MANILA, APRIL 30, 2012—Pamela Cox, the World Bank’s newly appointed Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific will arrive in the Philippines next week to lead a delegation to the annual meetings of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila. This is her first visit to the country since assuming her current position. During her stay, Ms. Cox will also meet with government officials and other development partners to learn more about the country’s work to improve governance and alleviate poverty.
“It’s good to be back in the Philippines to personally see the progress that the people have made over the years in fighting poverty,” said Ms. Cox, a development expert with more than 30 years experience who served as the Bank’s Chief of Country Operations in East Asia and the Pacific – including the Philippines - from 1994 to 1996. “I look forward to discussing with the government and other stakeholders how the Bank can further support the Philippines’ efforts to create opportunities for all.”
Ms. Cox also brings significant experience in disaster risk management from her previous position as World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, a region that is also prone to natural disasters. There, she played a leading role in supporting inclusive growth in emerging economies, providing innovative financial and knowledge services to meet developing country needs. Many programs in operation in East Asia today were pioneered in Latin America, and Ms. Cox is committed to exploring innovative mechanisms that will help respond to urgent needs caused by natural disasters and other crises.
While in Manila, Ms. Cox will also visit beneficiaries of the government’s conditional cash transfer program, Pantawid Pamilya, which provides families with cash if they send their children to school and comply with health checks. Launched in 2008 with support from the World Bank, the program has already benefitted about 2.3 million households that include children age 0 up through 14 years old. The program will be expanded in 2012 to bring the number of beneficiaries to 3 million households with a budget of P39 billion pesos.
Under the theme, Making Growth Work for the Poor, the World Bank Group has been supporting the Government’s Philippines Development Plan. As of March 2012, the Bank has a total commitment of over US$1.8 billion with an additional US$997 million in commitments from the Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC).