Investments in human capital require bold financing actions for a resilient recovery

Inclusive investments in health, early childhood development, learning, and women’s economic 20033631845_d902e0cc95_cempowerment can contribute to an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable recovery.  This was the clear message, focusing on human capital, that the ministers of finance and planning of 81 Human Capital Project HCP countries sent at the last Ministerial Conclave.

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The global recovery is bypassing the poorest countries

The global economy is booming—or so it might seem.

Global growth is surging again, only a year after COVID-19 triggered the deepest recession since World War II.  This year is likely to mark the strongest post-recession rebound in 80 years: global GDP is expected to expand 5.6 percent. Growth in advanced economies is expected to reach 5.4 percent—the highest rate in nearly 50 years—powered by rapid vaccination and unprecedented fiscal- and monetary-policy support since the beginning of the pandemic.  Almost all advanced economies will go back to their pre-pandemic per-capita income levels in 2022. In some parts of the world, clearly, the pandemic’s damage is being repaired quickly.

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World Bank Financing for COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Exceeds $4 Billion for 50 Countries

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2021 – The World Bank announced today that it is providing over $4 billion for the purchase and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines for 51 developing countries, half of which are in Africa. More than half of the financing comes from the International Development Association (IDA), the Bank’s fund for the world’s poorest countries, and is on grant or highly concessional terms. This financing is part of the Bank’s commitment to help low- and middle-income countries acquire and distribute vaccines and strengthen their health systems.

The World Bank reiterated its call to governments, pharmaceutical companies, and organizations involved in vaccine procurement and delivery to help increase transparency and build greater public information regarding vaccine contracts, options and agreements; vaccine financing and delivery agreements; and doses delivered and future delivery plans. It asked those countries anticipating excess vaccine supplies in the coming months to release their surplus doses and options as soon as possible, in a transparent manner, to developing countries with adequate distribution plans in place.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has approved more than $150 billion to fight the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic. Since April 2020, the Bank has scaled up its financing by over 50 percent, helping more than 100 countries meet emergency health needs, strengthen pandemic preparedness, while also supporting countries as they protect the poor and jobs, and jump starting a climate-friendly recovery.

The World Bank is helping developing countries in every region of the world with vaccine purchase and rollout,” said Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Managing Director of Operations. “Significant challenges still remain regarding vaccine deployment and hesitancy. We are taking action on all fronts to tackle these challenges, working in solidarity with international and regional partners to expedite doses to as many people as possible and to enhance disease surveillance, preparedness, and response.”

Full details of World Bank vaccine operations are posted on our vaccine operations portal, with regular updates. The $4 billion is supporting COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Benin, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Comoros, the Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eswatini, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, the Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, São Tomé e Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Togo, Tunisia, Ukraine, Yemen, and Zambia.

The Bank’s vaccine finance package is designed to be flexible. It can be used by countries to acquire doses through COVAX, the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) or other sources. It also finances vaccine deployment and health system strengthening, such as vaccine cold-chains, training health workers, data and information systems, and communications and outreach campaigns to key stakeholders which are crucial to ensure vaccination acceptance. The Bank has aligned its eligibility criteria for COVID-19 vaccines with the revised eligibility criteria of COVAX and other multilateral partners.

The World Bank is partnering with the African Union and the World Bank-supported Africa Center for Disease Control to support AVATT initiative with resources to allow countries to purchase and deploy vaccines for up to 400 million people across Africa. The Bank is also convening a task force with the IMF, WHO, WTO, and other partners to track, coordinate, and advance delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries.

The Bank continues to work with governments and partners (UNICEF, the Global Fund, WHO, and GAVI) to assess the readiness of over 140 developing countries to deploy vaccines. Countries have made good progress since the publication of the effort’s first report. Latest findings show that 95 percent of countries have developed national vaccination plans, 79 percent have safety measures in place, and 82 percent have prioritizations of populations to receive the vaccine. However, only 59 percent have developed plans to train the large number of vaccinators needed and less than half have a plan in place to generate public confidence, trust, and demand for COVID-19 vaccines.

 

PRESS RELEASE NO: 2021/186/HNP

COVID-19 is hitting poor countries the hardest. Here’s how World Bank’s IDA is stepping up support

A year ago, before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, I was optimistic about the trends in global ida_covidpoverty: extreme poverty rates had been steadily declining for more than two decades. Although considerable challenges like debt still loomed large for the poorest countries, the positive trajectory in the fight against poverty brought great hope for a better future—a future I still believe in.

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March 2020 global poverty update from the World Bank: New poverty estimates for 2018

The March 2020 global poverty update added more than 200 new surveys to PovcalNet,

figure 1.2

Table 1. Poverty estimates for reference year 2018, different poverty lines

bringing the total number of surveys to more than 1,900. New poverty estimates for the reference year 2018 are now included for some regions, and the previously published global and regional estimates from 1981 to 2015 have been revised, reflecting data revisions and the availability of new data. More details on the revisions can be found in Atamanov et al. (2020).

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World Bank Group Announces Up to $12 Billion Immediate Support for COVID-19 Country Response

As COVID-19 reaches more than 60 countries, the World Bank Group is making available IDAan initial package of up to $12 billion in immediate support to assist countries coping with the health and economic impacts of the global outbreak. This financing is designed to help member countries take effective action to respond to and, where possible, lessen the tragic impacts posed by the COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Through this new fast track package, the World Bank Group will help developing countries strengthen health systems, including better access to health services to safeguard people from the epidemic, strengthen disease surveillance, bolster public health interventions, and work with the private sector to reduce the impact on economies. The financial package, with financing drawn from across IDA, IBRD and IFC, will be globally coordinated to support country-based responses.

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Developing countries want more action on climate: The World Bank is stepping up

By Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Managingfloods.jpgDirector of Operations

I have read the many reports that summarize the dire state of the climate and our planet’s worsening prospects. I know the hard statistics docum

enting rising temperatures, the increasing intensity of natural disasters and warmer seas. I have been meeting with representatives from developing countries who have one request: we need less talk and more action on climate.  

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The learning crisis requires a new approach

For most children, turning 10 is an exciting moment. They’re learning more about the untitled.pngworld and expanding their horizons. But too many children – more than half of all 10-year-olds in low- and middle-income countries – cannot read and understand a simple story. We are in the middle of a global learning crisis that stifles opportunities and aspirations of hundreds of millions of children.   That is unacceptable.

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