WBG: Weekly Recap

The World Bank Group is now supporting 100 countries in their fight against coronavirus, helping strengthen health systems, protect the poorest and support jobs. This is the largest and fastest crisis response in our history, and is critical in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerating a recovery.

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Coronavirus Live Series: Supporting Companies and Preserving Jobs through the Pandemic

The economic impact of #COVID19 will hit developing countries hard. What can be done to support companies and preserve jobs? Join IFC’s Chief Operating Officer, Stephanie von Friedeburg, for discussion on the topic.

 

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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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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World Bank Group’s Operational Response to COVID-19 (coronavirus) – Projects List

The World Bank Group is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries WBG_C19_25countries_web_clean780strengthen their pandemic response, increase disease surveillance, improve public health interventions, and help the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs. It is deploying up to $160 billion in financial support over the next 15 months to help countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery. On April 2, the first group of projects using the dedicated COVID-19 Fast-Track Facility, amounting to $1.9 billion and assisting 25 countries, was rolled out. In addition, the World Bank is working worldwide to redeploy resources in existing World Bank financed projects worth up to $1.7 billion, including through restructuring and use of projects’ emergency components as well as contingent financing instruments designed for catastrophes, including pandemics. Below is list of countries that are getting Bank Group support through the FTF as well as other financing mechanisms.

Countries benefiting from the dedicated COVID-19 Fast-Track Facility

 

How ministries of education work with mobile operators, telecom providers, ISPs and others to increase access to digital resources during COVID19-driven school closures (Coronavirus)

With schools closed around the world as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many edtech2countries that are seeking to promote and support online learning for students at home are running into challenges.

One easy-to-understand challenge relates to access:

How can we – quickly – help students (and teachers) get online, and stay online? 

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Coronavirus: Reflections of an epidemiologist and public health practitioner

Not a day passes without us being bombarded by the rapidly evolving medical literature 1107952389_b03648b09d_c(002)and media on the hitherto unknown COVID-19. Rightfully so, as we now have an outbreak with more than 100,000 cases confirmed globally.

Yet, I cannot help but wonder how the general public is dealing with such an onslaught of information, if I, as a trained physician, epidemiologist and a global public health practitioner, find it too much to take in and digest. How do we expect a lay person to sift through it all, separate the chaff from the grain, avoid fear mongering  – No, you do not get COVID-19 if you receive a package from China, or eat in a Chinese restaurant –  and stick with the most relevant information and the essentials for behavioral change? This is ultimately what counts the most:, arming people with the right messaging and instructions for compliance with the science-based best practice. With local community transmission in about 20 countries across several regions of the globe, we must ask ourselves could we have done better? 

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Swift action can help developing countries limit economic harm of coronavirus

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has already exacted a high cost in human blog_leaderlife and has been recognized for what it is—a global health emergency. As the virus spreads around the globe, the question now is whether lives can be protected and economic harm can be contained.

We know from history that when the global economy faces a common threat, quick, coordinated, and decisive action makes all the difference. That is beginning to happen. Several countries have announced stimulus programs, many have cut interest rates, and both the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund have unveiled massive financial-support packages to help countries overcome the health crisis and limit the economic damage.

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