Next week, I’ll attend the climate summit hosted by the United Nations as part of the 74th session of the General Assembly. A range of environmental challenges—including pollution, the degradation of forests and biodiversity, marine plastics, and extreme weather events—are putting sustainable economic growth and inclusive development at risk. While international discussions have a place in looking for results, one of the great strengths of the World Bank Group is in partnering with countries to find local solutions and deliver good outcomes.
Post-disaster assessments changed my life by starting my career in disaster risk management. Three months after arriving in Indonesia as the World Bank’s environment coordinator, the Indian Ocean tsunami and related earthquakes struck Aceh and Nias at the end of 2004. I was asked to pull together the economic evaluation of the disaster’s environmental impact as part of what was then known as a damage-and-loss assessment. Subsequently, the World Bank, United Nations and European Union agreed on a joint approach to crisis response in 2008, including a common methodology for post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA).
The risk of famine continues to threaten millions of people. Today, 124 million people experience crisis-levels of food insecurity, and over half of them are in situations affected by conflict. The magnitude of need has grown significantly over the last few years, testing the limits of an already overburdened and underfunded international humanitarian system.
Almost 85 percent of them are hosted by low or middle countries with limited resources such as Jordan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Turkey, and Bangladesh. These countries face enormous challenges in meeting the needs of refugees while continuing to grow and develop themselves.
This potential is multiplied by technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, big data processing, the internet of things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, blockchain, etc.
Blog post by Tony Elumelu ( Entrepreneur and philanthropist )
Across the globe, the private sector has an important role to play in the achievement of the SDGs. With slow global growth and the end of the commodity supply cycle, many governments do not have resources required to fully pursue their development goals. And this is where the resources of the private sector become very critical. Through partnerships, the private and public sector can discover areas of alignment, especially in critical areas such as infrastructure, power, and agriculture, to mention but a few.
NEW YORK, September 20, 2017 – United Nations Secretary General António Guterres and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim today announced plans to accelerate the flow of finance for climate action through a new platform dedicated to identifying and facilitating transformational investments in developing countries.
I’m pleased to announce that applications are now open for the second round of a new data innovation fund which was announced last month at the UN’s High Level Political Forum. The fund will invest up to $2.5 million in Collaborative Data Innovations for Sustainable Development – ideas to improve the production, management and use of data in poor countries. This year the fund’s thematic areas are “Leave No One Behind” and the environment.
Details on eligibility, criteria and how to apply are here: bit.ly/wb-gpsdd-innovationfund-2017
Solutions to many of the development challenges faced across the globe are hampered by the poor availability of spatial data. How can you easily find out which areas in Madagascar are susceptible to cyclones? Or how about which areas in India have high child malnutrition? Or what the major exports of Vietnam are? Or how fast the population in Lagos is rising?
The World Bank, in its quest to improve data transparency and open data platforms, has developed an easily accessible way to get answers—a Spatial Agent application that visualizes available spatial and temporal development-related data on an interactive mobile platform. It pulls together thousands of types of data from more than 300 web services from major institutions—United Nations Organizations, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), European Space Agency (ESA), World Bank, universities, and many more.
How many school children can be endangered by the schools themselves? The answer was over 600,000 in metropolitan Lima alone.
In the region, fraught with frequent seismic activity, nearly two-thirds of schools were highly vulnerable to damage by earthquakes. Working with the Peruvian Ministry of Education (MINEDU), the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) conducted a risk assessment that ultimately helped make an estimated 2.5 million children safer and paved the way for a $3.1 billion national risk-reduction strategy.