Resilient Recovery Series: Ensuring the Poorest Are Not Left Behind

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Resilient Recovery Series: Ensuring the Poorest Are Not Left Behind

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COVID-19, climate change and conflict have put millions of already-vulnerable people on the line. The poorest have been hardest hit and least cushioned against such shocks. In the face of these deeply unfair crises, what will it take to drive a resilient recovery that leaves no one behind? Join us for a discussion on solutions from the ground—and how the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, is driving innovation and outcomes.

Use the following timestamps to navigate different sections of the video.

00:00 Country voices: The extensive impact of COVID-19
02:05 Introductory remarks and presentation of the speakers
03:51 Lessons learnt & reasons to be hopeful: Visions from IDA
08:16 The experience of Nepal in resource allocation during crises
11:43 Yemen: Protecting lives and livelihoods amid crises and conflict
15:15 Safeguarding jobs and livelihoods in Africa
18:40 The importance of working together
21:48 Partner voices: Stories of outcomes from WHO, WFP, UNICEF, UNDP, UNHCR, UNFPA
24:38 Protecting the doubly vulnerable during crises
28:43 How can we be more prepared: The case of Nepal
33:51 IDA's experience: Is there a formula for dealing with crises?
38:47 Closing remarks: Solutions to drive change

Samuel Munzele Maimbo, Director of the IDA Resource Mobilization and IBRD Corporate Finance, Development Finance, World Bank

“World Bank's International Development Association mobilized an unprecedented amount of financing to support vaccines plus immediate health emergency. It also supported targeted cash transfers, human capital, Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, and jobs...In the midst of challenges, what keeps me going are stories I hear from the field reminding us that even in the midst of this crisis, there is hope."

 Samuel Munzele Maimbo, World Bank

Madhu Marasini, Secretary, Ministry of Finance of Nepal

"I thank the World Bank's International Development Association for support rebuilding Nepal after the devastating [2015] earthquake....We learnt we have to be spending on resilient and sustainable infrastructure."

— Madhu Marasini, Ministry of Finance of Nepal

Hind Ali Manager of Monitoring and Evaluation, Yemen Social Fund for Development

"The Yemen Social Fund for Development has, with World Bank's International Development Association support, reached almost 3.7 million people, improving their well-being...This is not just to provide immediate support, but to offer a long-term buffer from shocks."

— Hind Ali, Yemen Social Fund for Development

Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi, Executive Vice President, The African Center for Economic Transformation

"Let's put a gender lens on macro and micro economic policy formulation....It's not a moral argument. It makes economic sense...Jobs must be at the heart of Africa's economic transformation agenda.”

— Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi, The African Center for Economic Transformation

 

