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  • Publication
    Comparing Policy Responses to COVID-19 among Countries in the Latin American and Caribbean Region
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-12-16) Allin, S.; Haldane, V.; Jamieson, M.; Marchildon, G.; Morales Vazquez, M.; Roerig, M.
    Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) accounts for over a quarter of the world's total cases, and a third of the total deaths, from the COVID-19 pandemic (1-3) (4). In the absence of a vaccine to prevent the transmission of the virus, LAC countries have introduced several public health, health system, and economic policies to reduce the spread and impacts of COVID-19 (4,5). However, contextual factors such as fragmented health systems, limited social safety nets, and high levels of informal employment and inequality have further challenged the response to the pandemic in many of these countries (4,6,7). Furthermore, these underlying conditions intensify the impact of COVID-19, particularly for the most disadvantaged, including the unemployed, informal, and low-income workers, many of whom live in overcrowded households (4,7). In this study, we aim to describe policy interventions in 10 LAC countries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to compare these responses based on the experiences in two relatively high-performing jurisdictions, South Korea and Uruguay, and to support cross-jurisdictional policy learning for pandemic preparedness in the LAC region through knowledge exchange activities.
  • Publication
    Remarks at the Climate Ambition Summit 2020
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-12-12) Malpass, David
    World Bank Group President David Malpass spoke about the Climate change, poverty, and inequality–defining issues of our age. The global poor often suffer the most from climate events, including flooding, droughts and food insecurity. The World Bank Group is the biggest multilateral funder of climate investments in developing countries. Over the next five years, the Bank intends to go further, targeting thirty-five percent climate co-benefits on average across the World Bank Group. For IBRD and IDA, fifty percent of this climate finance will support adaptation and resilience. The Bank will support the Paris accord alignment by helping developing countries to achieve their NDCs, end their reliance on coal, and transition to lower-carbon, climate-resilient economies. He discussed the Coronavirus (COVID-19) response, targeting investment and policy financing that will help support a green, inclusive and resilient recovery. We cannot succeed in helping countries reduce poverty without rising to the challenges of climate change.
  • Publication
    Case Study on the Role of Primary Health Care in the SARS COV-2 Pandemic in Colombia: Initial Phase - Period of 11th of March to May 31st, 2020
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-12) World Bank Group
    The reforms of the Colombian Health System in the last decade have sought to position primary health care (PHC) as an essential strategy to guarantee integrated and comprehensive care of the population’s health needs. The Primary Health Care approach includes three integrated, interdependent components: health services, intersectoriality, and social participation in terms of empowering individuals, families and communities to take charge of their own health. Within this conceptual framework, Colombia has tackled the SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic formally announcedby the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020. This report examines the role of PHC in Colombia›s preparation for, response to, and recovery from the pandemic. The main features of the pandemic affecting the country are described first, followed by observations stemming from analysis of the regulatory component, the healthcare services delivered, and the role of public health communication and surveillance. The report ends with conclusions on the analysis.
  • Publication
    Guidance Note on Using Learning Assessment in the Process of School Reopening
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-11-21) Luna Bazaldua, Diego; Liberman, Julia
    As countries consider how to reopen schools safely in the context of COVID-19 (coronavirus), one key question is how to assess students' learning to support learning recovery. The expected magnitude of learning losses, particularly among students with the highest needs, makes it essential for key stakeholders in the education process — policymakers, teachers, school principals, students, and their parents — to determine where students are in their learning trajectory relative to what had been expected prior to the pandemic, so they can adjust instruction and allocate resources accordingly. To collect this information, stakeholders can rely on student learning assessment, which is an essential feedback mechanism in the education system. This note provides key steps that countries with different availability of resources should consider in developing their plans for learning assessment activities to support learning recovery in the context of school reopening. Throughout this note, assessment of student learning is defined as gathering and evaluating information on what students know, understand, and can do to make informed decisions about the next steps in the educational process. In addition, some considerations and country examples for the implementation of high-stakes examinations are discussed. This note concludes with examples of learning assessment activities that countries around the world are planning or implementing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, this note highlights important lessons that can support resilience to future emergencies and crises.
