Learn how the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find Out

Protect & Invest in People: Human Capital in the Time of COVID-19

COVID-19 threatens to reverse gains in human capital outcomes by exposing weaknesses in health, education, and social protection systems. This event explores how immediate, longer-term, and forward-looking responses can lead to a more sustainable recovery.

Mari Pangestu, Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships at the World Bank, describes COVID-19’s threat to human capital and outlines the Bank’s response as countries strive to contain the pandemic, save lives, and rebuild their economies.

We hear from frontline health workers as well as youth from across the globe on the challenges they are facing in responding to the pandemic, what measures they are taking to cope, and their ideas for building a resilient recovery.

Bringing the focus to gender, Melinda Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, explains how women and girls are disproportionately affected, suffering from “shadow” pandemics and Mirai Chatterjee, Director of Social Security at the Self-Employed Women's Association in India, highlights the need to invest in frontline health workers, particularly women.

Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa and the Chairperson of the African Union, shares remarks on how Africa’s strategic and collaborative response is focused on saving lives and protecting livelihoods.

The first panel features Abhijit Banerjee (Economist and Nobel Laureate), Azucena Arbeleche (Minister of Economy and Finance, Uruguay), Dr. Mai Alkaila (Minister of Health, West Bank and Gaza) and Reha Denemec (Deputy Minister of National Education, Turkey) discussing how investments in people can lead to a resilient, inclusive recovery.

Narender Dev Mantena (Head, Global Strategy and CEO, Biological E. Limited, India) and Mohammed Akoojee (Group CEO, Imperial Logistics, South Africa) join the private sector panel and explain how, with IFC support, vaccine manufacturing capacity is being increased and how mobile testing clinics could be used for primary health care services after the pandemic.

Read the chat below!

The Event has concluded


Mari Pangestu, Managing Director, Development Policy and Partnerships, World Bank

Managing Director, Development Policy and Partnerships, World Bank

President, South Africa and Chairperson of the African Union

Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

MIT Professor and Nobel Laureate

Director of Social Security, Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA), India

Minister of Health, West Bank and Gaza  

Minister of Economy and Finance, Uruguay 

Deputy Minister of National Education, Turkey

Group CEO, Imperial

Head, Global Strategy and CEO, Biological E. Limited  

Guinean Music Group

Mamta Murthi, Vice President, Human Development, World Bank

Vice President, Human Development, World Bank

Stephanie von Friedeburg, Senior Vice President, Operations, IFC

Senior Vice President, Operations, IFC


Business Correspondent, BBC News (Moderator)

Watch all the replays of the 2020 Annual Meetings

Receive updates about upcoming events!