Helping Countries Cope with Multiple Crises

This year’s Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund tookwrapupstory place at a time of overlapping global crises.  The war in Ukraine has compounded concerns about inflation, COVID-19, climate change, and debt, with many other countries also facing fragility and conflict.

The chair’s statement issued on Friday by the Development Committee, a ministerial-level forum that represents 189 member countries of the two organizations, noted that the impacts will be felt most in low- and middle-income countries, especially by their most vulnerable people, including women and children.  The statement added that economic recovery is at risk amid geopolitical tensions, with investment, trade, and growth affected, even as countries face further risks from the pandemic and uneven deployment of vaccines.

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A just transition away from coal: Vital for people and planet

Helping countries transition to clean energy systems while meeting growing energy demand is one of the greatest development challenges of our time. Access to electricity is key to creating new jobs and supporting vital services, such as lighting, cooling, modern healthcare, better education, and affordable broadband. 

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Growth in a Time of Crisis: What’s Ahead for Developing Economies

The opening public event of this year’s Annual Meetings – Growth in a Time of Crisis: What’s Next for Developing Economies – delved into questions like these:

  • How can countries build back to a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive economic recovery while also investing in their people? 
  • What are the fundamental barriers to sustainable and inclusive growth in low and middle-income countries and fragile and conflict-affected settings, and what does the future of growth look like?
  • What types of policies are important to support inclusive growth for vulnerable populations? How can digital technology help ensure inclusion?
  • What’s needed to support private investment, especially small and medium enterprises, and create jobs in developing countries?
  • What role can central banks play to help spur job creation and investment?

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Making Climate Action Count: Turning Ambition Into Reality

Two weeks ahead of a pivotal meeting on climate change (COP26), the Annual Meetings event Making Climate Action Count: Turning Ambition Into Reality brought together global leaders, prominent climate advocates and climate champions from several countries to discuss what the world needs to do to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Followed on social media with the hashtag #Voices4Climate, the event also took the audience on a virtual journey around the globe, showing how countries from Vietnam to Brazil are working towards a more sustainable and resilient future.

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Trade to the Rescue: Unleashing Global Trade to Support Economic Growth

Expanding trade flows can be part of the solutions to global challenges, when accompanied by the right policies. World Bank President David Malpass and WTO Director General Ngozi Onkonjo-Iweala discussed how global trade has limited the extend of the current global recession and laid out the practical steps countries could take to spread the benefits of trade more widely. Trade costs, on average, are equal to a 114 percent tariff on imported goods in developing countries. Much of that burden on consumers is the result of inefficient border procedures and poor transportation infrastructure.  Trade facilitation reforms and investment in infrastructure could give a big boost to trade within regions. Betty Maina, Kenya’s Minister of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, spoke of how trade liberalization is a central part of her country’s aspirations for incomes and development.

“Trade can be a powerful catalyst for growth and social economic development and poverty reduction, particularly if we implement it with the poor in mind,” Maina said.

Leaders from the public and private sectors discussed the importance of investments in logistics and expanding trade finance that could strengthen the contribution of trade to economic recovery, and noted the ways that trade could help developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change. 

 

Ensuring a Strong Recovery for Developing Countries

The global economy is experiencing an uneven recovery, with the risk that it will worsen wrapup780x439inequality and leave low- and middle-income countries behind.  The path of the COVID-19 pandemic remains uncertain, with obstacles to vaccination in many countries.  Developing economies face challenges that could slow their recovery for years to come.  To help, the World Bank Group has mounted the largest crisis response in its history, and it is uniquely positioned to help ensure that all countries can participate in a green, resilient, and inclusive return to stability and growth.

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Ending the Pandemic: The Road to an Inclusive Recovery

9d6b5b471827492035cdad3b5fcaace1bb8650ad49096b84bb64bbbfd45b00bcJoin us for the remainder of the week for more live events, including discussions on Making Climate Action Count and Trade to the Rescue. Join His Royal Highness, the Prince of WalesJanet YellenNgozi Okonjo-Iweala, and many other experts as we continue with our 2021 World Bank Group/IMF Annual Meetings. Visit World Bank Live to join in the conversation or watch our previous sessions – where you can see discussions on ending the pandemic and promoting growth in a time of crisis, watch the Civil Society Town Hall or take advantage of a host of other resources available on demand.    

 

 

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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COVID-19 and women-led businesses: More innovation but greater financial risk

Over a year into the pandemic, we have witnessed how a sweeping infectious disease and lockdown measures quickly deepened inequalities, hindering the progress that many have fought for years to achieve. One of the most striking examples is the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on women.

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Optimizing vaccine delivery by teaching healthcare workers digital skills

This blog is part of a series on digital safeguards and enablers for COVID-19 vaccine delivery.health_care_workers_using_digital_tools_1

Countries around the world are developing and executing national plans for COVID-19 vaccine delivery, balancing short-term goals — accelerated mass vaccination to reach herd immunity — with efforts to strengthen long-term health systems. Many, if not all, will be using digital technologies to face the scale and complexity of accelerated mass vaccination administration. Their intended users will need to be equipped with the right digital skills if these digital tools and platforms are to be successful. Likewise, the public health ecosystem needs to acquire the capabilities to develop, operate, maintain, and sustain the underlying databases, services, systems, and infrastructure necessary for the tools to work correctly. 

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