Broad, fast action to save lives and help countries rebuild

Axel van Trotsenburg|

The COVID-19 pandemic is uncharted territory for every country in the world. It has unleashed both a global health emergency and an unprecedented economic crisis of historic magnitude. Even as the coronavirus continues to spread, the World Bank estimates that, between 2019 and 2020, the global economy will shrink by $4.2 trillion dollars.  That is substantially bigger than South Asia’s entire regional economy (which is about $3.5 trillion), and as if we somehow wiped both Germany and Belgium off the economic map. Worse still, the fall from where we expected to be in 2021 if COVID-19 hadn’t hit is closer to $7.5 trillion dollars—equivalent to 40% of the entire U.S. economy, as well as larger than the combined GDP of Latin America and the Caribbean plus the Middle East and North Africa.

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COVID-19: We’re tracking digital responses worldwide. Here’s what we see

Digital technologies are vital tools for helping people cope with stay-at-home orders and young woman with face mask using smartphone-GND-iStocksocial distancing requirements during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Digital technologies are instrumental in supporting health care systems, not only though telemedicine and COVID screening apps, but also through Big Data and artificial intelligence analytics for mobility patterns, epidemiological models, and contact tracing. And in many other sectors, digital is also the new normal for individuals, governments, and businesses around the world.

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Cities, crowding, and the coronavirus: Predicting contagion risk hotspots

Across the globe, well-functioning cities do one thing really well – they bring people sketchtogether. Social and economic interactions are the hallmark of city life, making people more productive and often creating a vibrant market for innovations by entrepreneurs and investors. No country can achieve significant economic growth without vibrant cities.

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World Bank Predicts Sharpest Decline of Remittances in Recent History

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2020 — Global remittances are projected to decline sharply by about 20 percent in 2020 due to the economic crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown. The projected fall, which would be the sharpest decline in recent history, is largely due to a fall in the wages and employment of migrant workers, who tend to be more vulnerable to loss of employment and wages during an economic crisis in a host country. Remittances to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are projected to fall by 19.7 percent to $445 billion, representing a loss of a crucial financing lifeline for many vulnerable households.

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A Shock Like No Other: Coronavirus Rattles Commodity Markets

STORY HIGHLIGHTS Commodity-Markets-Outlook-April-2020

  • The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted both demand for and supply of commodities: direct effects from shutdowns and disruptions to supply chains, indirect effects as economic growth stalls. Effects have already been dramatic, particularly for commodities related to transportation.
  • Oil prices have plunged and demand is expected to fall by an unprecedented amount in 2020.
  • While most food markets are well supplied, concerns about food security have risen as countries announce trade restrictions and engage in excess buying.

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Planning for the economic recovery from COVID-19: A sustainability checklist for policymakers

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, governments and emergency shutterstock_527665309_covid19_sustainability_checklistservices are focusing on immediate needs: boosting capacity in hospitals, addressing hunger, and protecting firms and families from eviction and bankruptcy. The majority of the funds flowing so far from the World Bank, the IMF, other regional development banks, or central banks seek to provide funds for protective gear at hospitals, stabilize financial institutions, pay companies to provide goods and services to essential workers, or provide direct cash support to households.

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In the Face of Coronavirus, African Countries Apply Lessons from Ebola Response

STORY HIGHLIGHTS gear

  • Using lessons from the Ebola outbreak in 2014, African countries prepare to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus)
  • In the aftermath of the West Africa Ebola crisis, the World Bank launched the Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE) Project to strengthen health systems and support effective disease surveillance 16 West and Central African countries
  • As of today, nearly $370 million has been approved or dispersed by the World Bank to fight COVID-19 in in 10 African countries, with more to come in the next weeks and months