Against this backdrop, a fundamental question lingers in the back of every small depositors mind: “is my money safe?”
The short answer is “yes.” Very safe.
Growing up in India, I have always been conscious of the daily grind that women and girls in remote, rural areas go through just to prepare one meal. There’s the long, arduous and sometimes dangerous walk to get firewood, sticks or charcoal – whatever one can afford to find or buy. There’s the walk home, loaded down with that fuel. This can take up to five hours in rural areas – time that could be spent at school, work or building a small enterprise. And then of course, there’s the time spent breathing in smoke as they cook an often simple meal of bread, rice, lentils or vegetables. In India alone, more than one million deaths a year are attributed to traditional cooking practices - a shocking figure by any reckoning.
About 4.5 billion people in developing countries are low-income, living on $8 a day or less (in 2005 purchasing power parity terms). They are the so-called base of the economic pyramid (BOP) and constitute a $5 trillion consumer market. While case studies abound on many of the well-known multinationals trying to break into this market, the success of local businesses has often been lost in the discussion of “BOP business” to date. Why are we not learning from the companies that are already succeeding with the BOP?
Imagine a football team at the World Cup, just standing around the field watching as the other team breezes right past them and scores a goal. Without taking action to not only help the sick, but protect the healthy, then we, as global citizens, are letting Ebola win this game of life and death.
According to the World Health Organization, as of Nov. 9, a total of 14,098 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of Ebola virus disease have been reported in six countries. There have been 5,160 deaths. Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have seen the highest number of cases.
Small and medium sized companies are the backbone of Latin America’s economy. They represent more than 90 percent of all enterprises in the region, generating over half of all jobs and a quarter of the region’s gross domestic product. They are essential to economic growth, yet their success is often blocked by one key obstacle: lack of credit. Nearly a third of companies in the region identified lack of credit as a major constraint, according to recent surveys.
Take the case of Sonia Arias, who owns a small textile business in Medellin, Colombia. When she opened her business seven years ago, she took an informal loan that left her with sky-high interest rates and little cash to reinvest. “When I was paying these loans,” she said, “it felt like we were being hit with a stick.”
By Francis Ghesquiere, Head of the GFDRR Secretariat, & Robert Reid, DRM Specialist, GFDRR
The approval of a successor to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) in Sendai, Japan, in March 2015 will mark the beginning of a new era for the disaster risk management (DRM) community. The UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will set new international DRM standards, targets, and priorities for the next 20 years. It is our hope that the international DRM community seizes this opportunity to build upon the strengths of the first HFA to make the next edition even more actionable.
We’re pleased to see that the proposed goal of the HFA2 zero draft recognizes the need to prevent the creation of new risks. This is the only realistic way to gradually tame the continuous increase in disaster loss observed in recent decades. This is particularly true in developing countries where we will see billions of dollars invested in expanding cities, in new schools and new homes. To avoid putting people at risk, we must first make sure that this infrastructure is built in the right places and using resilient standards.