At a time when we face enormous challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is heartening to see the world mobilizing as never before to tackle the looming crisis of global warming. The international development community is also stepping up. In 2020, the World Bank Group reached its highest ever level of climate financing, at $21.4 billion, and we recently announced our plan to align all-new World Bank operations with the Paris Agreement by July 2023.
March 11 marks one year since COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic. While the past year has been tremendously challenging, there have been remarkable stories of human resilience, ingenuity, and creativity. On this grim anniversary, we wanted to bring you stories from around the world that inspire. The following six stories are not billion-dollar projects, but the tales of everyday entrepreneurship and innovation happening on a small scale with a big impact. The World Bank Group is continuing to support the poorest countries as they look to a build a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive recovery.
1. Lao PDR: Unlocking the Full Potential of Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprise
In Gbekon, Benin, summers come with flooding from the Mono River. Erosion of the nearby coast, along with more unpredictable rainfall, have made these floods worse over time. Each flood cuts access to the only road connecting people to farms, jobs, and public health services and put thousands of lives and livelihoods at risk. In 2020, the World Bank-financed West Africa Coastal Areas Program (WACA) built dikes and instituted other measures to manage river flows and prevent flooding, with the result that more than 3,600 households were less exposed to coastal erosion and flooding.