The global economic crisis has reversed the impressive economic growth of recent years in emerging Europe and Central Asia, hitting families hard with higher unemployment and lost wages.
Growth has plummeted from a fast clip of 7.6 percent in 2007 to 4.7 percent in 2008, and is projected at negative 5.6 percent in 2009, the World Bank said at an Annual Meetings press briefing yesterday.
“What started as a financial crisis has become a social and human crisis. Just as banks were under stress, families are now the ones under severe stress as they see breadwinners lose their jobs and have trouble paying their bills.”
To help countries deal with the crisis, Le Houérou said the World Bank will focus on:
- Cleaning up the banking sector so that banks can provide a lifeline for firms and businesses to grow and create jobs
- Improving the business climate to attract private capital flows
- Making public spending more efficient so that the benefits reach working families
- Continuing to finance key public investments in infrastructure
For more, see:
- Opening remarks, Philippe Le Houerou, World Bank Vice-President for Europe and Central Asia
- Press release
- Economic Update: The Crisis Hits Home