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    Turkish Cypriot Economy: Identifying and Analyzing Priority Agri-Food Value Chains
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-03) World Bank Group
    Cyprus joined the European Union (EU) in 2004 as a de-facto divided island. The agriculture sector is an important driver for the Turkish Cypriot (TC) economy. The sector has significant linkages to other economic sectors, such as food processing and tourism. Manufacturing, which includes agri-food processing, produces predominantly dairy products and therefore relies heavily on domestic milk production. Agriculture also performs important social protection functions by providing income-generating activities for the rural population, thereby improving household consumption, food security, and the accumulation of durable assets. Improving agri-food value chain linkages can increase farm incomes, improve sustainability, and support the agriculture sector’s contribution to the economy. An analysis of value chains will help to identify business-to-business relationships that connect the chain, methods for increasing efficiency and profitability, and ways to enable businesses to increase productivity and add value. The report consists of three sections: a macro analysis focusing on competitiveness and comparative advantage analysis, a value chain analysis of the TCc halloumi/hellim subsector, and a value chain analysis of the TCc carob subsector. The latter two sections contain specific recommendations and actions to strengthen value chain competitiveness.
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    Supporting Women’s Economic Engagement in the Turkish Cypriot Economy: Entry Points and Proposed Approaches
    (Washington, DC, 2022) World Bank
    This activity, which is part of the World Bank’s European Commission (EC) - funded multisectoral engagement in the Turkish Cypriot community (TCc), aims to support the efforts to promote women’s economic engagement, in particular by identifying constraints and required support for female self-employment and entrepreneurship in the TCc. Equality between men and women is a fundamental principle of the European Union and supporting women’s economic empowerment in the TCc is therefore directly linked to advancing the European Union’s (EU’s) gender acquis. The TCc has made strides in narrowing gender gaps in education; even reversing them for younger generations, including in tertiary education. The female labor market in the TCc is characterized by low participation and low employment rates. Investing in women’s economic engagement is a priority for the TCc’s economic recovery and boost its resilience to shocks. Women-led enterprises (WLE) are relatively small and focus on low value added production, mainly concentrated in the service sector, and are made up of family-run micro and small enterprises.
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    Europe and Central Asia Economic Update, Fall 2021: Competition and Firm Recovery Post-COVID-19
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-10-05) World Bank
    Although global economic activity is recovering and output in Europe and Central Asia (ECA) is expected to grow in 2021, containing COVID-19 remains a challenge in the region. Enterprise survey data for the emerging and developing countries in the region show that COVID-19 had a profound and heterogeneous impact on firms. Smaller, younger, and female-run businesses were hit harder and had greater difficulty recovering. But the crisis also played a cleansing role and economic activity in ECA appears to have been reallocated toward more productive firms during the crisis, particularly in countries with more competitive markets. Firms with high pre-crisis labor productivity experienced significantly smaller drops in sales and employment than firms with low pre-crisis labor productivity and were also more likely to adapt to the crisis by increasing online activity and remote work. Many governments in ECA implemented broad policy support schemes to address the initial economic fallout from the crisis. Overall, this government support was more likely to go to less productive and larger firms, regardless of the level of their pre-crisis innovation. As economies enter the economic recovery phase, it will be important for policy makers in all countries to phase out broad policy support measures as soon as appropriate and focus on fostering a competitive business environment, which is key to a strong recovery, resilience to future crises, and sustainable, long-term economic growth.
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    Europe and Central Asia Economic Update, Spring 2021: Data, Digitalization, and Governance
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-03-30) World Bank
    Governments play a critical role in the economies of Europe and Central Asia, where government expenditures are close to 40 percent of gross domestic product and the public sector accounts for nearly 27 percent of total employment, which is almost twice the global average. The public sector often attracts some of the best educated workers in the region. And support for a larger public sector is increasing due to aging populations and their growing health care and long-term care needs, rising inequality and greater support for redistribution, and increasing expenditures as governments address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis. The significant role that government plays underscores the importance of the quality of governance in determining productivity and growth and effectively responding to the region’s economic and social challenges. Digital technology and the data revolution offer the potential to increase efficiency, transparency, responsiveness, and citizen trust, directly impacting the quality of government. Across the world, the quality of government is increasingly informed by the extent to which governments harness digital tools and GovTech to optimize management, service delivery, and overall state capacity. Technology and data are also key for fostering collaboration between governments and civil society to improve public sector efficiency and service delivery. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the costs associated with delaying digitalization and GovTech implementation and the opportunities that lie in public sector modernization.
