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  • Publication
    Europe and Central Asia Economic Update, April 2024: Unleashing the Power of the Private Sector
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-04-11) World Bank
    Economic activity in the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region is expected to remain resilient but slow this year as a weaker global economy, slowdown in China, and lower commodity prices weigh on the region’s growth outlook. Regional growth is likely to drop to 2.8 percent in 2024, following substantial strengthening to 3.3 percent last year because of a shift from contraction to expansion in the Russian Federation and war-hit Ukraine, and a more robust recovery in Central Asia. Regional output growth is projected to moderate further to 2.6 percent in 2025. The outlook faces multiple headwinds. A slower-than-expected recovery in key trading partners, restrictive monetary policies, and exacerbation of geopolitical developments could further dampen growth across the region. Weak productivity growth in ECA in the recent decade has resulted in a sharp slowdown in income convergence with advanced economies. Fundamental drivers of productivity growth, including progress in advancing institutional and market reforms, technology adoption, and innovation, are key for enabling private sector–led growth. Boosting business dynamism in ECA will require addressing several challenges, including upgrading the competitive environment, reducing state involvement in the economy, dramatically boosting the quality of education, and strengthening the availability of finance. While meeting these challenges will look different across countries, addressing them is an essential condition to achieve stronger economic growth and overcome the middle-income trap.
  • Publication
    Refugee Education Financing: Key Facts and Findings — Insights into the Financing of Refugee Education in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-04-11) Hopper, Robert
    This paper, along with its accompanying data, provides the first comprehensive analysis on financing for refugee education in low- and middle-income countries. By compiling and scrutinizing data on host government financing, foreign aid contributions, and philanthropic giving, a consolidated and quantified overview of all major sources of financing for refugee education in low- and middle-income countries is produced. This data is then analyzed to reveal key trends and patterns in refugee education financing, existing financing gaps, and potential biases in financing allocations. These findings are explored in the 10 facts and findings outlined in this paper, and summarized in Box 1 below. It is hoped that this dataset and analysis will help to improve the understanding of financing for refugee education in low- and middle-income countries and inform future discussion and debate on refugee education financing.
  • Publication
    Island Insights: Surging Seas and Increasing Rains — Analyzing Flood Risks in São Tomé and Príncipe, District by District
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-04-11) World Bank
    This study’s aim was to assess the growing flood risk Sao Tome and Principe (STP) faces due to climate change. It achieved this by carrying out a nationwide risk assessment for riverine and coastal flooding. The study used recently completed high-resolution national flood hazard data for the present climate (2020) and two projected climates (in 2050 and 2080), based on the climate scenario Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP)3-7.0, a medium to high reference scenario resulting from no additional climate policy under the SSP3 socioeconomic development narrative.This flood risk assessment examines the potential impacts and risks to people, buildings, healthcare facilities, the education sector, and tourism under both present and future climate conditions. It shows that flood risk is driven frequent flood events. There is a significant increase of flood risk under future climate conditions.
  • Publication
    Western Balkans Regular Economic Report No.25, Spring 2024: Invigorating Growth
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-04-11) World Bank
    Economic growth in the Western Balkans slowed to 2.6 percent in 2023, from the 3.4 percent reached in 2022, reflecting the impact of a weak European economy weighed down by sequential shocks. Overall, the WB6 region has experienced a rise in total hours worked driven by employment growth and labor force expansion, especially driven by women joining the labor force. Poverty in the Western Balkans returned to its declining trend during 2023, but at a slower pace than pre-pandemic. A robust fiscal performance and solid rate of gross domestic product (GDP) growth led to a fall in debt as a share of GDP. After increasing to levels not seen in several decades, inflation rates in the WB6 fell significantly during 2023. Growth projections for the medium term have increased slightly, reflecting cautious optimism that, having weathered a flurry of shocks over recent years, the Western Balkans is beginning to see a return to trend economic performance. However, while the WB6 region is expected to return on its pre-pandemic trend in 2024, this is insufficient to enable meaningful convergence with European Union (EU) income levels over the medium term. The spotlight in this edition of the Western Balkans Regular Economic Report focuses on the role of cities as engines of growth and leading actor in the green transition. This spotlight recommends action on three main fronts to make cities in the Western Balkans greener. First, it is crucial to reduce urban sprawl and make cities more compact. Second, cities must bring down their emissions, also because this will have immediate improvement on socio-economic and environmental outcomes. And third, cities must take actions to reduce extreme urban heat and enhance preparedness for it.