Speakers

Moderator

Read the transcript


  • 00:00 (music)
  • 00:14 [Video voice over]: People who are poor and marginalized bear
  • 00:16 the brunt of shocks like COVID-19, natural disasters, and food crises.
  • 00:22 They are also the hardest to reach and serve.
  • 00:25 [Faure Gnassingbe]: [speaking in French] First and foremost, the loss of human lives is the biggest loss of all,
  • 00:28 because you cannot bring them back.
  • 00:30 So many families are bereaved.
  • 00:33 [Mohamed Bazoum]: [speaking in French] Loss of incomes, inflation, and a drop in external resources,
  • 00:42 especially from our diaspora -- all of these factors affected the living conditions of our people.
  • 00:52 [Sarah Agada]: A lot of people have lost their jobs.
  • 00:54 The level of hunger is increased.
  • 00:55 Education is also affected.
  • 00:57 [David Kabua]: As a small island state, our country faces
  • 01:00 unique challenges, including geographic isolation, rising sea levels, and climate change impact
  • 01:07 among others.
  • 01:08 [Irfaan Ali]: The uneven global response to the pandemic
  • 01:11 has not helped.
  • 01:12 In order to attenuate this uneven response, avoid the adverse consequences of a two-tiered
  • 01:21 recovery and prepare for future exogenous shocks, greater attention must be paid to
  • 01:27 strengthen resilience, particularly for the most vulnerable countries.
  • 01:31 [Gabriel Msabila Karsan]: It has shown how unprepared we were in terms
  • 01:34 of crisis management.
  • 01:35 [Macky Sall]: [speaking in French] In Africa, there are 1.2 billion people who can"t wait,
  • 01:39 who need development, health services, education.
  • 01:44 [Denis from Kenya]: Together, we can heal this country.
  • 01:46 Remember, even the darkest nights will end and the sun will shine again.
  • 01:52 [Temitope Mandy]: As we go through this pandemic, I want us
  • 01:54 to always remember, that to win, we need to depend on each other and help each other.
  • 02:00 Thank you.
  • 02:01 IDA: Results, Recovery, Resilience
  • 02:04 [Noreyana Fernando]: Good morning, good afternoon and good evening.
  • 02:08 Welcome to this episode of the Resilient Recovery Series here on World Bank Live.
  • 02:13 I'm Noreyana Fernando in Washington, DC.
  • 02:16 You just heard from country leaders and thought leaders on challenges that COVID-19 has laid
  • 02:22 bare in their countries.
  • 02:24 As with most multidimensional shocks, COVID-19 has hit the poorest the hardest.
  • 02:29 The same is true for climate change, natural disasters, conflict, the already vulnerable
  • 02:35 become even more vulnerable.
  • 02:36 [Noreyana Fernando]: Now, we are two years into the pandemic and
  • 02:40 we are continuing to see these deeply unfair trends.
  • 02:43 In fact, an additional 55 to 63 million people in the poorest countries are estimated to
  • 02:49 have been pushed into extreme poverty because of COVID-19.
  • 02:53 So, action is urgent, targeted, timely solutions are imperative.
  • 02:58 And fortunately we have change makers around the world making these solutions happen.
  • 03:03 [Noreyana Fernando]: I am pleased to welcome some of these change
  • 03:06 makers to our panel today, and we are going to be laser focused on the solutions.
  • 03:11 Joining us from Kathmandu is Madhu Marasini, secretary to the Ministry of Finance in Nepal.
  • 03:19 Joining us from Accra, Ghana is Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi, executive vice president of the African Center
  • 03:26 for Economic Transformation.
  • 03:29 Coming to us from Sanaa is Hind Ali, manager of monitoring and evaluation at the Yemen
  • 03:35 Social Fund for Development.
  • 03:37 And finally from Washington DC, we have Sam Maimbo, director for resource mobilization
  • 03:43 at IDA, which is the World Bank's fund for the poorest countries.
  • 03:48 Thank you all very much for taking the time to be here.
  • 03:50 [Noreyana Fernando]: And Sam, let's start with you.
  • 03:52 We just heard from all these leaders and young people speaking about the things that keep
  • 03:56 them up at night, what is your message to them?
  • 03:59 Are there reasons to be hopeful?
  • 04:00 [Samuel Munzele Maimbo]: Well, first and foremost, I would say to them,
  • 04:04 anybody who's awake at night out of worry is not alone, because the last couple of years
  • 04:10 have been tough on everyone.
  • 04:12 But, especially so for those people who work in the informal sector, they have no safety
  • 04:17 net.
  • 04:18 Even more so those who have lost a loved one to COVID-19, or have had to stop work in order
  • 04:24 to watch over their children who are out of school.
  • 04:27 That small business owner who has had to close her shop because she can't make ends meet.
  • 04:32 [Samuel Munzele Maimbo]: So, as we start this discussion, let me strongly
  • 04:36 validate the voices that we've heard.
  • 04:38 We're standing at a critical crossroad when it comes to dealing with a crisis that has
  • 04:44 certainly unfair consequences on a variety of people.
  • 04:50 This is even more painful when you think about all those countries who've put decades of
