A Conversation with David Malpass and Masood Ahmed

On May 26th 2022, World Bank Group’s President, David Malpass, and Masood Ahmed, President of the Center for Global Development, will hold a conversation about the array of global shocks, their impact on the most vulnerable communities—and the response they urgently demand.

From conflict to COVID to climate change, overlapping crises have created unprecedented challenges for developing countries. Debt vulnerabilities, rising inflation, higher energy prices and food insecurity are threatening to reverse development gains. These growing challenges require decisive policy action and sustained international cooperation on multiple fronts to ensure economic conditions improve in all countries, especially the poorest.  David Malpass and Masood Ahmed will exchange views on macroeconomic and political instability; and what is required for economic transformation.

The Way Forward is an occasional series of in-depth discussions on development challenges and innovative solutions, hosted by World Bank Group David Malpass.

May 26th, 10:00 AM EDT (local time)

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World Bank Announces Planned Actions for Global Food Crisis Response

$30 billion available for implementation to address food insecurity over next 15 months

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2022—The World Bank today announced actions it plans to take as part of a comprehensive, global response to the ongoing food security crisis, with up to $30 billion in existing and new projects in areas such as agriculture, nutrition, social protection, water and irrigation. This financing will include efforts to encourage food and fertilizer production, enhance food systems, facilitate greater trade, and support vulnerable households and producers.

“Food price increases are having devastating effects on the poorest and most vulnerable,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass. “To inform and stabilize markets, it is critical that countries make clear statements now of future output increases in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Countries should make concerted efforts to increase the supply of energy and fertilizer, help farmers increase plantings and crop yields, and remove policies that block exports and imports, divert food to biofuel, or encourage unnecessary storage.”

The World Bank is working with countries on the preparation of $12 billion of new projects for the next 15 months to respond to the food security crisis. These projects are expected to support agriculture, social protection to cushion the effects of higher food prices, and water and irrigation projects, with the majority of resources going to Africa and the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and South Asia. In addition, the World Bank’s existing portfolio includes undisbursed balances of $18.7 billion in projects with direct links to food and nutrition security issues, covering agriculture and natural resources, nutrition, social protection, and other sectors. Altogether, this would amount to over $30 billion available for implementation to address food insecurity over the next 15 months. This response will draw on the full range of Bank financing instruments and be complemented by analytical work.

The World Bank Group’s global response will address four priorities:

  • Support production and producers: Take actions to enhance next season’s production by removing input trade barriers, focusing on more efficient use of fertilizers, and repurposing public policies and expenditures to better support farmers and output.
  • Facilitate increased trade: Build international consensus (G7, G20, others) and commitment to avoid export restrictions that increase global food prices and import restrictions that discourage production in developing countries.
  •  Support vulnerable households: Scale up targeted, nutrition-sensitive social protection programs and replenish early-response financing mechanisms.
  • Invest in sustainable food and nutrition security: Strengthen food systems to make them more resilient to rising risks (conflict, climate, pests, diseases), trade disruptions and economic shocks – balance immediate/short-term needs with long-term investments.

The World Bank gained extensive experience in response to the 2007-2008 global food price crisis through the temporary Global Food Crisis Response Program (GFRP) that received donor contributions and channeled funds to 49 affected countries through 100 projects. Since then, the Bank had built up new tools dedicated to responding to food security crises, including the IDA Crisis Response Window. The World Bank also hosts the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), which is an existing financial intermediary fund dedicated to improving food security in low-income countries and could be replenished to help fund the response to the current global food crisis.


Contacts

Washington D.CDavid Theis

202-458-8626

dtheis@worldbankgroup.org

Staying the course for women’s economic empowerment in MENA

Our oceans are experiencing a range of problems caused by climate change and human20140128_indonesia_pamsimas_fishermen activity: rising temperatures, acidification, sea-level rise, habitat destruction, overfishing, marine pollution, and the introduction of invasive species.  These impacts are damaging ocean health and threatening the livelihoods of billions of people. They also point to a critical lack of governance globally of this precious resource.

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Staying the course for women’s economic empowerment in MENA

The war in Ukraine could not have come at a worse time, eroding global economicshutterstock_bbstudiophoto_-_women_engineer prospects as much of the world struggles to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the immediate impacts of the war has been the surge in commodity prices, raising concerns over food and energy security. Wheat prices have gone up by around 30%, hurting people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region who live in countries that rely on imports from Ukraine or Russia. 

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Commodity Markets Outlook: Ukraine war sparks food and energy shocks 

Shift to more costly trade patterns has begun; transition to cleaner energy could be delayeddownload

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2022—The war in Ukraine has dealt a major shock to commodity markets, altering global patterns of trade, production, and consumption in ways that will keep prices at historically high levels through the end of 2024, according to the World Bank’s latest Commodity Markets Outlook report.

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Recap Spring Meeting Events

REPLAYS

In his speech at the Warsaw School of Economics ahead of the 2022 Spring Meetings, titled “Addressing Challenges to Growth, Security, and Stability,” World Bank Group President David Malpass discussed the millions who are suffering amid massive reversals in development and outlined actions the global community can take to help address this situation. Read the full speech here, which was broadcast live from Poland, a country that has taken in over 2.3 million Ukrainian refugees fleeing war.

