November 9, 2020 update: My Op-Ed and engagements from last week

I would like to briefly highlight some of my writing and engagements from last week:Malpass-IMF

Op-Ed: To Cope With Covid, the World’s Poor Need Debt Relief

In last week’s Wall Street Journal, I published an op-ed urging greater transparency and timely and meaningful debt relief for the people of the world’s poorest countries. These are immediate, critical needs as countries work to recover from the global pandemic, and we can no longer afford to kick the debt can down the road – developing countries need relief now.

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Tackling poor air quality: Lessons from three cities

How can countries grow their economies and keep air pollution in check at the same time? A shutterstock_1040255047new World Bank report explores that tricky question, looking at the kinds of policies and actions three leading cities have taken to tackle poor local air quality, providing lessons for other cities. As we mark World Cities Day on October 31, this research seems more timely than ever.

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Fighting the Spread of COVID-19 with First Hand Sanitizers Made in Chad

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  • In spring 2020, the unprecedented demand for many products has strained supply chains worldwide as production lines stopped working to avoid the spread of the corona virus epidemic.
  • It became virtually impossible to find front line protective products against the virus: gloves, face masks and bottles of hand sanitizer.
  • This situation prompted Chad to launch its first ever production of these precious flasks.

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Four cornerstones of a resilient recovery for all

As of this month, over a million people have lost their lives to COVID-19. More than 35 million 50341021731_0ff8b47ebf_kare infected. In every part of the world, the poorest are suffering most, and the World Bank’s recently released Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report estimates that global extreme poverty will rise this year for the first time in a generation. In 2020 alone, the pandemic could drastically increase the number of people living in extreme poverty, by 88 to 115 million. This is the worst setback ever in our quest to end poverty.  Furthermore, the impact of COVID-19 is not just affecting the extreme poor, but lockdowns and sudden cessations of economic activity and mobility have had a broader impact than previous crises. The faces of the “new poor” are more likely to be urban and educated and to be engaged in informal services and manufacturing, rather than agriculture; and middle-income countries will be significantly affected.  Women are also more impacted, as they are twice as likely to lose their jobs compared to men. They also bear the brunt of family care under lockdown, and many are “skipping meals” as a response to reduced incomes.

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People Peace Prosperity

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The Fragility Forum is underway! After it was postponed due to concerns around 936490e805722009c3ea29a4bb898db1ac1f5ee98f404983af1a10660eaab8c2COVID-19, it has been transformed into a Virtual Series that will take place through August 31, 2020.

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Debt Report 2020 Edition I

For the first time, the Debt team at the World Bank Development Economics Data Group image(DECDG) will publish online a new series of Debt Reports, at regular intervals, over the course of the year. Their aim is to provide users with analyses of evolving trends and development related to external debt and public debt in individual countries and regional groups, with primary emphasis on low- and middle-income countries, and to keep users abreast of debt-related issues and initiatives.

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January 2020 Global Economic Prospects: Slow growth, policy challenges

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  • The world economy is poised for a modest rebound this year, but outlook is fragile.
  • Emerging, developing economy growth to accelerate in 2020 as some emerging economies recover from periods of stress.
  • Rise in debt, slowdown in productivity pose challenges for policymakers.

The World Bank Group Exceeds 2020 Climate Targets for the Second Year in a Row: Here’s How It Was Done

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  • In fiscal year 2019, the World Bank Group committed nearly $17.8 billion to climate-related investments, surpassing current targets for the second year in a row.
  • Three country snapshots illustrate some of the ways climate change considerations were integrated in the project design: building climate resiliency into transportation systems in Sierra Leone; improving irrigation to address food security in Pakistan; and mitigating flood risk in Vietnam’s urban infrastructure.
  • Going forward, the World Bank Group will invest and mobilize $200 billion in climate-related financing from 2021-2025, doubling what we did in the last five years and significantly ramping up support for adaptation.