Middle East and North Africa: Two opportunities for rebuilding after COVID-19 in green and inclusive ways

 

What is the best path to building better and greener after the pandemic? Leaders around the shutterstock_1379087948globe ask this question and come up with different answers. For example, the European Union puts the spotlight on nature as the strongest ally in green recovery after COVID-19. South Korea plans to invest in green cities and support new green industries and businesses, among others. The best recipe for success differs across countries and regions, but as made clear in this previous op-ed, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will need to include green and sustainable practices for a more resilient and inclusive recovery.

Continue reading

World Bank Plans to Invest over $5 Billion in Drylands in Africa

 

PARIS/WASHINGTON, January 11, 2021— The World Bank plans to invest over $5 billion over the next five years to help restore degraded landscapes, improve agriculture productivity, and promote livelihoods across 11 African countries on a swathe of land stretching from Senegal to Djibouti.

Continue reading

Updated estimates of the impact of COVID-19 on global poverty: Looking back at 2020 and the outlook for 2021

 

As the new year brings some hope for the fight against COVID-19, we are looking back and taking stock of the effect of the pandemic on poverty in 2020. In October 2020, using the June vintage of growth forecasts from the Global Economic Prospects, we estimated that between 88 and 115 million people around the globe would be pushed into extreme poverty in 2020. Using the January 2021 forecasts from GEP, we now expect the COVID-19-induced new poor in 2020 to rise to between 119 and 124 million. This range of estimates is in line with other estimates based on alternative recent growth forecasts.

Continue reading

Subdued Global Economic Recovery

Although global economic output is recovering from the collapse triggered by COVID-19, it will world money smallremain below pre-pandemic trends for a prolonged period. The pandemic has exacerbated the risks associated with a decade-long wave of global debt accumulation. It is also likely to steepen the long-expected slowdown in potential growth over the next decade. In his Foreword, World Bank Group President David Malpass notes that “Making the right investments now is vital both to support the recovery when it is urgently needed and foster resilience. Our response to the pandemic crisis today will shape our common future for years to come. We should seize the opportunity to lay the foundations for a durable, equitable, and sustainable global economy.”

Report

How Asia Pacific can turn COVID crisis into an opportunity

Bold policies needed to boost economic recovery and improve social stability TCard COVID stat

Like Hydra, the many-headed monster of Greek myth, COVID-19 is proving hard to suppress even a year after the first case was confirmed in Wuhan.

For the East Asia and Pacific region, the disease has delivered a triple shock: the pandemic itself, the economic impact of containment measures, and reverberations from the global recession brought on by the crisis.  But the longer-term impact of COVID on the region will depend less on the virus than on policy decisions and how governments respond.

Continue reading

December 31, 2020: Our work in 2020 and the challenges ahead in 2021

A message from World Bank Group President Mr. Malpass

Friends, Malpass-IMF

As the year draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of our work in 2020 and challenges ahead.

While some countries have begun a recovery from COVID-19, many continue to suffer lasting health and economic risks. The World Bank Group is working hard to address the unequal toll of the global pandemic. Since April, we have been providing support on an unprecedented scale, focusing first on the health emergency, as well as on the broader recovery goals and vaccination needs.  

Continue reading

2020!

This time last year, concepts such as “lockdowns,” “mask mandates” and “social distancing” were unknown to most of us. Today they are part of our everyday language as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our lives.

The Year in Charts: From Education to GDP – what was the impact of the pandemic in 2020? Our 12 charts help you understand this extraordinary year.

Looking Ahead: In a special year end edition of The Development Podcast, World Bank Group President David Malpass and Interim MD and COO of the IFC Stephanie von Friedeburg look back on 2020 and examine the path to a resilient recovery in 2021.

Global Solidarity: As 2020 comes to a close, investing in people is more important than ever, as we see the devastating impact that COVID-19 is having on people and economies worldwide. Global solidarity and protecting human capital is critical for accelerating progress.

Good Governance: Hoping to help stimulate debate on how governments can help end poverty and boost shared prosperity, we’ve curated some of our best blog posts on #GoodGov from 2020. Check out this interactive timeline.

Priorities in South Asia: As we wrap up this unprecedented year, we reflect on how the region faced the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, rose to the challenge to create better development outcomes for its people and prepared for a more resilient future.

Tweet on! COVID-19 has shaken the water sector. As we look back at the tweets that got the highest engagement this year, we continue to be inspired by our Twitter community and their commitment to build a water-secure world for all. Here are the top 10 tweets of 2020 from @WorldBankWater.

Resilient Food Systems: COVID-19 tested the strength of both production and distribution (resulting in both food shortages and waste), highlighted the importance of good nutrition, and increased food insecurity in all countries. The spread of desert locusts compounded impacts of the pandemic, conflict, and climate change. Here are 20 stories, blogs, events, and interviews that explored challenges–as well as opportunities–that affected food and agriculture this year.

Climate Change Fight: Even with COVID-19 lending, the World Bank Group surpassed its climate finance target for FY20, allocating nearly $21.4 billion to climate-related investments. Here is a snapshot of 10 efforts the Bank Group advanced in climate action in this unprecedented year.

Challenge and Opportunity: For the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), 2020 started like many others until the pandemic struck. Here is a month by month look at how MIGA pressed forward this year.

Universal health coverage protects everyone

December 12 marks the International Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day. This year’s theme ghana“protect everyone” cannot be more relevant amidst the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

UHC and preparedness are two sides of the same coin   

UHC is the frontline defense for picking up and responding to unusual illnesses in communities, building trust in health systems, and safeguarding the continuity of essential health services  for everyone without impoverishing cost to households.  

Continue reading

Tackling the vicious cycle of fragility and water insecurity

Some 2.2 billion people around the world do not have access to clean drinking water, 4.2 billion20201214-fcv-blog-1140x500 do not have sanitation service, while 3 billion lack basic handwashing facilities. The consequences of this lack of access to basic services are disproportionately felt by the poorest and most vulnerable people living in fragile, and conflict-affected situations (FCS) since many of the most fragile countries are also those with the poorest services. 

Continue reading

How is the pandemic affecting remittances to fragile and conflict affected settings?

Migrants and refugees are among the vulnerable populations that are hardest hit by the 20201118-fcv-blog-1140x500COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s not just them – the crisis is also impacting their families back in their home countries who depend on the money they send to make ends meet. Especially for households in countries affected by fragility and conflict (FCS) who are more likely to be extremely deprived, these remittances are economic lifelines. Over 50 million international migrants and refugees come from FCS. 

Continue reading