Ending Learning Poverty: A Target to Galvanize Action on Literacy

At a school in Malawi, students are enjoying play time at recess. Unfortunately, joy-2019sometimes recess lasts all day because the teacher doesn’t come to work.

In a classroom in Armenia, students are receiving grades for their ability to repeat memorized text, with textbooks dominating the learning process rather than teacher instruction and innovation, leaving graduates unprepared for a competitive work environment.

In Bangladesh, despite improving enrollment rates, girls are still not learning as much as boys, and dropout rates are high – with lost years in schooling being attributed to child marriage, household responsibilities and other factors.

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Impact investing with the World Bank. How to make a difference – the case of IDA

For over 70 years, the World Bank Group has successfully raised funds in the capital ida_blog.jpgmarkets to invest in development projects. Through its arm for middle-income countries, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the World Bank Group funded public sector projects like roads, green energy, health or education systems; and through the International Finance Corporation (IFC), it provided capital to the private sector in developing countries to help businesses grow and provide jobs, taxes and other wider societal benefits.

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The real costs of illegal logging, fishing and wildlife trade: $1 trillion–$2 trillion per year

Illegal logging, fishing and wildlife trade rob the world of precious natural resources – original_ww174946and ultimately of development benefits and livelihoods.  The statistics are grim: an elephant is poached for its tusks about every 30 minutes, an African rhino for its horn every 8 hours, one in five fish is caught illegally, and in certain countries, particularly in Africa and South America, 50% to 90% of timber is harvested and traded illegally.  As much as 35% of the value of all illegal trade is estimated to come from rosewood.

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IDA is a vital development partner now more than ever

It is undeniable that progress has been made in reducing extreme poverty over the last ht-jessica-education780pxquarter century—from 36 percent of the world population in 1990 to an estimated 8.6 percent in 2018—and that living standards for hundreds of millions of people have improved over that time.

Yet, poverty reduction has not been consistent across countries and today it is slowing. For the world’s poorest countries, extreme poverty remains stubbornly high with 31 percent of their people living on less than $1.90 a day. 

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Commodity Prices Revised Down as Global Growth Weakens and Supplies Remain Ample

Energy and metal prices seen falling in 2019, 2020 on slowing demandCMO-cover-October-2019-780x439

WASHINGTON, October 29, 2019 – Energy and metal commodity prices are expected to continue to fall in 2020 following sharp declines in 2019 on a weaker outlook for global growth and consequent softer demand, the World Bank said in its October Commodity Markets Outlook.

“Slowing demand for commodities presents a challenge for exporters and an opportunity for importers,” said Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, World Bank Group Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance & Institutions. “As both of them switch from using one commodity to another due to price fluctuation and technological advance, it will be important that these resources be produced and consumed in an environmentally sustainable way.”

Download the October Commodity Markets Outlook

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World health summit to showcase collaboration for better health

A month after world leaders met at the UN General Assembly to recommit to financing whs2 (1)for universal health coverage,  the global health community gathers in Berlin for the World Health Summit. Under the patronage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, this year’s summit will focus on universal health coverage and human capital in Africa, the role of the G7 and G20 in global health and how the Global Action Plan can be implemented.

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New monitoring methods and tools make development more effective

Informed decision making requires timely and relevant evidence. This holds for national logistics_management_information_system_sarah_farhatdecision makers as well as development practitioners. Here at the World Bank, we have been working on creative solutions that lower the cost of project monitoring and create feedback loops. These feedback loops allow decision makers to assess the impact of their actions and to plan course corrections where needed. They also serve as incentive to act, since most decision makers wish to avoid the possibility of their inaction being exposed in future rounds of feedback and data collection. Feedback loops thus improve development outcomes through two pathways: by providing timely and actionable information and by functioning as an accountability mechanism. SWIFT and IBM are two examples of new tools that make this kind of regular feedback affordable.

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Investing in Nutrition Smart Agriculture (NSmartAg) means everybody wins

While in Malange, Angola, we met Florinda Chilumbo, a farmer who has 200 hectares Florindaplanted with fruits and vegetables.These are much-needed food groups in a region where malnutrition is common. But public policies favor the production of less-nutritious maize and soy, so she is thinking of dedicating more land to those crops. Indeed, there are no incentives for investing in Nutrition Smart Agriculture (NSmartAg) in Angola, or much of the rest of the world.

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The Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian

I have never seen this level of destruction. I was deployed to Haiti after the 2010 bahamasearthquake, New York after Superstorm Sandy, northeast Nigeria after the worst of the Boko Haram insurgency, and to Somalia and Malawi after devastating droughts and floods delivered destruction on a tragic level. But mere walking through the worst hit areas of Abaco in northern Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian provided a glimpse of what total devastation really looks like.

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