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On-the-ground views

Improving access to water services in Metro Manila through an output-based approach

Ana Silvia Aguilera's picture
Beatrice Yardolo survived Ebola but lost three children to the disease. © Dominic Chavez/World Bank
Beatrice Yardolo survived Ebola but lost three children to the disease.
© Dominic Chavez/World Bank

On March 5, Liberian physicians discharged Beatrice Yardolo, an English teacher, from the hospital, hoping that she would be their last Ebola patient. Unfortunately, last Friday another person in Liberia tested positive for the disease that has killed more than 10,000 people in West Africa.

The bad news was a reminder that the world must remain vigilant and insist that we get to zero Ebola cases everywhere. We also must support Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in their efforts to build back better health care systems to prevent the next epidemic.

Beatrice survived Ebola, but she and the other survivors have paid dearly because of the outbreak. She lost three of her 10 children to Ebola, her home was encircled in quarantine, and she’s been unable to work. She and her country face a daunting road back to recovery and they remain at risk of Ebola as long as there is a single case in the region.

On Thai New Year, a reflection on making roads safer for everyone

Sutayut Osornprasop's picture
Photo by echo0101 through a Creative Commons license

ยังมีอีกที่ ภาษาไทย

Most of the world celebrates New Year with fireworks. In Thailand we welcome the New Year, in April, with water. During “Songkran” (Thai New Year), we pour scented water on the hands of our elders as a show of respect and to receive their blessings.  It’s also a very festive celebration that’s marked by entertainment, water fights that spill into the streets, and a huge amount of people travelling by road to spend the holidays with their families and friends.

When things get out of hand, the situation becomes a recipe for disaster. During the Songkran week of 2012 alone, according to the government’s Road Safety Directing Center (pdf in Thai), there were 320 deaths and 3,320 people injured by road traffic crashes, mostly from drunk driving.  Every Songkran becomes a reminder that road traffic injuries and fatalities are still a major public health and development challenge in Thailand.

Vietnam: Spreading knowledge to prevent HIV/AIDS from spreading

Dung Anh Hoang's picture
NEW YORK—Imagine the world as you’d like to see it in 2030. What does it look like? My fellow panelists and I were asked this question as part of a discussion of access to energy as a driver of gender equality during UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) consultations last week.

Mongolia needs better roads, schools and hospitals: so why all this talk about saving for the future?

Gregory Smith's picture

Mongolia’s mining revenues are set to soar in the coming years, but here people talk about the need to save for the future.

Surely building infrastructure, educating young Mongolians, improving healthcare and creating jobs is important? Surely by achieving these development goals Mongolia is providing for the next generation? These are great questions. Mongolia must do these things. But they in turn depend on efforts to prevent boom and bust and provide financial assets for future generations. Saving some of the revenues in good times is part of effective natural resource management.

Mindanao, the Philippines: From a “dangerous place” to a zone of shared prosperity

Dave Llorito's picture

In Pakistan, Salma Riaz, right, shows Saba Bibi how to use her new cell phone to receive payments. © Muzammil Pasha/World Bank全世界有25亿人无法享受正规金融服务,其中包括80%的贫困人口,其日均生活费用不足2美元。小型企业处于类似的不利境地:多达2亿人表示,他们缺乏实现发展所需的融资。
正是这个原因, 身为世界银行员工的我们希望世界各地的男性和女性拥有可以使用的银行帐户或设备(例如手机),以便让他们储蓄以及汇款和收款。这是供人们管理财务生活的基本构件。 

Gender equality in Laos: first impressions can be deceptive

Helene Carlsson Rex's picture
Watch the video highlighting the report's findings.

My mother always told me that first impressions are deceptive. Turns out, this is true also when it comes to gender equality.

I lived in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, for six years, working in the World Bank’s country office on social development and gender issues. I still recall arriving in Vientiane, the sleepy city by the mighty Mekong river, and being taken by surprise of how empowered women seemed to be. I noticed women driving their motorbikes in the city, female shop owners serving delicious mango and papaya, and women in the latest business suits hurrying back to the office.

In a country where poverty has decreased by 25% since the 1990s, it was easy to get the impression that women are truly enjoying the benefits of development on equal terms with men. The laws are supportive of women as well. These have clear targets in place that promote women’s human development, economic opportunity, and participation.

Road to prosperity: five ways Mongolia can improve the quality of its infrastructure spending

Zahid Hasnain's picture

Financed by the mining boom, government spending on new infrastructure in Mongolia has increased 35-fold in the past 10 years. But you would not know this from driving the pot holed streets of Ulaanbaatar or inhaling the smog filled air of the city, particularly in the ger areas.

A new World Bank report I co-authored examines why this increased spending is not resulting in equivalent benefits for the citizens of Mongolia in terms of better roads, efficient and clean heating, and improved water and sanitation services.

Lending a Hand When It Counts: Helping Our Partners during the Jakarta Floods

Iwan Gunawan's picture
Le cyclone tropical Pam, tempête de catégorie 5, a dévasté l’île de Vanuatu le 13 et 14 mars. © UNICEF
Le cyclone tropical Pam, a frappé l’île de Vanuatu le 13 et 14 mars.

SENDAI (Japon) – Des vies en danger et des économies menacées, c’est ce à quoi nous nous exposons sans une meilleure préparation aux catastrophes, quelles qu’elles soient : séismes et tsunamis, épisodes météorologiques extrêmes ou pandémies. Sans compter que nous ruinerons aussi toute chance de devenir la génération qui mettra fin à l’extrême pauvreté.
Il y a tout juste quelques jours, le cyclone tropical Pam est venu nous rappeler combien nous sommes vulnérables aux catastrophes. Ce cyclone, l’un des plus puissants à avoir touché le Pacifique, a ravagé l’archipel de Vanuatu et aurait gravement endommagé 90 % des habitations de sa capitale, Port-Vila. Je me trouvais alors à Sendai pour assister à la Conférence mondiale des Nations Unies sur la réduction des risques de catastrophe (a), qui se déroulait elle-même quelques jours seulement après le quatrième anniversaire du tremblement de terre de 2011 au Japon. Ce séisme et le tsunami qu’il a déclenché ont fait plus de 15 000 morts et provoqué des dommages estimés à 300 milliards de dollars.

Keeping the hope alive in Myanmar

Axel van Trotsenburg's picture
Axel talks about his trip to Myanmar in a video below.

You can feel the energy in Myanmar today—from the streets of Yangon, in the offices of government ministries and in rural villages. Dramatic political and economic changes are sweeping the country.