Author Archives: WorldBankBlogs

Powerful panel weighs progress on financial inclusion

Event Replay Government leaders and advocates came together during the Annual Meetings to discuss a major development goal – ensuring everyone has access to affordable financial services such as a bank or mobile money account. While a lot of progress has been made on “financial inclusion,” new rules affecting the flow of funds threatens to slow or even reverse some gains.Financial Inclusion not Exclusion: Managing De-Risking brought together Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the People’s Bank of China, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Indonesia’s Minister of Finance. Arun Jaitley, India’s Minister of Finance, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, and Juan Manuel Vega-Serrano, the president of the Financial Action Tax Force (FATF), which sets international standards for  combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats. Some 700 million people were brought into the formal financial system between 2011 and 2014 – a major success – but 2 billion people remain cut off, said Queen Máxima, who is the United Nations Secretary-General’s special advocate for inclusive finance for development.

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Using Technology to Make Everyone Count

Event Replay Many people don’t think twice when they’re asked to show their ID while opening a bank account or even while waiting in long lines to get a driver’s license. Yet for the 1.5 billion people around the world who don’t have a form of identification, this is the first barrier they face completing these basic – but important – tasks. Harnessing the potential of technology to overcome the challenges of providing unique identification to people across the developing world was the topic of an Annual Meetings seminar on ‘Identification for Development.’ The panel was moderated by the new World Bank Chief Economist Paul Romer, and featured Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance of Indonesia; Ajay Pandey, CEO of the Unique Identification Authority of India; Justin Forsyth, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF; Tara Nathan, Executive Vice President of Public-Private Partnerships at MasterCard; and John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer at the GSMA, an association of 800 mobile operators.

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Human Capital Summit highlights need to invest in the youngest children

The World Bank Group convened a Human Capital Summit on the opening day of the Annual Meetings to make the economic case for investing in the early years of children to drive future growth and development.Nine developing countries heeded the call, pledging to improve nutrition, health and education programs for young children. They became the first wave of countries expected to make similar pledges over the next few years to tackle childhood malnutrition, lack of early stimulation and learning, and other problems affecting the health and development of children. World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim warned that the future competitiveness of countries in the world economy will depend on whether their young people are able to reach their potential. Failure to eliminate childhood stunting will have high economic costs – a loss of 7 percent per capita of GDP, on average, and as high as 9 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa and 10 percent in South Asia, according to a recent analysis by the World Bank Group. Kim illustrated the dangers of undernutrition, under-stimulation, and other threats to the health and welfare of young children in a presentation at the beginning of the event.

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Kim and Chief Economist Romer talk development

The World Bank Group’s president and new chief economist had a friendly hour-long conversation before an overflow Annual Meetings crowd about some of the biggest risks and opportunities confronting the world today – and the kind of innovative thinking needed to reach ambitious development goals.   Sitting side by side, Jim Yong Kim and Paul Romer discussed the potential impact of automation on jobs, the need to raise the profile of practical development research, the best way for people to acquire valuable “soft skills,” and other issues. The event, Shaping the Global Development Agenda, was simultaneously translated into French, Spanish and Arabic, and livestreamed in four languages.   The rapport between Kim and Romer quickly became clear.

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From billions to trillions: converting billions of official assistance to trillions in total…

Urgent action is needed to mobilize, redirect and unlock trillions of dollars of private resources to ensure global growth and shared prosperity. Since 1956, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank Group’s member focused exclusively on the private sector, leveraged $2.5 billion in paid-in capital from its shareholders to invest over a trillion dollars for private sector development. IFC’s 60 years of experience has demonstrated the private sector’s ability to create innovative, commercially viable solutions that deliver development impact. “A year ago, we all signed up to the Sustainable Development Goals. The only way to achieve these goals is if private capital funds them and private business implements them,” said Gavin Wilson, CEO of IFC’s Asset Management Company (AMC) during a World Bank Group/IMF Annual Meetings 2016.

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Why does half the world distrust government?

According to the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer, half the world population distrusts government. Understanding why and how governments can better serve their citizens was the central theme of the “Governance Gap” high-level public discussion at the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings on Thursday.   “Governance is complex and complicated. We need to unpack it to understand those complexities better,” said Kyle Peters, interim chief operating officer and managing director of the World Bank at the start of the event, moderated by Clare Short, chair of the CITIES Alliance and former UK Secretary of State for International Development. 

