News & Publications

Jul 30, 2018 | Blog Post
[[tweetable]]We are now a year into implementation of IDA18, the three-year funding cycle for IDA, the arm of the World Bank Group that provides financing to the poorest countries.[[/tweetable]] And IDA is off to a strong start. Total commitments reached $24.0 billion this year, more than double the average of the first year in IDA15 and IDA14. This is also over 40% higher than the average volume we saw for the first year of IDA16 and IDA17. Part of the growth springs from how we...
Feb 22, 2018 | Blog Post
[[tweetable]]In just under two weeks, about 1,000 people will gather in Washington D.C. for the 2018 Fragility Forum[[/tweetable]]. Policy makers from developed and developing countries, practitioners from humanitarian agencies, development institutions and the peace and security communities, academics and representatives of the private sector will come together with the goal of increasing our collective impact in countries affected by fragility, conflict and violence (FCV)....
Oct 17, 2017 | Blog Post
Today is “End Poverty Day.” This is an important marker in the fight to end extreme poverty by 2030—a time for us to renew our collective commitment to do more and better to end poverty, and reflect on what the global community has accomplished together.   Since 1960, the International Development Association, IDA, has stood at the frontlines of our work in the poorest countries. IDA investments help spur greater stability and progress around the world by ...
Aug 14, 2017 | Blog Post
These days, it’s rare to open a newspaper (or scroll through a blog) without reading about a disaster striking somewhere in the world. Often, these disasters affect the very same countries that we support in our projects every day at the World Bank, and we watch helplessly as decades of development progress are erased within minutes, hours, or days. Disasters cause substantial losses in every country the World Bank operates in. It is truly not a question of if, but when, the next disaster...
Jul 20, 2017 | Blog Post
Registered nurses look after newborns at a maternity hospital in Freetown Sierra Leone. © Dominic Chavez/World Bank Last week on World Population Day, I was thinking of the joy of children and the right of women to decide when to have them. It matters to women, but it matters to society as a whole. There can be no sustainable development without women’s empowerment, and there can be no women’s empowerment without access to comprehensive maternal and reproductive health...
Apr 14, 2017 | Blog Post
The recent UN declaration of famine in parts of South Sudan, the world's first famine since 2011, raised global alarm that at least 100,000 people are at immediate risk of starvation. Adding to the troubling news, the U.N. estimates that about 20 million people are at a "tipping point," as famine stalks not only South Sudan, but Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen. Crises like these, affecting some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable populations, require the urgent attention of ...
Dec 22, 2016 | Blog Post
Between the social, political, and economic upheavals affecting our lives, and the violence and forced displacement making headlines, you’d be forgiven for feeling gloomy about 2016. A look at the data reveals some of the challenges we face but also the progress we’ve made toward a more peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable future. Here are 12 charts that help tell the stories of the year. 1.The number of refugees in the world increased. [[tweetable]]At the start of 2016, 65 million...
Dec 09, 2016 | Blog Post
Story of IDA: It’s Possible to End Poverty I recently watched a remarkable work of art take shape. A mural depicting the story of the IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest, brings to life the many transformative changes the world has seen since IDA’s founding in 1960. The “green revolution” staved off widespread famine in South Asia in the 1970s. The Montreal Protocol protected the world’s ozone layer. Haiti rebuilt its homes...
Oct 28, 2016 | Blog Post
Doing Business 2017 finds that 137 economies worldwide implemented 283 business regulatory reforms last year. This represents an increase of more than 20% over the previous year. Areas of reform include starting a business, paying taxes, getting credit and registering property. Notably, 54 IDA countries implemented 113 reforms.
Oct 28, 2016 | Blog Post
Photo credit: Graham Crouch/World Bank In my blog “The Governance Gap – can we bridge it?”, I stressed that strengthened institutions and improved governance are especially critical for the world’s most vulnerable countries in IDA, the World Bank’s Fund for the 77 poorest countries. IDA is the single largest source of funds for basic social services for these governments and every three years, members representing IDA’s 173 donor and borrowing ...