  • 04:54 hard work to just manage some measure of growth only to see that growth wiped out in a matter
  • 05:02 of months, to see the tragic reversal in development gains that they were slowly making against
  • 05:07 the sustainable development goals.
  • 05:11 And yet, and even further, and perhaps even more personal for many of us, is the fact
  • 05:17 that the lag in COVID-19 vaccinations and the failure to achieve economic recovery.
  • 05:26 There has been significant setbacks regarding human character development, food security,
  • 05:32 and all of this taking place in an environment of mounting debt vulnerabilities.
  • 05:37 [Samuel Munzele Maimbo]: This is sadly the case in Sub-Saharan Africa,
  • 05:41 which I am proud to call home.
  • 05:43 There are so many countries today that are dealing with crisis that are being compounded
  • 05:49 by COVID-19.
  • 05:51 Look, I will get to answer your question because, yes, there is hope.
  • 05:58 There are resources out there, there're solutions that we know have worked.
  • 06:03 And IDA is a source for both of these things.
  • 06:06 IDA as the World Bank's fund for the poorest has acted quickly, has mobilized an unprecedented
  • 06:13 amount of financing.
  • 06:15 To date, we have invested as much as 56 billion since the beginning of the crisis.
  • 06:21 This has been used to support vaccines and the immediate health emergency.
  • 06:27 But equally importantly, it has been used to cushion the poorest through targeted cash
  • 06:33 transfers, to protect human capital and education, to support jobs and MSE needs and provide
  • 06:40 tailored solutions for people facing conflicts, and certainly much much more.
  • 06:45 [Samuel Munzele Maimbo]: We are seeing each day the impact that the
  • 06:51 World Bank is having in saving lives and protecting livelihoods.
  • 06:56 And in the midst of all of these challenges, what certainly keeps me going are the stories
  • 07:00 that I hear from the field, from my colleagues who work in country, alongside government
  • 07:07 officials and civil society, and many others trying to do their best that they can.
  • 07:12 So, if I think about Bushra from Pakistan, who is able to continue her schooling from
  • 07:18 home because of the TeleSchool initiative, or [Waseelah 00:08:16] from Yemen who has
  • 07:24 offered temporary employment, allowing her to feed her aging parents and grandmother,
  • 07:30 there are many good stories out there.
  • 07:33 [Olga 00:08:27] from Cote d'Ivoire, for example, was initially hesitant, as many people were
  • 07:38 in the beginning about using a vaccine at first, that has subsequently learned through
  • 07:45 and an awareness campaign managed to get the value of vaccination and get herself and her
  • 07:51 entire family vaccinated.
  • 07:54 All of these are real stories that remind us that even in the midst of this crisis,
  • 07:59 there is hope.
  • 08:00 And we need to charge ahead with confidence towards a resilient recovery.
  • 08:05 Back to you Noreyana.
  • 08:06 [Noreyana Fernando]: Thank you, Sam.
  • 08:08 And thank you for sharing those stories.
  • 08:10 And we look forward to hearing many more.
  • 08:12 You talked about resource mobilization during crisis.
  • 08:15 And Mr. Secretary, Nepal has had two recent crises, the devastating 2015 earthquakes,
  • 08:20 and of course, COVID-19.
  • 08:23 What lessons has the country learned about resource allocation during crises?
  • 08:27 [Madhu Marasini]: Thank you very much, Noreyana.
  • 08:31 And good morning, good afternoon, everybody.
  • 08:33 Hello from Kathmandu, from the Mount Everest.
  • 08:36 So, well, yeah, as you know that we have been through this very most difficult and critical
  • 08:43 times recently, one was we have it hit hard by the massive earthquake when we lost over
  • 08:49 10,000 lives, almost 500,000 houses were destroyed and many more heritage sites, schools and
  • 08:58 other public buildings, they were destroyed.
  • 09:01 And when we were just picking up, when we were rebuilding, we were trying to build back
  • 09:08 better our infrastructures, then again came this global pandemic and the COVID-19, and
  • 09:14 that again hit us hard.
  • 09:17 And now we informally, we think that hundreds of thousands of Nepali poor people, vulnerable
  • 09:23 people who were, I mean about to graduate from their below poverty level.
  • 09:29 Now again, fall down into the poverty, I mean, below poverty, right into the poverty trap.
  • 09:36 [Madhu Marasini]: So that taught us that what we did is for
  • 09:42 example, during the earthquake period, what we learned is that how do we have invested
  • 09:46 for better infrastructures, plus Nepal infrastructure in advance, then we don't have been losing
  • 09:52 that much of lives that many infrastructure wouldn't have been destroyed.
  • 09:58 The same is that during the COVID-19 pandemic, what we learned is that our spending on health
  • 10:05 infrastructure are spending on health human resources, doctors, nurses.
  • 10:11 We're really, really [inaudible], right?
  • 10:14 It was not sufficient.
