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  • Publication
    Women, Business and the Law 2024
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-03-04) World Bank
    Women, Business and the Law 2024 is the 10th in a series of annual studies measuring the enabling conditions that affect women’s economic opportunity in 190 economies. To present a more complete picture of the global environment that enables women’s socioeconomic participation, this year Women, Business and the Law introduces two new indicators—Safety and Childcare—and presents findings on the implementation gap between laws (de jure) and how they function in practice (de facto). This study presents three indexes: (1) legal frameworks, (2) supportive frameworks (policies, institutions, services, data, budget, and access to justice), and (3) expert opinions on women’s rights in practice in the areas measured. The study’s 10 indicators—Safety, Mobility, Workplace, Pay, Marriage, Parenthood, Childcare, Entrepreneurship, Assets, and Pension—are structured around the different stages of a woman’s working life. Findings from this new research can inform policy discussions to ensure women’s full and equal participation in the economy. The indicators build evidence of the critical relationship between legal gender equality and women’s employment and entrepreneurship. Data in Women, Business and the Law 2024 are current as of October 1, 2023.
  • Publication
    Vibrant Cities - On the Bedrock of Stability, Prosperity, and Sustainability
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-12-07) Lall, Somik V.; Kaw, Jon Kher; Shilpi, Forhad; Murray, Sally Beth
    How will the world’s developing cities become vibrant—capable of meeting the climate, social, and economic challenges of tomorrow? Vibrant cities offer firms and households high expectations for good returns on investments, for a sustainable and resilient future, and for dynamic and inclusive growth. Cities thrive not only by increasing incomes and wealth for a select few but by improving common welfare through the equitable provision of basic services and opportu¬nities. To do this, tomorrow’s vibrant cities will be: 1.Resilient and low carbon—Limiting greenhouse gas emissions, reducing vulnerability to climate related hazards, and rebounding from disasters and pandemics. 2.Inclusive—Meeting basic needs for all residents, while enabling all to aspire realistically to a bet¬ter life through investment in skills and through equitable access to job opportunities. 3.Productive—Driving economic growth, creating jobs, boosting incomes, and financing critical social and infrastructure investments. The report provides new evidence, analysis, and policy insights to advance green, resilient, and inclusive urban development—drawing on the latest thinking in spatial urban development and public economics. While spotlighting the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), it offers general insights for city and country leaders around the world. In doing so, it lays the foundations to shore up our technical assistance and policy engagements for urban development in MENA and elsewhere through a new policy framework—inform, support, and protect.
  • Publication
    Tunisia Economic Monitor, Fall 2023: Migration Amid a Challenging Economic Context
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-12-04) World Bank
    Migration will likely become increasingly important for Tunisia in terms of both inflows and outflows, given the demographic transition in both Tunisia and Europe. As such Tunisia can work (also with partner countries) to maximize the benefits of migration. As a country of mainly emigration, Tunisia could help strengthen the match of its emigrants with the demand abroad, including through enhanced cooperation with destination countries. Such cooperation should include focusing international assistance towards development objectives in Tunisia. Based on available evidence, increasing household incomes will contribute to reducing the propensity to consider emigrating through irregular channels. As its importance as a destination country (hence migrants who want to settle in Tunisia) is likely to increase, Tunisia can also enhance the economic benefits from immigrants by facilitating migrants’ regular status and streamlining the recognition of their qualifications, which has been identified as one of the key aspects for the successful implementation of bilateral mobility agreements involving skill partnerships.
  • Publication
    Morocco Economic Monitor, Fall 2023: From Resilience to Shared Prosperity
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-11-20) World Bank
    The Moroccan economy is recovering. Following a sharp deceleration in 2022 caused by various overlapping commodity and climatic shocks, economic growth increased to 2.9 percent in the first semester of 2023, driven primarily by services and net exports. Inflation has halved between February and August 2023, but food inflation remains high. Lower commodity prices havealso contributed to a temporary narrowing of the current account deficit. The response to recent crises and the unfolding reform of the health and social protection systems are exerting pressures on public spending. However, the government is managing to gradually reduce the budget deficit.
  • Publication
    Algeria Economic Update, Fall 2023: Continuing the Diversification Effort
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-11-08) World Bank
    Algeria’s GDP recovered to its pre-pandemic level in 2022, while high oil and gas prices allowed for marked improvements in its external and fiscal balances. The recovery continued during the first half of 2023, albeit at a slower pace, supported by nonhydrocarbon activity and investment. Oil and natural gas prices and exports declined in H1–2023, adding pressure on external and fiscal balances. Inflation remained elevated, reaching 9.7 percent in H1–2023, now driven by fresh food prices, mostly produced domestically. Growth is expected to recover in 2024 and 2025, while the fiscal and external balances would stabilize after an initial drop. The macroeconomic outlook hinges on volatile hydrocarbon prices, and the regional context underscores the reality of the climate risks to which Algeria is also exposed. These risks underscore the importance of sustainably improving macroeconomic balances, while continuing efforts to foster private sector-led investment, growth, and diversification. Diversifying export revenues away from hydrocarbons and attracting foreign investment would improve Algeria’s resilience to oil and gas price fluctuations. On the fiscal front, higher spending rigidity contrasts with volatile hydrocarbon revenues, generating significant uncertainty. This underlines the need to raise more tax revenues and strengthen spending efficiency in an equitable way, notably that of public investment. Consistent with the 2021 Government Action Plan, continued implementation of reforms to stimulate private sector to become the engine of sustainable and diversified growth remains essential to the performance and resilience of the Algerian economy.