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    Utility of the Future: Taking Water and Sanitation Utilities Beyond the Next Level
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-03-23) Lombana Cordoba, Camilo ; Saltiel, Gustavo ; Sadik, Norhan ; Perez Penalosa, Federico
    The sustainable development goal for water and sanitation to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all is a lofty goal. Worldwide, 2.4 billion people remain without access to improved sanitation and nearly 0.7 billion remain without access to improved drinking water sources. Those who have access to water supply and sanitation (WSS) services often must cope with intermittent water supply, sewerage system overflows, and poor customer service. Poor service frequently stems from a vicious cycle of dysfunctional political environments and inefficient practices. Global forces - including climate change, water scarcity, population growth, and rapid urbanization - exacerbate these challenges in providing high-quality, sustainable WSS service delivery. Therefore, WSS utilities require a new approach to planning and sequencing reforms to provide WSS services in a sustainable manner. The utility of the future (UoF) program provides this new approach and was designed in a way that builds on the extensive body of knowledge on utility performance improvement. Chapter one gives introduction. Chapter two defines the UoF concept, the determinants of success, and the analytical basis of the program. Chapter three presents the methodology developed specifically to conduct the diagnostic assessment and determine the utility’s desired maturity level. Chapter four presents a 15-step approach to translating the results of the diagnostic assessment into a prioritized and sequenced action plan.
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    Europe and Central Asia Economic Update, Fall 2020: COVID-19 and Human Capital
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020-10-07) World Bank
    The COVID-19 pandemic has hit human capital directly in Europe and Central Asia, adversely affecting both education and health. School closures may lead to learning losses equivalent to a third to a full year of schooling, and they are likely to exacerbate inequalities, by disproportionately affecting students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The disease has already killed thousands of people, and some patients who survive will suffer long-term damage to their health. Recovery from the pandemic will thus require strong investment in education and health. This update examines human capital outcomes in the region and the ways in which the pandemic is likely to affect them. A focus on the quality of tertiary education and health risk factors of obesity, smoking, and heavy drinking highlights the challenges that are particularly important for the region. Post-COVID 19 policy initiatives to improve education and health will need to recognize the challenges posed by increased reliance on remote learning and the importance of being prepared for future pandemics, given the vulnerability of the region’s aging societies and the large number of people with underlying health risks.
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    Building Effective, Accountable, and Inclusive Institutions in Europe and Central Asia: Lessons from the Region
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06) Arizti, Pedro ; Boyce, Daniel J. ; Manuilova, Natalia ; Sabatino, Carlos ; Senderowitsch, Roby ; Vila, Ermal
    Countries around the world are facing the need to build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions. There has never been a more important moment to tackle this agenda, as countries grapple with increasing fragility and migration flows, more complex service delivery requirements, and greater demands for transparency and inclusion, all in a more resource-constrained environment. Moreover, the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic crisis has provided new evidence of the need for effective, accountable, and inclusive government responses. Governments’ capacity to respond to these complex challenges is understandably stretched, but this has not limited the rise of citizens’ expectations. Instead, it has often increased tensions and, in some cases, has affected the trust between governments and their citizens. This publication builds on the World Bank’s vast engagement across ECA and on the 2019 regional governance conference. It consists of six chapters, each corresponding to one of the governance areas around which governments across the world organize their institutional functions. Each chapter contains background and analysis by World Bank specialists, complemented by country case studies authored by regional experts and policymakers.
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    Europe and Central Asia Economic Update, Spring 2020: Fighting COVID-19
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020-04-09) World Bank
    In February 2020, the coronavirus outbreak interrupted the recovery that was underway in the Europe and Central Asia region earlier in the year. Given the rapidly evolving situation, this update summarizes the recent developments and growth outlook for the region under different scenarios regarding the outbreak. Although the magnitudes are uncertain, the pandemic is likely to derail the near-term outlook by interrupting daily activity, putting further downward pressure on commodity prices, disrupting tightly linked global and regional supply chains, reducing travel and tourist arrivals, and decreasing demand for exports from economies in the region. There are trade-offs between the health benefits of policies to slow down the spread of the disease and the economic costs of these actions. During these difficult times, it is important for policy makers to act decisively to save lives and invest in their public health systems; but also minimize the economic cost by strengthening the safety net for the most vulnerable; supporting the private sector through short-term credit, tax breaks, or subsidies; and being prepared to lower interest rates and inject liquidity to restore financial stability and boost confidence.
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    Europe and Central Asia Economic Update, Fall 2019: Migration and Brain Drain
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2019-10-09) World Bank
    The share of immigrants in Western and Eastern Europe has increased rapidly over the past four decades. Today, one of every three immigrants in the world goes to Europe. Furthermore, although globally only one-third of migration takes place within regions, intraregional migration is especially high within Europe and Central Asia, with 80 percent of the region's emigrants choosing to move to other countries in the region. In high-income destination countries, migrants are often blamed for high unemployment and declining social services. There are also widespread concerns about brain drain in the migrant sending countries of Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans, and Central Asia. This update focuses on the design of policies on labor mobility and presents the trends, determinants, and impacts of low- and high-skilled labor.
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    Europe and Central Asia Economic Update, Spring 2019: Financial Inclusion
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2019-04-05) World Bank
    Financial services can help drive development by facilitating people’s investments in their health, education, and businesses, and making it easier for people to manage emergencies. There is great variation in financial inclusion in the Europe and Central Asia region. Some countries have seen significant growth in account ownership, despite starting from a low base. These experiences underline the potential role of digital payments in driving financial inclusion. But nearly 30 percent of unbanked adults report trust in banks as a barrier, which is nearly double the developing country average. And in some countries, gender gaps in account ownership remain significant. Given the heterogeneity of experiences, there are ample opportunities for countries in the region to learn from each other and contribute to the rich research and operational agenda going forward.