Middle East and North Africa: Two opportunities for rebuilding after COVID-19 in green and inclusive ways

 

What is the best path to building better and greener after the pandemic? Leaders around the shutterstock_1379087948globe ask this question and come up with different answers. For example, the European Union puts the spotlight on nature as the strongest ally in green recovery after COVID-19. South Korea plans to invest in green cities and support new green industries and businesses, among others. The best recipe for success differs across countries and regions, but as made clear in this previous op-ed, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will need to include green and sustainable practices for a more resilient and inclusive recovery.

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Updated estimates of the impact of COVID-19 on global poverty: Looking back at 2020 and the outlook for 2021

 

As the new year brings some hope for the fight against COVID-19, we are looking back and taking stock of the effect of the pandemic on poverty in 2020. In October 2020, using the June vintage of growth forecasts from the Global Economic Prospects, we estimated that between 88 and 115 million people around the globe would be pushed into extreme poverty in 2020. Using the January 2021 forecasts from GEP, we now expect the COVID-19-induced new poor in 2020 to rise to between 119 and 124 million. This range of estimates is in line with other estimates based on alternative recent growth forecasts.

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Subdued Global Economic Recovery

Although global economic output is recovering from the collapse triggered by COVID-19, it will world money smallremain below pre-pandemic trends for a prolonged period. The pandemic has exacerbated the risks associated with a decade-long wave of global debt accumulation. It is also likely to steepen the long-expected slowdown in potential growth over the next decade. In his Foreword, World Bank Group President David Malpass notes that “Making the right investments now is vital both to support the recovery when it is urgently needed and foster resilience. Our response to the pandemic crisis today will shape our common future for years to come. We should seize the opportunity to lay the foundations for a durable, equitable, and sustainable global economy.”

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2020!

This time last year, concepts such as “lockdowns,” “mask mandates” and “social distancing” were unknown to most of us. Today they are part of our everyday language as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our lives.

The Year in Charts: From Education to GDP – what was the impact of the pandemic in 2020? Our 12 charts help you understand this extraordinary year.

Looking Ahead: In a special year end edition of The Development Podcast, World Bank Group President David Malpass and Interim MD and COO of the IFC Stephanie von Friedeburg look back on 2020 and examine the path to a resilient recovery in 2021.

Global Solidarity: As 2020 comes to a close, investing in people is more important than ever, as we see the devastating impact that COVID-19 is having on people and economies worldwide. Global solidarity and protecting human capital is critical for accelerating progress.

Good Governance: Hoping to help stimulate debate on how governments can help end poverty and boost shared prosperity, we’ve curated some of our best blog posts on #GoodGov from 2020. Check out this interactive timeline.

Priorities in South Asia: As we wrap up this unprecedented year, we reflect on how the region faced the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, rose to the challenge to create better development outcomes for its people and prepared for a more resilient future.

Tweet on! COVID-19 has shaken the water sector. As we look back at the tweets that got the highest engagement this year, we continue to be inspired by our Twitter community and their commitment to build a water-secure world for all. Here are the top 10 tweets of 2020 from @WorldBankWater.

Resilient Food Systems: COVID-19 tested the strength of both production and distribution (resulting in both food shortages and waste), highlighted the importance of good nutrition, and increased food insecurity in all countries. The spread of desert locusts compounded impacts of the pandemic, conflict, and climate change. Here are 20 stories, blogs, events, and interviews that explored challenges–as well as opportunities–that affected food and agriculture this year.

Climate Change Fight: Even with COVID-19 lending, the World Bank Group surpassed its climate finance target for FY20, allocating nearly $21.4 billion to climate-related investments. Here is a snapshot of 10 efforts the Bank Group advanced in climate action in this unprecedented year.

Challenge and Opportunity: For the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), 2020 started like many others until the pandemic struck. Here is a month by month look at how MIGA pressed forward this year.

Universal health coverage protects everyone

December 12 marks the International Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day. This year’s theme ghana“protect everyone” cannot be more relevant amidst the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

UHC and preparedness are two sides of the same coin   

UHC is the frontline defense for picking up and responding to unusual illnesses in communities, building trust in health systems, and safeguarding the continuity of essential health services  for everyone without impoverishing cost to households.  

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Addressing the scourge of gender-based violence: Critical for sustainable recovery

Violence against women is an invisible pandemic, recognized long before COVID-19, that dominic_chavez_ifc_2impacts the lives of those who experience it but also affects their families and communities.  When COVID19 hit, 243 million women had experienced sexual or physical violence by a partner in the previous year alone. Other statistics are equally stark: 15 million adolescent girls between the ages of 15-19 worldwide have experienced forced sex, and 137 women are killed by a family member every day.

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2020 Year in Review: The impact of COVID-19 in 12 charts

This time last year, concepts such as “lockdowns,” “mask mandates” and “social distancing” en_yir_blogs_herowere unknown to most of us. Today they are part of our everyday language as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact all aspects of our lives. Through the following 12 charts and graphics, we try to quantify and provide an overview of our colleagues’ research in the face of a truly unprecedented crisis. 

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The World Bank Group Mounts the Fastest and Largest Health Crisis Response in its History to Save Lives from COVID-19

It’s seven o’clock in the morning in Conakry, the capital of Guinea. Dr. Haba Eveline arrives at guineathe COVID-19 Treatment Center. As soon as she enters, she washes her hands before starting her daily shift. A mother of five, she leads the Risk Management Unit which is now open 24/7.

She is one of the frontline health workers helping her country fight the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. “As a doctor, I am a fighter and I am proud to bring my experience to the response against this pandemic,” she said.

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We are facing an unprecedented global challenge to protect every country from COVID-19

Impact of COVID-19 on households: What do phone surveys tell us?

As COVID-19 (coronavirus) has spread across the world, the World Bank has projected TCard COVID statextreme poverty to increase for the first time since the Asian crisis in 1998, putting at risk the global goal of reducing extreme poverty to 3% of the world’s population by 2030. The duration and scale of impacts are highly uncertain and expected to vary widely within and across countries and over time, which makes it really important to closely monitor the impacts of the crisis on households and firms for designing policy responses. The World Bank’s high-frequency monitoring phone surveys, which are going on in nearly 100 countries, have sought to fill the information gap that traditional in-person surveys are ill-suited to fill during a pandemic. They are a window into how the pandemic is affecting every aspect of the lives of almost every household in the developing world. A similar initiative of Business Pulse Surveys adds to this picture by tracking the pandemic’s impacts on firms in 51 countries.

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