Author Archives: WorldBankBlogs

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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Violence against older women is widespread but untallied

Along with partners across the globe, today we mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This UN observance has since 2011 called attention to the often invisible abuse, violence, and neglect experienced by older people—mostly women—around the world.

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Jobs: The fastest road out of poverty

For the first time in history, the proportion 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, preventing and adapting to climate change, and, finally, creating jobs. Good jobs are the surest pathway out of poverty.

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Caring about employer-supported childcare: Good for business, good for development

It is not often that I get to reflect on my own early childhood experience: Some 40 years ago, I attended a public kindergarten in a small town in Germany. My mother would take me there on her blue bike at 7 a.m., I would spend the morning with eight other children my age, and at around 1 p.m., she would pick me up. Many of my friends and colleagues had similar early childhood experiences.   Considering that the potential benefits from supporting early childhood development range from healthy development to greater capacity to learn while in school and increased productivity in adulthood, I consider myself very lucky.

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Discovering the Bank’s Archives: Conversation with a researcher

June 9 is International Archives Day, and I would like to mark this day by reflecting on the contribution of the World Bank Group Archives to the “memory” of the development community. As such, I am talking with Giovanni Zanalda, director of the Duke University Center for International Studies/Global Areas. Giovanni is a faculty member in the Departments of Economics and History at Duke and specializes in financial history, history of development, and emerging markets. He has been a user of the WBG Archives in different phases of his career and with different focuses, and we have asked him to share his user perspective.

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Public-private investment to close the infrastructure gap

In a world of slow growth and very low interest rates in most major economies, there is increasing interest in infrastructure development. Building quality infrastructure helps spur economic activity and jobs in the short term and expand countries’ capacity and potential growth in the medium term. It also contributes to higher confidence levels — a key ingredient to macroeconomic stability. Today, the private sector still provides only a small share of the total investment in infrastructure for emerging markets, despite the importance of private operators in many countries, especially where there are strong fiscal constraints to financing public investment.

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#Music4Dev: Deaf rapper Signmark sign/sings for social inclusion

Deaf rapper Signmark urges social inclusion through his music. © Emmi Virtanen/Flickr Creative Commons A deaf rapper? When Marko Vuoriheimo told his friends and family that he wanted to pursue a career in music he was met with everything from raised eyebrows to outright ridicule. “My teachers, relatives and some of my friends … didn’t really believe in my career at all,” said the Finnish native, whose stage name is Signmark. “But I thought, I’ll still get there and I want to … give an opportunity for this dream of mine.”

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In the poorest countries, an acute climate risk

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, preventing and adapting to climate change, and, finally, creating jobs.

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Healthy living for healthy societies and stronger economies

(c) Alex Yosifov/Flickr Creative Commons The cigarette puffs surrounded the 18-month-old boy as he stood next to his chain-smoking grandparents in the living room, while a 3-year-old girl fetched a can of Pepsi-Cola from the fridge in the kitchen. Just across in the dining area, a 7-month-old boy was being fed a creamy, sugary, chocolate cake, while a bunch of other kids were playing “house” in the front yard by actually eating unlimited number of chocolate bars, cake, and chips while drinking soda. I could not believe my eyes. Observing these behaviors as a parent myself, it seemed like I was watching the slow death and diseases haunting these children for the rest of their lives.

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3 reasons why ‘Housing for All’ can happen by 2030

By 2030, almost 60 percent of 8.3 billion people will live in cities, according to UN estimates. Almost 1400 of the world’s cities will have half a million or more inhabitants. Cities can connect people with opportunities, incubate innovation and foster growth, but they require urban planning, infrastructure, transport and housing.

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Social protection and the World Humanitarian Summit

Beneficiaries receive cash transfer payment in Freetown, Sierra Leone during the ebola crisis. Photo © Dominic Chavez/World Bank In a world increasingly filled with risk and potential, social protection systems help individuals and families cope with civil war, natural disaster, displacement, and other shocks.   Social protection systems also help people find jobs, allow them to meet their basic needs while also investing in the health and education of their children, and protect the elderly and other vulnerable groups. The World Bank Group (WBG) supports universal access to social protection, which is central to its goals of ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity. We also have projects that are directly or indirectly supporting humanitarian work around the world.

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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?

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