  • 10:16 So what we learned is that we have to be really investing a good amount of money to prevent
  • 10:24 these type of natural or other type of disasters, like pandemic or natural disasters.
  • 10:31 In any case, Nepal is very much disaster prone country.
  • 10:35 We come down around the fourth most disaster prone country in the world.
  • 10:41 [Madhu Marasini]: So there is the vulnerability always there,
  • 10:45 but we are one of the least developed countries so there is huge resource gap as well.
  • 10:51 So what we also are the international committee and its facility, the IDA donors and the World
  • 10:56 Bank management itself that you guys have to need to help us to prepare better and resilient
  • 11:03 infrastructure so that we can sustain like this type of pandemics and disasters and our
  • 11:09 people can live a healthy long and resilient life.
  • 11:13 So this is the lesson that we need to spend in advance, right?
  • 11:16 And there is a spending gap both for the resilient infrastructure as well as into the health
  • 11:22 system which is very critical for human life and other.
  • 11:26 And of course, to meet out development experiences as well.
  • 11:30 So that is what the lesson that we learned.
  • 11:32 [Noreyana Fernando]: And you're emphasizing this need to invest
  • 11:35 in systems so that basic needs can be met, health systems, disaster response system.
  • 11:40 [Madhu Marasini]: Exactly.
  • 11:41 [Noreyana Fernando]: And I would like to turn to you because Yemen
  • 11:44 has had its fair share of crises after years of conflict that has affected systems.
  • 11:49 And as we speak, millions are in need of basic needs of food, shelter, healthcare vaccines,
  • 11:54 what are some of the ways in which SFDs working today in Yemen to protect lives and livelihoods
  • 12:00 amid COVID and conflict?
  • 12:03 [Hind Ali]: Thank you Noreyana, and good morning and good
  • 12:06 evening everybody.
  • 12:09 As you likely said, the depth of the crisis in Yemen goes beyond the immediate and emergency
  • 12:16 type of interventions and needs.
  • 12:20 We see people queuing for small amounts of water every day.
  • 12:25 We see girls and children out of schools because of lack of income resources.
  • 12:30 We also see people liquidating their assets just to access medical treatment.
  • 12:38 All of that in a country that has suffered seven years of a conflict where almost 80%
  • 12:46 of the community and of Yemenis in need of some form of support.
  • 12:51 Yet, with the support of our donors, especially the World Bank and IDA, we have been able
  • 12:59 to respond to the monthly diverse needs in the Yemeni community.
  • 13:04 We have been able to with the IDA support to reach out to almost 3.7 million people
  • 13:11 improving their wellbeing.
  • 13:13 An examples of the interventions that we have been implementing through the IDA support
  • 13:18 was a cash work and cash transfers where we're not only transferring cash, but we are also
  • 13:26 building skills for those people and providing them with livelihoods opportunities where
  • 13:34 they are more resilient.
  • 13:37 [Hind Ali]: We supported more than 552,000 people with
  • 13:41 the cash transfers.
  • 13:42 We have also supported more than 260,000 women and 270,000 children at risk of malnutrition
  • 13:52 with much needed cash and lifesaving nutritional treatments.
  • 13:58 Our support does not only include the cash transfers, but we also go beyond that in protecting
  • 14:05 the livelihoods where we have supported more than 400,000 beneficiaries protecting and
  • 14:13 providing them more sustainable livelihoods.
  • 14:16 So this kind of support is not just such intervention do not only provide the immediate and emergency
  • 14:24 type of support, but they offer a long term buffer from shocks including that of COVID-19.
  • 14:32 Those people who are benefiting from our support, they are more equipped to avoid the emergency
  • 14:38 and poverty traps.
  • 14:41 So much more emphasis and need is towards supporting the livelihoods, supporting the
  • 14:49 kind of long-term support that goes beyond these kind of emergency type of interventions.
  • 14:57 [Noreyana Fernando]: Thank you very much, Hind.
  • 15:00 And then this focus on livelihoods, it's important because the builds don't stop coming in just
  • 15:04 because there's a crisis.
  • 15:05 And the temporary relief is very important and just as important, our jobs during crises.
  • 15:12 Mavis, you work at asset which is focused on long-term growth in Africa through transformation
  • 15:18 and jobs are a cornerstone of that kind of transformation.
  • 15:21 Are you finding that jobs are just as important during crises as well?
  • 15:25 [Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi]: Thank you, Noreyana.
  • 15:27 Good morning.
  • 15:28 Good evening.
  • 15:29 Good afternoon.
  • 15:30 Wherever you might be in the world and greetings from Accra.
  • 15:34 Yes, Noreyana, jobs are critical.
  • 15:37 Jobs were critical before the crisis in Africa and they are critical even now.
