Over the next five days, the Bank will be featuring a series of video stories, documenting the challenges and results of projects aimed at addressing Turkey’s vulnerabilities to earthquakes, as well as issues related to health care, landfill environmental protection, small business growth, and women’s development.
Today’s feature showcases work being done by the Turkish government, with help from the World Bank, to protect the beautiful, ancient city of Istanbul and its inhabitants against the threat of earthquakes. See the video.
Speaking earlier today with Turkish NTV, Marwan Muasher, World Bank Senior Vice President for External Affairs, emphasized the Bank’s commitment to helping all countries work through the economic crisis. He added: “For Turkey in particular, we are focused on helping spur a recovery in domestic consumer demand, as well as job creation. Social protection is very important, to help safeguard those groups most vulnerable to the impact of the slowdown, particularly children and young workers.”
The buzz is building in Istanbul, our beautiful host city, as delegates, press and CSOs from around the world begin pouring in for the 2009 joint Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF.
The press room opened Monday, providing temporary work quarters for the more than 1,200 registered media who are covering the events over the next week for news outlets large and small.
They are joined by representatives from civil society organizations here to take part in a Civil Society Policy Forum being held from October 2-7. The event is jointly organized by the World Bank Group and IMF civil society teams. The forum will bring together Bank and Fund staff, CSO representatives, including from Oxfam, Civicus and Africa Monitor, to name a few, along with government officials, academics, and others to exchange views on a variety of topics ranging from the global economic crisis and climate change, to governance reform. Bank President Robert B. Zoellick and Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn will co-host a CSO townhall meeting Friday afternoon.
Government and business leaders attending the Americas Conference went home Wednesday with a renewed sense of accomplishment after devoting two intense days to tackling an ambitious yet urgent agenda for the region’s future.
The grand rooms of the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables still reverberate from the animated discussions that took place here amid the lush settings of Miami’s oldest city. These discussions will likely steer the debate on two of the most important issues facing the region: the global financial crisis and renewed threats to democracy in the region as embodied in the Honduran crisis.
The Americas Conference got off to a good start today after addressing two of the most pressing issues facing the region: the impact of the financial crisis, that has engulfed Latin America for more than a year, and the political impasse that is rocking democracy in Honduras.
A group of World Bank experts told the meeting of Government and business leaders that Latin America is turning the corner vis-a-vis the financial crisis -one of the region’s worst-, as some countries were already showing signs of an early recovery.
As the dust settles in Latin America in the wake of the global financial crisis, along with the tough challenges ahead for the economic recovery, there seem to be unique opportunities to improve our region’s long-term outlook.
I have no doubt that this important Miami Conference –where Latin America converges in many ways, cultural and economic- is the ideal place to bring these ideas to the table and kick off a fruitful debate.
How should the world look after the global financial and economic crisis?
A special high-level panel will discuss the world post the global economic crisis on Friday, October 2, in Istanbul during the Annual Meetings.
The panel will feature Robert B. Zoellick, Bank Group President; H. E. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance, Indonesia; H.E. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Minister of Investment, Egypt; Ms. Eleni Gabre-Madhin, CEO, Ethiopian Commodity Exchange; and Professor Paul Collier, Department of Economics, University of Oxford.
The debate will be recorded on Friday, October 2, and will be broadcast over the next two days on France 24.
The panel is taking questions from people from around the world. If you have any questions for the panelists, you can ask them directly through Speak Out, our online chat, and we will pass them on.
The World Bank announced earlier this year that it would back Mexico’s fight against Influenza A (H1N1) with $205 million in fast-disbursing funds. Since then it has supported more than a dozen countries in Latin America in their efforts to control the effects of the virus.
Latin America’s experience with the H1N1 virus in the last six months has revealed that early, aggressive and honest communication with the public and a strong public health surveillance system are critical in mounting an effective response to the virus.
Keith Hansen, World Bank Health Expert for Latin America and the Caribbean, recently spoke about the Bank's work in the region:
"Epidemics can be very costly for the economy, for business, and this is why it’s worth investing a great deal to strengthen and maintain good surveillance and public health control measures. Also, the economy is not the measure of all things. The fundamental issue is that people’s lives, health, productivity and happiness are all at stake. Epidemics aren’t entirely preventable but they can be minimized, and that’s the role of a good public health system, and partners, such as the Bank, can support this."
In the upcoming week, Keith Hansen will post a few videoblog entries here on the Meetings Center, explaining more about the virus, the Bank's work, and some of the issues being discussed at the Meetings.
If you have any questions for Keith Hansen, you can ask him directly at our Speak Out online chat on health systems.
On the eve of the 2009 World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings, Bank President Robert Zoellick called on world leaders to reshape the multilateral system and forge a “responsible globalization”—one that would encourage balanced global growth and financial stability, embrace global efforts to counter climate change, and advance opportunity for the poorest.
“Coming out of this crisis, we have an opportunity to reshape our policies, architecture, and institutions,” Zoellick said, speaking at the DC-based Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University.
“As agreed in Pittsburgh last week, the G-20 should become the premier forum for international economic cooperation among the advanced industrialized countries and rising powers. But it cannot be a stand-alone committee,” the Bank’s president noted.
In a speech laden with historical references, he spoke of the legacy of institutions established to deal with the global economy some 60 years ago and how the economic crisis is contributing to a changing multilateral global architecture.
"Bretton Woods is being overhauled before our eyes," Zoellick said.
The crisis has underscored the growing importance of the large emerging economies. “The current assumption is that the post-crisis political economy will reflect the rising influence of China, probably of India, and of other large emerging economies,” Zoellick said. “[T]he Greenback’s fortunes will depend heavily on U.S. choices.”
The 2009 Annual Meetings kick off in a few short days in Istanbul, Turkey. A dynamic emerging-market economy strategically located between Europe and Asia, Turkey joined the World Bank in 1947 is the World Bank's largest borrower in the Europe and Central Asia Region.
The Annual Meetings will be held in the newly-built Istanbul Congress Centre, a state-of-the-art conference facility that opened two weeks ago. The Meetings will be the first major event to be hosted at the new facility.