In their discussions this weekend, the Development Committee will be assessing five strategic priorities for the Bank in a post-crisis environment. Gender is considered a cross-cutting issue that will factor into all of the Bank's work in these priority areas.
The World Region
On April 21, a few days before World Malaria Day, we announced some very encouraging results from a pilot project in Zambia through which we were testing various improvements in the public sector supply chain for lifesaving drugs. What we had been trying to do, with support from DfID and USAID, was to remove bottlenecks and get key supplies like pediatric malaria drugs off the shelves in district storage facilities and out to patients in rural areas on time.
When private sector techniques--like hiring someone to plan drug orders based on actual consumption in rural public health centers--were used to strengthen the public sector supply chain, we saw that the availability of pediatric malaria drugs nearly doubled in rural health centers in the 16 pilot districts.
This is a very significant finding, as just 7 percent of children in rural Zambia receive first-line treatment for malaria within 24 hours of developing fever (Zambia National Malaria Indicator Survey, 2008). We estimate that if these techniques are scaled up nationwide, 27,000 children could be saved from malaria deaths between now and 2015—cutting child mortality from malaria by 37 percent in Zambia.
With the global economic crisis in the rearview mirror, Latin American economies are on a fast track to full recovery and will post a solid 4 percent growth for 2010.
This is no small feat, says the Bank’s chief regional economist Augusto de la Torre, in his new report on the region’s economic prospects ‘From Collapse to Recovery’ (pdf). The region’s rebound, he explains, is one of the world’s strongest, second only to Asia’s, which is the main engine pushing global economies towards a full-fledged recovery.
In most cases, achieving real development outcomes on the ground is very complicated. But in the case of protecting people from malaria, it is simple. The disease is easily preventable and treatable.
On the prevention side, we know that insecticide treated nets work. So, everybody in countries with high malaria prevalence should have one. 200 million mosquito nets have been already delivered across sub-Saharan Africa.
This is protecting half of the world’s population at risk. 100 million more are being produced and delivered. But we still need 50 million more nets to ensure that people in danger are protected. That's why the World Bank today closed half that gap by providing funding for an additional 25 million nets.
Happy Earth Day!
In advance of the Spring Meetings and just in time for Earth Day, the Bank kicked off its support for International Year of Biodiversity on Wednesday with a new edition of its flagship magazine, Environment Matters.
The magazine, "Banking on Biodiversity," was launched Wednesday by President Zoellick at a special event at the Bank's headquarters in Washingont DC to draw attention to the plight of the wild tiger, a potent symbol of the threat to biodiversity worldwide.
"We are using the appeal of these charismatic big cats as a clarion call," said President Zoellick, "to draw attention to the need to protect biodiversity and to remind people of the wildlife and wilderness we stand to lose if we do not balance conservation and economic development."
I'm back from Istanbul today, looking back at some of the important events and messages that came out of the 2009 Annual Meetings. Before we all left Istanbul, however, Alison caught up with World Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and asked her to provide a short recap of the Meetings.
The 2009 Annual Meetings are wrapping up. Before packing up here in Istanbul, I caught up with Marwan Muasher, World Bank Senior Vice President for External Affairs, and asked him to provide me with his own one-minute recap of the Meetings.
The 2009 Annual Meetings are wrapping up. Before packing up here in Istanbul, I caught up with Edith Grace Ssempala, World Bank Director for the Civil Society Program, and asked her to provide me with her own one-minute recap of the Meetings.
This past Sunday, at an event co-hosted by the Hüsnü M. Özyegin Foundation, global business leaders came together to discuss the impacts of the ongoing economic crisis on women. The event culminated in the announcement of several new partnerships to support women around the world.
Highlights of the new partnerships and initiatives announced at the event include:
- The Özyegin Foundation and Goldman Sachs will expand the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program to Turkey.
- Boeing announced Forum member efforts to track and spend $2 billion over the next three years on goods and services from women-owned businesses in supply chains.
- Belcorp announced a partnership with the World Bank to train 50,000 women in financial literacy in Latin America.
- McKinsey presented their new research, “The Business of Empowering Women,” which maps out potential business sector contributions across women’s life cycles.
Representatives of chambers of commerce and private sector promotion agencies from developing countries expressed their concerns about where the new sources of growth would come from in future years, at a meeting of the World Bank Group's Private Sector Liaison Officers held in Istanbul on October 5.
A lively discussion between the PSLOs and MIGA management covered subjects relating to foreign direct investment into emerging economies, as well as investments by emerging economies into other emerging economies ("South-South" investment).
There is a real concern about how the infrastructure gap in developing countries will be filled following the crisis, given the new scarcity of private funds for public-private partnerships.