  • 15:42 As Sam said earlier on, we had a large number on the continent in the informal sector.
  • 15:49 And when the crisis hit, government had to put in place policies to protect our population.
  • 15:55 And it meant that a lot of people could actually not go out to work.
  • 15:59 Unfortunately, the social protection that was available was not sufficient to meet market
  • 16:05 demand.
  • 16:06 So jobs and livelihoods were critical before they were critical during the crisis and they
  • 16:11 continued to be critical.
  • 16:12 [Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi]: And why is that?
  • 16:14 We are a young population.
  • 16:16 By 2015, with an estimated population of 2.5 billion, every four people walking on this
  • 16:23 earth will be an African.
  • 16:25 Now half of these people are projected to be under 25-years-old.
  • 16:32 We have more people entering the labor force each month than in any other region of the
  • 16:38 world.
  • 16:39 So we currently need to create at least 1 million decent jobs each month to be able
  • 16:46 to absorb those entrance into the marketplace.
  • 16:53 Unfortunately, we are only creating 3.1 million jobs per anum, which means that 80% of the
  • 17:01 people that we're entering the employment market were actually going into the informal
  • 17:06 sector which is very vulnerable.
  • 17:09 So with the informal sector, every time a crisis hits, they are one of the first places
  • 17:15 which feels the shock.
  • 17:17 And so jobs must be at the heart of Africa's economic transformation agenda.
  • 17:23 Countries must focus not just on economic growth, but how to diversify the economies
  • 17:28 to create these jobs.
  • 17:29 [Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi]: How to enhance export promotion to create
  • 17:33 these jobs?
  • 17:34 They need to invest in skills and infrastructure to enhance the productivity of these countries
  • 17:40 and enhance the productivity of their labor force.
  • 17:42 And I think this is where IDA becomes really critical.
  • 17:47 And the focus that IDA has placed on jobs is going to be a fundamental part of helping
  • 17:54 countries on the continent, not just to rebuild back, but build forward better.
  • 18:00 Lay the foundations for transformation.
  • 18:03 Ensure our young people are skilled adequately, ensure that they are supporting not just what
  • 18:10 is happening at the country level, but also developing public goods such as supporting
  • 18:15 movement of people, enabling a young Ghanaian to be able to work in Kenya if that's where
  • 18:21 the job is.
  • 18:22 All of this is critical because if growth does not translate to decent jobs and decent
  • 18:30 outcomes for human wellbeing, then we fail.
  • 18:34 Thank you.
  • 18:35 [Noreyana Fernando]: Thank you, Mavis.
  • 18:36 Decent jobs and decent outcomes for human wellbeing, that was very well said.
  • 18:39 And it's striking to me that the diversity of people we have present here in terms of
  • 18:45 roles, right?
  • 18:46 It takes a village to affect this kind of change.
  • 18:49 And when a crisis like this happens, we're all affected, so we must all be part of the
  • 18:54 solution.
  • 18:55 And Hind, I'd like to actually go back to you because the SFD is a great study in this
  • 18:58 kind of collaboration and partnership.
  • 19:00 Could you share a few examples of how collaboration has worked for Yemen's people?
  • 19:05 [Hind Ali]: Yes.
  • 19:07 Thank you.
  • 19:09 So we have had a strong partnership with our donors and specifically with IDA.
  • 19:21 We have been successful with the IDA support to deliver an effective response that allowed
  • 19:26 us to avoid the emergency trap through a longer term solutions in social protection, in livelihoods,
  • 19:33 and in access to services.
  • 19:37 SFD has been working in multisectoral activities providing services in different areas, including
  • 19:47 basic services in most education, health, as well as cash plus kind of activities and
  • 19:54 the livelihood kind of support.
  • 20:00 In a fragile and conflict situation, we find that national state organizations become weaker,
  • 20:08 but at the local level, when we go down to the district level to the government's level,
  • 20:13 we find stronger institutional resilience.
  • 20:16 And that's where we have been successful also to create stronger partnerships at the district
  • 20:22 level through our local governance and empowerment program, where we have been building capacities
  • 20:29 of the local structures.
  • 20:30 We have building their capacities, supporting them in planning and executing interventions
  • 20:36 that support the development and the resilience within the district and subdistrict levels.
  • 20:42 [Hind Ali]: And this also prepares them beyond the current
  • 20:45 conflict situations.
  • 20:47 It supports them at the longer term when hopefully the conflict and during recovery.
  • 20:56 We also have stronger kind of relationships with the UN agencies where IDAs support is
  • 21:07 being channeled now, especially during the conflict.
