COVID vaccines: Why we must succeed in every country

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and vaccines remain our most important tool for vaccines_herohelping every country overcome it and get on the path to recovery. 

Since February, much of the world’s attention has shifted to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the risks it poses to global supplies of food and energy.  And the war is coming on top of many other crises – climate change, conflict in many other places, record numbers of refugees, and a rise in poverty for the first time in decades. But even among these daunting global challenges, COVID has particularly far-ranging health, social, and economic impacts, especially for the poorest countries and most vulnerable people.  

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Commodity Markets: Evolution, Challenges, and Policies

The past two years of the global pandemic profoundly impacted our societies and economies. crane-light-heroThe COVID crisis heightened the need for multilateralism to tackle global challenges.  

Even as the worst of the pandemic starts to recede, the war in Ukraine threatens to impact global development outcomes. At the same time, climate impacts continue to mount. The findings of the latest IPCC reports provide a stark warning. We must decarbonize our economies at an accelerated pace and scale and reach net zero emissions by 2050  to avoid fundamentally altering our planet’s climate and its irreversible impacts on development. We must take bold and swift action and we must do so now to ensure that we can realize green, resilient and inclusive development.

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World Bank Live

World Bank Live is the World Bank’s digital platform for live-streaming and engaging with globalsitename_en audiences in open and two-way conversations about international development.

Since 2013, World Bank Live has hosted over 700 public events in four languages: English, Spanish, French, and Arabic.

Panel discussions and high-level events are live-streamed during the Spring and Annual Meetings and throughout the year. International audiences can attend report launches, roundtables, speeches from senior management and global leaders, and join global conversations on key development topics such as climate change, economic recovery, debt management, digital transformation, sustainable development, and much more.

Each event is covered live by international development experts from the World Bank and partner organizations, taking questions from the audience in real-time and sharing research findings and learning resources.

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Digital improvements can make or break ports

If you have made any major purchases in the last two years, it’s likely that you have personally hero_low_resolution_container_portfelt the impact of the global supply chain crisis. Pandemic-induced spikes in consumer sales and labor shortages triggered artery-clogging nightmares for some of the world’s busiest ports. At the most serious end of the spectrum, this has contributed to food shortages. But maritime backlogs can delay the delivery of everything ranging from clothes to couches to cars.

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Air pollution kills – Evidence from a global analysis of exposure and poverty

Globally, poor air quality is estimated to cause some 7 million deaths each year, as it05.18_air_pollution_kills_blog_image increases the risk of a wide range of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Yet the exposure to and impact of air pollution are not equally distributed. Air pollution is particularly prevalent in industrializing developing economies. Less stringent air quality regulations, the prevalence of older polluting machinery and vehicles, subsidized fossil fuels, congested urban transport systems, rapidly developing industrial sectors, and cut-and-burn practices in agriculture are all contributing to heightened pollution levels. The lack of affordable quality healthcare services further increases air pollution related mortality.

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Commodity Markets: Evolution, Challenges, and Policies

Commodity markets are integral to the global economy. Understanding what drivesweb cover2 developments of these markets is critical to the design of policy frameworks that facilitate the economic objectives of sustainable growth, inflation stability, poverty reduction, food security, and the mitigation of climate change. This study is the first comprehensive analysis examining market and policy developments for all commodity groups, including energy, metals, and agriculture, over the past century. It finds that, while the quantity of commodities consumed has risen enormously, driven by population and income growth, the relative importance of commodities has shifted over time, as technological innovation created new uses for some materials and facilitated substitution among commodities. The study also shows that commodity markets are heterogeneous in terms of their drivers, price behavior, and macroeconomic impact on emerging markets and developing economies, and that the relationship between economic growth and commodity demand varies widely across countries, depending on their stage of economic development. Policy frameworks that enable countercyclical macroeconomic responses have become increasingly common—and beneficial. Other policy tools have had mixed outcomes.

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Tracking government debt is hard. Banishing secrecy clauses would make it far easier.

With a few taps on a smartphone, I can check the weather, send messages to friendsMarcello_GIF_700kbps around the world, review my bank account, or even order food. But even in our hyper-connected, data-driven world, it’s exceedingly difficult to pin down government debt – even for researchers with advanced skills and access to big databases. And that’s not for lack of trying.

