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Poverty

Human wellbeing depends on a functioning planet—the Pope’s call

Paula Caballero's picture
Children in Bhutan look out on terraced fields. (Photo by Curt Carnemark / World Bank)The papal encyclical “on care for our common home” reflects the kind of insightful and decisive leadership that will be needed to reverse trends that will affect humanity’s capacity to feed itself and provide for collective well-being. The encyclical is not only a sobering call to address climate change, but also a manifesto for environmental stewardship and action. It touches on topics that we, as earth’s dominant species, need to urgently care about if we are to keep millions out of poverty today and tomorrow, and deliver on the rising expectations of a global middle class.

At the core of the encyclical is both a concern for the health of the planet and for the earth’s poor, reflected in a commitment to social values and integrity, environmental resilience, and economic inclusion.

The stock-taking begins, aptly, with pollution: “Some forms of pollution are part of people’s daily experience. Exposure to atmospheric pollutants produces a broad spectrum of health hazards, especially for the poor, and causes millions of premature deaths.” The World Bank’s latest edition of the Little Green Data Book finds indeed that in low and middle-income countries, 86% of the residents are exposed to air pollution levels (measured in exposure particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter) that exceed World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. The WHO last year made headlines when it calculated that 7 million people had died prematurely from indoor and outdoor air pollution in 2012. From safer cookstoves in rural areas, to better air quality management in fast growing cities, this is an area where solutions are known and must be urgently applied.

How forensic intelligence helps combat illegal wildlife trade

Samuel Wasser's picture
Also available in: Español | العربية
 Diana Robinson / Creative Commons Over the past decade, illegal poaching of wildlife has quickly caught up to habitat destruction as a leading cause of wildlife loss in many countries.
 
Poaching African elephants for ivory provides a case in point. Elephant poaching has sharply increased since 2006. We may now be losing up to 50,000 elephants per year with only 450,000 elephants remaining in Africa.  In short, we are running out of time and unless we can stop the killing, we will surely lose the battle. Decreasing demand for ivory is vital over the long term, but the scale of current elephant losses makes this strategy too slow to save elephants by itself. The ecological, economic and security consequences from the loss of this keystone species will be quite severe and potentially irreversible. 

#KidsEndPoverty: Чи юу хийж чадах вэ, хүүхдүүд та нар туслахын тулд яах вэ?

Korina Lopez's picture
Also available in: English | Français | Español | العربية | 中文

Өнөөдөр зургадугаар сарын 1. Дэлхийн олон оронд Хүүхдийн эрхийг хамгаалах өдрийг тэмдэглэж байна. Бид хүүхдүүддээ ямар дэлхийг өвлүүлэн үлдээж байна вэ гэдгийг эргэцүүлэн бодох боломж олгож байна. Хүүхдүүдээ өсч том болохоос өмнө ядуурлаас ангижирсан дэлхийг тэдэндээ үлдээхийн төлөө хамтдаа нэгдэцгээе. Өнөөгийн бүх хүүхдийн сайн сайхан ирээдүйн төлөө бид хамтдаа 2030 он гэхэд ядуурлыг ялж чадна. Энэ блогт бичигдсэн зүйлийг өөрийн орчин тойронд амьдарч байгаа хүүхдүүдтэй хуваалцаарай. Мөн тэдний урлагийн бүтээлийг ирүүлээрэй, тэдгээр бүтээлийг бид Дэлхийн банкны нийгмийн сүлжээгээр түгээх юм.

Маяа гэдэг охин байна гээд төсөөл дөө. Маяа охин ядуу оронд амьдардаг, аав ээж өдөржин ажилладаг, тэр сургуульд явж чадахгүй, яагаад гэвэл дүүгээ асрах хэрэгтэй. Аав ээж нь хичнээн хичээж махруу ажиллаад ч гэр бүлээ тэжээхэд хүрэлцэх, мөн Маяагийн сургуульд сурахад шаардлагатай мөнгийг олж чадахгүй. Маяа болон Маяагийн гэр бүл маш зайдуу амьдардаг, хэн нэг нь Маяагийн дүүг асарч Маяа сургуульд явах боломжтой боллоо гэхэд сургууль хүртэл явах автобусны зам ч тэнд байхгүй. Боловсрол гэдэг бол уншиж, бичиж, нэмж, хасаж сурна гэсэн үг. Өсч том болсоныхоо дараа ажил олж хийхийн тулд хүүхдүүд эдгээр зүйлсийг сурсан байх шаардлагатай. Боловсролгүй байна гэдэг бол ажиллаж, хөдөлмөрлөх боломж бараг байхгүй гэсэн үг. Ядуу учраас Маяа чам шиг сургуульд сурч чадахгүй байна гэдэг шударга гэж үү. Бүх хүүхэд сургуульд сурч, өвдсөн үедээ эмчид үзүүлж, идэх хоолтой, эцэг эхтэйгээ хамт амьдардаг гэр оронтой, тэндээ унтдаг байх учиртай. Харамсалтай нь Маяатай ижил олон хүүхэд бий. Бид тэдэнд хэрхэн тусалж чадах вэ? Түүнд туслахын тулд чи юу хийж чадах вэ??

#KidsEndPoverty: What can you — and your kids — do to help?

Korina Lopez's picture
Also available in: Français | Español | العربية | 中文 | Mongolian

Today, June 1, many countries around the world mark Children’s Day, offering an opportunity to reflect on the kind of world our kids will inherit. Let’s join together to make a better worldone free from extreme povertybefore they grow up. Together we can end poverty by 2030 and ensure a better world for today’s kids and all children in the future. Share this blog post with your kids, or children from your community, and submit their artwork to be considered for World Bank social media channels. 

