Violence against women is an invisible pandemic, recognized long before COVID-19, that impacts the lives of those who experience it but also affects their families and communities. When COVID19 hit, 243 million women had experienced sexual or physical violence by a partner in the previous year alone. Other statistics are equally stark: 15 million adolescent girls between the ages of 15-19 worldwide have experienced forced sex, and 137 women are killed by a family member every day.
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 impact all aspects of our lives.
Before COVID-19, many countries were making significant gains in human capital, improving health and education outcomes for girls and boys and empowering women to reach their potential. Between 2010 and March 2020, the World Bank’s Human Capital Index 2020 Update found an average increase of five percent in the human capital index across countries.
It’s seven o’clock in the morning in Conakry, the capital of Guinea. Dr. Haba Eveline arrives at the COVID-19 Treatment Center. As soon as she enters, she washes her hands before starting her daily shift. A mother of five, she leads the Risk Management Unit which is now open 24/7.
She is one of the frontline health workers helping her country fight the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. “As a doctor, I am a fighter and I am proud to bring my experience to the response against this pandemic,” she said.
Gender-based violence (GBV), including sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (SEA-SH), is an unacceptable violation of human values. The impacts of these actions on survivors and victims are devastating and wide-ranging. They undermine their physical and mental health, security, dignity, quality of life and well-being.
As COVID-19 (coronavirus) has spread across the world, the World Bank has projected extreme poverty to increase for the first time since the Asian crisis in 1998, putting at risk the global goal of reducing extreme poverty to 3% of the world’s population by 2030. The duration and scale of impacts are highly uncertain and expected to vary widely within and across countries and over time, which makes it really important to closely monitor the impacts of the crisis on households and firms for designing policy responses. The World Bank’s high-frequency monitoring phone surveys, which are going on in nearly 100 countries, have sought to fill the information gap that traditional in-person surveys are ill-suited to fill during a pandemic. They are a window into how the pandemic is affecting every aspect of the lives of almost every household in the developing world. A similar initiative of Business Pulse Surveys adds to this picture by tracking the pandemic’s impacts on firms in 51 countries.
The WACA Call for Innovation Demo Day and Award Ceremony were hosted by the World Bank on 17 and 18 November 2020. It featured presentations of the five shortlisted competitors pitching their proposals. Among the top three winners were two Dutch consortia which included NWP members HKV, IHE Delft, Witteveen+Bos, CDR International, Boskalis and Wetlands International.