Author Archives: WorldBankBlogs

Modernizing weather forecasts and disaster planning to save lives

Is it hot outside? Should I bring an umbrella?   Most of us don’t think much beyond these questions when we check the weather report on a typical day. But weather information plays a much more critical role than providing intel on whether to take an umbrella or use sunscreen. It can help manage the effects of climate change, prevent economic losses and save lives when extreme weather hits. 

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Progress creates opportunities to address exclusion: Observations from the 4th LGBTI Human…

Photo: Andrés Scagliola, City of Montevideo While many of the struggles that LGBTI people face are all too familiar – violence, stigma, discrimination – we’ve just returned from the fourth Global LGBTI Human Rights Conference in Uruguay full of stories of positive change. We’re invigorated about the increasing potential for the Bank to be a valuable partner to our clients and LGBTI citizens around the world.

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Poverty and exclusion among Indigenous Peoples: The global evidence

Flower Hmong women, Bac Ha market, Vietnam. Photo: Tran Thi Hoa/World Bank There are about 370 million Indigenous people in the world today, according to estimates. Present in over 90 countries, indigenous communities represent about 5% of the world’s population but make up 15% of the world’s extreme poor, and 1/3 of the rural poor. They live, own and occupy approximately one quarter of the world’s lands and waters which represents 80% of the world’s biodiversity. But research shows they are just as much urban as they are rural

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Youth and peacebuilding one act at a time

Aristotle once said “Good habits formed at youth make all the difference,” and what a difference a group of young Lebanese men and women are making to advocate for peace to make a difference! Their ages range between 16 to 25 years old. They are poor and unemployed. They once fought each other, literally, in their sectarian-divided Lebanese city of Tripoli.

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In Jordan, cultural taboos are challenged as girls soccer thrives

© Jordan Women’s Football “Come get your daughter. She’s playing soccer with the boys,” said the neighbor to my mother one hot summer day in the early ’90s. I will always remember the look on our neighbor’s face. She opened her bedroom window on the second floor and looked below at the children playing soccer in the dirt field across from the apartment building where she lived in Amman, Jordan. She was a middle-aged woman, with short brown hair and a pointy nose.

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Investing in pre-crisis financial risk management eases post-disaster recovery needs

Young girl in an evacuation center, 2009. Philippines. Photo: Jerome Ascano / World Bank Since natural disasters can strike anywhere and anytime, making far-sighted preparations is much more effective than scrambling to respond to a crisis. I recognized this after Hurricane Mitch ravaged Honduras and my grandmother had to be evacuated because the local river swelled to the second floor of her home.   As climate change intensifies extreme weather events across much of the planet, countries are seeking the World Bank Group’s support to improve both their physical and financial resilience to disasters

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One year on, the SDGs provide reason for hope

With the adoption of a universal development agenda and growing commitments to fight climate change from all corners, 2015 will be remembered as a high water mark for international cooperation. Almost a year later, when the news is dominated by violence and nationalism, it’s tempting to give in to pessimism about global trends. But I find reason to hope when I see the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) gaining traction. The SDGs were the result of the most collaborative and inclusive process in UN history and signal a very real shift in the way people think about tackling development challenges to deliver a viable future for both the planet and its people. There is growing understanding that the two are indelibly linked

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How satellites and social media help us anticipate the needs of conflict-affected countries

About this series More blog posts The World Bank Group plays a major role in recovery and reconstruction efforts in conflict-affected countries. Therefore, it is important for us, in collaboration with international partners, to engage in assessing the needs and planning for recovery and reconstruction as much ahead of time as possible. In recent times, we have been conducting broad-brush damage assessments in active conflict situations using innovative remote-based techniques like satellite imagery or social media analytics to provide not only damage numbers and trends but also qualitative information on the status of various services. These new approaches have helped us maintain situational awareness of and be ready for recovery when the situation allows.

Posted in Aid & Development, Disaster Relief, Equity & Access, Gender, Human Rights, Noncommunicable Disease, Social, Technology, Violence & Conflict | Tagged , , | Comments closed

From a rubber boat in the sea to swimming in Rio: A story of resilience

On a chilly October day in 2015, 24-year-old Rami Anis boarded a rubber boat in the Aegean Sea in Turkey. His destination was Europe and his goal was a better life away from war and hardship. Looking at the people around him on the boat, he was horrified. They were children, men, and women. The fact that they might not make it never escaped his mind, even though he is a professional swimmer.

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4 actions for Mexico to fast-track progress toward financial inclusion

Last month, I traveled to Mexico to attend the launch of the country’s national financial inclusion policy. The launch was an important milestone for the country, since just 44% of adults have access to a financial account, according to Mexico’s latest national survey on financial inclusion. The policy outlines a vision of how to extend access to formal financial services to the unbanked half of the population, and provides a roadmap for how to get there. Worldwide, there are 2 billion unbanked adults and the international development community considers financial inclusion necessary to reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity. Mexico accounts for 2.6% of that global number.

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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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