As hunger rises, the World Bank supports vulnerable people now and in the future

Growing hunger and food insecurity are making headlines around the world.

Hunger has been rising since 2014, due to conflict, economic shocks, and weather extremes. According to the FAO, 688 million people were hungry in 2019, compared to 624 million in 2014.

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Poorest, most vulnerable countries likely to be hit hardest from coronavirus

Democratic Republic of Congo. World Health Organisation.World Bank Group teams around the world remain focused on country-level and regional solutions to address the ongoing crisis. In this piece, President David Malpass highlights the progress the Bank Group has made in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related: The World Bank’s Managing Director for Development Policy and Partnerships, Mari Pangestu, shares her thoughts on how the world’s poorest will face the pandemic. The fight against COVID-19 requires concerted international effort, she wrote. “Going it alone will hurt the poorest and most vulnerable countries.”

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The Goods, the Bad, and the Ugly: Data and the food system

The business of agriculture and food is driven by data, making it the treasure trove of shutterstock_77103460today’s agri-food system. Whether it’s today’s soil moisture, tomorrow’s weather forecast, or the price of rice in Riyadh, every bit of data can improve the efficiency with which the world’s 570 million farmers put food into the mouths of its soon-to-be eight billion consumers. Digital technologies are facilitating the flow of data through the food system, shrinking information asymmetries and fashioning new markets along the way. How can we ensure these new markets are appropriately contested, and the treasure does not end up in the hands of a couple of gunslingers? Is there a public sector’s role in generating and disseminating data that on the one hand encourages innovation and competition and on the other reduces opportunities for market capture? One place to look may be at the crossroads of internet and public goods.

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Technology works for getting poor people’s problems fixed – we just have to get it right

20150224-senegal-farhat-0660One of the encouraging signs that I pick up whenever I travel is the difference that technology is making to the lives of millions of marginalized people. In most cases it’s happening on a small, non-flashy scale in hundreds of different ways, quietly improving the opportunities that that have been denied to remote communities, women and young people for getting a foot on the ladder.

And because it is discreet and under the radar I dare as an optimist to suggest that we are at the beginning of something big – a slow tsunami of success. Let me give you some reasons why I believe this.

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