Author Archives: WorldBankBlogs

Connecting Pension Funds with Emerging Market Infrastructure

It might sound improbable to hear a CFO say this, but I consider one of my roles since joining the World Bank Group to be that of matchmaker. Let me explain. As I have noted in other blogs over recent months, the world’s emerging market and developing economies—EMDEs for short—face an enormous gap in infrastructure investment. Certainly it is not the only big financing challenge that countries face as they work to reduce poverty and extend prosperity to more of their citizens. But infrastructure underpins many aspects of economic growth, getting people to jobs and schools, connecting goods to markets, reducing the isolation of the poorest areas in many countries

Posted in Aid, Aid & Development, Financing, Funding, Policy & Systems, Poverty | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Honoring (and learning from) leaders who make a difference

 Ilolahia,  Betancur, Walliser, Mayor Pacalioga, Musa, Sahraoui What kind of leaders can bring people together for the common good, even amid clashing opinions or real conflict? That question was at the heart of the 2017 Global Leadership Forum March 6 on the growing need for “collaborative leadership” in an age of increasingly polarized societies. The event at the World Bank was organized with the Global Partnership for Collaborative Leadership in Development. It explored how to bridge often wide divides to arrive at inclusive solutions, and featured guests such as Festus G. Magae, a former President of Botswana and a South Sudan peace negotiator, and Frank Pearl Gonzalez, Chief Negotiator in the Colombian Peace Talks.

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The world’s wildlife needs young naturalists

The youth from the Turia community celebrating their first workshop on tiger conservation in the Pench Tiger Reserve In 2010, 15 days after graduating from college, with nothing but a backpack and an old water bottle, I stood in front of a large gate with a rusted sign welcoming me to the “Pench Tiger Reserve.” The same reserve that inspired Rudyard Kipling’s, Jungle Book. None of the mock interviews  or standardized testscould have prepared me for the job at hand. I was there to set up a small nonprofit whose mission was to involve youth from the local community near the tiger reserve and instill in them a love and passion for the environment. Specifically, instill in these young minds a commitment to safeguard the 41 tigers that roamed wild in the reserve. As a 21 year old, my employers were entrusting upon me this responsibility based on a simple philosophy – if you want to inspire young people – give the opportunity to someone young

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

To fight discrimination, we need to fill the LGBTI data gap

Despite some progress in the past two decades, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people continue to face widespread discrimination and exclusion around the world. Many of them suffer from punitive laws and policies, social stigma, and even violence. They may also be subject to lower educational attainment, higher unemployment rates, poorer health outcomes, as well as unequal access to housing, finance, and social services. As a result, LGBTI people are likely overrepresented in the bottom 40% of the population. The adverse impacts on the health and economic wellbeing of LGBTI groups—as well as on economies and societies at large—tell us one thing: exclusion and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) is a serious development issue

Posted in Aid & Development, Gender, General Global Health, Human Rights, Noncommunicable Disease, Poverty, Research, Social, Violence & Conflict | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Keep the passion

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Three misconceptions about women in agribusiness that hold companies back

Debunking common misconceptions about women in agribusiness can unlock business opportunities for the private sector At the recent World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, global leaders from across the world came together to deliberate on some of the most pressing issues of our time, such as agriculture and food security and greater social inclusion. With the global population projected to rise more than 9 billion by 2050 and the demand for food expected to jump sharply, the need for addressing the challenges of food security assumes greater urgency than before. There is also a growing need to adopt stronger measures to reduce the gender gap—women shouldn’t have to wait 170 years to bridge the divide. Ahead of the Davos meeting, IFC released a report on agribusiness, Investing in Women along Agribusiness Value Chains, highlighting how companies can increase productivity and efficiency in the agriculture sector by closing economic and social gaps between women and men throughout the value chain, from farm to retail and beyond.

