COVID-19 highlights unfinished business of ensuring equality for women entrepreneurs

The pandemic has been anything but business as usual for women entrepreneurs. Women gendercoventrepreneurs have sacrificed more time than men to undertake unpaid care during COVID-19, and their businesses have received less public support than those run by men.  Unsurprisingly, this uneven support and uneven share of care have gone hand in hand with a greater risk of women-led businesses closing down, a review of new data by World Bank economists shows. This has raised concerns that COVID-19 could undo years of progress for women entrepreneurs. Setbacks from COVID-19 for women entrepreneurs in low- and middle-income countries have been severe.

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COVID-19 vaccines: from rejection to shortage, how Côte d’Ivoire became a model for managing vaccine hesitancy

STORY HIGHLIGHTS A man being vaccinated against COVID-19 at the vaccination cente

  • In February 2021, Côte d’Ivoire’s efforts to vaccinate its population in order to save lives and stem the spread of the coronavirus were being stymied by a wave of misinformation and a low level of public acceptance of the vaccine
  • The government embarked on a nationwide awareness-raising campaign, deploying mobile clinics and enlisting the support of influencers and religious and community leaders
  • This strategy paid off for the country, which succeeded in increasing the number of people vaccinated by tenfold, from just 2,000 to over 20,000 per day in the following weeks

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We need healthier air for a healthier planet

Air pollution is a multifaceted problem – representing the world’s leading environmental risk to cahealth and costing the globe an estimated $8.1 trillion in 2019 , 6.1 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP).  

Air pollution is also deadly, causing or contributing to heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases and killing an estimated seven million people every year – with about 95 percent of these deaths occurring in low- and middle- income countries. COVID-19 is only making matters worse, with research finding links between air pollution and COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.

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Why Kinshasa Could Be in the Vanguard of Megacities’ Climate Resilience

STORY HIGHLIGHTS Transport station in Kinshasa

  • Africa’s largest city, Kinshasa, is making resilience to climate change a top priority.
  • The $500 million Kin Elenda project will improve access to infrastructure and services and socio-economic opportunities for people in Kinshasa.
  • The project will directly benefit 2 million people in four Kinshasa neighborhoods by providing household water connections, reducing exposure to flooding, and developing green urban spaces.

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What is driving COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Sub-Saharan Africa?

As African countries accelerate the deployment of COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccines, the issue of vaccine hesitancy looms. Globally, there has been a rise in general vaccine hesitancy but especially towards COVID-19 vaccines. In Africa, hesitancy must be viewed in the context of significant vaccine shortage; hesitancy does not explain fully the low vaccination rates in Africa. The slow vaccine rollout on the continent is  due to supply constraints, structural issues, and logistical barriers. 

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Remarks by World Bank Group President David Malpass to the Summit of the Heads of State of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community

Your Excellencies, Presidents, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,World Bank building

I am pleased to participate in today’s Summit, which is taking place at a critical juncture for the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). I join with you in expressing my condolences on the death of President Deby to his son and the Chadian people. 

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Poor digital access is holding Latin America and the Caribbean back. Here’s how to change it

The COVID-19 crisis has hit the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region harder than any other region in the world and has brought the need for a resilient and inclusive recovery into sharp focus. Greater digital access—in support of distance learning, digital cash transfers, telemedicine, and online public services—is the cornerstone of this agenda and requires both an ambitious policy and regulatory agenda as well as increased infrastructure investments. This is particularly important as the region gears up for 5G auctions and continues its 4G expansion.

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Livelihoods of Kenyan households bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic

The number of COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases has exceeded 180 million worldwide and is still rising, with the economic downturn pushing 88 to 115 million people into extreme poverty in 2020, reversing the gains in global poverty reduction for the first time in a generation.  

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Indigenous Peoples’ resilience: Supporting solutions from within

When COVID-19 hit, Indigenous peoples feared for the lives of their elders and the survival of shutterstock_709568200their cultures. Despite lockdowns, there seemed to be a surge in territorial invasions, contributing to the ensuing spread of the virus in their remote communities. Many were without water, sanitation and days away from the closest health clinics. Indigenous leaders called for help to mobilize food, water, soap, PPE, thermometers, and tests. Surprisingly, some of the most desperate stories were coming from Indigenous communities that, prior to the pandemic, had in many cases fared better economically, given their links with tourism, external markets, and informal urban employment. Relief efforts were also difficult. The rollout of emergency response programs often indirectly excluded Indigenous Peoples through eligibility requirements, such as electricity bills, and delivery mechanisms, such as urban grocery stores.

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Leaving no country behind: Africa’s pathbreaking collective action on vaccines