Fighting poverty in all of its dimensions lies at the core of the World Bank’s work. We work closely with governments to develop sound policies so that poor people can improve their livelihoods, and access social and infrastructure services and good jobs.
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Data and measurement are vital to achieving the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending poverty by 2030 and promoting shared prosperity, but investments in data quality and national statistical system... Show More +s are needed to better inform national policy and to help international partners identify gaps and prioritize actions, according to a new World Bank report.The recently launched Policy Research Report 2014: A Measured Approach to Ending Poverty and Boosting Shared Prosperity: Concepts, Data, and the Twin Goals makes an urgent call for better and more timely collection of comparable household survey data, which provide information on people’s consumption or income. The report argues that data and measurement are pivotal to the assessment of the Bank Group’s twin goals, and, thereby, their achievement. Show Less -
WASHINGTON, September 9, 2014. The World Bank Group’s (WBG) Executive Directors discussed a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Argentina covering fiscal years 2015-2018. Executive Direct... Show More +ors broadly endorsed the strategy’s overall goals designed to sustain social gains and expand social inclusion in Argentina. “In the past 10 years, Argentina has gone through an historical process of development based on employment and production. We are aware that industrial revitalization is the only way for Argentina to achieve sustained and socially inclusive growth. The Government has supported public policies that resulted in this growth process. International financing associated to employment creation, infrastructure development and supporting the needs of vulnerable sectors is a tool to achieve inclusive growth” said Axel Kicillof, Argentina’s Minister of Economy and Public Finance.The WBG strategy is selectively built around three broad themes: (a) Sustained Employment Creation in Farms and Firms; (b) Improving Availability of Assets for people and households; and (c) Reducing Environmental Risks and Safeguarding Natural Resources. These thematic areas were selected for their contribution to achieving sustained poverty reduction and shared prosperity.“The World Bank will be supporting Argentina in reaching the most vulnerable in society, especially in the lowest income areas of the country,“ said Jesko Hentschel, World Bank Country Director for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. During the CPS period (2015-2018), the World Bank (IBRD) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the WBG, will support Argentina to achieve specific outcomes. Some emblematic programs will contribute to reduce average transit time to city centers from poor neighborhoods in two metropolitan areas by 15 percent; or to increase by 12 percent the gross value of agricultural production ($/ha) of 80,000 small and medium-size farms in lower-income areas; and will support an increase in effective national healthcare coverage from 28 percent to 50 percent. “IFC will engage with Argentina’s private sector selectively to finance projects with significant development impact, particularly on job creation, SMEs and sustainability”, said Irene Arias, IFC Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.The new CPS emphasizes knowledge sharing and cooperation through advice and analytical products bundled into programmatic and multi-year engagements. IBRD financial commitments over the CPS period are expected to be in the range of US$1.0 to $1.2 billion per year.IFC will focus on export-oriented sectors such as agribusiness, energy, infrastructure, and financial institutions. IFC’s investments during the CPS period are expected to reach US$1.7 billion to support Argentine’s private sector.The World Bank’s current portfolio includes advisory, knowledge exchanges and financial services with 20 IBRD operations amounting to USD $4.9 billion in current commitments. IFC has a committed portfolio of US$ $760 million in 52 private sector projects. Show Less -
Out of an almost record lending total of $9.445 billion, over two-thirds of the World Bank Group’s energy financing for FY14 was concentrated in regions facing the largest energy deficits – Sub-Sahara... Show More +n Africa and South Asia. It was also another very strong year for Bank Group renewable energy financing with a total of $3.6bn in investments. Show Less -
