January 15, 2021: A fast start to 2021


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I wanted to quickly highlight several of my public engagements this past week:

On Monday, I was pleased to co-convene the One Planet Summit alongside French President Emanuel Macron and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. I highlighted the issues of climate change and biodiversity loss as critical challenges to our development efforts, including reducing poverty and inequality. I also announced the World Bank Group’s $5 billion commitment to mitigating the impacts of biodiversity loss and climate change on African drylands, investing much-needed resources into 11 countries throughout the Sahel, Lake Chad and Horn of Africa regions.


On Wednesday, I was interviewed at the Reuters Next Virtual Summit, during which I discussed several issues critical to the ongoing global recovery. Among other topics, I emphasized the need for quick, safe, fair, and broad vaccine rollouts, and urged private sector creditors to do more toward reducing unsustainable debt burdens for the world’s poorest countries.

On Thursday, I was glad to join the Council on Foreign Relations for their C. Peter McColough Series on International Economics with Afsaneh BeschlossOur discussion was wide-ranging, and it was good to update attendees on the World Bank Group’s COVID-19 programs. Between April and December 2020, the WBG has committed over $87 billion to the Covid response. We have also already worked with 90 countries to prepare to deploy COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. I described the country-specific challenges in our vaccination and global development programs. We are working to bring together global knowledge in order to enable better-tailored approaches for all of our clients. My thanks to all CFR members who tuned in and submitted questions.


In my newly released PBS GZERO World interview with Ian Bremmer, we covered a diverse set of topics and explored some of the challenges facing developing countries as they look to distribute a coronavirus vaccine, how the World Bank Group is helping facilitate these efforts, and the ways in which recovery for the world’s poorest depends on recovery in advanced economies. If you reside in the United States, please check your local PBS affiliate’s schedule, or you can view a partial clip here.

While we are only a few weeks into the new year, I am pleased that our World Bank Group staff have hit the ground running. The challenges ahead are formidable, but we are off to a promising start as we continue our work toward achieving good development outcomes and a return to global growth.

This post was originally published on LinkedIn

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