Women can and do play a vital role in driving the robust, shared growth needed to end extreme poverty and build resilient societies, but in many parts of the world, their potential, participation, and productive capacity are undervalued and untapped.
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Jakarta, May 21 2015 – In an effort to fight two major health issues – childhood stunting and women dying during childbirth -- Indonesia and the World Bank Group have agreed to seek immediate ways to ... Show More +reduce both preventable health problems. The decision followed a meeting between Indonesia President Joko Widodo and Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim in the presidential palace.Kim said today that the Bank’s discussions with Indonesian authorities on the health issues will begin in the coming weeks and involve experts who have worked on both stunting and maternal mortality in a range of middle- and low-income countries, including China, Turkey, and Brazil. The two leaders spoke in their meeting of the urgency to tackle the issues, citing statistics that show 37 percent of all children in Indonesia are stunted and a maternal mortality rate of 190 out of 100,000 live births. Both rates are very high for a middle-income country. “Stunting not only hurts physical growth – it also diminishes mental capacity,” Kim said today in a speech before students and faculty at the University of Indonesia. “ These children, and this country, pay a devastating price for this entirely preventable situation. It should not be allowed to persist.”On the country’s high rates of maternal mortality, Kim said: “Indonesia has been able to reduce this slightly in recent years, but the rate is still excessively high considering Indonesia’s economic status and that women have access to universal maternal health coverage. We would very much like to bring the whole of our global knowledge on both of these issues to help Indonesia find solutions and dramatically reduce the incidence of stunting and maternal deaths.”Kim added: “We are working with countries around the globe, including China, on ways to improve their delivery of health care and we welcome the opportunity to share lessons with Indonesia to see what might work best here,” said Dr. Kim. “We have reorganized the World Bank Group and are now faster and better at sharing global knowledge that can fix problems and improve people’s lives.”Kim, who is a medical doctor and anthropologist by training, praised President Widodo for deciding to commit more resources to invest in the health of Indonesians through expanded universal coverage. Indonesia now spends only 1.2 percent of GDP on health care, one of the lowest rates in the world.The announcement on health is part of a broader plan by the World Bank Group to support Indonesia’s development objectives. Over the next three to four years the Bank will provide more than $11 billion in financing for investments in critical infrastructure including energy, sea ports, better tax collection, and human development programs. The World Bank Group will also work with Indonesia to improve its business climate to attract more investors. Kim’s announcement came during his first visit to Indonesia, where he also met with doctors and nurses at a health clinic in Central Java. In a public speech at the University of Indonesia, Dr. Kim reiterated that Indonesia has made remarkable gains by halving the poverty rate to 11.3 percent in 15 years and it can make even more progress if it increases investments in the health of its people. Show Less -
WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 — The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$15.1 million for women and children to expand access to maternal, child health and nutrition services i... Show More +n Faranah and Labe, two of the poorest regions in Guinea.The Primary Health Services Improvement Project, funded with a grant and credit from the International Development Association* (IDA), will target women, and children under five, by making available urgently needed medicines and recruiting and training health workers for rural health centers in Faranah and Labe. These two regions are home to around 1.9 million people, or approximately one fifth of Guinea’s total population. Of those, 52 percent are female and 20 percent are children under five.The Ebola crisis, which first emerged in December 2013, has taken a major toll on families, communities and the economy in Guinea. The outbreak has further weakened an already weak health system. Visits in some health facilities have dropped by 50 percent in part due to the reluctance of the general population to access the health system for fear of contamination. In addition, already limited numbers of health workers and financial resources have been directed towards the Ebola response effort, and many health centers outside of Conakry are simply not functional. Too many women and children are dying from preventable illnesses, such as low nutrition, malaria and poor prenatal and maternal care. “By giving health providers the inputs to improve their services, and strengthening community level trust and demand, this project supports the Government’s strategy to build on its Ebola response and improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities in Guinea,” said Cheick Fantamady Kante, the World Bank Country Manager for Guinea.The project aims to support the government’s push to improve the utilization of maternal, child health and nutrition services at the primary care centers in the targeted regions by improving the availability of essential supplies and equipment at rural health centers. By training and recruiting frontline health workers moreover, and providing payment for health care costs that poor households can’t afford, the project will help ensure that rural health centers remain operable. At the same time, the Primary Health Services Improvement Project will lay the foundation for more comprehensive health system reform in Guinea. This will be facilitated by helping to strengthen the government’s capacity to plan, implement, and monitor health services, particularly by boosting supervision of health activities at the local level. Funds will also support data collection and evidence generation to inform wider efforts to develop a health system that will improve access to health services for the many poor families living outside of the capital city of Conakry.“Enhancing primary health care for women and children in Guinea will help prevent the outbreak of disease epidemics and strengthen the resilience of communities and households to common illness, medical complications and other shocks,” said Ibrahim Magazi, one of two World Bank Task Team Leaders for this project.“This project’s focus on improving health services for women and children in two of the poorest regions is an initial step towards reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity in Guinea,” adds Christopher H. Herbst, the other World Bank Task Team Leader for this Project. * The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.8 billion people, the majority of whom live on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa. Show Less -
DJIBOUTI, May 20, 2015—The World Bank today announced the signing of a US$2.73 million grant for a new employment promotion program for youth and women in Djibouti. The program is expected to reach ov... Show More +er 3000 beneficiaries in the poorest areas of Djibouti, providing access to life-skills, livelihood skills training, and access to finance.A key component of the program consists in helping young people start and grow their own businesses. The program encourages youth to form solidarity groups and offers them peer-to-peer training and coaching to prepare mini-business plans for promising income generating activities. The most viable proposals will also receive funding through the program to help jumpstart the activities. “Supporting young people to start and grow small businesses requires a comprehensive approach to remove barriers like the lack of professional networks, insufficient skills, and difficulties in accessing finance,” said Homa-Zahra Fotouhi, World Bank Resident Representative in Djibouti. “Through this project, we will give young people the chance to start their own small enterprises in line with local market opportunities.”The grant also supports the strengthening of the handicraft sector in Djibouti with a particular focus on women.“Many women in Djibouti already have traditional skills in the handicraft sector,” said Stefanie Brodmann, World Bank Task Team Leader for the program. “The program will leverage these existing skills and foster innovation, product development, and commercialization of local products to make these activities more attractive and viable in the long-term.”The US$2.73 million grant is from the government of Japan, provided through the Japan Social Development Fund and implemented by the Djibouti Agency for Social Development. By focusing on enhancing long-term income opportunities, the program naturally complements the World Bank’s existing portfolio on social safety nets.The Djibouti IDA portfolio consists of seven projects with a net commitment of about US$45 million—complemented by Trust Funds of about US$19 million—in a range of sectors, including health, education, social safety nets, energy, disaster risk management, urban development, rural development, and private sector development. Show Less -
LinksGFF Business Plan (May 17, 2015)Every Woman Every ChildExecutive Summary (English / French)GFF Concept Note (English / French)GFF Brochure (English / French)GFF Frequently Ask... Show More +ed Questions (English / French)Press Release: Development Partners Support the Creation of Global Financing Facility to Advance Women’s and Children’s Health (English / French)Video: Tim Evans, Senior Director, Health, Nutrition and Population, World Bank GroupHealth Results Innovation Trust FundWorld Bank and Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Show Less -