Author Archives: WorldBankBlogs

How we’re fighting conflict and fragility where poverty is deepest

For the first time in history, the number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen below 10%. The world has never been as ambitious about development as it is today. After adopting the Sustainable Development Goals and signing the Paris climate deal at the end of 2015, the global community is now looking into the best and most effective ways of reaching these milestones. In this five-part series I will discuss what the World Bank Group is doing and what we are planning to do in key areas that are critical for ending poverty by 2030: good governance, gender equality, conflict and fragility, creating jobs, and, finally, preventing and adapting to climate change.   By 2030, more than half of the world’s poorest people will live in very poor countries that are fragile, affected by conflict, or experience high levels of violence   These are places where governments cannot adequately provide even basic services and security, where economic activity is paralyzed and where development is the most difficult.  It is also where poverty is deepest.

Posted in Aid, Aid & Development, Climate Change, Gender, Human Rights, Noncommunicable Disease, Poverty, Violence & Conflict | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Humanitarian assistance versus safety nets: are we asking the right questions?

Ebola survivors Mariatu and her daughter Adam. Photo © Dominic Chavez / World Bank As the World Humanitarian Summit approaches, the buzz around humanitarian issues is reaching fever pitch (see here, here and here). This is complemented by a growing literature on how government safety nets such as cash transfer programs can be ‘scalable’ in response to shocks (see here and here).   Amidst the excitement, the distinction between humanitarian assistance and safety nets is not always clear: how do they differ? Are they complementary or alternatives?

Posted in Aid, Aid & Development, Ebola, Social | Tagged | Comments closed

Wonderful Life: Biodiversity for sustaining people and their livelihoods

Francisco “Chico” Mendes (1944 – 1988), Brazilian rubber-tapper and environmentalist, actively involved in protecting the Amazon forest through his advocacy for the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples. Photo credit: Miranda Smith  As a young scientist, I travelled to the Brazilian Amazon to research forest fires. After weeks of talking to rural producers, rubber tappers, indigenous peoples and cattle ranchers, I realized that I had to think beyond conservation science and climate change implications to understand the Amazonian landscape. The nexus between people and the rainforest was also important.

Posted in Aid & Development, Climate Change, Environment, Research | Tagged | Comments closed

ThinkHazard! – A new, simple platform for understanding and acting on disaster risk

Too many times after a natural hazard strikes, public outcries follow once the level of devastation becomes clear. People wonder – and often rightly so – if the disaster could have been prevented.  After the 2015 Nepal earthquake for example, years of investment in school buildings was wiped away in seconds because schools were not built to withstand earthquakes – often because people were not aware of the earthquake risk. Fortunately, it was a Saturday so the schools that collapsed did not also result in unimaginable human tragedy.  

Posted in Aid, Aid & Development, Delivery, Disaster Relief, Policy & Systems, Primary Care & Prevention | Tagged , | Comments closed

Ending poverty means closing the gaps between women and men

The world is a better place for women and girls in 2016 than even a decade ago. But not for everyone, and definitely not everywhere: This is especially true in the world’s poorest, most fragile countries.   It’s also particularly true regarding women’s economic opportunities. Gender gaps in employment, business, and access to finance hold back not just individuals but whole economies—at a time when we sorely need to boost growth and create new jobs globally.

Posted in Aid & Development, Equity & Access, Gender, Men's Health, Poverty, Social, Women & Children | Tagged , | Comments closed

Unlocking investment opportunities in fragile markets

An estimated 1.2 billion people — almost one in every five people in the world — are living in areas affected by conflict and fragility today. Some of these people are fleeing from war, while others have escaped natural disasters. Most are trying to earn a living in very challenging environments. These are not abstract numbers — we are talking about real people, with real problems.