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

Envisioning the global financial system in a decade

4 unprecedented disruptions to the global financial system Climate change, migration, correspondent banking and cybercrime are putting unprecedented and unforeseen pressures on global financial markets. They aren’t just disrupting the global financial system, but also affect how we approach international development work. Let’s examine each trend: “Greening the financial sector” is the new buzz term to finance a transition toward a climate-resilient economy and to help combat climate change. This topic is now getting a lot of attention from the G20 to the Financial Stability Board. The international community is trying to understand what this transition will imply: how resilient the financial sector is to deal with risks stemming from climate change, and how efficiently the financial sector can allocate financial resources. 

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2016 in Review: Your favorite social media content

Another year has passed, and as we do each year-end, here’s a rundown of what content resonated most with you on World Bank social media in 2016. Four World Bank Facebook posts you cared about most Some of our most popular and engaging content on Facebook in 2016 was, not surprisingly, multimedia. Check out these posts that made the biggest impact with you in the last year. On October 17 – now recognized as End Poverty Day – Bangladeshi singer Habib Wahid unveiled a new song singing the praises of his country’s rapid progress in reducing poverty and building a prosperous society.

Posted in Aging, Aid & Development, Poverty, Social | Comments closed

Year in Review: 2016 in 12 Charts (and a video)

Between the social, political, and economic upheavals affecting our lives, and the violence and forced displacement making headlines, you’d be forgiven for feeling gloomy about 2016. A look at the data reveals some of the challenges we face but also the progress we’ve made toward a more peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable future. Here are 12 charts that help tell the stories of the year. 1.The number of refugees in the world increased. At the start of 2016, 65 million people had been forcibly displaced from their homes, up from 60 million the year before

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The future of transport

ASHGABAT, TURKMENISTAN – There are 1.25 million lives lost in road accidents annually—90% of these in low -income countries. Air pollution leads to around 6.5 million deaths each year. And almost 25% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions come from transport systems. To ensure a sustainable future for this planet, the transport sector must undergo a massive transformation.

Posted in Aid & Development, Climate Change, Publications, SDGs | Comments closed

Reducing demand must be a core component of cutting wildlife crime

Every place where I travel in Africa and Asia I hear stories about the dramatic loss of wildlife and the destruction of ecosystems and habitats. Most recently, while attending the third high-level Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade in Hanoi that was attended by heads of states and delegates from 54 countries and international organizations, the World Bank’s Vietnam Country Director Ousmane Dione shared his own personal story on the disappearance of wildlife.   In Ousmane’s home country of Senegal, the lion is a national symbol, displayed on the coat of arms, the President’s exclusive seal, and is even the namesake of the national soccer team: The Lions. However, in the past 20 years, 80% of the lions in West Africa have been lost and in Senegal a mere 16 lions remain relegated to the Niokolo Koba National Park where their prey is diminishing as a result of the bush meat trade and competing resources with grazing livestock. Ousmane fears his children will never see a lion in their native country

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Invigorating Africa’s climate resilient ocean economies

We are all too aware that difficult times lie ahead for coastal communities.   Coastal erosion, especially in West Africa, has already displaced communities, with economic losses costing about 2.3% of GDP in Togo alone. In the past 60 years, sea temperatures in the Western Indian Ocean increased 0.6 C, triggering mass coral bleaching and deadly climate-related disasters across the region. The economic cost of the 1998 coral bleaching event to Zanzibar and Mombasa was in the tens of millions of dollars. The natural cost is still unknown

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Learning from each other – Togo and Cote d’Ivoire lead way in Gender Equality in Africa

I was surprised at how easy it was for me to get married. There were a few bureaucratic hurdles to get a marriage license, and then we had a sentimental ceremony with an officiant and witnesses followed by a party for friends and family. That was it. We were legally married.  No one told me that getting married would affect my future property rights.

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On International Migrants Day, unlocking prosperity through mobility

We are at the cusp of entering an era of increased mobility.  Photo © Dominic Chavez/World Bank Stories and anecdotes of how migrants contribute to our economies are everywhere. A recently released McKinsey Global Institute report put some numbers to it. Migrants account for only 3.4% of the global population but produce 9.4% of the world output, or some $6.7 trillion. That’s almost as large as the size of the GDP of France, Germany and Switzerland combined

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