  • 21:10 This type of support has supported the preservation of national institutions and national capacities
  • 21:19 like SFD and it has allowed us to continue our operations across Yemen in almost all
  • 21:26 of the districts in Yemen.
  • 21:28 [Noreyana Fernando]: And the way you're putting it, there are multi-level
  • 21:32 collaborations.
  • 21:33 They have the international collaboration, the national, but then of course is the regional
  • 21:37 and district which is supremely important.
  • 21:39 So thank you for highlighting that.
  • 21:41 And you mentioned SFDs partnership with IDA and which is the World Bank's fund for the
  • 21:47 poorest countries.
  • 21:48 Let's take a look at some other ways in which IDA is partnering up to drive change.
  • 21:52 [Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus]: In Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Liberia.
  • 21:58 Speaker 17: Uganda, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic
  • 22:01 of Congo.
  • 22:02 [Dr. Natalia Kanem]: Is the Sahel Women's Empowerment and Demographic
  • 22:04 Dividend Project.
  • 22:05 [David Beasley]: We help governments address the key challenges
  • 22:08 they face.
  • 22:09 [crosstalk 00:23:02]
  • 22:10 [Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus]: Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,
  • 22:18 WHO and the IDA have aided more than 50 countries to respond to the outbreak.
  • 22:26 [Henrietta Fore]: In South Sudan, for example, IDA has helped
  • 22:30 UNICEF deliver essential health services in areas hardest hit by the conflict, areas where
  • 22:36 vital systems like healthcare are nonexistent, or have been shattered by the fighting.
  • 22:43 Thanks to IDA investments, we are able to provide medical supplies, healthcare, and
  • 22:49 vital information to children and families.
  • 22:52 [Filippo Grandi]: The World Bank's International Development
  • 22:56 Association support has brought important change to the way the international community
  • 23:04 responds to refugee flows.
  • 23:08 In very practical terms, it means that resources are provided to the country of asylum.
  • 23:18 [Dr. Natalia Kanem]: And what's unique and powerful about the Sahel
  • 23:27 Women's Empowerment and Demographic Dividend Project is that it empowers women and girls
  • 23:30 through education, career development with access to sexual and reproductive health services
  • 23:32 and much more.
  • 23:33 [David Beasley]: Together, we help governments address the
  • 23:34 key challenges they face, especially those dealing with fragile and unstable social or
  • 23:40 economic conditions.
  • 23:42 For example, in Somalia, WFP and Ida have worked with the government to scale up cash
  • 23:48 transfers to 1.2 million people driving up food security while strengthening, strengthening
  • 23:54 the local economy.
  • 23:56 [Achim Steiner]: In Honduras, we partnered with a government
  • 23:58 to implement state of the art multidimensional vulnerability dashboards with georeference
  • 24:04 administrative registries to reach poor and vulnerable populations with baskets of services
  • 24:09 and cash transfers.
  • 24:10 [Henrietta Fore]: IDA works help us expand this vital lifeline
  • 24:16 for children for our world.
  • 24:19 [Noreyana Fernando]: Well, those were some powerful examples of
  • 24:35 projects that are driving real change in countries.
  • 24:37 And these leaders alluded to this concept of people who are doubly vulnerable, women,
  • 24:43 children, refugees, people with disabilities.
  • 24:46 Mavis, I'd like to come to you and ask, how do we ensure that any solutions we have during
  • 24:51 crisis are inclusive amid the turbulence, or should we say, especially amid the turbulence.
  • 24:58 [Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi]: Thank you, Noreyana.
  • 25:01 And listening to colleagues on the video, I really felt the pain of how vulnerable people
  • 25:09 are affected.
  • 25:10 We talk about COVID-19 pushing up to 40 million people into extreme poverty, but that is coupled
  • 25:20 with regression from gains, from the sustainable development goals.
  • 25:24 We know under five mortality is going to go up.
  • 25:27 We already seen problems with nutrition as we saw for during nutrition for growth, maternal
  • 25:34 mortality, access to quality education, just to name a few.
  • 25:39 The groups that were already vulnerable are the ones that did and are still acutely feeling
  • 25:45 the effects of COVID-19.
  • 25:48 So for example, we saw and are seeing women are carrying additional and paid domestic
  • 25:53 burdens as families stayed at home, or are slowly returning.
  • 25:58 We are seeing women struggling to gain access to basic health services for themselves and
  • 26:02 for their young children.
  • 26:04 Poor girls, as Sam said earlier on, struggle to gain access to education at the height
  • 26:11 of the pandemic.
  • 26:13 And we know that they are also struggling to go back to school as parents who have lost
  • 26:19 their jobs are starting to depend on their children to help them with income generation.
