide, for the first time, a global picture of the potential scale of internal climate migration across the six regions, allowing for a better understanding of how slow-onset climate change impacts, population dynamics, and development contexts shape mobility trends. They also highlight the far-sighted planning needed to meet this challenge and ensure positive and sustainable development outcomes. The combined results across the six regions show that without early and concerted climate and development action, as many as 216 million people could move within their own countries due to slow-onset climate change impacts by 2050. They will migrate from areas with lower water availability and crop productivity and from areas affected by sea-level rise and storm surges. Hotspots of internal climate migration could emerge as early as 2030 and continue to spread and intensify by 2050. The reports also finds that rapid and concerted action to reduce global emissions, and support green, inclusive, and resilient development, could significantly reduce the scale of internal climate migration.
 

REPORT

An open letter to the young people in Africa

This is one of 38 winning blogs from the 2021 Blog4Dev competition, the World Bank Africa annual writing contest, inviting young people to weigh in on a topic critical to their country’s economic development. Blog4Dev winners responded to the question: How can young people work with their governments and civil society organizations to respond to the impact of COVID-19 and build a stronger post-pandemic economic and social system?

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Tackling biodiversity loss to achieve green, resilient, and inclusive development

Mari Pangestu represented the World Bank at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress in September 2021, speaking at a high-level dialogue on Unlocking a Nature-Smart Recovery from the pandemic and also an event recognizing the progress made on climate and nature through the One Planet Summit. This blog was originally published as an open letter to the IUCN Congress on September 4.

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How Can Cities Tackle Climate Change & Biodiversity Loss in Nature-Smart Ways?

  • There is renewed urgency to tackle biodiversity loss and climate change, both of which can wreak havoc on cities.
  • Despite the obstacles, tremendous opportunities exist if we act together, now, to integrate biodiversity measures into urban development plans and policies.
  • Our new webinar series, “Bringing Nature to Cities: Integrated Urban Solutions to Biodiversity Loss and Climate Change,” convenes decision-makers, experts, and practitioners from around the world to exchange knowledge and hasten collaboration.

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COVID-19 highlights unfinished business of ensuring equality for women entrepreneurs

The pandemic has been anything but business as usual for women entrepreneurs. Women gendercoventrepreneurs have sacrificed more time than men to undertake unpaid care during COVID-19, and their businesses have received less public support than those run by men.  Unsurprisingly, this uneven support and uneven share of care have gone hand in hand with a greater risk of women-led businesses closing down, a review of new data by World Bank economists shows. This has raised concerns that COVID-19 could undo years of progress for women entrepreneurs. Setbacks from COVID-19 for women entrepreneurs in low- and middle-income countries have been severe.

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COVID-19 vaccines: from rejection to shortage, how Côte d’Ivoire became a model for managing vaccine hesitancy

STORY HIGHLIGHTS A man being vaccinated against COVID-19 at the vaccination cente

  • In February 2021, Côte d’Ivoire’s efforts to vaccinate its population in order to save lives and stem the spread of the coronavirus were being stymied by a wave of misinformation and a low level of public acceptance of the vaccine
  • The government embarked on a nationwide awareness-raising campaign, deploying mobile clinics and enlisting the support of influencers and religious and community leaders
  • This strategy paid off for the country, which succeeded in increasing the number of people vaccinated by tenfold, from just 2,000 to over 20,000 per day in the following weeks

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We need healthier air for a healthier planet

Air pollution is a multifaceted problem – representing the world’s leading environmental risk to cahealth and costing the globe an estimated $8.1 trillion in 2019 , 6.1 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP).  

Air pollution is also deadly, causing or contributing to heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases and killing an estimated seven million people every year – with about 95 percent of these deaths occurring in low- and middle- income countries. COVID-19 is only making matters worse, with research finding links between air pollution and COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.

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