The World Bank’s global response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been designed to help save lives and livelihoods for the poorest and most vulnerable while safeguarding the prospects for sustainable growth in developing countries.
The World Bank approved the Improving Healthcare Services in Somalia Project, known as “Damal Caafimaad,” which is financed by a US$75 million International Development Assistance (IDA) grant and an additional US$25 million grant from the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF). This project is the first World Bank investment in Somalia’s health sector in 30 years.
For the 50 percent of the Kyrgyz Republic’s population that lives in rural areas, agriculture
is vital for reducing poverty, improving income inequality, increasing food security, and
generating employment. Livestock production can act as a social safety net against hardships and financial distress for rural households, providing regular income and food security. Building on the country’s legal reforms in 2009, an IDA-supported project worked to strengthen community-based governance and management of pasturelands to improve the livelihoods of the rural population. Between 2014 and 2019, nearly 198,000 people, including almost 100,000 women, benefited
from training that improved livestock management practices across 140 rural communities.
The Kingdom of Tonga, in the South Pacific, is also known for being the country with the third-highest risk for disasters in the world, given its extremely high exposure to cyclones, earthquakes, flooding, and the impacts of sea-level rise. In February 2018, Tonga was hit by Category Four Tropical Cyclone Gita, which flattening homes
and buildings, destroying schools, churches, and wiping out farms and livestock, leaving thousands of families’ livelihoods in tatters. IDA’s Crisis Response Window was able to rapidly deliver emergency funds to assist Cyclone Gita disaster response and recovery initiatives. Further assistance was also made available through the Pacific Resilience Program (PREP).
Pakistan has made substantial progress in reducing poverty, and social protection programs have played an important role. However, a decade ago there was significant room for improvement. It was against this backdrop that the IDA-supported Pakistan Social Safety Net Project was launched—which operated from 2009-17. The project focused on expanding and strengthening Pakistan’s flagship national safety net platform, known as Benazir Income Support Program (BISP).
Abidjan's Declaration: Following the Meeting of Heads of State and Government of Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania and Togo to Support A Twentieth (20th) Ambitious Replenishment of the Resources of the International Development Association (IDA20)
Zambia made it a priority to help more girls and women reach their potential. With support from IDA, the Girls’ Education and Women’s Empowerment and Livelihoods (GEWEL) Program was created. The project works to increase access to livelihood support for women and access to secondary education for disadvantaged adolescent girls in extremely poor households in selected districts.
An IDA-supported project assisted the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education in the design and implementation of measures to keep children and teachers safe when schools re-opened. These built on the school safety protocols and psychosocial support guidelines developed during the Ebola crisis, and have been distributed to all 11,000 primary and secondary schools. About 22,000 teachers were also trained on health and safety protocols before schools reopened. All primary and secondary schools have been equipped with hygiene and safety products, such as face masks, soap, and infrared thermometers, benefitting about 2 million students.
The IDA-financed Regional Sahel Pastoralism Support Project (PRAPS) supports countries of the Sahel—Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal. It helps to protect pastoral systems by improving resource management and animal health, facilitating access to markets, diversifying sources of income for pastoral households, and managing conflicts.
In 1997, the Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (RDRC) was established and has since demobilized and offered reintegration support to more than 70,000 ex-combatants. IDA supported these efforts with two consecutive projects: the Emergency Demobilization and Reintegration Program (2002-2008), and the Second Emergency Demobilization and Reintegration Project (SEDRP) (2009-2017).
The violent attacks carried out by Boko Haram since 2009 have left deep scars for the 15 million people that call the region of North-East Nigeria home. Some 20,00 people have died, and 2.2 million people have been forcibly displaced by the conflict. About 70 percent of those displaced are hosted in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. Between 2017-2020, 687 infrastructure rehabilitation projects have been initiated, and the construction and repair of nearly 180 kilometers of roads and three bridges are underway. Over 105,000 beneficiaries (of which 49 percent are women) have gained access to rehabilitated roads, hospitals, schools, water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, and public buildings. The project has also responded to the trauma of conflict and displacement, with psychosocial support services so far reaching 13,500 households.
Before 2014, Kenya’s aspiring drivers had to visit several government offices to be licensed to drive. Fragmented services and manual procedures created loopholes and opportunities for cartels that processed fake licenses and motor vehicle logbooks, contributing to a thriving underground economy that exposed banks and insurance firms to potential fraud and losses. To combat these issues, the Kenyan government established the semi-autonomous National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to harmonize the operations of key road transport departments and manage road safety.
