Now is the time to invest in South Asia’s future

A few years ago, Binita Biswokarma’s life took a sharp turn for the worse.35161860665_6f3a2b1999_k.jpg

With no skills, relatives, or farmland, the young woman from Kaski, a rural district in West Nepal, struggled to provide for her son’s education, buy food and necessities, let alone repair the roof of her home.

Then came an opportunity to work as a road maintenance worker—and find a way out of poverty.

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Impact investing with the World Bank. How to make a difference – the case of IDA

For over 70 years, the World Bank Group has successfully raised funds in the capital ida_blog.jpgmarkets to invest in development projects. Through its arm for middle-income countries, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the World Bank Group funded public sector projects like roads, green energy, health or education systems; and through the International Finance Corporation (IFC), it provided capital to the private sector in developing countries to help businesses grow and provide jobs, taxes and other wider societal benefits.

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IDA is a vital development partner now more than ever

It is undeniable that progress has been made in reducing extreme poverty over the last ht-jessica-education780pxquarter century—from 36 percent of the world population in 1990 to an estimated 8.6 percent in 2018—and that living standards for hundreds of millions of people have improved over that time.

Yet, poverty reduction has not been consistent across countries and today it is slowing. For the world’s poorest countries, extreme poverty remains stubbornly high with 31 percent of their people living on less than $1.90 a day. 

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Staying focused on better outcomes for the world’s poorest people

Global growth remains subdued, with the pace of investment and trade softening, and DC_presdownside risks persisting due to policy uncertainty, trade tensions, financial volatility, and rising debt. The World Bank Group, in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, can help emerging and low-income countries bolster potential growth, increase their resilience to shocks, boost domestic revenues, and continue building policy buffers. The two organizations have an important role to play in addressing the increase in debt vulnerabilities, and they can help countries meet a range of challenges to the international financial system, including tackling corruption.

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Published on Voices The private sector can be a powerful partner in West Africa and the Sahel

Economic growth has the power to transform societies, boost prosperity, and enable senegal-farhat-0729citizens to thrive. But for that economic growth to benefit the poorest members of society, it must be accompanied by more and better jobs, one of main routes out of poverty. That is why job creation remains a top development priority—and a critical challenge.

As I prepare to head to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, for the 2019 Development Finance Forum, it is useful to remember that the private sector is a key player in development. A vibrant private sector is a powerful driver of jobs and can underpin sustainable economic growth, fueling innovation and poverty reduction.

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World Refugee Day 2019: Building a stronger international response to the challenge of forced displacement

This year, World Refugee Day finds me in Addis Ababa with representatives from more ethiopia-for-blogthan 50 governments to review the work of the International Development Association (IDA), the arm of the World Bank Group that provides financing to the poorest countries, and discuss priorities for the years ahead. Under its current program, IDA is providing $2 billion to 14 low-income countries which together are hosting 6.4 million refugees, including in Ethiopia. 

Ethiopia is among the countries that is taking major steps forward. Here, for example, we have supported the government in adopting a new legal framework for refugees which will allow them to gradually move out of camps, find jobs, and access education and health services. This is no small measure for the more than 900,000 refugees who are hosted along Ethiopia’s borders with Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, and South Sudan. It is the difference between having a chance to restart their lives or be condemned to dependency and destitution.

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5 facts about jobs and economic transformation in IDA countries

What are the pathways people follow to better jobs? Economies grow when more people pathwaystobetterjobs-72ppi-pngfind work, when they get better at what they do, and when they move from low-productivity work to better, higher-productivity jobs. Our newest report `Pathways to better jobs in IDA countries’ takes a closer look at how people benefit through jobs in the process of development. It identifies how the available jobs change with economic transformation and shows how the structure of labor markets differs between low, lower-middle, and middle-income countries. It points to key challenges in ensuring that workers can transition between sectors, between locations, and between self- and waged employment.

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Every day is Women’s Day for IDA

At the World Bank, we believe no country, community, or economy can achieve its afghanistan-school-gender-girls.jpg potential or meet the challenges of the 21st century without the full and equal participation of women and men, girls and boys. This is particularly true in developing countries supported by the International Development Association (IDA), the arm of the World Bank that supports the poorest countries.

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Tackling climate change in the poorest countries

How can we help the poorest countries deal with climate change? The challenge is huge. Globally, the last three years were the hottest on record.  Emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and industry started rising again in 2017 after briefly leveling off. Many regions are experiencing more severe and frequent storms, floods, and drought. According to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, the climate consequences of a 2°C warmer world are far greater than for a rise of 1.5°C, and we are not on track for either. 20120903-burundi-farhat-9869

Recognizing the urgent need for more action, the World Bank Group announced new and ambitious targets for our climate work with developing countries at COP24, this month’s global climate change conference in Katowice, Poland.

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World Bank Group Announces $200 billion over Five Years for Climate Action

Funding for 2021-2025 includes a significant boost for adaptation and resilience World Bank building

Washington DC – 3 December, 2018 —The World Bank Group today announced a major new set of climate targets for 2021-2025, doubling its current 5-year investments to around $200 billion in support for countries to take ambitious climate action. The new plan significantly boosts support for adaptation and resilience, recognizing mounting climate change impacts on lives and livelihoods, especially in the world’s poorest countries. The plan also represents significantly ramped up ambition from the World Bank Group, sending an important signal to the wider global community to do the same.

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