April 19 | 11:30 AM EDT 

The Way Forward: 

Responding to Global Shocks and Managing Uncertainty

Responding to Global Shocks and Managing Uncertainty
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank Group President David Malpass kicked off the 2022 Spring Meetings, emphasizing the need for increased debt transparency when debt levels are already high, and urged advanced economies to adjust their policies and improve access to markets, especially during the current food crisis. They also highlighted the immediate response both institutions are providing Ukraine and also discussed how to support the rebuilding of the country. #ResilientFuture
 
World Bank Group President David Malpass addressed the press during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group 2022 Spring Meetings. He provided updates on the Bank Group’s efforts to respond to myriad crises around the world, as well as to help developing countries manage uncertainty and deliver green, resilient and inclusive development. #ResilientFuture
As developing countries struggle to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, digital solutions are enabling economic transformation and putting them on a path toward green, resilient, and inclusive growth. Private and public investment in digital solutions is bringing critical services to the poorest, creating jobs, strengthening small and medium businesses, enabling trade and services, and building resilience to shocks. Catch our replay and learn more. #PowerofDigital
 

April 21 | 11:00 AM EDT 

Financing Climate Action
 
Financing Climate Action lays out the complexities of tackling climate and development objectives together amid a geopolitical landscape characterized by conflict, rising prices, and intensifying climate impacts. Several pressing issues are addressed in a series of conversations, from the cost of phasing out coal and the scale of the climate risk we face, to the need to de-risk investments in low-carbon and energy efficiency projects in developing countries, and the expectations for COP27 in Egypt.  #Finance4Climate
 

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky joined this roundtable discussion with the World Bank Group via video link from Ukraine. He spoke about the enormous humanitarian and economic costs of the Russian invasion on Ukraine – including the widespread destruction of schools, nurseries and universities. The World Bank Group estimates the Russian invasion has caused almost $60 billion in physical damage to buildings and infrastructure. The event was hosted by the World Bank Group and the Government of Ukraine.

 

April 22 | 12:00 PM EDT

On the Frontlines of Rising Fragility

By 2030, up to two-thirds of the world’s extreme poor could live in fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV) settings, so without addressing the challenges in these economies, we will not succeed in our mission to eradicate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. During this event, we heard from David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group, as well as partners and country representatives on how to stay engaged during times of crisis and meet the challenges in new and innovative ways. #RisingFragility

 

April 22 | 2:30 PM EDT

Preserving Open Trade

At a time when the global economy is coping with multiple shocks, including the pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and supply chain disruptions to food and other goods, governments are increasingly turning to subsidies for relief. But the costs can be very high, in terms of public spending and distorted incentives for investment and consumption. In this event, the heads of the four key global economic policy institutions—the World Bank Group, the IMF, the OECD and the WTO—discussed the importance of trade and global cooperation for overcoming current challenges and implications of subsidies for markets and poor countries.  #UnleashTrade

 

April 23 | 11:00 AM EDT

Invest in People

Now–more than at any other time in living memory–human capital is being dealt devastating blows by conflict, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The losses to learning, health outcomes, livelihoods, and gender equality have immediate and long-term impacts on people’s well-being and can undermine economic recovery and prosperity for years. Listen to leaders, innovators and change makers who are taking action to put people at the heart of recovery. #InvestInPeople

 
 

Helping Countries Cope with Multiple Crises

This year’s Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund tookwrapupstory place at a time of overlapping global crises.  The war in Ukraine has compounded concerns about inflation, COVID-19, climate change, and debt, with many other countries also facing fragility and conflict.

The chair’s statement issued on Friday by the Development Committee, a ministerial-level forum that represents 189 member countries of the two organizations, noted that the impacts will be felt most in low- and middle-income countries, especially by their most vulnerable people, including women and children.  The statement added that economic recovery is at risk amid geopolitical tensions, with investment, trade, and growth affected, even as countries face further risks from the pandemic and uneven deployment of vaccines.

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The 2022 World Bank Group Spring Meetings: Strengthening the case for globalism

In October, 2021, leaders from governments met at the IMF/World Bank Annual meetings to discuss the uneven recovery the global economy was experiencing, develop solutions to ramping up the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and explore ways to ensure that all countries can participate in a green, resilient, and inclusive return to stability and growth.

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Joint Statement: The Heads of the World Bank Group, IMF, WFP, and WTO Call for Urgent Coordinated Action on Food Security

  • Proposed actions to help vulnerable countries include providing emergency food supplies and deploying financial support to households and countries; facilitating unhindered trade; investing in sustainable food production and nutrition security.
  • Leaders call on the international community to support vulnerable countries through grants to cover urgent financing needs.

WASHINGTON, 13 April 2022— The Heads of the World Bank Group (WBG), International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations World Food Program (WFP), and World Trade Organization (WTO) today called for urgent action on food security. World Bank Group President David Malpass, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, WFP Executive Director David Beasley and WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala issued the following joint statement ahead of the Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group next week:

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