At a press briefing earlier today  at the Spring Meeting, Philippe Le Houérou, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia , spoke of how the region has faced the greatest fiscal pressures among all the world's regions during the global economic crisis.
20 out of 30 countries in Europe and Central Asia have experienced a decline in GDP in 2009, and Le Houérou remarked that the region will face a slow recovery in the year ahead:
"2010 is going to be a tough year for the Region with growth projected at around 3 percent. The prospects for 2011-2013 are only slightly better. Rising joblessness is pushing households into poverty and making things even harder for those already poor."
For more information:
- Press Release: Slow Recovery Ahead for Emerging Europe and Central Asia 
- Photos: Europe and Central Asia Economic Update Press Conference 
- Webcast: Europe and Central Asia Economic Update Press Conference 
- The World Bank in Europe in Central Asia