A coalition of development partners pledged $82 billion for the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, to help countries boost economic growth, bolster resilience, and invest in people.
The last two decades have seen significant progress in many of the world's poorest countries. The extreme poverty rate fell from more than 50% to about 30%. Child mortality declined from nearly 14% to 7%. Access to electricity increased by 57% and the share of people using at least basic drinking water and sanitation services increased by 22% and 41%, respectively, among other results.
The International Development Association (IDA) is one of the largest sources of funding for fighting extreme poverty in the world’s poorest countries. IDA provides zero- or low-interest loans and grants to countries for projects and programs that boost economic growth, build resilience, and improve the lives of poor people around the world. Read More.
The number of people living with HIV globally has risen steadily from 7.9 million in 1990, to 37.9 million today. However, the number of people newly infected each year has decreased 40% since 1998, dropping from 3 million people in 1998 to 1.7 million In 2018. Roughly 61% of these new infections were in Sub-Saharan Africa. Thanks to greater access to treatment, the number of deaths from AIDS dropped from 1.7 million in 2005, to 770,000 in 2018. Read More.
The number of people practicing open defecation—defecating outside—was cut nearly in half between 2000 and 2017, from 1.3 billion to around 670 million (9% of the global population). In India, open defecation decreased by 55%, from 767 million to 344 million people, but India still had the largest number of people practicing open defecation in 2017, followed by Nigeria and Indonesia. Open defecation contaminates sources of drinking water and spreads diseases such as cholera, diarrhea and dysentery. The World Health Organization estimates that inadequate sanitation causes 432,000 diarrheal deaths annually. Read More.
Between 2000 and 2015, the number of people living in extreme poverty declined by a total of 802 million in the 15 countries with the highest poverty-reduction rates, according to new analysis of World Bank poverty data. In each of these countries, an average of at least 1.6% of the population moved out of extreme poverty every year. While extreme poverty remains endemic in low-income and conflict-affected countries, seven of the top 15 countries are in Africa, and two are on the World Bank Group’s Harmonized List of Fragile Situations for FY19. Read More.
Some 53% of children in low- and middle-income countries experience “learning poverty” – meaning they are unable to read and understand simple text by age 10. To spur progress, the World Bank set a new target to cut “learning poverty” in half by 2030. Achieving this goal would require a “near tripling” of the current rate of progress and would still leave a learning poverty rate of 27%. But under a “business as usual scenario,” learning poverty would only fall to 43% by 2030, according to a new report, Ending Learning Poverty: What will it take? Read More.
The global forecast for oil production in 2019 has been repeatedly revised downward over the last year and a half amid weakening demand for oil. Growth in demand is now around 1%, or 1 million barrels per day – the weakest growth rate since 2012, according to the October 2019 Commodity Markets Outlook. Oil prices are projected to average $60/bbl in 2019 and are forecast to weaken to $58/bbl in 2020, $7/bbl lower than the previous forecast. The downward revision reflects the weaker outlook for global growth and therefore for oil demand. Oil consumption growth is expected to increase slightly next year at a level usually associated with global downturns. If economic growth deteriorates further, oil demand could be substantially weaker, says the report.
The cost of starting a business in low- and middle-income countries has fallen from 141.75% of per capita income in 1990, to 25.25% today, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business report, now in its 17th year. Since the report’s inception, 178 economies have implemented 722 reforms in the area of starting a business, reducing or eliminating barriers to entry. Despite such improvements, considerable gaps still exist between developed and developing economies on most Doing Business indicators. Read more.
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