Bridging Business and Development with Netherlands’ Partners
Among DFI’s proudest accomplishments are our long-term partnerships with Dutch organizations to address development needs and support sustainable business in emerging markets globally.
Since DFI’s inception 30 years ago, and continuing through this day, DFI has worked closely with several Dutch corporate clients, The Netherlands Embassy in Washington, DC (and around the globe) and international funders such as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and other public, private and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to tackle the most pressing challenges in critical areas including food security and sustainability, healthcare, climate change, and science and technology, among others.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed structural weaknesses in health systems worldwide and negatively impacted individuals, societies, and economies. In the pandemic’s wake, political leaders and everyday people alike recognize the importance of resilient health systems that can prevent, prepare for, respond to, and learn from infectious outbreaks and other shocks while continuing to deliver quality essential health services. But urgent questions remain. Which features of a health system are most important for achieving resilience? How can countries—especially poor ones—build resilient health systems? Which investments should countries prioritize to make their systems resilient to future challenges?
This new World Bank report, “Change Cannot Wait: Building Resilient Health Systems in the Shadow of COVID-19,” builds on previous work, leverages new research, and considers countries’ frontline experiences during the pandemic. It presents a new framework for making health systems resilient, shows how countries can build them, and where countries and partners can target investments to improve health outcomes.
The shockwaves of the war in Ukraine hit many countries while they were still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic. For many developing countries, the fiscal challenges have mounted ever since—the result of surging food, fertilizer and energy prices, rising interest rates, and slowing growth.
In response to the overlapping crises, nearly all countries increased their overall government and health spending. But only a few of them—mostly high-income countries—will be able to sustain these levels in the years ahead. Improving domestic resource mobilization, especially in a way that can sustainably broaden tax bases, will be crucial.
When schools around the world moved online due to COVID-19, children in developing countries suffered the most. Even though digital learning does not produce the same outcomes as in-person education, technology used effectively can close educational gaps and prevent learning loss.
I had the opportunity to visit Tanzania last month, my first mission to Africa since joining the World Bank. It was a long-awaited trip, as I wanted to see for myself what more we can do to support countries that are striving to recover from COVID-19. Coming from Indonesia, I also thought there were experiences that I could share from my own country’s development.
Recent studies highlighting the adverse impact of pollution on growth estimate that the annual economic cost of air pollution on health in the Greater Cairo area alone is about 1.4 percent of Egypt’s Gross Domestic Product.
Healthy citizens are the cornerstone of every country’s development and are integral for sustainable economic growth. Given the many health hazards of pollution—from cancer to respiratory ailments and much more—it is increasingly becoming recognized as an impediment to growth and development. Recent global efforts to minimize pollution, through initiatives such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and The Paris Agreement, aim to set global guidelines for countries in order to reduce pollution.
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