Netherlands for the World Bank

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Netherlands for the World Bank

Adapting Across East Asia and Pacific

How the World Bank is standing with a region at climate risk

There is a saying in the Pacific that when it comes to climate change, ‘we are not drowning;image-1-1080x720 we are fighting’. This could also sum up the wider East Asia and Pacific region as a whole in the face of climate change; a region that, despite being exposed to some of the worst climate impacts in the world, is responding with innovation, strength and immense resilience. 

The World Bank is standing with the countries in the region in these efforts. In East Asia and the Pacific, 46% of new World Bank commitments in fiscal year 2022 contributed to climate action. Three countries across the region – Indonesia, the Marshall Islands, and Vietnam – highlight how the Bank is supporting their fight to adapt to climate change while securing resources and safeguarding important conservation gains far into the future.

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Setting standards: Why updating poverty lines matters in East Asia

East Asia prides itself on rapid economic progress over the past few decades with millionsuntitled_design.jpg lifted out of poverty. Between 2008 and 2018, real per capita GDP in the region grew at an average rate of 6.7 percent per year, significantly above the global average of 1.5 percent. Yet the extent of progress on poverty is exaggerated by the fact that poverty thresholds are set too low compared to other countries at similar income levels. This leads to policies which do not do justice to the scale of the problem. New numbers released by the World Bank using global benchmarks underscore this point. 

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World Bank East Asia and Pacific Economic Update, October 2022 : Reforms for Recovery

Growth in most countries in the East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region rebounded in the firstOverview.pdf half of 2022, but China lost momentum. In much of the region, domestic demand revived after the distress of the COVID-19 Delta wave. In China, the public health measures to contain outbreaks of the highly infectious Omicron variant inhibited consumption. Most of the region is projected to grow faster and have lower inflation in 2022 than other regions. Beyond the end of 2022, three factors could be a drag on growth: global deceleration, rising debt, and policy distortions. Current measures to contain inflation and debt are adding to existing distortions in the markets for food, fuel and finance in ways that could hurt growth. In each case, more efficient measures could address current difficulties without undermining longer-term objectives.
“World Bank. 2022. World Bank East Asia and Pacific Economic Update, October 2022 : Reforms for Recovery. Washington, DC : World Bank. © World Bank.

Five threats to equitable and inclusive recovery from COVID-19: Evidence from East Asia and Pacific

Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank’s High-Frequency Phone jan2022_covidblog_eap_mainimageSurveys (HFPS) in the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) Region show that poorer households have been disproportionately affected and  have been slower to recover. Findings from the HFPS reported in the recent EAP Economic Update and a new regional study show that inequality has likely been exacerbated in several dimensions.

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Countdown to 2030: A race against time to end extreme poverty

Imagine you are in a race, running at a steady pace during the first two-thirds. However, center-gravity-extreme-poverty-povcal-world-bankyou notice that your pace is slowing, and you realize that unless you make changes you are not only not going to win, but you risk not even completing the race.

I find this analogy to work well while narrating the story about the reduction in global extreme poverty to my family and friends. As we move into 2020, we only have a decade to make extreme poverty history.   Even though this is when we should be ratcheting up the pace, it has been slowing for the last few years, so that the world not only risks missing out on its extreme poverty reduction goals, but in some cases, we are seeing a reversal in the gains achieved.

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Building sustainable financing and resilient systems for health security in East Asia and the Pacific

blog-toomas-image001The East Asia and Pacific  region is vital to global pandemic preparedness. The region has been the epicenter of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. China and Southeast Asia alone accounted for approximately 90 percent of SARS cases and two-thirds of the human cases of avian influenza in the world. These outbreaks are driven by several socio-economic, demographic, environmental, and ecological factors, including close contact between humans and animals, encroachment with wildlife, high population density, rapid urbanization, high growth rates, and climate change.

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