Without concerted action, the world will one day see a megadisaster—a disaster resulting in over 1 million casualties.
The forces of population growth and rapid urbanization are dramatically increasing exposure to disaster risk. Over 600 million people, for example, live in the Ganges Basin of India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Due to the meeting of the tectonic plates with the Indian subcontinent shifting under the Eurasian continent, this area is at a large risk of seismic activity. And indeed, the Ganges Basin has seen earthquakes over magnitude 7.0 in the past 500 years, as illustrated by the graphic above.
As practitioners, we can help reduce disaster risk and build resilience to potential catastrophes through smart development practices. These practices, however, require targeted research that can inform which levers to move, and how to move them. Sadly, this kind of research is difficult to come by in the disaster risk management community, and harder still to communicate to those that need it most.
After the riots following Martin Luther King’s assassination in 1968, Georgia Avenue and its surrounding neighborhoods in Washington D.C. were stuck in time. Houses and businesses looked run down, and there weren’t many visitors—unless you counted the traffic along Georgia Avenue, one of the main roads to connect Maryland and Washington D.C. Fast forward to 2015 and brand new condo buildings tower over 100-year old houses. Shiny new restaurants pop up next to ones that have been in the same family for generations. I see longtime residents and millennials waiting for the bus. It seems the only thing that’s stayed the same is the traffic. Some call these recent changes revitalization, others gentrification.
No matter where in the world you live, you see and experience things every day that make you think; that upset or inspire you; that you wish were different; or that give you hope. Instead of walking past, ignoring, or pretending there’s not an issue, we want you to capture an image and share it to help raise awareness of the issues where you live.
Today the World Bank turns to you—global citizens—to give faces to the seemingly insurmountable issues you experience, like access to clean water, corruption, clean stoves, sanitation, gender inequality, or any number of other real challenges your community faces. We’re launching the #EachDayISee contest on Instagram to share photos of the world around us, to help draw attention to the myriad of economic and social issues facing communities all around the world.
On becoming an EU member, how much will the budget calendar and its preparation need to change? How best to plan and execute projects which are pre-financed? How to record unspent EU funds in the next fiscal year? To what extent should the Ministry of Finance be involved in the process before the signing of financial agreements with the EU? These and other questions arise in relation to the impact on a country’s fiscal position, co-financing obligations, pre-financings and bridging resources, and payment of errors.
Take a look back at some of the most popular stories you may have missed in 2014:
1. Raising More Fish to Meet Rising Demand
- natural capital
- food security
- Climate Change
- Agriculture and Rural Development
- The World Region
- South Asia
- Latin America & Caribbean
- East Asia and Pacific
Can the world end extreme poverty by 2030? Will it be able to avert the worst effects of climate change or stop Ebola? These challenges are among the biggest we face today. In 2014, the World Bank Group tapped its knowledge, finance, and influence to confront global problems.
1) Taking on economic growth
In the wake of the financial crisis, developing countries were the engine of the global economy. In 2014, they faced new risks: lower growth, less financing, and lower prices for their commodities. In January and again in June, the World Bank urged developing countries to get their houses in order. Countries need blueprints to maintain the kind of growth that helped cut extreme poverty nearly in half globally in the last couple of decades. With the financial crisis fading, now is the time for developing countries to strengthen their economies so they can keep reducing poverty, according to the twice-yearly Global Economic Prospects.
What fascinated people most about global development in 2014? A look at the most popular World Bank Group content on social media and the web may offer some insight. We’ve compiled a selection of the Bank’s top 10 most liked, viewed, and favorited posts on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, and the web. Have a look and tell us your top development issues of 2014.
The Bank’s most-watched video featured Chief Economist Kaushik Basu explaining shared prosperity.
What I remember most of the first hours after learning about the tsunami was radio silence. Aceh, it seemed, had ceased to exist. The limited infrastructure in Indonesia’s northernmost province was decimated and none of the survivors was able to update the outside world.
To understand the scope of what had happened I flew to Aceh the following day. Since then I have carried with me indelible images of survivors who had nothing left but the clothes on their bodies. There were remnants of lives swept away, of loved ones who disappeared, and a desert of mud and debris beyond repair.
The death toll kept on rising for weeks. In the end, of the over 230,000 people who died in 14 countries, 220,000 were from Aceh. We estimated the disaster had caused damage worth $4.45 billion.
Ten years after the tsunami, I remember the loss of lives not only as the tragedy it was, but as a moment that changed the way the world manages disasters. I take some consolation from the fact that people survive disasters more often today because of the lessons we learned from the tsunami that affected so many of my fellow Indonesians.
There are three conclusions that are critical to our experience.
The World Bank Group and the Wharton School of Business are co-sponsoring “Ideas for Action,” a competition to mobilize youth across the development community to invent, foster, and inspire innovative solutions to financing development post-2015.
Nearly half the world’s population is under 25 – 2.9 billion people. Today’s youth will be responsible for delivering the post-2015 development agenda, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals, which will replace the Millennium Development Goals when they expire at the end of 2015. The new goals will be more ambitious, covering a broad range of interconnected issues, from sustainable economic growth to social issues to global public goods. To realize this vision, an equally ambitious plan for financing and implementation is needed.
Teams are self-selected and made up of three to five members, ages ranging from 18 to 35 years old. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 31, 2015. Finalists will be announced on April 5, 2015, and the winners on March 30, 2015. Winners will be given an opportunity to influence the post-2015 financing discussions and its implementation.