Increasing the reach of local produceThe major thrust of the project has been its large-scale matching grant program, currently benefitting 190 commercial fruit and vegetable and livestock farmers – 5... Show More +0 from the initial pilot stage – to help them invest in the overall management of their farms.Using these funds, Sara Ahhoy from Aleisa village has been able to construct a new nursery and 13 tunnel houses which help protect crops from heavy rain and minimize pests."I have seen a big difference in terms of the quantity of vegetables we are growing now,” she explains. “When we grew them outside, pests were a problem but also not so many vegetables would be harvested. Now, this house of tomatoes has lasted three months already, and we're still harvesting. Before they would last just three or four weeks.”Today Sara is running a successful fruit and vegetable business which supplies hotels as well as Apia's main hospital. She grows a wide range of herbs - relatively new for Samoan farmers - as well as tomatoes, capsicums, salad vegetables, spring onions, and cabbages.Other fruit and vegetable farmers have used the project to invest in new tools and technology; water storage and rock removal are major focus areas on many farms, as well as diversification of what is being grown. Aside from grants, multi-year research programs are experimenting with new varieties of vegetables to see what works best in Samoan soils and climate.Meanwhile commercial livestock farmers have been able to access funds to restore depleted pasture, purchase new animals and construct critical fencing or shelters which were badly damaged by Tropical Cyclone Evan in 2012. All participating farmers are set to benefit from comprehensive business trainings and extension services. Maximizing the potential of the landIt seems that the market is ripe for high quality local food that is distinctly Samoan. With the right support, and with partners such as the Small Business Enterprise Centre and the Development Bank of Samoa, the project aims to ensure farmers can take advantage of such opportunities: to connect them to buyers, enable them to improve the value of their goods, and increase the market for fresh, healthy and ultimately local produce.This would be good for the economy and ultimately good for Samoa, and could set an important precedent for greater self-sufficiency in Pacific island countries. Show Less -
Joint report by the World Bank Group, ILO and the OECDMELBOURNE, Tuesday 9, September 2014 – A large and persistent shortfall in the number and quality of the jobs being created in G20 countries ... Show More +is affecting prospects for reigniting economic growth, according to a report prepared by the ILO, the OECD and the World Bank Group for the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers meeting taking place in Melbourne this week.Despite some recent improvement, slow recovery from the financial crisis means that many G20 economies still face a substantial jobs gap, which will persist until at least 2018 unless growth gains momentum. With more than 100 million people still unemployed in the G20 economies and 447 million 'working poor' living on less than $2 a day in emerging G20 economies, the weak labour market performance is also threatening economic recovery because it is constraining both consumption and investment.Key findings of the report include:Wage growth has significantly lagged behind productivity growth in most G20 countries, while wage and income inequality either remains high or has widened..Real wages have stagnated, or even fallen, for many in advanced G20 economies.In emerging G20 economies, high levels of under-employment and informality are constraining both current output and future productivity.“Jobs are a foundation for economic recovery,” the report says. “G20 countries need more and better jobs as a foundation for sustained growth and wellbeing of their societies”.Despite overall slower growth, a number of emerging economies have made major progress in reducing absolute poverty, and some have also reduced income inequality. However, informal employment remains a major obstacle to improving job quality, particularly in emerging and developing countries.Looking ahead, the report says that achieving sustainable, equitable and inclusive growth requires policies across all relevant sectors that improve productivity and wages, employment opportunities and outcomes, particularly for those groups most affected by the crisis or who are vulnerable. Demographic changes, such as rapid population ageing in some countries and rising youth populations in others, also mean that governments need to promote the labor market participation of women, youth and other under-represented and vulnerable groups, enhance their skills and provide job-search support.The report also highlights social protection, social dialogue, rights at work, and workplace safety as areas in need of further action.Quality job creation and robust, equitable growth are intertwined goals, the study concludes.“Policy interventions that address both the demand and supply sides of the labor market are essential to reverse the current self-reinforcing cycle of slow growth, low job creation and low investment. Such policies would be much more effective if taken collectively and coordinated at the G20 level.”“G20 labor markets: outlook, key challenges and policy responses” was prepared for the G20 Labor and Employment Ministerial Meeting (LEEM) by the World Bank Group, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The LEMM is taking place from 9-11 September 2014. Show Less -