Sep 15, 2016 | Blog Post
"Forcibly Displaced" - a new report out today, offers a new perspective on the global crisis and how humanitarian and development actors can work together to support the individuals affected. The report draws on sources including the UNHCR's Global Trends 2015 which shows that 9 in 10 of the world's refugees originate from 20 countries, and 9 in 10 are hosted by about 40 countries.
Sep 12, 2016 | Blog Post
A professor teaching cell biology and biochemistry at a university in Africa. (Stephan Gladieu / World Bank) Happy UN Day for South –South Cooperation!   Investment in skills is vital to economic growth and competitiveness and poverty reduction. I believe that there is no better way to do that than to educate young graduates with expertise in high-demand areas to help grow African economies, create jobs, and support research. I recently had the...
Aug 19, 2016 | Blog Post
Since 1990, primary school completion rates in countries supported by the International Development Association (IDA) have risen by over 50%. The gap between girls and boys completion remains, but it’s fallen by 70% since 1990 and is now smaller than ever.  
Aug 15, 2016 | Blog Post
Young girl in an evacuation center, 2009. Philippines. Photo: Jerome Ascano / World Bank Since natural disasters can strike anywhere and anytime, making far-sighted preparations is much more effective than scrambling to respond to a crisis. I recognized this after Hurricane Mitch ravaged Honduras and my grandmother had to be evacuated because the local river swelled to the second floor of her home.   As climate change intensifies extreme weather events...
Aug 11, 2016 | Blog Post
Also available in: Spanish - French - Arabic The West Africa Agriculture Productivity Program (WAAPP). Photo Credits: Dasan Bobo/The World Bank Here’s something you may not be aware of: [[tweetable]]agriculture and changes in land use already contribute 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.[[/tweetable]] It’s a statistic that matters in the face of two unrelenting challenges now facing the globe –how to turn the promises of last...
Aug 09, 2016 | Blog Post
Is it hot outside? Should I bring an umbrella?   Most of us don’t think much beyond these questions when we check the weather report on a typical day. But weather information plays a much more critical role than providing intel on whether to take an umbrella or use sunscreen. It can help manage the effects of climate change, prevent economic losses and save lives when extreme weather hits.  During the second IDA18 replenishment meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, I visited the...
Aug 01, 2016 | Blog Post
Carbon dioxide (CO2) accounts for more than 80% of total greenhouse gas emissions globally, but only 12% of emissions are currently covered by explicit carbon prices. The High Level Panel on Carbon Pricing has called on the international community to double this figure to 25% by 2020 and increase it again to 50% within a decade. Read more. 
Jul 28, 2016 | Blog Post
About this series More blog posts Poverty and isolation create a host of development challenges for Myanmar's rural communities, from poor road connections to lack of clean water and unreliable electricity.   Since 2013, the Myanmar National Community-Driven Development Project (NCDDP) has helped improve access to basic infrastructure and services with support from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank's fund for the poorest. The ...
Jun 23, 2016 | Blog Post
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, state counselor of Myanmar and Nobel Peace Prize winner, told representatives from governments rich and poor at a meeting this week in Myanmar that reducing poverty and ensuring that everyone benefits from economic growth calls for a deep focus on addressing the challenges of fragility and conflict, climate change, gender equality, job creation, and good governance.   Suu Kyi was speaking at the opening session of a meeting of the International Development Association (IDA),...
Jun 23, 2016 | Blog Post
This week, more than fifty donor governments and representatives of borrowing member countries are gathering in Nay Pyi Taw to discuss how the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) can continue to help the world’s poorest countries. IDA financing helps the world’s 77 poorest countries address big development issues. With IDA’s help, hundreds of millions of people have escaped poverty. This has been done through the creation of jobs, access to clean water,...
