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Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014-11-23) World Bank GroupThis report focuses on the risks of climate change to development in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and parts of Europe and Central Asia. Building on earlier Turn Down the Heat reports, this new scientific analysis examines the likely impacts of present day (0.8°C), 2°C and 4°C warming above pre-industrial temperatures on agricultural production, water resources, ecosystem services, and coastal vulnerability for affected populations. Data show that dramatic climate changes, heat, and weather extremes are already impacting people, damaging crops and coastlines, and putting food, water, and energy security at risk. Across the three regions studied in this report, record-breaking temperatures are occurring more frequently, rainfall has increased in intensity in some places, while drought-prone regions are getting dryer. The poor and underprivileged, as well as the elderly and children, are found to be hit the hardest. There is growing evidence that even with very ambitious mitigation action, warming close to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by mid-century is already locked into the Earth’s atmospheric system, and climate change impacts such as extreme heat events may now be unavoidable. If the planet continues warming to 4°C, climatic conditions, heat, and other weather extremes considered highly unusual or unprecedented today would become the new climate normal—a world of increased risks and instability. The consequences for development would be severe as crop yields decline, water resources change, diseases move into new ranges, and sea levels rise. The task of promoting human development, ending poverty, increasing global prosperity, and reducing global inequality will be very challenging in a 2°C world, but in a 4°C world there is serious doubt whether this can be achieved at all. Immediate steps are needed to help countries adapt to the climate impacts being felt today and the unavoidable consequences of a rapidly warming world. The benefits of strong, early action on climate change -- action that follows clean, low carbon pathways and avoids locking in unsustainable growth strategies -- far outweigh the costs. Many of the worst projected climate impacts could still be avoided by holding warming to below 2°C. But the time to act is now.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-05) Mele, GianlucaA data set of key macro-sustainability indicators, constructed after several fact-finding missions, and World Bank methodologies on estimating wealth accounting are used to study Mauritania's wealth, which is estimated to be between USD50 and USD60 billion. The country's produced wealth represents roughly 12 percent of total wealth, much less than in lower-middle-income countries; by contrast, natural wealth represents approximately 45 percent of the total figure. Renewable resources account for slightly less than two-thirds of natural wealth, with fisheries alone equaling about one-fourth of natural wealth. This is good news for Mauritania, as sound management of these resources may ensure a constant flow of resources in the future and therefore -- with adequate policies -- the achievement of the same or higher levels of welfare for future generations. On the negative side, however, the ratio of net adjusted savings over gross national income is estimated to have been negative since 2006, meaning that the wealth of the country is being depleted. Mauritania has recently joined the ranks of lower-middle-income countries, largely thanks to its considerable natural resources endowment. Over time the mining sector's contribution to gross domestic product has grown significantly and important discoveries continue to be made. The overarching objective of this wealth accounting exercise is thus to support Mauritania to measure its assets better and achieve a more complete picture of the prospects for future income, with a view to better orienting public policies toward sustainable growth and shared prosperity. The paper concludes with several indicative policy recommendations.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2012-10) Multilateral Investment Guarantee AgencyIn fiscal year 2012, a total issue of $2.7 billion in guarantees for projects in Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency's (MIGA's) developing member countries and an additional $10.6 million was issued under MIGA administered trust funds. This is another record high for new issuance by the Agency, the second consecutive year of this trend, and was marked by increased regional and sectoral diversification. Fifty-eight percent of projects guaranteed, accounting for 70 percent of the total volume of new coverage, address at least one of MIGA's four strategic priority areas. Fiscal year 2012 also marks the fifth consecutive year of record levels in the Agency's gross portfolio. MIGA issued $2.7 billion in guarantees in support of investments in developing countries. The Agency welcomed two new members, Niger and South Sudan, during the fiscal year. This report highlights MIGA's active support for these objectives in fiscal year 2012. It demonstrates the Agency's ability to deliver on its mandate to promote foreign direct investment into developing countries to support economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve people's lives. As the global investment environment becomes increasingly volatile, and MIGA's clients look for opportunities in frontier markets, there is greater interest in political risk-mitigation mechanisms. MIGA has positioned itself well to respond to these developments especially as a result of its stronger field presence and internal reforms over the last two years. MIGA is committed to promoting projects that promise a strong development impact and are economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable. MIGA's projects this past year demonstrate this focus in a wide range of sectors, across all regions. In fiscal year 2012 the Agency's projects in the region accounted for 24 percent of volume, twice the level of the previous year.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2012-06) World BankThe year began on a positive note. A marked improvement in market sentiment, combined with monetary policy easing in developing countries, was reflected in a rebound in economic activity in both developing and advanced countries. Industrial production, trade and capital goods sales all returned to positive territory, following the slow growth of the fourth quarter of 2011. Although debt levels in developing countries are lower, several countries (notably Jordan, India, and Pakistan) must reduce their structural fiscal balances to reduce debt to 40 percent of Gross domestic Product (GDP) by 2020 (or prevent debt-to-GDP ratios from rising further). As a result, sharp swings in investor sentiment and financial conditions will continue to complicate the conduct of macroeconomic policy in developing countries. In these conditions, policy in developing countries needs to be less reactive to short-term changes in external conditions, and more responsive to medium-term domestic considerations. A return to more neutral macroeconomic policies would also help developing countries reduce their vulnerabilities to external shocks, by rebuilding fiscal space, reducing short-term debt exposures and recreating the kinds of buffers that allowed them to react so resiliently to the 2008/09 crisis.