  • 26:24 [Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi]: And if you are elderly and disabled and female,
  • 26:28 you are being fair the marginalized during this crisis.
  • 26:32 We also saw that the measures that were put in place for COVID-19 really highlighted the
  • 26:40 vulnerability of women's employment in Africa.
  • 26:43 So for example, in Ghana, within the first week of lockdown in March 2020, women's employment
  • 26:50 dropped by 23 percentage points compared to that of men.
  • 26:55 And now this is partly because most of the women were in the informal sector, and it
  • 27:00 means that they actually have to be out there doing business.
  • 27:03 If you put things in lockdown, they can't go out and do business.
  • 27:07 But the interesting thing is that as economies started to reopen, women are rebounding faster
  • 27:15 than men.
  • 27:17 Women are actually driving the rebound in the economy than we are seeing men's contribution
  • 27:25 to that rebound.
  • 27:26 [Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi]: So, as we think through how we get our economies
  • 27:29 back on track, it's not about building back better.
  • 27:32 It's about building forward better making sure that we are building resilient economies
  • 27:38 that are able to withstand shocks, economies that are able to take advantage of the resilience
  • 27:44 of women.
  • 27:45 Let's prioritize gender based budgeting.
  • 27:48 Let's put a gender lens on macro and microeconomic policy formulation.
  • 27:52 Let's ensure our fiscal frameworks are gender sensitive.
  • 27:56 Let's create spaces for women and young people to be an integral part of the decision making
  • 28:01 process on how we build forward better.
  • 28:05 It is not a moral argument.
  • 28:07 It makes economic sense.
  • 28:09 We have the data so let's ensure that the people who can help us build our economy,
  • 28:16 the 50% of the world that carry half of the sky, the 50% of women in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • 28:23 that drive the economy of this country, let's put them at the center of building back our
  • 28:29 economies.
  • 28:30 Thank you.
  • 28:31 [Noreyana Fernando]: Thank you, Mavis.
  • 28:32 That was a powerful case for gender based budgeting.
  • 28:34 That's a great term.
  • 28:35 And it occurs to me that it's something that needs to happen before crises if we need to
  • 28:39 be building this resilience well before the shocks hit.
  • 28:42 Mr. Secretary, I'd like to turn to you because Nepal is a great example of building resilience
  • 28:48 before crises.
  • 28:49 For example, through IDA support, your government constructed more than 200,000 earthquake resilient
  • 28:55 houses.
  • 28:56 Do you have any other advice or ideas for ways in which countries just can become more
  • 29:00 resilient in general?
  • 29:01 [Madhu Marasini]: Yeah.
  • 29:04 After the earthquake, we've been able to rebuild over 200,000 houses and around like hundreds
  • 29:13 of thousands of school buildings as well, and many more heritages as well.
  • 29:17 And that was, I should thank the World Bank and especially the IDA for its support to
  • 29:22 rebuild Nepal after this devastating earthquake.
  • 29:25 Actually, what we did is that soon after the earthquake, we can main international conference
  • 29:31 on Nepal street construction, and we are able to raise over $4 billion US dollar assistance
  • 29:38 from our development partners and also our friendly countries.
  • 29:42 And that resource has helped us in mostly to rebuild our destroyed and damaged infrastructures.
  • 29:51 As I said to you earlier, now, what we have greatly learned is that we have to be spending
  • 29:58 on preparing our building resilient and sustainable infrastructures, right, where we have the
  • 30:06 funding gap because of the vulnerability of natural calamities, because of the vulnerability
  • 30:14 of global pandemics, and also because of the vulnerability because you are poor, right?
  • 30:20 [Madhu Marasini]: When you are poor, you don't have subset income
  • 30:23 and you cannot build a sustainable or resilient house.
  • 30:26 You don't have good schooling.
  • 30:28 You don't get like good medicine, then you are always on a risky zone, right?
  • 30:34 That's the lesson that we learned.
  • 30:36 So what we learn is that we need to be spending on those people who are at the lower bottom,
  • 30:42 lower level of your contact, right?
  • 30:45 They are always vulnerable.
  • 30:47 When you are vulnerable, maybe you are left behind even in the vaccines campaign sometimes
  • 30:52 because you don't know, there is lack of information as well.
  • 30:57 You don't know where to go, where you get, right?
  • 31:00 So we need to teach them, these are the ways and means that you can get this state face,
  • 31:06 sometimes that also because they are not educated as well, right.
  • 31:10 And they don't know how to build their houses so that they can sustain even like some level
  • 31:18 of earthquake or some level of landslides because Nepal, as a mountainous country, we
