Teachers matter enormously to student learning. Teachers deliver academic knowledge. Teachers impart model socioemotional skills. Good teachers boost students’ long-term life outcomes. Teachers can inspire (and in another demonstration of their importance, in some cases, sadly, teachers can disappoint or even abuse).
- Nearly every business in the world has been affected by COVID-19—in different ways. While one-fourth of companies saw sales falling 50 percent in October-January from pre-pandemic levels, a third said their sales increased or stayed the same.
- To capture the impact of the pandemic on firms’ performance, the World Bank launched ongoing surveys with more than 120,000 firms in over 60 countries. The assessment is expected to help inform recovery efforts.
- Developing countries have introduced multiple support programs, but businesses most affected by the shock—small firms and those in poorer countries—were the least likely to receive government support.
Evidence from outbreaks similar to COVID-19 indicates that women and girls can be affected in particular ways, and in some areas, face more negative impacts than men. In fact, there is a risk that gender gaps could widen during and after the pandemic and that gains in women’s and girls’ accumulation of human capital, economic empowerment and voice and agency, built over the past decades, could be reversed. The World Bank Group is working to ensure that projects responding to COVID-19 consider the pandemic’s different impacts on men and women.
A year ago, before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, I was optimistic about the trends in global poverty: 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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