It was an inspiring moment, to see history being made by Finance Ministers who are clear not only about the costs of climate change – running into the hundreds of billions annually – but also the opportunities of being bold on climate action.
Overcrowded, dirty, and disorderly cities undermine residents’ health as much as their happiness. With urbanization occurring at an unprecedented rate, there is an urgent need for careful planning, collaboration, communication, and consensus.
SINGAPORE – Dante’s Divine Comedy describes one level of hell (the City of Dis) as“Satan’s wretched city … full of distress and torment terrible.” He could well have been describing many modern-day metropolises.
The world, especially Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, is experiencing a massive wave of urbanization. And yet it is occurring largely in the absence of urban planning, with even those municipalities that attempt to create plans often failing to enforce them effectively or account properly for the needs of the majority. The result is overcrowded, dirty, and disorderly cities that undermine residents’ health and happiness.
Co-authored with Mik Schulte
I recently spent some time traveling around rural Tanzania, trying to better understand the way the communities, cities, and regions manage their water. As we departed from the last village, we handed out cookies to the children who had gathered to watch from a distance while we toured the farms. I can still picture the smallest boy when I gave him the last cookie; his eyes lit-up, convinced he was the luckiest of boys.
In this northern part of Tanzania, near the foothills of the famous Mount Kilimanjaro, the land is fertile and farming is productive and lucrative. However, water-related conflicts color the landscape, both among farmers and between sectors. Climate change is increasing aridity, which reduces the amount of water available for drinking, farming, and eventually, hydropower production. Rainfall is becoming ever more erratic and variable which forces farmers to make riskier planting decisions, and often decimates crops with unpredicted and unmanaged flood or drought. Farmers from other, more arid, regions are pressing in to farm the fertile northern plains. Water is already over-subscribed and farmers, their communities, and the cities and businesses on whom they depend are looking for ways to survive and thrive in this new reality.
When cyclones strike: massive flooding is a major threat to lives and property in low-lying coastal areas
As one of the worst tropical cyclones on record to affect Africa and the entire Southern Hemisphere, cyclone Idai caused disastrous damages and loss of life in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Madagascar. Records to date of this category 3 cyclone indicate severe flooding and strong winds (10-minute sustained wind of 195 km/h and gusts up to 280 km/h), affecting more than 2.5 million people. The current death toll from Idai is 843 people (though many people remain missing and the death toll will continue to rise). Catastrophic damage occurred in and around the port city of Beira in southern Mozambique, where Idai produced a storm surge of 4.4 m (14 ft); severe wind and flood damage occurred well away from the point of landfall.
Cyclone Idai is one of the most devastating storms to ever hit Africa, causing catastrophic damage in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.
Starting off in early March 2019 as a tropical depression, the storm rapidly evolved into a cyclone, affecting over 2 million people and killing close to 1,000 in the three countries affected. The port city of Beira, Mozambique – the hardest hit – is struggling to reemerge from the rubble.
For those of us who have family and friends living in earthquake and hurricane prone areas, the 1.3 million people that have died in disasters in the last 25 years are more than a staggering statistic. It’s personal.
In this video, Luis Triveno (@luis_triveno), Urban Specialist, sits down with Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez (@Ede_WBG), Senior Director, to discuss what the World Bank is doing to make homes safer – before it’s too late.
For example, Sub-Saharan Africa is largely rural, but is also the region with the fastest urbanization rates. Currently, almost 40 percent of the people live in cities in Sub-Saharan Africa, but this is expected to grow to 60 percent or more by 2050. So while urbanization provides economic and social opportunity, it can overburden traditional municipal resource and service delivery approaches.
“We need to see people cracking open this market like IFC did in 2013,” declared Sean Kidney, CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI). He was referring to IFC’s issuance of two $1 billion green bonds as he set the scene for announcing CBI’s 'Green Bond Development Bank of 2018' award to IFC at a ceremony on March 5, 2019. IFC was recognized for its trailblazing work as issuer, investor and technical advisor. IFC was also recognized for its partnership with Amundi in creating the Amundi Planet Emerging Green One Fund. This is focused on green bonds in emerging markets and is the largest green bond fund in the world.
National meteorological and hydrological services (NMHSs) are responsible for helping people understand, predict and warn of weather- and water-related hazards such as storms, floods, and hurricanes.
Our 2019 Spring Meetings is just around the corner and it’s time to get organized. Mainstage speakers include representatives from top-notch institutions and organizations such as the United Nations, National Geographic, World Trade Organization, Bloomberg, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, among others.
The Spring Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an event that brings together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives, representatives from civil society organizations and academics to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and aid effectiveness.
This year's events will take place in Washington, D.C., April 8-14, 2019.