“Hidden debt” crops up far too frequently and often during or just before a crisis, creating a nasty surprise.  Such was the case in 2016, when the revelation of previously undisclosed debt derailed Mozambique’s development agenda, tainted its reputation as a growth and investment star, and sent its financial sector into crisis. More recently, Chad and Zambia’s debt restructuring negotiations were delayed when their respective debt offices couldn’t produce current and complete records of what was owed (and to whom).

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A Conversation with David Malpass and Masood Ahmed

On May 26th 2022, World Bank Group’s President, David Malpass, and Masood Ahmed, President of the Center for Global Development, will hold a conversation about the array of global shocks, their impact on the most vulnerable communities—and the response they urgently demand.

From conflict to COVID to climate change, overlapping crises have created unprecedented challenges for developing countries. Debt vulnerabilities, rising inflation, higher energy prices and food insecurity are threatening to reverse development gains. These growing challenges require decisive policy action and sustained international cooperation on multiple fronts to ensure economic conditions improve in all countries, especially the poorest.  David Malpass and Masood Ahmed will exchange views on macroeconomic and political instability; and what is required for economic transformation.

The Way Forward is an occasional series of in-depth discussions on development challenges and innovative solutions, hosted by World Bank Group David Malpass.

May 26th, 10:00 AM EDT (local time)

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Doing Business with the World Bank. Corporate Procurement | Free Webinar

📅 26 May 2022 🕟 4 PM (Brussels)/ 10 AM (Washington DC)
Virtual

DevelopmentAid, in collaboration with the World Bank Group, invites organizations and individual experts working in the development sector to join the webinar on “Doing Business with the World Bank. Corporate Procurement” to learn more about aspects of WB’s corporate procurement and discover ways to achieve successful collaboration.

Register for the webinar!

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World Bank Announces Planned Actions for Global Food Crisis Response

$30 billion available for implementation to address food insecurity over next 15 months

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2022—The World Bank today announced actions it plans to take as part of a comprehensive, global response to the ongoing food security crisis, with up to $30 billion in existing and new projects in areas such as agriculture, nutrition, social protection, water and irrigation. This financing will include efforts to encourage food and fertilizer production, enhance food systems, facilitate greater trade, and support vulnerable households and producers.

“Food price increases are having devastating effects on the poorest and most vulnerable,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass. “To inform and stabilize markets, it is critical that countries make clear statements now of future output increases in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Countries should make concerted efforts to increase the supply of energy and fertilizer, help farmers increase plantings and crop yields, and remove policies that block exports and imports, divert food to biofuel, or encourage unnecessary storage.”

The World Bank is working with countries on the preparation of $12 billion of new projects for the next 15 months to respond to the food security crisis. These projects are expected to support agriculture, social protection to cushion the effects of higher food prices, and water and irrigation projects, with the majority of resources going to Africa and the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and South Asia. In addition, the World Bank’s existing portfolio includes undisbursed balances of $18.7 billion in projects with direct links to food and nutrition security issues, covering agriculture and natural resources, nutrition, social protection, and other sectors. Altogether, this would amount to over $30 billion available for implementation to address food insecurity over the next 15 months. This response will draw on the full range of Bank financing instruments and be complemented by analytical work.

The World Bank Group’s global response will address four priorities:

  • Support production and producers: Take actions to enhance next season’s production by removing input trade barriers, focusing on more efficient use of fertilizers, and repurposing public policies and expenditures to better support farmers and output.
  • Facilitate increased trade: Build international consensus (G7, G20, others) and commitment to avoid export restrictions that increase global food prices and import restrictions that discourage production in developing countries.
  •  Support vulnerable households: Scale up targeted, nutrition-sensitive social protection programs and replenish early-response financing mechanisms.
  • Invest in sustainable food and nutrition security: Strengthen food systems to make them more resilient to rising risks (conflict, climate, pests, diseases), trade disruptions and economic shocks – balance immediate/short-term needs with long-term investments.

The World Bank gained extensive experience in response to the 2007-2008 global food price crisis through the temporary Global Food Crisis Response Program (GFRP) that received donor contributions and channeled funds to 49 affected countries through 100 projects. Since then, the Bank had built up new tools dedicated to responding to food security crises, including the IDA Crisis Response Window. The World Bank also hosts the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), which is an existing financial intermediary fund dedicated to improving food security in low-income countries and could be replenished to help fund the response to the current global food crisis.


Contacts

Washington D.CDavid Theis

202-458-8626

dtheis@worldbankgroup.org