Over half of the world’s population — an estimated 4.3 billion people — now use the Internet, and 90 percent of all people are covered by at least basic data services. Some countries have very high levels of internet usage; the members of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a group of advanced economies, have 84 percent individuals using the internet. Some countries, such as Iceland or South Korea, count almost everyone as users. But what of the rest of the world? What holds back about half of the world’s population from using the internet?
The world faces an invisible crisis of water quality. Its impacts are wider, deeper, and more uncertain than previously thought and require urgent attention.
While much attention has focused on water quantity – too much water, in the case of floods; too little water, in the case of droughts – water quality has attracted significantly less consideration. Quality Unknown shows that urgent attention must be given to the hidden dangers that lie beneath the water’s surface:
Juan and his family fled their home during Peru’s 1995 insurgency. Like many other Peruvians, they left behind all of their possessions, including their IDs and other documents. Without an ID, Juan—along with 3 million other Peruvians whose civil registration records were lost or destroyed during this period—was unable to enroll in school or access basic social services.
Mariam, a cross border trader from Uganda, struggled to earn a livelihood because of the difficulty she faced in crossing the border to buy and sell goods in Kenya. Without the necessary IDs, she could not pass through regular border crossings and was forced to travel long distances in dangerous areas that left her vulnerable to theft and exploitation.
Can Africa feed Africa? This question is frequently asked, especially when there are 256 million people (1 in 5) in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) who are critically undernourished. And the numbers are growing. Escalating weather volatility due to climate change further exacerbate food and nutrition insecurity. Frequent droughts and floods are triggering a food crisis in at least one or more countries every year, demanding emergency responses.
In Malaysia, regulatory reforms are beginning to shape the trajectory of the digital economy to unleash ultrafast internet. The result has been beneficial to Malaysians, especially within the confines of a market with low adoption of fiber internet services in the past decade, compared to its regional peers. But now things are changing. The country’s broadband market is rapidly moving to become more accessible, with increased competition and better quality services – which could potentially expand the digital economy to provide the benefits of economic growth, job creation and social inclusion.
Globally, the proportion of people working in the agriculture sector has seen a steady decline. However, looking at global averages is not enough to understand this trend, as this decline has not been evenly distributed. We break down the world population into two groups (measured through either income or consumption expenditure): the bottom 40% (the poorest people in any given country) and the upper 60% of the income distribution.
This year’s World Bank World Development Report uncovers new insights on the relationship between international connectivity and economic activity.
Thanks to technological improvements, the costs to transport goods, people, knowledge and capital between countries have declined. This environment has changed the underlying structure of global economic production: we’re seeing an increasing number of multinational corporations; higher degrees of specialization of various stages of production; and rising levels of trade of intermediate goods (the parts and materials imported to make products for consumption domestically and abroad) between developing countries.
In a small community off the coast of Sierra Leone, Salamatou Bangura often struggled to feed her children. Though she worked long hours buying and selling seafood from the local fisherman in her village, until recently, it wasn’t enough. “I couldn’t afford to cook every day,” she recalls.
That all changed when she began to receive $10 every month through a social safety net program for extremely poor households. Bangura began using the money to put food on the table, pay school fees, and invest in her business. And when tragedy struck, and the family home burned down, Bangura used the money to rebuild, all the while ensuring that her children remained well-fed and in school.
The ever-increasing pace of the development of artificial intelligence is having a profound impact on the workforce.At the same time, new jobs become available that previous generations could not even fathom. Failure to prepare for these changes can have catastrophic impacts on economies.
Based on the 2019 World Development Report, the World Bank’s new course on the Future of Work will explore the various changes that result from advances in technology, what this means for the current and future workforce, and how we need to prepare for these changes.