Broad, fast action to save lives and help countries rebuild

Axel van Trotsenburg|

The COVID-19 pandemic is uncharted territory for every country in the world. It has unleashed both a global health emergency and an unprecedented economic crisis of historic magnitude. Even as the coronavirus continues to spread, the World Bank estimates that, between 2019 and 2020, the global economy will shrink by $4.2 trillion dollars.  That is substantially bigger than South Asia’s entire regional economy (which is about $3.5 trillion), and as if we somehow wiped both Germany and Belgium off the economic map. Worse still, the fall from where we expected to be in 2021 if COVID-19 hadn’t hit is closer to $7.5 trillion dollars—equivalent to 40% of the entire U.S. economy, as well as larger than the combined GDP of Latin America and the Caribbean plus the Middle East and North Africa.

Continue reading

COVID-19: We’re tracking digital responses worldwide. Here’s what we see

Digital technologies are vital tools for helping people cope with stay-at-home orders and young woman with face mask using smartphone-GND-iStocksocial distancing requirements during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Digital technologies are instrumental in supporting health care systems, not only though telemedicine and COVID screening apps, but also through Big Data and artificial intelligence analytics for mobility patterns, epidemiological models, and contact tracing. And in many other sectors, digital is also the new normal for individuals, governments, and businesses around the world.

Continue reading

COVID-19 IADB ConnectAmericas Platform

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), through ConnectAmericas, launches an ConnectAmericasinteractive map whose objective is to centralize the supply of goods and services globally that are relevant to serve the COVID-19 emergency in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

We invite companies that offer goods or services that could contribute to mitigate the emergency in the region, to register by providing their data and the nature of products or solutions they offer using this form.

Continue reading

eC2: Legal COVID-19 PPP Rapid Assessment – Asia, Latin America and Caribbean

Deadline: 07-May-2020 at 11:59:59 PM (Eastern Time – Washington D.C.) CoronaVirusHeader-Final-3-1536x647

To inform the Bank in the dialogue and support to governments with critical strategic short-term advice on the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, IPG and PPIAF are establishing this Rapid Response Program. The Program will help provide international best practice insights in the Banks dialogue with client countries regarding options for planning for the medium to long-term impacts on PPP portfolios and ensuring they have access to the latest information and advice on relevant topics.

Continue reading

World Bank Predicts Sharpest Decline of Remittances in Recent History

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2020 — Global remittances are projected to decline sharply by about 20 percent in 2020 due to the economic crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown. The projected fall, which would be the sharpest decline in recent history, is largely due to a fall in the wages and employment of migrant workers, who tend to be more vulnerable to loss of employment and wages during an economic crisis in a host country. Remittances to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are projected to fall by 19.7 percent to $445 billion, representing a loss of a crucial financing lifeline for many vulnerable households.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Planning for the economic recovery from COVID-19: A sustainability checklist for policymakers

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, governments and emergency shutterstock_527665309_covid19_sustainability_checklistservices are focusing on immediate needs: boosting capacity in hospitals, addressing hunger, and protecting firms and families from eviction and bankruptcy. The majority of the funds flowing so far from the World Bank, the IMF, other regional development banks, or central banks seek to provide funds for protective gear at hospitals, stabilize financial institutions, pay companies to provide goods and services to essential workers, or provide direct cash support to households.

Continue reading

In India, women’s self-help groups combat the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic

Meeting the shortfall in masks, sanitizers and protective equipmentSHG-Didis-Fight-Corona-India-2

Now, more than ever, these women – many of whom escaped poverty through the SHG route and know what it is like to be destitute and poor – are living up to their motto of self-help and solidarity.

Groups across the country are working furiously to make up the shortfall of masks and personal protective equipment (PPE). In Odisha, for instance, poor rural women who were once engaged in stitching school uniforms are sewing masks instead. Over the past couple of weeks, these women have produced more than 1 million cotton masks, helping equip police personnel and health workers, while earning something for themselves.

All told, more than 19 million masks have been produced by some 20,000 SHGs across 27 Indian states, in addition to over 100,000 liters of sanitizer and nearly 50,000 liters of hand wash. Since production is decentralized, these items have reached widely-dispersed populations without the need for complex logistics and transportation.

Continue reading