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Development Committee Papers

Nina Vucenik's picture

Earlier this week, the Development Committee released the papers they will discuss at their meeting on Sunday, April 26.

Among other issues, they will discuss the current global economic crisis and "voice" (ensuring people from all parts of the world have a say in key issues that affect them).

The Development Committee (DC) is a forum of the World Bank and the IMF that facilitates intergovernmental consensus-building on development issues. Its mandate is to advise the Boards of Governors of the Bank and the IMF on critical development issues and on the financial resources required to promote economic development in developing countries.
Log in on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. to watch the press briefing with DC Chair, Minister Agustín Carstens, World Bank President Robert Zoellick, and IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Development Committee

Papers:

BBC World holds debate on global recession at World Bank headquarters

Angie Gentile's picture

BBC World Debates

 
BBC World yesterday hosted a debate at World Bank headquarters in Washingtonon on how the world's poorest are being affected by the global economic downturn and what can be done to avert a major international human disaster. While the rich world pours billions of dollars into banks and companies, why can’t it spare more for the poorest nations now suffering the effects of the downturn, asked BBC Host Zeinab Badawi.

The five-person panel–including World Bank President Robert Zoellick, German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, Mozambique Prime Minister Luisa Dias Diogo, Indian economic planner Montek Singh Ahluwalia, and activist Bob Geldof—agreed that a solution to the crisis can’t be business as usual and needs to come now.

Bob Geldolf at BBC World DebatesUnlike the tsunami of 2004, the victims of the financial crisis aren’t so easy to visualize, said Wieczorek-Zeul, making it harder for governments to commit aid money. But there are victims. An estimated 200,000 to 400,000 children will die annually as a result of the crisis, she noted.

Zoellick stressed that for those in the developing world, the crisis isn’t a matter of losing your financial cushion—it’s a matter of eating, of going to school. And the impact won’t end when the crisis ends; it will be felt over a generation.

Responding to the crisis with economic isolationism and protectionism will only hurt everyone, especially the world’s poorest, Zoellick added.

Prime Minister Diogo warned that if we don’t act, there is a potential for instability. “Instability increases nervousness… poverty increases conflict,” said Geldof.

A number of panelists noted that the G20 meeting in London last month was the beginning of the basis for a new global architecture.

“We’re living through an historic period,” said Geldof. “It could all still collapse. There must be new rules for a new world. We must include the most vulnerable on this planet. If not, the 21st Century is up for grabs.”

“We all agree that a global problem requires a global solution with global ownership,” said Ahluwalia.

The debate airs on BBC World on Saturday, April 25.

(More photos at the Spring Meetings Flickr set.)

Development banks join together to provide funding for Latin America and the Caribbean

Sameer Vasta's picture

Pouring and weighing fresh milk. Colombia. Photo: © Edwin Huffman / World BankThis past Wednesday, leading development banks joined efforts to provide as much as US$90 billion during the next two years in a joint effort to spur economic growth in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

The Inter-American Development Bank and the Inter-American Investment Corporation, the World Bank Group (IBRD, IFC and MIGA), Corporacion Andina de Fomento, the Caribbean Development Bank and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration are all working together to explore new opportunities to protect the economic and social gains achieved in the region during the last five years.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick spoke about the importance of this joint effort:

"Latin America and the Caribbean have achieved substantial economic and social progress over the last five years and we must ensure that this is not lost because of the external shock of the global crisis. We need to avoid a social and human crisis."

For more information:

Meetings Center: Available in Spanish

Sameer Vasta's picture

Today, we had the pleasure of launching our Spanish version of the World Bank Meetings Center, El blog de las reuniones del Banco Mundial.

The Spanish version of the site, like the English, will feature links to press releases and stories, and also include commentary and short video interviews.

You can access the Spanish site by clicking on the "Espanol" on the top right of any page.

Bank President unveils plans to deal with fallout of economic crisis

Angie Gentile's picture

World Bank President Robert B. ZoellickSpeaking at a news conference this morning ahead of the start of the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings, Bank President Robert B. Zoellick hit on the need to address the second and third waves of economic fallout being felt in developing countries.

“First and foremost we need to ensure that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. When financial crises hit Latin America in the 1980s and in Asia in the 1990s…basic health, nutrition and education budgets were cut back severely. This time we must ensure that governments can protect targeted social expenditures and finance effective safety nets,” Zoellick said.

