Stand alone books

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    Collapse and Recovery: How the COVID-19 Pandemic Eroded Human Capital and What to Do about It
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023) Schady, Norbert ; Holla, Alaka ; Sabarwal, Shwetlena ; Silva, Joana ; Yi Chang, Andres
    Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an enormous shock to mortality, economies, and daily life. But what has received insufficient attention is the impact of the pandemic on the accumulation of human capital—the health, education, and skills—of young people. How large was the setback, and how far are we still from a recovery? Collapse and Recovery estimates the impacts of the pandemic on the human capital of young children, school-age children, and youth and discusses the urgent actions needed to reverse the damage. It shows that there was a collapse of human capital and that, unless that collapse is remedied, it is a time bomb for countries. Specifically, the report documents alarming declines in cognitive and social-emotional development among young children, which could translate into a 25 percent reduction in their earnings as adults. It finds that 1 billion children in low- and middle-income countries missed at least one year of in-person schooling. And despite enormous efforts in remote learning, children did not learn during the unprecedentedly long school closures, which could reduce future lifetime earnings around the world by US$21 trillion. The report quantifies the dramatic drops in employment and skills among youth that resulted from the pandemic as well as the substantial increase in the number of youth neither employed nor enrolled in education or training. In all of these age groups, the impacts of the pandemic were consistently worse for children from poorer backgrounds. These losses call for immediate action. The good news is that evidence-based policies can recover these losses. Collapse and Recovery reviews governments’ responses to the pandemic, assessing why there was a collapse in human capital accumulation, what was missing in the policy architecture to protect human capital during the crisis, and how governments can better prepare to withstand future shocks. It offers concrete policy recommendations to recover losses in human capital—programs that will end up paying for themselves in the long term. To better prepare for future shocks such as climate change and wars, the report emphasizes the need for solutions that bring health, education, and social protection programs together in an integrated human development system. If countries fail to act, the losses in human capital documented in this report will become permanent and last for multiple generations. The time to act is now.
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    Ebb and Flow, Volume 2: Water in the Shadow of Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-08-23) Borgomeo, Edoardo ; Jägerskog, Anders ; Zaveri, Esha ; Russ, Jason ; Khan, Amjad ; Damania, Richard
    The Middle East and North Africa Region encapsulates many of the issues surrounding water and human mobility. It is the most water-scarce region in the world and is experiencing unprecedented levels of forced displacement. Ebb and Flow: Volume 2. Water in the Shadow of Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa examines the links between water risks (harmful outcomes related to water, from droughts and floods to lack of sanitation), conflict, and forced displacement. It aims to better explain how to address the vulnerabilities of forcibly displaced persons and their host communities, and to identify water policy and investment responses. Contrary to common belief, the report finds that the evidence linking water risks with conflict and forced displacement in the region is not unequivocal. Water risks are more frequently related to cooperation than to conflict at both domestic and international levels. But while conflict is not necessarily a consequence of water risks, the reverse is a real and concerning phenomenon: conflict amplifies water risks. Since 2011, there have been at least 180 instances of intentional targeting of water infrastructure in conflicts in Gaza, Libya, the Syrian Arab Republic, and the Republic of Yemen. Forcibly displaced persons and their host communities face myriad water risks. Access to safe drinking water is a daily struggle for millions of forcibly displaced Iraqis, Libyans, Palestinians, Syrians, Yemenis, and international migrants in the region, heightening public health risks. Tanker trucks often help fill the gap; however, significant issues of water quality, reliability, and affordability remain. Host communities also face localized declines in water availability and quality as well as unplanned burdens on water services following the arrival of forcibly displaced persons. The reality of protracted forced displacement requires a shift from humanitarian support toward a development approach for water security, including structured yet flexible planning to deliver water services and sustain water resources for forcibly displaced persons and their host communities.
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    Fragility and Conflict: On the Front Lines of the Fight against Poverty
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020-02-27) Corral, Paul ; Irwin, Alexander ; Krishnan, Nandini ; Mahler, Daniel Gerszon ; Vishwanath, Tara
    Fragility and conflict pose a critical threat to the global goal of ending extreme poverty. Between 1990 and 2015, successful development strategies reduced the proportion of the world’s people living in extreme poverty from 36 to 10 percent. But in many fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCS), poverty is stagnating or getting worse. The number of people living in proximity to conflict has nearly doubled worldwide since 2007. In the Middle East and North Africa, one in five people now lives in such conditions. The number of forcibly displaced persons worldwide has also more than doubled in the same period, exceeding 70 million in 2017. If current trends continue, by the end of 2020, the number of extremely poor people living in economies affected by fragility and conflict will exceed the number of poor people in all other settings combined. This book shows why addressing fragility and conflict is vital for poverty goals and charts directions for action. It presents new estimates of welfare in FCS, filling gaps in previous knowledge, and analyzes the multidimensional nature of poverty in these settings. It shows that data deprivation in FCS has prevented an accurate global picture of fragility, poverty, and their interactions, and it explains how innovative new measurement strategies are tackling these challenges. The book discusses the long-term consequences of conflict and introduces a data-driven classification of countries by fragility profile, showing opportunities for tailored policy interventions and the need for monitoring multiple markers of fragility. The book strengthens understanding of what poverty reduction in FCS will require and what it can achieve.