Author Archives: WorldBankBlogs

In Somalia, resilience can be strengthened through social protection

Somalis have traditionally engaged in pastoralism: a form of livestock production in which subsistence herding is the primary economic activity relying on the movement of herds and people. (Photo: Arne Hoel / World Bank) I have been working on assessing Social Protection mechanisms in Somalia for more than a year where we are trying to understand the country’s social protection landscape.  In 2011, some 260,000 people died from famine. Given that 51.8 percentage of the population is poor with average daily consumption below $1.9 and 9 percent are internally displaced, it is only fair to despair over Somalia’s development, or lack thereof.

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Why law enforcement is essential to stopping illegal wildlife trade

Have you ever seen a rhino walking into the African sunset? It’s an unbelievable sight. Now let me ask you this- have you ever seen a carcass of a dead adult rhino with its horn sawn off and the body lying on the dusty ground? It is an unforgettable and tragic sight. The world’s wildlife is under a grave threat of either being slaughtered or captured alive.

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360° Technological change

For the World Bank, changes in the global landscape present a challenge in developing innovations and solutions that can address pressing issues around health, education, and social protection. (Photo: Simone D. McCourtie) The way we communicate, produce, and relate to technology is evolving quickly.   Tell me something I don’t know, you’ll say.

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Vietnam’s financial inclusion priorities: Expanding financial services and moving to a…

It’s nighttime and the streets are bustling in Vietnam’s cities and towns. Buoyed by years of strong growth, the country has a burgeoning middle class with purchasing power to sustain restaurants and cafes, full and open late into the night, busy retailers and a high penetration of mobile phones – more than one per person. The economy, however, continues to run on cash and a majority of adults still don’t have formal financial services such as a basic transaction account. Moving to a “non-cash” system is a priority for the government to increase efficiency, promote business and economic development and reduce poverty including in remote rural areas where traditional financial providers have difficulty reaching.

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Global opinion leaders show increased use of social media for information on development

Social media is increasingly becoming a driver of conversation on several topics including global development. The World Bank’s Public Opinion Research Group conducts  Country Opinion Surveys in about 40 developing countries every year and found that the number of global opinion leaders using social media to get information on global development is steadily increasing.

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The Middle East, version 2.0.

Let’s be honest. The Middle East and North Africa is burning, and in some areas it is literally burning. Conflict and fragility have long warped what once was the cradle of civilization and the inspiration for the many inventions we can’t live without today. However, in the midst of that fire hope rises, a driver of change that is transforming the ugly reality into a bright future. After I fled the war in Iraq in 2006, I was pessimistic about what the future was holding for that region

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Can you make a #Loop4Dev? Join our cities boomerang challenge!

Ever notice how cities can really encapsulate many of the things that make life enjoyable? Green spaces to enjoy the outdoors, access to jobs, affordable housing for all, a well-connected public transportation system, access to healthy food, schools for all children, and so on. Some cities achieve this better than others, but creating a city that works for all of its citizens can be a challenge for governments and communities alike. Why? Let’s look at some numbers: Up to 1 billion people living in slums in the cities of the world are in need of better services; Cities consume 2/3 of the world’s energy and account for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions; 66 out of 100 people will live in cities by 2050, which tells us the global population is becoming increasingly urban

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Can you make a #Loop4Dev? Our Cities Boomerang Challenge

Ever notice how cities can really encapsulate many of the things that make life enjoyable? Green spaces to enjoy the outdoors, access to jobs, affordable housing for all, a well-connected public transportation system, access to healthy food, schools for all children, and so on. Some cities achieve this better than others, but creating a city that works for all of its citizens can be a challenge for governments and communities alike. Why? Let’s look at some numbers: Up to 1 billion people living in slums in the cities of the world are in need of better services; Cities consume 2/3 of the world’s energy and account for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions; 66 out of 100 people will live in cities by 2050, which tells us the global population is becoming increasingly urban.

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Disaster risk management a top priority on the international stage this week

How many school children can be endangered by the schools themselves? The answer was over 600,000 in metropolitan Lima alone. In the region, fraught with frequent seismic activity, nearly two-thirds of schools were highly vulnerable to damage by earthquakes. Working with the Peruvian Ministry of Education (MINEDU), the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) conducted a risk assessment that ultimately helped make an estimated 2.5 million children safer and paved the way for a $3.1 billion national risk-reduction strategy. Whether it is building safer schools or deploying early warning systems, disaster risk management is an integral part of caring for our most vulnerable, combating poverty, and protecting development gains

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Sustainable tourism can drive the blue economy: Investing in ocean health is synonymous with…

© The Nature Conservancy Tourism is one of the world’s largest industries, contributing trillions of dollars to the global economy and supporting the livelihoods of an estimated one in ten people worldwide. In many countries, with both developing and well-developed economies, tourism is appropriately viewed as an engine of economic growth, and a pathway for improving the fortunes of people and communities that might otherwise struggle to grow and prosper. Much of that tourism depends on the natural world—on beautiful landscapes and seascapes that visitors flock to in search of escape, a second wind, and a direct connection with nature itself. Coastal and marine tourism represents a significant share of the industry and is an important component of the growing, sustainable Blue Economy, supporting more than 6.5 million jobs—second only to industrial fishing. With anticipated global growth rates of more than 3.5%, coastal and marine tourism is projected to be the largest value-adding segment of the ocean economy by 2030, at 26%.

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Is technology a third lever for financing the SDGs?

When governments adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), their message was one of ambition: a world in which poverty is eliminated, growth made sustainable, ecosystems restored, and no one is left behind. This came with a price tag: annual investment needs of $4 trillion. With only $1.5 trillion now being invested, this means closing an investment gap of $2.5 trillion every year until 2030. For International Finance Institutions, this is the central challenge of our time. It involves aligning the interest of global savers, and the investors who represent them, with the interest of citizens as they are expressed through the SDGs

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A new role for development banks?

Earlier this month, development banks from around the world took stock of where they stand and where they see their efforts having the greatest impact at a meeting organized by the World Bank and Brazil’s development bank, BNDES. As the world struggles to find funds to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, development banks can be instrumental in narrowing that gap. They can help to crowd-in the private sector and anchor private-public sector partnerships, particularly for infrastructure financing. However, misusing development banks can lead to fiscal risks and credit market distortions. To avoid these potential pitfalls, development banks need a well-defined mandate, operate without political influence, focus on addressing significant market failures, concentrate on areas where the private sector is not present, monitor and evaluate interventions and adjust as necessary to ensure impact, and, finally, be transparent and accountable.

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Three things we need to know about “SOGI”

May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, or IDAHOT. Why should we care about IDAHOT? Because sexual orientation and gender identity, or SOGI, matters. Here are three things we need to know about SOGI: First, SOGI inclusion is about zero discrimination. Despite some legal and social progress in the past two decades, LGBTI people continue to face widespread discrimination and violence in many countries

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Corridors to coexistence: reducing human-wildlife conflict

© Assam Haathi Project  In extreme conditions, a human can survive three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food. To support a global population that has grown to 7.5 billion, the demand for these essential natural resources is increasing, leading to deforestation, habitat degradation and fragmentation, overgrazing, and over exploitation.   In the quest to survive and thrive, humans have already converted 38% of the world’s land area for farming; in addition, we have deforested land for industry, mining and infrastructure, leaving less than 15% of the world’s land area as terrestrial protected areas for biodiversity conservation. If there is so much human pressure on protected areas, where can the remaining populations of elephants, big cats, and other wildlife go in search of their own food and water?

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