Nor can infrastructure be neglected, he said, citing the long-term negative consequences of slashing infrastructure investment during past crises. To help promote investment in roads, electricity, telecommunications, etc.--as a means of creating jobs and spurring economic growth--Zoellick said the Bank is planning a massive infrastructure initiative, to be formally launched on Saturday.

Zoellick also highlighted the Bank’s plans to boost support for agriculture—increasing lending from $4 billion in 2008 to $12 billion over the next two years to help ensure food security.

    

See more photos at the Spring Meetings 2009 Flickr set.

Watch President Zoellick's opening remarks at the news conference below:

Justin Lin on developing economies at The Economist

Sameer Vasta's picture

During the G20 Summit two weeks ago, World Bank Senior Vice President & Chief Economist Justin Lin spoke to The Economist about the global financial crisis and the importance of social safety nets.

You can listen to the interview using the player below:

You can also download the interview here, or listen to it directly on The Economist website.

Bank’s youth blog looks at impact of financial crisis on young people

Angie Gentile's picture

How is the financial crisis impacting youth around the world? Youthink!, the Bank’s website dedicated to kids and young adults, asked its cadre of youth bloggers from around the world to answer that question.

"Even if the situation ahead of us is really bad, what good would it do to stress about it? It’s more productive to focus on the good things and keep on working towards our goals as a society…" said contributing blogger María Rodríguez of Colombia.

Bringing together seven young bloggers from across the world, the Youthink! blog features posts about topics as wide-reaching but impactful as climate change to health in the developing world. Since launching in January 2009, Youthink! bloggers have managed to spark lively debates and discussions among the site’s audience.

The first batch of Youthink! bloggers are:

 

A 2006 Webby Award winner, Youthink! aims to inform youth on development issues and inspire them to get involved. The site contains a section for educators, and most of the content is now available in French, Spanish, and Chinese.

This Year's World Development Indicators released

Nina Vucenik's picture

The Bank released today the latest edition of the World Development Indicators, an annual Bank flagship. The WDI provides a comprehensive overview of development drawing on data from the World Bank and more than 30 partners.

"The WDI is the statistical benchmark that will help measure both the impact of the crisis and, eventually, of global recovery," says Shaida Badiee, director of the Bank's Development Data Group.

Some of this year's highlight focus on the economy, spread of new technology, migration, energy and climate change.

For example, did you know that India leads all countries in exports of information communication technology (ICT) services? ICT sector exports account for about 42% of total service exports. Ok, so that was an easy one.

But did you know that energy use has doubled since 1971? The United States, Japan, Germany, Russia, China and India consume most energy, and are the largest emmiters of carbon dioxide?

More information:

World Bank opens doors to dialogue with CSOs, press

Angie Gentile's picture

Civil Society Forum

The World Bank Group, together with the IMF, opens its doors on Thurs., April 23, for dialogue with the 400+ CSO leaders from around the world who have registered for the Spring Meetings.

The four-day Civil Society Policy Forum will bring together Bank and Fund staff, CSO representatives, government officials, and others to exchange views on a variety of topics ranging from the global economic crisis and climate change, to information disclosure.

Find out more about the Forum and the schedule of events at the Civil Society Policy Forum page.

Press Room Opens

In addition, some 800 accredited journalists have registered for the meetings. Some have found a temporary home at the Bank/IMF press room, which opened yesterday. Tomorrow is the deadline for submitting the online application for press accreditation.

If you're a member of the press and haven't yet completed the online application for accreditation, be sure to do that here.

Critical investments in safety nets to rise

Sameer Vasta's picture

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, World Bank Group Managing DirectorIn light of the global economic crisis, the World Bank announced today that its investments in safety nets and other social protection programs in health and education are projected to triple to $12 billion over the next two years.

Additionally, the Bank also increased its fast track facility for the food price crisis to US$2 billion from US$1.2 billion. As World Bank Group Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala explains:

"The continuing risky economic environment, combined with continuing volatility for food prices, means for poor people the food crisis is far from over. Many poor countries have not benefitted from some moderation of food price spikes in global markets. The decision to expand the facility will help ensure fast track measures are in place for continued rapid response to help countries."

More information about today's announcements:

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