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The great escape, out of fragility: jobs

Yes, there are approximately 65 million refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people worldwide. Yes, conflicts continue unabated, producing inordinate human misery. Yes, we urgently need political solutions. But there is growing consensus that creating jobs so people can work—wherever they are—is key to escaping fragility and preventing further conflict. And it’s what we need to focus on right now, experts and policymakers agreed at the “Escaping Fragility: Why Jobs Are Key” event on Friday during the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings in Washington, DC

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How the World Bank helped Giant Pandas recover

Recently, the IUCN World Conservation Union announced that the Giant Panda is no longer globally endangered threatened with extinction, but has been “down-listed” to globally vulnerable. The Fourth National Survey (2011-2014) in China estimated the range-wide population as 1,864 adult Giant Pandas, and that at least one distinct population, in the Minshan Mountains, includes more than 400 mature individuals. National surveys indicate that the past trend of decline has stopped, and the panda population has started to increase. Forest protection and reforestation in China has increased forest cover over the past decade, leading to an 11.8% increase in forest occupied by pandas and a 6.3% increase in suitable forests that are not occupied, yet.  

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Jim Yong Kim: Growth must be much more equitable

In a speech just ahead of Annual Meetings, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said there must be a new push to bring enough financing, innovation, and creativity to tackle the world’s many challenges – and the World Bank Group has a vital role to play. Despite rapid reductions in extreme poverty and improvements in the incomes of the bottom 40 percent of the population, progress is “still far too slow” and inequality is still too high, said Kim. “We have to make growth much more equitable,” said Kim at the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington. He referred to a new World Bank report finding that income inequality has decreased between people and nations, but “still constrains growth and breeds instability.” The world is facing low growth, technological change, and threats posed by climate change.

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Field of Dreams: Mapping the Landscape for Investing in Emerging Market Infrastructure

Estimates of the financing gap for emerging market infrastructure range from nearly half a trillion USD to more than US$1 trillion a year over the next decade. The range reflects the difference between the estimated level of infrastructure needed to sustain growth across emerging markets and the actual level of such investment.   The challenges are immense, and resources are scarce. Of the financing that does exist, more than 70% comes from national government budgets; the second largest source (roughly 20%) is the private sector; and remaining resources come from overseas development assistance or aid from developed economies1. Given the overstretched demands of public sector budgets in developed and developing countries alike, any increase is likely to come through more partnership and co-financing from the private sector. 

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Guide to 2016 Annual Meetings

Ministers from 189 countries meet in Washington the week of October 3 for the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings. We’re streaming 22 events, with more than 10 in multiple languages, on themes including the need for global cooperation to address risks, encourage trade and economic growth. Watch World Bank Live on Monday as World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim sets out his vision for ending extreme poverty. On Tuesday, Oxfam International’s Winnie Byanyima and World Bank experts discuss a just-released report on poverty and inequality. New World Bank Chief Economist Paul Romer and Kim talk about the challenges facing global development on Wednesday.

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Opening up a world of data for resilience: A global effort to help access and use countries’…

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E se pudéssemos ajudar as cidades a planejarem de forma eficaz um futuro com um nível mais…

Inglês | Chinês Se a mudança do clima fosse um quebra-cabeça, as cidades seriam uma peça-chave bem no centro. Isso foi reforçado por mais de 100 países no mundo inteiro, destacando as cidades como elemento crítico de suas estratégias de redução da emissão de gases de efeito estufa (GHG) em seus planos climáticos nacionais (também conhecidos como Contribuições Intencionais Nacionalmente Determinadas/INDCs) apresentados à Convenção-Quadro das Nações Unidas sobre Mudança do Clima (UNFCCC) em 2015. Desde a subsequente assinatura do Acordo de Paris, esses países mudaram de rumo e passaram a transformar seus planos climáticos em ações. E se, como muitos se perguntaram, pudéssemos encontrar uma forma econômica e eficiente para ajudar as cidades – tanto nos países em desenvolvimento quanto nos desenvolvidos – a adotarem um caminho de crescimento de baixo carbono?

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Combating poverty and building resilience through social protection

Beneficiaries from a safety net program in Madagascar, most of them women, receive regular cash grants and training on nutrition, early childhood development and leadership skills. Photo by: Mohamad Al-Arief / World Bank In the last few decades, we have seen an increase in the number of countries investing in social protection programs. These programs help individuals and families especially the poor and vulnerable cope with crises and shocks, invest in the health and education of their children, supporting young people by developing their skills and finding jobs, and protecting the aging population.

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