Author Archives: WorldBankBlogs

Lights, camera, #ClimateAction!

“In a time when gods walked the earth, an epic battle rages between the encroaching civilization of man and the gods of the forest…” That’s the opening line of the official movie trailer for Princess Mononoke. I’ve always been a fan of Studio Ghibli, but among their films, Princess Mononoke was one that inspired me most. If you don’t know the story, there’s a prince that gets involved in a war between mankind and gods. The fate of the world rests on a forest princess!

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Well-regulated financial technology boosts inclusion, fights cyber crime

Financial technology — or FinTech — is changing the financial sector on a global scale. It is also enabling the expansion of financial services to low-income families who have been unable to afford or access them. The possibilities and impact are vast, as is the potential to improve lives in developing countries. The financial sector is beginning to operate differently; there are new ways to collect, process, and use information, which is the main currency in this sector.

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Argentina’s chance to leap ahead

So far, 2016 has been a year filled with challenges and uncertainties. Global economic growth is weak, commodity prices remain low, and international trade isn’t picking up. In fact, voters around the world are questioning long-held beliefs in open markets, and populists are exploiting their fears by suggesting divisive policies and promising easy solutions to complex issues. Against this backdrop, it would seem that staying afloat is already a remarkable feat by any country.   But to make progress in the fight against poverty and to reactivate economic activity to provide opportunities for all, countries have to do much more

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We asked, you answered. Here’s your choice for our 2016 Annual Report Cover

Last week, we asked you to help us choose a report cover for our Annual Report for this year. Many of you voted and one cover was the clear winner with 60% of the vote. Here is what you chose for our Annual Report.   Thank you for helping us with this process and make sure to get your copy of our Annual Report when it comes out later this year.  

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Help us choose our 2016 Annual Report cover

Each year the World Bank Group produces an Annual Report that focuses on how its two institutions – the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA) – are working side by side with countries to end extreme poverty by 2030 and raise the incomes of the poorest people in the world. You can see last year’s report HERE. This year the Annual Report will look at how interconnected and overlapping many of the world’s biggest challenges are.

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Can Innovative Financing Bring Landscape Restoration to Scale?

Vibrant landscapes are not just beautiful to look at, they are productive and resilient. They provide the natural resources and ecosystem services that underpin economic activities like agriculture, mining, and energy, and are thus vital to national economies and the jobs and wellbeing of billions of people. However, in many areas across the globe, economic activities are being carried out at an unsustainable level, undermining the very landscapes on which we depend. FAO estimates that worldwide land degradation costs US$40 billion per year. By contrast, restoring landscapes could bring renewed economic opportunity, improved water supply, and climate resilience

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Afghan teen rapper sings and advocates to end child marriage

At first she looks like any bride: wearing a white wedding dress with her face covered with the wedding veil and carrying a bridal bouquet. Except that she is no ordinary bride. She is being sold. As she removes her veil from her face, her forehead appears marked with a barcode. Her left eye is badly bruised and a big scratch on her cheek is as red as a war wound.

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The newest weapon against HIV/AIDS in Africa? MTV

The latest development in the fight against HIV/AIDs in Africa wasn’t conceived in a lab with scores of scientists, but on a TV set with actors, makeup artists, directors and producers. What are we talking about? The MTV Staying Alive Foundation produced the entertainment education program MTV Shuga, a television drama that targets African youth.  Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o starred in the first two seasons of the show. The show is broadcast in over 70 countries, reaching over 750 million people worldwide.  

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Panama Canal expansion: A smart route for boosting infrastructure in Latin America

Since it opened in 1914, the Panama Canal has been one of the world’s most important trade assets and a marvel of engineering. Its expansion has doubled the canal’s cargo capacity, adding a new lane and bigger locks that will shake up shipping routes and make seaborne trade less costly and more efficient. Panama, already projected to be Latin America’s fastest-growing economy over the next five years, was the big winner when the expanded canal opened its locks on June 26. New port projects and related logistics hubs are in the works to attract global manufacturers and further enhance the country’s competitiveness.

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My advice for future policymakers: See the public’s success as your success

The most important word in “public policy” is “public” — the people affected by the choices of policymakers. But who are these people? And what do they care most about? Policies evolve as the concerns of generations change over time. Regardless of whether you are generation X, Y, or Z, people want the same things: prosperity and dignity, equality of opportunity, justice and security.

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Arab reality show tests humanity and empathy

It’s Ramadan and the Arabic TV channels are festooned with shows that vary from recurring popular soap operas, cooking and competition shows — but one has become the talk of the town. Al Sadma, or The Shock, the Arabic version of the popular American show What Would You Do, is a reality TV prank show. But it’s not like many other tasteless reality shows that invoke fright and even terror, it is a show that invokes morality and examines humanity.

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Can social protection play a role in reducing childhood violence?

Photo: Scott Wallace / World Bank As many as one billion children under the age of 18 experience some form of violence every year. This exposure is not only a violation of child rights; it can also hamper children’s cognitive development, mental health, educational achievement, and long-term labor market prospects. Meanwhile, an estimated 1.9 billion people in 136 countries benefit from some type of social safety net, such as cash transfers and public works that target the poor and vulnerable—presenting a vast policy instrument with potential to help prevent childhood violence.

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Hope for the world’s poorest springs in Myanmar

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, state counselor of Myanmar and Nobel Peace Prize winner, told representatives from governments rich and poor at a meeting this week in Myanmar that reducing poverty and ensuring that everyone benefits from economic growth calls for a deep focus on addressing the challenges of fragility and conflict, climate change, gender equality, job creation, and good governance.   Suu Kyi was speaking at the opening session of a meeting of the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, where donors, borrower representatives and World Bank Group leadership are brainstorming ways to achieve these goals. She said that Myanmar’s real riches are its people, and they need to be nurtured in the right way.

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With community-driven development, Indigenous Peoples take ownership of their future

About this series More blog posts Indigenous Peoples and marginalized ethnic minorities, numbering some 350 million worldwide, are among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups globally. Disproportionately affected by poverty, they represent approximately 5% of the global population, but account for more than 10% of the world’s poor. In some regions and countries, the proportion of Indigenous Peoples among the poor soars to 60-70%. Community-driven development, an approach to local development that empowers community groups with control over planning and investment decisions, is one way that the Bank is partnering with Indigenous Peoples in places as diverse as Vietnam, Nepal, and Bolivia. In this video, Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez and Susan Wong discuss how the Bank’s community-driven development approach is uniquely placed to address some of the challenges that Indigenous Peoples face in their fight against poverty.

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