  • Publication
    Count me in!: World Bank Education Global Practice - Impr oving Education Outcomes for Girls and Young Women
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-04-11) World Bank
    Ensuring that all girls and young women receive a quality education is their human right, a global development imperative, and a strategic priority for the World Bank. Achieving gender equality is central to the World Bank Group twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity on a livable planet. As the largest development partner in education globally, the World Bank ensures that all of its education projects are gender-sensitive, and works to overcome barriers that are preventing girls and boys from equally benefiting from countries’ investments in education.
  • Publication
    Double Trouble? Assessing Climate Physical and Transition Risks for the Moroccan Banking Sector
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-04-11) World Bank
    There is growing awareness globally about the potential impacts of climate change on financial stability. Climate-related financial risks can be broadly grouped into two categories: (i) climate physical risks, which are financial risks stemming from the gradual and abrupt impacts of climate change (primarily droughts and floods in the case of Morocco, as highlighted by the ongoing severe drought event and recent floods), and (ii) climate transition risks, which are financial risks that can result from the transition to a low-carbon economy, for example, due to changes in climate policy, technology, or market sentiment. The purpose of this report is to better understand the impact of these climate risks on Morocco’s banking sector. This includes understanding the banking sector’s exposure to sectors and regions that are vulnerable to climate physical and transition risks, as well as a quantification of climate impacts on banks’ balance sheets under different scenarios. This report also takes stock of the Moroccan banking sector’s current risk management practices and the supervisory response to climate-related financial risks.
  • Publication
    Liquidity In Corporate Markets: A Literature Review
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-04-11) Carvajal, Ana Fiorella; Bebczuk, Ricardo
    This note reviews the economic literature and empirical research on the drivers and effects of secondary market liquidity in the corporate securities markets. The choice of this topic was driven by the work of the World Bank in the field. Financial sector authorities in emerging markets and developing economies often request the World Bank’s support to improve the liquidity of their corporate markets, as they consider liquidity to be key to attracting more investors.
  • Publication
    World Bank Climate and Health Program: Putting Health at the Center of Climate Investment and Action
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-04-11) World Bank
    As the climate crisis escalates, evidence is mounting about its growing harm to human health and well-being. Indeed, this relationship between climate change and human health is now one of the defining challenges of the era, and, at current trajectories of change, it will remain so for some time to come. The World Bank has launched a new Climate and Health Program whose aim is to slow and blunt the force of climate change’s dangerous collision with human health. The program pivots on three foundational components that will: assess country climate-health vulnerabilities and impacts to design country-tailored solutions; scale up investments to build low-carbon resilient health systems; and build and deepen partnerships at global, regional, and country levels to multiply and magnify these efforts. The Bank will use the full range of its financing instruments for both adaptation and mitigation activities.
  • Publication
    Charting Croatia‘s Blue Economy Pathways
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-04-11) World Bank
    With an accessible and attractive coastline of untouched natural splendor, Adriatic Croatia is a strategic driver of national economic development. It boasts rich cultural heritage and biodiversity and abundant coastal and marine resources providing the country with high socioeconomic value. A decade of strong growth of maritime tourism has fueled stable economic development in the coastal zone. Despite this progress, Adriatic Croatia faces multiple environmental challenges stemming from anthropogenic pressures and climate change. Negative impacts from over-tourism, urbanization, and pollution underline the urgency of adopting a sustainable maritime economy approach. The demographic decline and the lack of economic diversification could diminish future economic opportunities of Adriatic Croatia to grow sustainably and provide new jobs. The emerging challenges call for close attention in the context of the national development goals, sustainable development commitments and Croatia’s aspiration to achieve blue growth. This report discusses the concept of blue economy while trying to understand and define the impacts of current challenges on the Republic of Croatia’s transition to blue economy.
  • Publication
    Latin America and the Caribbean Economic Review, April 2024 - Competition: The Missing Ingredient for Growth?
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-04-10) Maloney, William; Garriga, Pablo; Meléndez, Marcela; Morales, Raúl; Jooste, Charl; Sampi, James; Araujo, Jorge Thompson; Vostroknutova, Ekaterina
    Latin America and the Caribbean has made slow but consistent progress addressing the imbalances induced by the pandemic in an international environment that is just now showing signs of stabilizing. Despite favorable macroeconomic management, high interest rates and fiscal imbalances remain challenging while growth rates remain lackluster due to long-standing structural issues. Looking forward, an aging workforce and rising violence will increasingly complicate policy. This report focuses particularly on weak competitive forces as a source of low productivity, low growth, and low welfare in LAC. It emphasizes the need for effective competition institutions, pro-competition regulatory frameworks, complementary policies to improve the capabilities of workers and firms, and enhanced innovation systems, to prepare local industries to reach the technological frontier and face global competition. Furthermore, the report underscores the need for reforms to prevent large businesses from exerting undue political influence over policy decisions.