Distinguished participants, ladies, and gentlemen.
Thank you for joining the “International Symposium on Recovery and Growth” organized by the World Bank through the Tokyo Development Learning Center – or TDLC – and the City of Hiroshima. My thanks to Prime Minister Kishida for his welcoming remarks, as well as to the Parliamentary Vice Minister of Finance, Governor of Hiroshima Prefecture, and Mayor of the City of Hiroshima.
Even though I am not with you in person today, I look forward to the G7 meetings in May.
Today’s symposium comes at a critical time for cities. Cities drive over 80 percent of global economic activity and are home to more than half of the global population. As a result, people in cities are on the frontlines of multiple crises including pandemics, conflict, and climate change.
Rising fragility and threats to global peace and stability – including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – are exacting a devastating toll across the world.
To provide support for Ukraine, the World Bank has already mobilized $20.5 billion, of which nearly $19 billion has been disbursed. This funding was made possible through the generosity of our donor partners, including Japan.
As we work toward a peaceful and more prosperous future, it is critical for Ukraine to start preparing for its reconstruction. The City of Hiroshima is an inspiring venue for today’s discussions with a history of resiliency in the face of great adversity.
In closing, I would like to thank the Government of Japan for their close partnership with the World Bank Group toward fostering post-conflict recovery, poverty alleviation, shared prosperity, and greater sustainability.
I look forward to the outcome of discussions taking place today.