Domestic food price inflation remains high around the world. Information between September to December 2022 shows high inflation in almost all low-income and middle-income countries; 94.1% of low-income countries, 92.9% of lower-middle-income countries, and 89% of upper-middle-income countries have seen inflation levels above 5%, with many experiencing double-digit inflation. The share of high-income countries with high food price inflation has risen to 87.3%. The countries affected most are in Africa, North America, Latin America, South Asia, Europe, and Central Asia.
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.
Remittances to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) withstood global headwinds in 2022, growing an estimated 5% to $626 billion. This is sharply lower than the 10.2% increase in 2021, according to the latest World Bank Migration and Development Brief.
The developing world faces hunger, poverty, unsustainable debt, and learning poverty above 70%. Climate change makes all of these burdens worse. Farmers face droughts and floods. In poor countries, they face severe shortages of fertilizer and diesel. Underinvestment blocks access to electricity and clean water. Current global macro policies create a permanent drain on global capital, risking a long recession.
After an uneven growth performance this year, China’s economy is projected to recover in 2023. Activity in China has followed the ups and downs of the pandemic—outbreaks and economic slowdowns have been followed by uneven recoveries. Despite policy support, real GDP growth is expected to slow to 2.7 percent in 2022, before recovering to 4.3 percent in 2023 amid a reopening of the economy.
South Asia is home to 9 of the world’s 10 cities with the worst air pollution, which causes an estimated 2 million premature deaths across the region each year and incurs significant economic costs. A new World Bank report shows that there are economically feasible, cost-effective solutions to achieve clean air in the region, but this requires countries to coordinate policies and investments.
Thank you, President Widodo and Minister Sri Mulyani for your leadership and Dr. Tedros for your coordination on this initiative. I’m now on my way to Bali and I look forward to seeing you soon. It’s great that today we are formally presenting “The Pandemic Fund.” We meet at a time of multiple crises – climate change, food, fuel, inflation, debt, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
We have dramatically grown our financing to address climate disasters such as the flooding in Pakistan. And we have dramatically grown our climate finance. Including on major commitments to adaptation, we reached $32 billion in climate finance this past year, a record that was above our Glasgow target. I welcome and solicit your input on ways to increase our resources and commitment capacity.
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