  • Publication
    MENA Economic Update, October 2023 - Balancing Act: Jobs and Wages in the Middle East and North Africa When Crises Hit
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-10-05) Elmallakh, Nelly; Gatti, Roberta; Torres, Jesica; Lederman, Daniel; Lotfi, Rana; Suvanov, Ilias; Silva, Joana
    Covid-19. The Russian invasion of Ukraine. Commodity price volatility. The rise of global inflation and interest rates. Currency depreciations among indebted middle-income economies. And now, natural disasters. As a sequence of events, the consequences can be both tragic and long-lasting. After analyzing the macroeconomic prospects of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region, this edition of the regional Economic Update assesses the human toll of macroeconomic shocks in terms of lost jobs and deteriorating livelihoods of the people of MENA. Growth is forecast to decelerate in 2023 after experiencing an oil-price induced growth spurt in 2022 among the high-income oil exporters of the region. Yet as the region continues to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 shock and navigates the heightened volatility in its terms of trade, the region’s labor force is contending with the ramifications for their livelihoods of the inflationary pressures associated with currency fluctuations in some countries. The authors estimate that the macroeconomic shocks of 2020-22 led to an additional 5.1 million individuals becoming unemployed in MENA. Will these shocks permanently scar the hard-working people of MENA? The report answers this question by highlighting the trade-offs facing labor markets when facing macroeconomic shocks. A critical trade-off pertains to the loss of jobs versus decreases in real incomes, neither of which is desirable. The report advocates for maintaining the flexibility of real wages and discusses policy options to support the most vulnerable.
  • Publication
    World Bank Annual Report 2023: A New Era in Development
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-09-28) World Bank
    This annual report, which covers the period from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, has been prepared by the Executive Directors of both the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA)—collectively known as the World Bank—in accordance with the respective bylaws of the two institutions. Ajay Banga, President of the World Bank Group and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, has submitted this report, together with the accompanying administrative budgets and audited financial statements, to the Board of Governors.
  • Publication
    A New State of Mind: Greater Transparency and Accountability in the Middle East and North Africa
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2022-10-05) Belhaj, Ferid; Gatti, Roberta; Lederman, Daniel; Sergenti, Ernest John; Assem, Hoda; Lotfi, Rana; Mousa, Mennatallah Emam; Assem, Hoda
    The MENA region is facing important vulnerabilities, which the current crises—first the pandemic, then the war in Ukraine—have exacerbated. Prices of food and energy are higher, hurting the most vulnerable, and rising interest rates from the global tightening of monetary policy are making debt service more burdensome. Part I explores some of the resulting vulnerabilities for MENA. MENA countries are facing diverging paths for future growth. Oil Exporters have seen windfall increases in state revenues from the rise in hydrocarbon prices, while oil importers face heightened stress and risk—from higher import bills, especially for food and energy, and the depreciation of local currencies in some countries. Part II of this report argues that poor governance, and, in particular, the lack of government transparency and accountability, is at the root of the region’s development failings—including low growth, exclusion of the most disadvantaged and women, and overuse of such precious natural resources as land and water.
  • Publication
    Morocco Country Climate and Development Report
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-10) World Bank Group
    Climate change poses a serious threat to Morocco’s economic growth and human potential but with the right investments and policies in place, a more sustainable future is possible. A new World Bank diagnostic tool, The Country Climate and Development Report explores the linkages between climate and development and identifies priority actions to build resilience and reduce carbon emissions, while supporting economic growth and reducing poverty. The Morocco climate report identifies three priority areas – tackling water scarcity and droughts; enhancing resilience to floods; and decarbonizing the economy. The report also looks at the cross-cutting issues of financing, governance, and equity. The underlying message in the report is that if Morocco invests in climate action now and takes the appropriate policy measures, the benefits will be immense. Ambitious climate actions will help to revitalize rural areas, create new jobs and position the Kingdom as a green industrial hub, while also helping Morocco to reach its broader development goals. The report identifies key pathways to decarbonize the economy, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and massively deploying solar and wind power. The report estimates that total investment needed to put Morocco firmly on a resilient and low carbon pathway by the 2050s would be around $78 billion in present dollar value. The good news is that these investments could be gradual and that with the appropriate policies in place, the private sector could shoulder much of the cost.
  • Publication
    Tunisia - Systematic Country Diagnostic: Rebuilding Trust and Meeting Aspirations for a More Prosperous and Inclusive Tunisia
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-09-30) World Bank
    This Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) comes at critical moment in Tunisia. Since the 2011 revolution and the promulgation of a new constitution in 2014, Tunisia has been navigating a difficult political transition. While there have been gains in poverty reduction, public trust in government has declined sharply, and the economy has stalled. The COVID-19 pandemic and more recently the effects of the war in Ukraine also exacerbated stresses on the economy, the public finances, and public trust in government. Partly as result of these trends, recent political events since July 25 2021 have marked a break with the 2014 constitutional model, and created great uncertainty regarding the future direction of Tunisia’s transition. At the time of writing, it is still uncertain what form Tunisia’s new political and constitutional model will take in coming years. The Tunisia SCD takes a ten-year view of trends in Tunisia since 2011, drawing comparisons with other comparable countries, and suggesting possible future pathways. The World Bank Group undertakes SCDs as a diagnostic exercise to identify key challenges and opportunities to accelerate progress towards rebuilding trust and meeting citizen aspirations, and ultimately to contribute to the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending absolute poverty and boosting shared prosperity in a sustainable manner. It is intended to become a reference point for consultations on priorities for World Bank Group country engagement. It is also intended as a contribution to the public debate about Tunisia’s path forward. This longer term perspective means that the Tunisia SCD does not place a heavy emphasis on recent events, but rather seeks to situate them in the broader context of trends in equitable growth, poverty reduction, and state capability.