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Europe and Central Asia

Standing for women’s land and property rights in Kosovo

Albena Reshitaj's picture
 

Women’s property rights are an important development issue, not only for women’s empowerment but to also improve human capital outcomes for families – for example, improved children’s health and higher education outcomes.


In Kosovo, the World Bank-financed Real Estate Cadastre and Registration Project (RECAP) took on the issue of women’s property rights head on. Under the project, the implementing entity – the Kosovo Cadastre Agency (KCA) – reprogrammed the country’s land information system to produce gender-disaggregated property ownership data. The data revealed that women’s ownership was close to 12% in 2010 and increased to just under 17% by 2018. Together, the KCA and the Agency for Gender Equality created a program to register joint ownership of marital property between spouses free of charge.

Several public awareness activities helped raise the profile of the issue and advance the agenda of women’s property rights in Kosovo. The KCA continues its work on promoting women’s property rights, and such activities will be supported in the World Bank’s Real Estate Cadastre and Geospatial Information Project (REGIP).

Watch a video with Albena Reshitaj, Political Advisor to the Prime Minister of Kosovo, and Aanchal Anand, Land Administration Specialist to learn more about Kosovo’s commitment to empowering women in decision-making and its efforts to promote women’s property rights nationwide.

Aligning education and social protection to boost education equity in Europe

Christian Bodewig's picture



Robots may not be taking all our jobs, but they are changing profoundly the way we work. Take the European Union (EU), where jobs are increasingly about “non-routine cognitive” and “interpersonal” tasks which require workers to think creatively, solve problems and collaborate with others. Labor market transformation in the EU can be summed up by the number 15: the intensity of non-routine cognitive tasks in EU jobs has increased by 15 percent over the last 15 years, while the prevalence of manual tasks has declined by 15 percent. This is producing a growing divide in employment and earnings across the EU: While high-skill workers are thriving, low-skill workers are losing out. It has never been more important to invest in people and provide every worker with sound foundational skills.

How digital remittances can help drive sustainable development

Marco Nicoli's picture
 Sarah Farhat/The World Bank
The Plateau area, business and administrative center of Dakar.
Photo: Sarah Farhat/The World Bank

More people in the world have access to financial accounts and tools than ever before. With this access, new products and services are being developed to facilitate convenient usage of these accounts. Taking this a step further, healthy financial inclusion incorporates customers’ ability to balance income and expenses, build and maintain reserves, and to manage and recover from financial shocks using a range of financial tools. The most useful financial services are those that provide customers with convenience, and support resilience through enhanced ability to weather shocks and pursue financial goals; effectively supporting the financial health of the user.

Remittances are an essential source of income for millions of families, many of whom are low income. Global migration is increasing - over 258 million people currently live outside their country of birth, up from 173 million in the year 2000 – and is trailed by a steady stream of transactions. The remittances industry moves over $600 billion around the world, with $466 billion being sent to low-and-middle income countries. As the first financial product used by many lower income people, remittances often act as a stepping stone to accessing a menu of financial services; as such, they are a cornerstone of financial health.

Remittances on track to become the largest source of external financing in developing countries

Dilip Ratha's picture
Officially recorded annual remittances to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) reached a record high of $529 billion in 2018, according to the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief. This represents a 9.6 percent growth over the previous record high in 2017.
 
Regionally, growth in remittance inflows ranged from almost 7 percent in East Asia and the Pacific to 12 percent in South Asia. The overall increase was driven by a stronger economy and employment situation in the United States and a rebound in outward flows from some Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the Russian Federation.
 
With foreign direct investment (FDI) on a downward trend in recent years, remittances reached close to the level of FDI flows in 2018. Excluding China, remittances to LMICs ($462 billion) were significantly larger than FDI flows in 2018 ($344 billion). This makes remittances the largest source of foreign exchange earnings in the LMICs, excluding China.
 
Bearing in mind that the Brief uses officially recorded remittances data, if we were to include remittances through informal channels, its true size and social impact is much larger.
 
