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  • Publication
    The World Bank Annual Report 2022: Helping Countries Adapt to a Changing World
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2022) 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 submit the Report, together with the accompanying administrative budgets and audited financial statements, to the Board of Governors.
  • Publication
    Distributional Impacts of COVID-19 in the Middle East and North Africa Region
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-11-22) Hoogeveen, Johannes G.; Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys; Hoogeveen, Johannes G.; Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys
    COVID-19 is one of multiple crises to have hit the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in the decade following the Arab Spring. War, oil price declines, economic slowdowns and now a pandemic are tearing at the social fabric of a region characterized by high rates of unemployment, high levels of informality and low annual economic growth. The economic costs of the pandemic are estimated at about $227 billion, and fiscal support packages across MENA are averaging 2.7 percent of GDP, putting pressure on already weak fiscal balances and making a quick recovery challenging. Pre-pandemic MENA was the only region in the world experiencing increases in poverty and declines in life satisfaction. This Report investigates how COVID-19 changed the welfare of individuals and households in the region. It does so by relying on phone surveys implemented across the region and complements these with micro-simulation exercises to assess the impact of COVID-19 on jobs, income, poverty and inequality. The two approaches perform a complementary task by corroborating each other’s results, thereby making the findings more robust and richer. This Report’s results show that in the short run, poverty rates in MENA will increase significantly, and that inequality will widen. A group of “new poor” is likely to emerge that may have difficulty to recover from the economic consequences of the pandemic. The Report adds value by analyzing newly gathered primary data, along with projections based on newly modelled micro-macro simulations and by identifying key issues that policy makers should focus on to enable a quick, inclusive and sustained economic recovery.
  • Publication
    The World Bank Annual Report 2021: From Crisis to Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Recovery
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-10-01) 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.
  • Publication
    World Bank Group Press Conference at the 2021 Spring Meetings, April 7, 2021
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-04-07) Malpass, David
    David Malpass, President of the World Bank, discussed vaccines, climate, and debt. The World Bank commitments grew a record amount both in percent terms and dollar terms in 2020. The Bank is providing financing for several of the countries and they can be large-scale programs, but the countries are working to arrange delivery schedules from the various vaccine providers. That will be an important part of the recovery. The Bank completed a big vaccination operation through Board, which makes financing available to Bangladesh and also technical assistance from the World Bank, which is very helpful to the countries as they try to enter contract discussions, and also as they work within their health systems in order to vaccinate people. The Bank is working actively on biodiversity and agricultural challenges facing Brazil.
  • Publication
    Living with Debt: How Institutions Can Chart a Path to Recovery in Middle East and North Africa
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-04-02) Gatti, Roberta; Lederman, Daniel; Fan, Rachel Yuting; Islam, Asif M.; Rojas, Claudio J.
    Economies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) remain in crisis. The World Bank estimates the regional output to have contracted 3.8 percent in 2020 and expects it to rebound by only 2.2 percent in 2021. The regional output is expected to be 7.2% below where it would be in 2021 without the pandemic. The region’s average GDP per capita is estimated to have declined 5.3 percent in 2020 and expected to rebound by only 0.6 percent in 2021. The number of poor people in the region—those making less than the $5.50 per day poverty line—is expected to increase from 176 million in 2019 to a conservative estimate of 192 million people by the end of 2021. The region’s public debt is expected to rise significantly. Most notably, MENA oil importers have the highest levels of debt. As the region copes with the economic consequences of the pandemic, most countries will face tensions between short-term needs and the long-term risks of debt-financed government spending. Countries must make tough choices along the road to recovery. During the pandemic, fiscal spending is arguably best used to support vulnerable families and invest in public health—such as disease surveillance, data transparency, and vaccinations. Public health investment as a short-term response to the pandemic could also bring long-term gains. As the pandemic subsides, there are good reasons to be cautious with additional fiscal stimulus, especially for countries with high debt, poor governance, and lack of transparency. After the pandemic, economic growth remains the most sustainable way to reduce the debt-GDP ratio, and this requires much-needed deep structural reforms. Strong institutions can chart a path to recovery. Investing in testing, disease surveillance, and data transparency can reduce the economic costs of the pandemic. As the pandemic subsides, effective and transparent pandemic surveillance would help boost demand from domestic and foreign sources. Good governance in public investment decisions can raise the effectiveness of public investment. Public debt transparency can help reduce borrowing costs. Institutional reforms can be implemented with limited fiscal costs and hold the promise of boosting long-run growth.
  • 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
    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
    High-Performance Health Financing for Universal Health Coverage: Driving Sustainable, Inclusive Growth in the 21st Century
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06-27) World Bank Group
    The majority of developing countries will fail to achieve their targets for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the health- and poverty-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) unless they take urgent steps to strengthen their health financing. The UHC financing agenda fits squarely within the core mission of the G20 to promote sustainable, inclusive growth and to mitigate potential risks to the global economy. Closing the substantial UHC financing gap in 54 low and lower middle-income countries will require a strong mix of domestic and international investment. G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors can help countries seize the opportunities of high-performance health financing by adopting and steering a UHC financing resilience and sustainability agenda.
  • Publication
    The Human Capital Project
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-10-11) World Bank
    By improving their skills, health, knowledge, and resilience—their human capital—people can be more productive, flexible, and innovative. Human capital is a central driver of sustainable growth and poverty reduction. Investments in human capital have become more important as the nature of work has evolved. Yet despite substantial progress, significant gaps in human capital investments are leaving the world poorly prepared for what lies ahead. The World Bank Group has launched the Human Capital Project (HCP) to mobilize efforts to address these gaps. The project is intended to raise awareness of the costs of inaction and make the case for investing in people through country engagement and analytical work. The goal of the HCP is a world in which all children arrive at school ready to learn, the time spent in school translates into better learning, and they can grow up to live and work as healthy, skilled, and productive adults. The main text of this volume—which also appears as chapter 3 in the 2019 World Development Report: The Changing Nature of Work —describes the evidence supporting the importance of human capital for people, economies, and societies and lays out the rationale and context for the HCP’s theory of change. The Human Capital Index methodology is detailed in the appendix.
  • Publication
    Global Monitoring Report 2015/2016: Development Goals in an Era of Demographic Change
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2016) World Bank; International Monetary Fund
    The Global Monitoring Report 2015/2016, produced by the World Bank Group in partnership with the International Monetary Fund, comes at an inflection point in both the setting of global development goals and the demographic trends affecting those goals. This year marks the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the launching of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while the World Bank Group has in parallel articulated the twin goals of sustainably ending extreme poverty and sharing prosperity. This report presents the latest global poverty numbers, based on the 2011 purchasing power parity (PPP) data, and examines the pace of development progress through the lens of the evolving global development goals. The special theme of this year’s report examines the complex interaction between demographic change and development. With the number of children approaching a global ceiling of two billion, the world’s population is growing slower. It is also aging faster, with the share of people of working age starting a decline in 2013. But the direction and pace of these trends vary starkly across countries, with sizeable demographic disparities between centers of global poverty (marked by high fertility) and drivers of global growth (marked by rapid aging). These demographic disparities are expected to deeply affect the pursuit of the post-2015 agenda, accentuating existing challenges and creating new opportunities.