  • Publication
    Remarks to the World Food Programme Executive Board
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-11-16) Malpass, David
    World Bank Group President David Malpass spoke about how in its first year, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is pushing one hundred fifty million people into extreme poverty, ending two decades of steady progress on poverty reduction. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has altered every aspect of commercial activity and trade, shrinking gross domestic products (GDP), fueling a debt crisis and triggering severe food crises. He cautioned about the long-standing problems in the global food system, and how World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that the number of people facing acute food insecurity will double to two hundred sixty-five million people in 2020. He spoke about working along with IMF on effective approaches for debt reduction and debt resolution to address low income countries’ unsustainable debt burdens. He highlighted on establishing a fast-track Coronavirus (COVID) response that has delivered emergency support to one hundred twelve countries so far. He explained that in response to the global food security crisis, the World Bank Group has significantly stepped up investments to strengthen food security in client countries.
  • Publication
    Speech at the 2020 Annual Meetings Plenary
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-10-15) Malpass, David
    David Malpass, President of the World Bank, spoke about what the World Bank Group has accomplished since last year’s Annual Meetings, particularly the response to COVID-19 and progress made on debt transparency. The COVID-19 pandemic’s toll has been enormous, and people in the poorest countries are likely to suffer the longest and hardest. In response, the approach at the World Bank Group has been comprehensive, focused on saving lives, protecting the poor and vulnerable, working toward sustainable business growth, and rebuilding in better ways. He touched on the four most urgent aspects of this work: 1) poverty and inequality; 2) human capital; 3) debt burdens; and 4) fostering an inclusive and resilient recovery. The scale of the challenges ahead is staggering. IDA-19’s three-year envelope of USD82 billion will not be nearly enough to meet the needs of the world’s poorest countries at this desperate time. IDA has taken broad and fast action to frontload IDA-19 resources and provide surge financing this year to support the initial efforts to address the economic and health impacts of COVID. A USD25 billion supplemental COVID emergency financing package will avert a “financing cliff” in FY22-23 and make available additional resources to IDA countries to support their recoveries.
  • Publication
    Remarks at the Mobilizing with Africa II Event
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-10-09) Malpass, David
    David Malpass, President of the World Bank, remarked that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and global recession are wiping out more than a decade of poverty alleviation. He focused on crisis response and supporting recovery.
  • Publication
    The Cost of Staying Healthy
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020-10-09) World Bank
    Latin America and the Caribbean was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, which arrived on the back of years of disappointing economic growth and limited social progress, and after a wave of social unrest. This report reviews the impacts of the crisis as well as the policy responses by countries, which often involved sizeable social transfers. It also presents growth forecasts, and quarterly growth estimates based on satellite imagery. With countries experiencing a diverse mix of health costs and economic costs, the report analyzes how the effectiveness of containment policies, and their impact on economic activity, differ between richer and poorer countries. It also assesses the cost of staying healthy in normal times, showing how it is affected by the structure of the domestic pharmaceutical sector and by the effectiveness of public procurement of medicines. As the region may have to live with the virus for a while, four policy directions are proposed for discussion.
  • Publication
    Reversing the Inequality Pandemic
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-10-05) Malpass, David
    World Bank Group President David Malpass spoke about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has already changed our world decisively and forced upon the world a painful transformation. He explained the World Bank Group’s approach that has been comprehensive by focusing on saving lives, protecting the poor and vulnerable, ensuring sustainable business growth, and rebuilding in better ways. He focused on four urgent aspects of this work: (i) first, the need to redouble efforts to alleviate poverty and inequality; (ii) second, the associated loss of human capital and what must be done to restore it; (iii) third, the urgent need to help the poorest countries make their government debt more transparent and permanently reduce their debt burdens, two necessary steps to attract effective investment; and (iv) finally, how we can cooperate to facilitate the changes needed for an inclusive and resilient recovery.
  • Publication
    The World Bank Annual Report 2020: Supporting Countries in Unprecedented Times
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-10-01) World Bank
    The Annual Report is prepared by the Executive Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA)--collectively known as the World Bank--in accordance with the by-laws of the two institutions. The President of the IBRD and IDA and the Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors submits the Report, together with the accompanying administrative budgets and audited financial statements, to the Board of Governors.