In 2019, remittance flows to LMICs are likely to reach $550 billion, to become their largest source of external financing—larger than FDI, including flows to China. Remittances are already more than three times the size of official development assistance.

The problem is they see us as a whole: How Roma exclusion plays into inequality

Andrea Woodhouse's picture


According to a new regional report titled Breaking the Cycle of Roma Exclusion in the Western Balkans, disparities between Roma and neighboring non-Roma individuals persist across the Western Balkans, especially in employment and education, as evidenced by the UNDP-EC-World Bank Regional Roma Survey.

What explains these disadvantages?  What can this tell us about how social norms, aspirations, and structural exclusion contribute to inequalities?

Financial inclusion in Europe and Central Asia — the way forward?

Asli Demirgüç-Kunt's picture

If you are unbanked there is a high likelihood you are living on the edge of poverty, exclusion and vulnerability. If you struggle to attain or maintain a secure, well-paying job, you probably do not have a bank account or access to financial services. You are completely reliant on cash, which is unsafe and hard to manage. And, should you or a family member experience a serious illness or another unexpected financial burden, you could quickly fall deeper into poverty and despair.

Unfortunately, this is the reality for millions of people in the developing countries of Europe and Central Asia. As recently as 2017, around 116 million adults in the region still had no bank account. And almost 60% of the unbanked in the region are women. In today’s highly globalized, technology-driven world, it is a stark reminder that we have a long way to go to ensuring greater inclusion and opportunities for all.

Getting the balance right: Minimizing food safety risks and facilitating trade in North Macedonia

Violane Konar-Leacy's picture
Many developing countries require technical inspections — by food and veterinary agencies (FVA) and phytosanitary agencies — to be carried out on all imported commodities. Inspections can be essential in preventing the entry of serious pests, diseases and toxins. However, the application of routine inspections for all imported agricultural commodities is often expensive and ignores the fact that commodities present differing risks for the movement of pests and diseases.

Modernizing road maintenance in Azerbaijan to ensure safer, more efficient travel

Nijat Valiyev's picture
AZ roads

As a transport specialist – and an avid motorist – I travel across Azerbaijan on a regular basis, both for business and pleasure. As such, I can attest that the country’s road infrastructure, particularly along its main transport corridors, has significantly improved over the past 15 years. 

Paying across borders - Can distributed ledgers bring us closer together?

Rodrigo Mejia-Ricart's picture
Two women at bank in Mauritania
Photo: Hoel/World Bank

Remittances are  critical economic resources in emerging economies, helping vulnerable populations withstand adverse economic conditions. Personal remittances represent as much as 10.5% of GDP in the Philippines, 13.7% in Senegal, 28.3% in Nepal and 29.3% in Haiti. Global remittances reached $613 billion in 2017 and are projected to have grown 4.6% in 2018 to a record high of $642 billion. To put this in perspective, global remittances represent four times more than total official development assistance globally, which in 2016 reached $158 billion.
 
Recognizing the vital importance of remittances in and for emerging economies, the international community, including the G20, G7 and the World Bank have led initiatives to bring greater safety and efficiency to the remittances market and better serve the needs of the world’s most vulnerable groups. Clear progress has been made, with a significant decline in the price of remittances as measured by the World Bank Remittance Prices Worldwide database over the last decade. However, more work is needed; the average global remittance cost stood at 7% as of Q4 2018 – 4% higher than the 3% target set in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030.

Remittances are more expensive precisely in the corridors where they are needed most. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most expensive region to send money to, with an 8.97% average cost.

Lado Apkhazava – one exceptional teacher’s recipe for unlocking Georgia’s human capital potential

Mercy Tembon's picture
Lado Apkhazava and Mercy Tembon

I am very happy I met Lado Apkhazava, a truly gifted, committed, and professional Civics Education teacher from Guria - one of Georgia’s poorest regions. Lado’s innovative and student-centered approach is transforming the culture of teaching and learning at his public school in Chibati.

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