Jun 20, 2016 | Blog Post
The International Development Association (IDA) is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world's poorest countries. Over the past 25 years, IDA countries have seen progress on many fronts. These include greater access to clean water and sanitation, improvements in school completion rates, higher rates of childhood vaccination and higher rates of mobile phone use.
Jun 13, 2016 | Blog Post
For the first time in history, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has fallen below 10%. The world has never been as ambitious about development as it is today. After adopting the Sustainable Development Goals and signing the Paris climate deal at the end of 2015, the global community is now looking into the best and most effective ways of reaching these milestones. In this five-part series, I will discuss what the World Bank Group is doing and what we are planning to do in key...
Jun 06, 2016 | Blog Post
For the first time in history, the number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen below 10%. The world has never been as ambitious about development as it is today. After adopting the Sustainable Development Goals and signing the Paris climate deal at the end of 2015, the global community is now looking into the best and most effective ways of reaching these milestones. In this five-part series I will discuss what the World Bank Group is doing and what we are planning to do in key...
May 23, 2016 | Blog Post
For the first time in history, the number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen below 10%. The world has never been as ambitious about development as it is today. After adopting the Sustainable Development Goals and signing the Paris climate deal at the end of 2015, the global community is now looking into the best and most effective ways of reaching these milestones. In this five-part series I will discuss what the World Bank Group is doing and what we are planning to do in key areas that are ...
May 18, 2016 | Blog Post
For the first time in history, the number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen below 10%. The world has never been as ambitious about development as it is today. After adopting the Sustainable Development Goals and signing the Paris climate deal at the end of 2015, the global community is now looking into the best and most effective ways of reaching these milestones. In this five-part series I will discuss what the World Bank Group is doing and what we are planning to do in key...
May 12, 2016 | Blog Post
For the first time in history, the number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen below 10%. The world has never been as ambitious about development as it is today. After adopting the Sustainable Development Goals and signing the Paris climate deal at the end of 2015, the global community is now looking into the best and most effective ways of reaching these milestones. In this five-part series I will discuss what the World Bank Group is doing and what we are planning to do in key...
May 03, 2016 | Blog Post
Image from the 2016 Aid Transparency Index On April 13, 2016, Publish What You Fund (PWYF) launched the 2016 Aid Transparency Index (ATI), a broadly recognized measure of donors’ aid transparency. We were pleased to see that for the second consecutive year the World Bank (IDA) is in the top (“very good”) category— this year as number 6 on the list, with a score of 86. So, we are among the only 10 donors that, according to PWYF, have lived up to the Busan ...
Apr 29, 2016 | Blog Post
About this series More blog posts Small Island States are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change and natural disasters. In fact, 2/3 of the countries that have been most severely impacted by disasters are small island nations, which have lost between 1 and 9% of GDP annually due to weather extremes and other catastrophes. The severity and recurrence of disasters makes it hard for those countries to recover, and seriously undermines ongoing development...
Apr 27, 2016 | Blog Post
Bus lift for persons with disabilities that I saw when I first arrived in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Ride Metro Bus When I first visited the college town of Madison, Wisconsin (USA) in 2000, what first stood out wasn’t its beautiful university campus or its famous brat and beer combo. What caught my attention was a public bus which had the equipment to lift a wheelchair. “Beep, beep, beep,” a sound would signal as the bus would lower and extend a...
Apr 20, 2016 | Blog Post
Policymakers the world over are concerned about jobs. It is often the first thing they talk about when World Bank delegations meet them, and the last message they leave us with on our way back to Washington. So it should come as no surprise that jobs has been chosen as one of the central themes of the IDA-18 replenishment round. This kicked off in Paris in March and continued in earnest during the recent Spring Meetings.   A bit of background on IDA Replenishment, which can seem a rather...
Nov 18, 2015 | Blog Post
Just two weeks ago, the citizens of Sierra Leone celebrated the end of Ebola transmission in their country with cheering and dancing in the streets of Freetown. It’s a milestone worth celebrating in a country that has suffered nearly 4,000 deaths from the deadly virus. News like this from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone is a reminder of how critical it is to remain vigilant against future outbreaks and continue supporting the countries as their...