​​Imagine a girl named Maya. Maya lives in a poor country where her parents work all day, and she can’t go to school because she has to care for her baby brother. Even though her parents work very hard, they barely make enough to feed the family, much less buy school supplies for Maya. She and her family live out in the country, and there are no roads for buses to take Maya to school, even if there was someone to care for her brother while her parents work. Education means learning to read, write, add, and subtract. Kids need to learn all these things to find jobs when they grow up. No education means very little access to jobs. Is it fair that just because Maya is poor that she can’t go to school, just like you?

Connecting the dots in 2015 for sustainable development

Paula Caballero's picture
View from the River Congo between Kinshasa and Lukolela, DR Congo. Photo by Ollivier Girard for CIFOR via Creative CommonsWhat will 2015 stand for? Only half-way through the year, it may be risky to make predictions. But 2015, a year in which the international community is supposed to forge new deals for climate action and sustainable development, should be a year rich in connections. A year in which the health of the planet is finally understood to be of central concern to the future of people. A year in which the management of natural resources – from fish stocks and fresh water, to fertile soil, forest habitats and the carbon in the atmosphere - is understood to have significant national, international and inter-generational consequences.

Awareness is certainly progressing. From the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil - a country that hosts nothing less than the mighty Amazon River, to the farmlands of California, people are coming to the realization that resources such as water are not limitless. More and more businesses are looking at the security of their supply chains and the footprint of their operations with zeal fueled by self-interest. And countries seem poised to adopt Sustainable Development Goals that signal an understanding that economic, social and environmental issues are inherently interdependent.

Climate change, water shortages and other environmental crises are bringing home the message loud and clear: we need to connect the dots between human actions across the landscape and seascape, or the earth will cease to care for us. It will cease to grow food, to store water, to host fish and pollinators, to provide energy, medicine and timber. Changing temperatures will stress systems already overwhelmed by unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, while a growing middle class will further strain planetary boundaries.

How can we help economies develop better, for lasting poverty reduction and prosperity, within the limits of natural resources? How can we make more rational use of natural and financial resources to maximize social and economic benefits and reduce carbon emissions while increasing our resilience to climate extremes?

The power of faith to help end poverty: 5 key takeaways

Sonia Porter's picture
Also available in: العربية | Español | Français
Better understanding and harnessing the role of faith in development is becoming an area of growing interest and engagement within the World Bank Group. Five leaders of prominent faith-based and religious organizations came together at our Washington, D.C.

Global Citizen Earth Day: Rallying for People and the Planet

Dani Clark's picture
Also available in: 中文

On April 18 close to 300,000 people united under a warm sun on the National Mall in Washington, DC, for Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day, a momentous day-long mix of advocacy and entertainment, urging citizen action to help end extreme poverty by 2030 and stop climate change.

Musical acts alternated possession of the stage with a diverse cadre of global leaders making policy commitments and calling citizens to action throughout the eight-hour event. Superstars like Mary J. Blige, Usher, and the band No Doubt roused the massive crowd which spilled out on green grass around the iconic Washington Monument. More than 2 million people tuned into the live webcast on YouTube.

“2015 is the time for global action. You have the power, your generation can change, your generation can make a difference,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the crowd, sharing the stage at the end of the event with World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

A Food System that can feed everyone, everyday, everywhere

Juergen Voegele's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français | Español



Whether you’re a food producer or consumer, and no matter what part of the world you live in, I’m sure we can agree: The world needs a food system that can feed everyone, everyday, everywhere.

A food system that works for everyone can also create jobs and raise the incomes of smallholder farmers and rural residents who are 78 percent of the world’s poor people. After all, growth originating in agriculture is proven to be 2 to 4 times more effective at reducing poverty than growth originating in other sectors. An effective food system can also provide better nutrition, steward the world’s natural resources, and even be a part of the solution to climate change.
 

Economists weigh in on oil prices and an uneven global recovery

Donna Barne's picture
Also available in: Español | Français | العربية | 中文
World Bank chief economists, clockwise from upper left: Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Kaushik Basu, Augusto de la Torre (Latin America and the Caribbean), Shanta Devarajan (Middle East and North Africa), Francisco Ferreira (Sub-Saharan Africa), Sudhir Shetty (East Asia and Pacific), Hans Timmer (Europe and Central Asia), Martin Rama (South Asia).


​Lower oil prices are a boon for oil importers around the world. But how well are oil-producing countries adapting to the apparent end of a decades-long “commodity supercycle” and lower revenues? And what does this mean for the global economy?

World Bank economists provided insights on the situation in six developing regions at a webcast event April 15 ahead of the World Bank Group-IMF Spring Meetings. The discussion focused on the challenge of creating sustainable global growth in an environment of slowing growth.

World Bank Chief Economist Kaushik Basu said the global economy is growing at 2.9% and is “in a state of calm, but a slightly threatening kind of calm. … Just beneath the surface, there’s a lot happening, and that leads to some disquiet, concern – and the possibilities of a major turnaround and improvement.”

Faith, the World Bank Group, and Ending Poverty

Donna Barne's picture
Also available in: Français | Español | العربية
More than 30 leaders of faith-based organizations expressed support for ending extreme poverty by 2030.


The World Bank Group and faith-based organizations share something in common – fighting poverty. Now, they’re joining forces to do it. More than 30 leaders representing Bahai, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh organizations formally expressed support for ending extreme poverty by 2030 – a goal backed by the World Bank Group’s 188 member countries.

Their joint statement, “Ending Extreme Poverty: A Moral and Spiritual Imperative,” released April 9, called for an end to the “scandal of extreme poverty” and said they would use their “voices to compel and challenge others to join us in this urgent cause inspired by our deepest spiritual values.” They added they would commit to hold “all levels of leadership accountable – public and private, domestic and international.”

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