Donna Barne's blog
From left, Robert B. Zoellick, President, The World Bank; Corazon “Dinky” Juliano Soliman, Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippines; Romulo Paes de Sousa, Vice Minister of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger in Brazil; Michael Elliott, President and CEO, ONE; Dikembe Mutombo, NBA Global Ambassador; Maurice "Mo" Evans, Washington Wizards. Photo: Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank
Safety nets are needed more than ever to stave off malnutrition, illiteracy and disease in an increasingly uncertain world, but many of the most vulnerable people still lack coverage.
That was the main message of an April 18 live event, Close the Gap: Safety Nets Work, held at the World Bank in Washington in the lead-up to the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings. The event, which was webcast and live-blogged in English, French, Spanish and Arabic, followed the release of a new World Bank Social Protection and Labor strategy calling on countries to invest in stronger social protection and labor systems.
An online audience sent feedback and questions to a panel including World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick, ONE President and CEO Michael Elliott, high-ranking officials from Brazil and the Philippines, and two basketball stars. They were flanked by banners urging people to “act equal,” “create jobs,” and “protect the vulnerable with safety nets.”
Experts from three countries that have undergone political and economic transitions had advice September 22 for Arab nations where citizens have taken to the streets demanding voice and participation.
One of the most important lessons: “Develop and nurture a culture of citizenship,” said Corazon Soliman, Philippines Secretary for the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Developing countries should take steps now to prepare in the event of global economic turbulence, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said in a press conference on the eve of the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings.
While Zoellick said he believes a double-dip recession remains unlikely, he said recent economic indicators are eroding his confidence.