Oct 08, 2014 | Blog Post
Inequality is of concern for at least three reasons. First, lower inequality per se is an objective for a decent society. Second, lower inequality improves the efficiency of economic growth in achieving poverty reduction. Third, high inequality impedes growth itself, through its impact on social cohesion and the investment climate. A simple framework for thinking about trends in inequality is to think of income as the result of three ingredients. The first ingredient is the ...
Feb 18, 2014 | Blog Post
When the negotiations for IDA17 were wrapped up in December, there was great relief that IDA deputies were supportive of an IDA expansion despite their own significant budget difficulties. As part of that package, the World Bank Group itself pledged to give IDA $3 billion from profits. This was a generous gesture by the World Bank (albeit a drop in the bucket of total aid), but how good was it for the global development effort? Consider the following—net disbursements of official ...
Oct 31, 2013 | Blog Post
These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week. 'Many vested interests benefit from a lack of open government' Public Leaders Network  “In the first of a series of interviews with speakers and attendees at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) summit 2013, we talk to Professor Jonathan Fox, of the school of international service, American University, Washington. He will moderate a session in which the founding eight OGP...
Jul 24, 2013 | Blog Post
If you saw how poor I was before, you would see that things are getting better.   When I hear stories like that of Jean Bosco Hakizimana, a Burundian farmer whose life was transformed by a cow, I get excited about the change we can all make. Jean Bosco’s income is improving, his kids are eating better, his wife has some nice clothes, and his manioc fields are yielding better harvests — all thanks to the milk and fertilizer from this one cow.   A similar story is...
Jul 12, 2013 | Blog Post
Dr. Pachauri's speech at the Robert Goodland Memorial Lecture   When I heard the news last autumn that 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan had been shot simply for standing up for her right as a girl to get an education, I was horrified. It also reminded me how lucky I was. When I was offered a rare scholarship to study abroad, it wasn’t acceptable for me, as a young married Indonesian woman, to live apart from ...
Jul 11, 2013 | Blog Post
When I heard the news last autumn that 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan had been shot simply for standing up for her right as a girl to get an education, I was horrified. It also reminded me how lucky I was. When I was offered a rare scholarship to study abroad, it wasn’t acceptable for me, as a young married Indonesian woman, to live apart from my husband. My mother laid out two options: Either he would join me, which meant giving up his job, or I had to decline the...
Jun 28, 2013 | Blog Post
Imagine you are a leader of an African country and your entire government budget for the year is $1.2 billion. That same year, an investor sells 51 percent of their stake in a huge iron ore mine in your country for $2.5 billion — more than double your annual government budget. And imagine having ordered a review into mining licenses granted by previous regimes and knowing that the investor who made the $2.5 billion sale had been granted a mining license in your country for free. ...
Jun 06, 2013 | Blog Post
Globally, 165 million children under age 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition – also known as stunting, or low height for age. Much of this damage happens in pregnancy and the first two years of a child’s life. It means a child has failed to develop in full and it is essentially irreversible – which means that the child will have little hope of ever achieving her full potential.    The evidence tells us that malnutrition costs lives, perpetuates poverty, and slows economic growth....
Nov 28, 2012 | Blog Post
Read this post in Français, EspañolPhoto: IDA16 Mid-Term Review, right to left, President Alassane Ouattara, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Republic of Liberia, and Axel van Trotsenburg, Vice President of the World Bank, Concessional Finance & Global Partnerships. Credit: Abidjan.net Two weeks ago, a consortium of donor and borrower countries met to take stock of progress on meeting commitments made by IDA, the World Bank's fund for the poorest...
