Wastewater A Resource that Can Pay Dividends for People, the Environment, and Economies, Says World Bank

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2020—The world’s wastewater – 80 percent of which is

released into the environment without adequate treatment – is a valuable resource from which clean water, energy, nutrients, and other resources can be recovered, according to a World Bank report released today to mark World Water Day.

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Korea’s response to COVID-19: Early lessons in tackling the pandemic

The Republic of Korea was one of the first countries to tackle the COVID-19 crisis. Facing a rapid, exponential increase in infections after the first positive case w

Figure 1. Coronavirus cases in Korea (Source: Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters.)

as identified on January 20, the country took decisive action to contain the virus. Although the total number of cases is high, daily increases have been declining steadily from a peak of just above 900 in late February to around 100 by the second week of March (Figure 1). Recovered cases now far outnumber new cases, and deaths have been kept just above 100 as of this writing.

Figure 1.  Coronavirus cases in Korea

Source: Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters.

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World Bank Group Increases COVID-19 Response to $14 Billion To Help Sustain Economies, Protect Jobs

Focus on private sector and workers spearheaded by IFC to mitigate financial and economic impact of crisis

WASHINGTON, March 17, 2020 — The World Bank and IFC’s Boards of Directors approved today an increased $14 billion package of fast-track financing to assist companies and countries in their efforts to prevent, detect and respond to the rapid spread of COVID-19. The package will strengthen national systems for public health preparedness, including for disease containment, diagnosis, and treatment, and support the private sector.

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How have women’s legal rights evolved over the last 50 years?

Today, women have just three-quarters of the legal rights of men. In 1970, it was less womanthan half. The Women, Business and the Law 2020 report presented results from our recent effort to document how laws have changed since 1970. This exceptional dataset has already facilitated ground-breaking research that shows that a country’s performance on the Women, Business and the Law index is associated with more women in the labor force, a smaller wage gap between men and women, and greater investments in health and education. We hope that sharing the data and reform descriptions on our website will lead to more evidence that will inspire policymakers to change their laws so that more women can contribute to economic growth and development.

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It’s time we invest in healthy food systems for a safer world

The World Bank Group last week announced it would make available a package of $12 Meta-chicken-COVID-corornavirusbillion — an unprecedented level of financing to help developing countries and businesses cope with the health and economic impacts caused by COVID-19. Much of that support will naturally be reactive, financing immediate measures designed to strengthen our response to a brand-new threat. But some of the financing will also be preventative — as it should be, if we are to learn our lessons from the past and strengthen our collective hand before the next bug hits.

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eC2: Strengths and limitations of satellite-derived soil moisture for drought risk financing

Deadline:  25-Mar-2020 at 11:59:59 PM (Eastern Time – Washington D.C.) afr-moving-away-from-humanitarian-appeals-to-managing-droughts-in-ethiopia-feature-780x439

The main objective of this project is to support World Bank Crisis & Disaster Risk Finance activities in the area of anticipatory and/or parametric climate risk financing with tailored data- and research-driven approaches applied to promising satellite-derived datasets that have so far not been considered for operational purposes. In the context of the Next Generation Drought Index project, the World Banks Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance program is developing a technical toolbox to guide users at both micro and macro level through the entire process of data selection, index design, calibration, validation and related methods to strengthen sensitivity analysis and historical skill analysis. There is scientific evidence about the added-value of satellite-derived soil moisture products to close critical gaps between rainfall anomalies and the response of the land surface. However, a quantitative and qualitative analysis in 2-3 specific areas of interest is required to identify and explain the individual strengths and limitations of different products that may differ in sensor technology (radar/radiometer/combined), method (remote sensing vs. data assimilation), output variable (surface or root-zone soil moisture, soil moisture-based rainfall estimations), timeliness (annual updates vs. NRT products), revisit period (depending on area of interest) and spatial resolution (<1 km to >25 km). Since anticipatory financing mechanisms that decouple insurance payouts from loss assessments are a priority, the work on soil moisture products should highlight the potential predictive skill of various datasets, whereas the integration of both publicly available and, if available, commercial products in the analysis is encouraged.

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Coronavirus: Reflections of an epidemiologist and public health practitioner

Not a day passes without us being bombarded by the rapidly evolving medical literature 1107952389_b03648b09d_c(002)and media on the hitherto unknown COVID-19. Rightfully so, as we now have an outbreak with more than 100,000 cases confirmed globally.

Yet, I cannot help but wonder how the general public is dealing with such an onslaught of information, if I, as a trained physician, epidemiologist and a global public health practitioner, find it too much to take in and digest. How do we expect a lay person to sift through it all, separate the chaff from the grain, avoid fear mongering  – No, you do not get COVID-19 if you receive a package from China, or eat in a Chinese restaurant –  and stick with the most relevant information and the essentials for behavioral change? This is ultimately what counts the most:, arming people with the right messaging and instructions for compliance with the science-based best practice. With local community transmission in about 20 countries across several regions of the globe, we must ask ourselves could we have done better? 

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COVID19: Reflections of an epidemiologist and public health practitioner

Not a day passes without us being bombarded by the rapidly evolving medical literature041817_Tobacco Taxation_517_F and media on the hitherto unknown COVID-19. Rightfully so, as we now have an outbreak with more than 100,000 cases confirmed globally.

Yet, I cannot help but wonder how the general public is dealing with such an onslaught of information, if I, as a trained physician, epidemiologist and a global public health practitioner, find it too much to take in and digest. How do we expect a lay person to sift through it all, separate the chaff from the grain, avoid fear mongering  – No, you do not get COVID-19 if you receive a package from China, or eat in a Chinese restaurant –  and stick with the most relevant information and the essentials for behavioral change? This is ultimately what counts the most:, arming people with the right messaging and instructions for compliance with the science-based best practice. With local community transmission in about 20 countries across several regions of the globe, we must ask ourselves could we have done better?

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Doing More with Less – Smarter Subsidies for Water Supply and Sanitation

New World Bank research shows that governments across the world are pouring money Subsidies-780-439--1-into water and sanitation subsidies but all too often that funding doesn’t flow to those who need it most. However, subsidies can be powerful and progressive tools in delivering water and sanitation when they are designed in smart and targeted ways and implemented effectively.

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Legislating gender equality in the workplace through pay transparency

Author: Kathleen Beegle ;Lead Economist with the World Bank Gender Groupfinancial-inclusion-gender

A number of recent posts on Development Impact have focused on gaps in labor market outcomes for men and women. This includes some posts in the job market series in late 2019 and, in 2020, a look at the ‘dismal statistic’ on female-to-male labor force participation rates in India and Pakistan, changing the way women think about themselves and what they can do as a means to closing gaps, and a summary of the World Bank’s Research Group recruitment. The latter was underpinned by goal setting in the shortlisting process with respect to between men and women applicants. Fun fact: such quota setting with respect to the composition of candidates to interview is known in the U.S. as the Rooney Rule — established by the U.S. National Football League in 2003 and named after the former owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers (and intended not in regards to women hires but with regards to ethnic-minority candidates in coaching and senior league jobs, though it is now used more generally in the private sector).

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