Online Media Briefing Center (OMBC) news for accredited journalists
Domestic food price inflation remains high around the world. Information from the latest month between October 2022 and February 2023 for which food price inflation data are available shows high inflation in almost all low- and middle-income countries, with inflation levels above 5% in 94.1% of low-income countries, 86% of lower-middle-income countries, and 87.0% of upper-middle-income countries and many experiencing double-digit inflation. In addition, about 87.3% of high-income countries are experiencing high food price inflation. The countries affected most are in Africa, North America, Latin America, South Asia, Europe, and Central Asia.
The February 6 earthquakes that hit Türkiye and Syria caused an estimated $5.1 billion in direct physical damages in Syria, according to a World Bank Global Rapid Assessment report released today. The current value of the damaged and destroyed capital stock is estimated at about 10% of GDP. The widespread damages impacted 4 governorates, where around 10 million of Syria’s population resides.
The World Bank announced today a new $50 million project to repair and restore Ukraine’s transport network to support immediate humanitarian relief and recovery, and increase capacity of import and export corridors. The grant financing for this project is provided by the Ukraine Relief, Recovery, Reconstruction and Reform Trust Fund (URTF), with additional funding of up to $535 million envisaged to follow shortly.
Global growth is slowing sharply in the face of elevated inflation, higher interest rates, reduced investment, and disruptions caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects report.
The global pace of reforms toward equal treatment of women under the law has slumped to a 20-year low, constituting a potential impediment to economic growth at a critical time for the global economy, a new World Bank report shows.
The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank Group met today under the Chairship of its Dean, Mr. Koen Davidse, to discuss the selection process for the next President of the World Bank Group, following the announcement by Mr. David Malpass on February 15, 2023 that he will be stepping down from his position by June 30, 2023.
Globally, poverty and food insecurity are both on the rise after decades of development gains. Supply chain disruptions, climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, financial tightening through rising interest rates and the war in Ukraine have caused an unprecedented shock to the global food system, with the most vulnerable hit the hardest. Food inflation remains high in the world, with dozens of countries experiencing double digit inflation. According to WFP, 349 million people across 79 countries are acutely food insecure. The prevalence of undernourishment is also on the rise, following three years of deterioration. This situation is expected to worsen, with global food supplies projected to drop to a three-year low in 2022/2023.
The poorest countries eligible to borrow from the World Bank’s IDA now spend over a tenth of their export revenues to service their long-term public and publicly guaranteed external debt—the highest proportion since 2000.