Sep 12, 2012 | Blog Post
At a fishing enclave called Baie des Anges on Guinea Conakry's Atlantic coast, the country's development challenges are laid bare. In this make-shift settlement shrouded with blue tarpaulins and weighted down with stones and old tires, families battle the constant threat of flooding while they struggle to make a living from fish they smoke on cinder-block stoves. For the poor people of Guinea, better times can't come fast enough. The statistics are tough to read. Here in Guinea, it...
Nov 29, 2011 | Blog Post
I have some good and some not so good news about aid. First, the good news. The aid landscape has seen three important changes during the last decade that have had a transformative, positive effect on the very nature of aid. One of these changes has been the increased focus on the quality of aid—especially on the results being achieved on the ground. The World Bank and IDA, the Bank’s fund for the poorest, have placed a premium on having a real impact in the work we support, and the ...
Sep 03, 2011 | Blog Post
I am standing in a camp near Dollo Ado, in southern Ethiopia near the border with Somalia. The camp is an open site on hard rocky land: the only vegetation is grey, thorny scrub. An endless wind is swirling around me, picking up the light soil under foot and coating everyone and everything with a thin film of orange. Dust devils spin lazily in the relentless hot sun, making it hard to see the plastic sheeting that is the only covering for the ‘huts’ in which 10,000 people are living. Welcome to ...
Feb 08, 2011 | Blog Post
The International Development Association (IDA) is a vital, yet oddly lesser known, arm of the World Bank Group. Briefly, IDA receives donor remittances and a portion of interest payments received from World Bank lending programs and disburses these funds as interest-free grants and subsidized loans to the poorest countries in lieu of traditional lending. “I need a summary of outputs from 50 years of transport sector IDA finance….” was the enquiry I received from the lady from IDA, one...
Oct 21, 2010 | Blog Post
In the 1990s, the government of Ethiopia knew that a major expansion of the road network was a sine qua non for its development goals―namely, (a) advance the private sector; (b) upgrade and expand essential infrastructure; and (c) conserve the environment. With this is mind, Ethiopia’s leaders formulated the 10-year Road Sector Development Program (RSDP 1997–2007), a two-phased integrated package of investments, sectoral reforms, and institutional reorganization, which was later extended...
Oct 07, 2010 | Blog Post
and this is no joke.  Some time ago, I travelled to rural Nepal to supervise joint DFID/World Bank work in improving access to remote communities. To reach the first village, Dailekh, we took a morning flight from Kathmandu and then drove for many hours. The further we travelled, the more uneven and less engineered the roads became, until the last ten miles to our destination were mere mud tracks. Night fell, the roads grew dark, and rain began to fall. We arrived safely, but learned the...
Sep 20, 2010 | Blog Post
  Blogging from the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York City. New research by Chris Murray at the University of Washington gives us powerful evidence of the importance of achieving MDG 2 -- education for all.  Murray found that half the reduction in child deaths over the past 40 years can be attributed to better education of girls.  For every one-year increase in the average education of reproductive-age women, a country experienced a 9.5...
Apr 24, 2010 | Blog Post
  This weekend, shareholders gathered for the Spring Meetings in Washington, DC, will decide on a request to replenish the World Bank Group’s capital base. The request comes in the wake of unprecedented demands for the Bank’s financial assistance stemming from the global economic crisis. In a recent speech at Harvard University, Africa Region Vice President Obiageli Ezekwesili outlined the importance of the capital increase as a critical source of...
Apr 23, 2010 | Blog Post
In their discussions this weekend, the Development Committee will be assessing five strategic priorities for the Bank in a post-crisis environment. Gender is considered a cross-cutting issue that will factor into all of the Bank's work in these priority areas. Gender is also getting special attention this year from IDA (International Development Association) deputies as they deliberate the current round of funding known as the IDA16 replenishment. ...
Aug 19, 2009 | Blog Post
The National Solidarity Program (NSP) is a community-led reconstruction and rural infrastructure initiative. The program has made significant achievements in empowering communities, improving community relations, and increasing public faith in the system of government.       Despite a challenging environment, the program is making significant progress in building community institutions in rural Afghanistan. Some 18,303 communities have...