Posted in Aid, Aid & Development, Environment | Tagged , | Comments closed

The way out of poverty and corruption is paved with good governance

For the first time in history, the number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen below 10%. The world has never been as ambitious about development as it is today. After adopting the Sustainable Development Goals and signing the Paris climate deal at the end of 2015, the global community is now looking into the best and most effective ways of reaching these milestones. In this five-part series I will discuss what the World Bank Group is doing and what we are planning to do in key areas that are critical for ending poverty by 2030: good governance, gender equality, conflict and fragility, creating jobs, and, finally, preventing and adapting to climate change.

Posted in Aid & Development, Climate Change, Corruption, Gender, Poverty | Tagged , | Comments closed

Youth’s passion and ingenuity bring inspiration and hope for the future

Meet Dominique, Fionah, Jeremiah, Mercy, and Stephen: five winners of the 2016 Blog4Dev.  They are from Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, and represent Africa’s brightest minds and change agents.

Posted in Aid, Aid & Development, Infant & Child Health, Women & Children | Tagged , | Comments closed

Diving into the future: is the shared economy an answer?

My daughter asked for a crystal ball for her birthday.  She wanted to know what life would be like when she grows up. Driven by my parental instinct to protect, I described to her a bright “pink” world of tomorrow which may never exist.  

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Oil price impact is felt beyond borders

Two recently released World Bank reports — one on commodities and the other on remittances — lend insight into an unfolding dynamic in the world today. As oil prices dropped from more than $100 per barrel in June 2014 to as low as $27 in the last few months, the money sent home from people working abroad in oil-producing countries also fell. This drop is a major reason remittances to developing countries declined in 2015 to their lowest growth rate since the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

Posted in Aid, Aid & Development, Environment, General Global Health | Tagged | Comments closed

Income inequality and differential mortality: An ominous combination

It is safe to argue that the issue of income and wealth inequality is nowadays at the center of political debate across the world. Leading intellectuals such as Thomas Piketty in his seminal work, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” and Joseph Stiglitz in “The Price of Inequality” have rigorously analyzed the evolution of this social phenomenon and argued that increased inequality and lack of opportunity are creating divided societies that are endangering the future of nations. Those working in public health have for years documented and discussed how low and decreasing incomes, decline in standards of living, and lack of or limited access health care and other essential services contribute to inequalities in health, manifested in a widening gap in life expectancy between the rich and the poor.

Posted in Aid & Development, Social | Tagged , | Comments closed

You liked Oceans 11? Wait till you see Oceans 2030

The ocean is a powerful resource and the next economic frontier. WWF estimates that the ocean economy is the 7th largest economy, valued at US$ 24 trillion. With more than 6 million women directly employed in the fishery sector, and global job numbers set to grow to 43 million by 2030, the oceans are roaring. Yet, its natural capital has been systematically undervalued and overdrawn. According to the Bank’s Sunken Billions Revisited report, we are foregoing about $85 billion a year in additional revenues due to the mismanagement of fisheries

Posted in Aid & Development, Cancer, Climate Change, Environment, Financing, Publications, Research, Technology | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Evidence for better-informed decisions and more inclusive policies

Photo: Arne Hoel/World Bank Why do we need evidence? The sustainable development agenda adopted by world leaders in September 2015 set a series of ambitious goals to end poverty, ensure equal economic growth, and tackle climate change by 2030. Rising inequalities, especially in developing countries, remind us that if we want to achieve these goals, we need more inclusive policies which consider the needs of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations. Policymakers are constantly trying to identify better solutions to address global challenges, and that implies considering different policy options, and making a choice that can benefit each group of the population, which sometimes is extremely difficult. Even well-designed policies might have adverse impacts, particularly on the poor and the most socially excluded groups.

Posted in Aid & Development, Climate Change, Poverty, Social | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Think forests and start by listening to its people

Interview with Dr. Myrna Cunningham My childhood forests are tall, old growth trees clinging to mountainous slopes. My sister and I would spend the first two weeks of our summer break at camps in the mountains of Albania. Getting a spot at a camp was a coveted ‘luxury’ but my sister and I were lucky -our mother was an official chaperone.

Posted in Aid & Development, Environment | Tagged | Comments closed