In the Central African Republic, where years of prolonged violence and conflict have ravaged the country’s health care system, an innovative approach is saving lives and putting people to work. As the global COVID-19 pandemic bore down on the country, the government made the difficult decision to mandate the use of facial masks. Like many countries, however, they were faced with a dearth of masks in local and international markets. The IDA supported LONDO project was able to quickly rise to the challenge, locally producing more than 2.4 million masks in record time.
West Africa has significant energy resources. The region accounts for about one-third of African gas and oil reserves and over 23,000 Megawatt (MW) of technically exploitable hydropower capacity. However, a key challenge has been distribution: the major sources of electricity supply are located far away from the main centers of consumption. The West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) program was conceived to help address this problem. Doing so is a critical part of improving access to energy in a region where much of the population has relied on firewood and charcoal to meet their energy needs.
Access to financial services remains one of the most acute constraints for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in West Africa. The IDA Private Sector Window provides support to the program, in the form of a pooled first-loss guarantee of up to $120 million, allowing IFC to scale up its support in underserved and fragile markets to unbanked SMEs—especially female-owned SMEs or SMEs working in priority sectors like climate or agriculture.
The IDA-supported Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE) Program was launched in 2016 to help Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo respond to the challenges created by the Ebola outbreak and better protect against epidemic threats. Now, REDISSE has strongly positioned these countries as they face yet another health crisis—the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The IDA-supported WURI Program is helping to build the foundational identification systems needed across Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Niger, and Togo to facilitate access to services for millions of people. Informal workers represent 80 percent of total employment in this part of the world—90 percent of whom are women—and they often fall through the cracks of existing social protection programs. In times of crisis, the program aids countries in quickly scaling up social protection programs through flexible platforms, including providing emergency support to informal workers.
To expand the housing finance market, the government created the Tanzania Mortgage Refinance Company (TMRC). The innovative, IDA-supported Tanzania Housing Finance Project supported the TMRC, allowing it to provide medium-and-long-term liquidity to mortgage lenders—making it easier for them to give loans to families to purchase new homes or improve their existing homes.
Recognizing the once-in-a-generation window of opportunity for Sudan to chart a path out of fragility, conflict, and violence, the IDA-supported Sudan Family Support Program (SFSP) was launched. The program the Sudanese people call Thamarat was introduced to strengthen social protection, increase the spending power of families, and help cushion vulnerable groups from the adverse impact of the reforms and short-term shocks.
Through the ten-year approach, the program will ultimately reach 75 percent of all children in Madagascar, ensuring that their future is healthier, happier, and free of the adverse impacts of stunting.
A Liberia youth farming group in rural Lofa County that benefitted from the outh Opportunities Project (YOP) has been successful in its agriculture efforts, enabling it provide solar electrification for their small village. One member and young mother, Fatumata Bility, says she feels proud to be part of a group that worked hard to bring such development to her community.
The IDA-supported Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP), which aims to improve access to basic social services, expand economic opportunities, and enhance environmental management for communities hosting refugees, is shifting its focus in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
For Ghana, COVID-19 is exacerbating poverty and disproportionately impacting the poor and vulnerable. Economic growth has slowed, and the labor market has been hard hit—77 percent of the population reported a decline in household income during the first three months of the pandemic. The crisis is also threatening to disrupt the provision of essential health services due to barriers in the supply of, and demand for, services.
IDA-supported Eastern & Southern Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence (ACEII) project is designed to strengthen selected academic research centers to deliver quality post-graduate education and develop globally engaged and collaborative research capacity in the Eastern and Southern Africa region.
The IDA-supported Ebola program strengthened community resilience by providing temporary jobs to beneficiaries in Ebola hotspots. Overall, more than 35,000 direct beneficiaries have worked more than a million days (as of September 30, 2020) and received about $3 million in stipends.
The IDA-supported Flood Emergency Project, implemented from 2014 to 2020, focused on protecting local communities in Cameroon by upgrading a 70km flood embankment along the Logone River and 27km of the Maga dam.
Investing in girls’ education and keeping girls in school are critical first steps in building a country’s human capital and opening up opportunities for women in the Sahel. The IDA-supported Sahel Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend project (SWEDD) aims to empower women and adolescent girls and increase their access to quality education and reproductive, child, and maternal health services.