  • 31:24 frequently have floods, landslides as well, and our mountains are melting as well.
  • 31:29 And there are glacier lakes, they are melting thrusting as well.
  • 31:32 [Madhu Marasini]: If you have been following the news, we had
  • 31:37 recently [inaudible], so we had on rain as well.
  • 31:41 We had over 200 people, they died and hundreds of others are missing.
  • 31:46 And also about 80% of our whole paddy production that was lost, this is the level of vulnerability
  • 31:54 that we have been confronting.
  • 31:56 So always with our development partners, especially with the IDA, IDA have been very much helpful
  • 32:02 for us because during the pandemic as well, IDA supported us with the rapid credit facility
  • 32:07 of 49 million upfront, right?
  • 32:10 And then another 75 million to purchase the vaccine.
  • 32:13 And there is another 18 million to adopt the additional vaccine so it hasn't supporting.
  • 32:19 But always the lesson learned is that we have to be very sensitive preparing resilient infrastructures
  • 32:28 rather than looking for funds when you already have these disasters and when you already
  • 32:36 meet through disasters or pandemics, right?
  • 32:38 [Madhu Marasini]: So we need an advanced preparedness.
  • 32:43 So we need like to investing those vulnerable groups of people in advance, right?
  • 32:48 So that they can recoup and they can remain resilient as well and they can resist any
  • 32:56 level of vulnerability or pandemics as well and they know how to access all those type
  • 33:02 of facilities as well.
  • 33:04 Those healthcare services, so protection services, services as Hind was talking.
  • 33:11 So these types of services if we were able to provide in advance, right, and in a continuous
  • 33:17 fashion, then our people will be more resilient.
  • 33:21 That's the lesson that we learn.
  • 33:23 So there are designs, how designs have distributed to the people.
  • 33:29 So now our houses are rebuilt so that they can sustain even the disasters and landslide
  • 33:36 as well.
  • 33:37 That's the thing.
  • 33:38 Thank you.
  • 33:39 [Noreyana Fernando]: And part of doing all this requires an intimate
  • 33:41 knowledge of the challenges, right?
  • 33:43 You know that Nepal is more prone to natural disasters.
  • 33:46 So there's almost a needs assessment that needs to happen beforehand.
  • 33:49 [Madhu Marasini]: Exactly.
  • 33:50 [Noreyana Fernando]: And Sam, IDA has decades of experience with
  • 33:53 multidimensional crises, but also knowing country needs in advance.
  • 33:57 Are you finding there's a tried and tested formula for dealing with crises?
  • 34:01 [Samuel Munzele Maimbo]: Well, no Noreyana, listening to the secretary
  • 34:06 and Mavis makes it clear that there is no single formula out there, but what there is
  • 34:12 are significant lessons that we have learned.
  • 34:15 And I have to say before I speak about the lessons that IDA has learned, listening to
  • 34:20 all three also reminds me first that the world wasn't in a particularly great place when
  • 34:27 COVID hit us.
  • 34:28 We were still struggling to create enough jobs for young people who are coming into
  • 34:34 the job market on the African continent.
  • 34:36 And secondly, that even as we focus on COVID, none of the other manmade and natural disasters
  • 34:43 have gone on vacation, we're still facing natural disasters.
  • 34:46 We're still dealing with conflict.
  • 34:48 And all of these things imply that we have to draw on the lessons that we have learned
  • 34:55 on crisis preparedness and coordinating our response efforts in order for us to succeed.
  • 35:00 [Samuel Munzele Maimbo]: So if I look back at IDA and what we've done
  • 35:04 and what we've learned, I think the most significant thing is learning to work with partners in
  • 35:09 order for us to meet the urgent needs that we have confronted, whether it's a health
  • 35:14 crisis like Ebola, food shortages brought about by desert locus, or all encompassing
  • 35:22 long-term challenges like climate change.
  • 35:26 And to all of these crisis that IDA has worked with partners around the world, let me just
  • 35:33 focus on three key lessons.
  • 35:35 So the first one you heard just now from the secretary, it's about preparedness.
  • 35:39 It's about learning from previous experiences and redesigning our programs to make sure
  • 35:46 that we are better prepared next time.
  • 35:48 So for example, in Western Central Africa, when Ebola hit, countries were caught off
  • 35:54 guard, with IDA financing, we now have a project called [inaudible], which came into being
  • 36:01 to reinforce surveillance and response systems.
  • 36:04 [Samuel Munzele Maimbo]: Using time and lessons, the project grew and
  • 36:08 evolved.
  • 36:09 So when COVID-19 hits, these countries were certainly better prepared to respond.
  • 36:15 It's essential that with every crisis we make adjustments to our programs and those adjustments
  • 36:21 really come into effect if we are hearing from people on the ground.
  • 36:25 We're getting feedback from those who have gone through the crisis rather than trying
  • 36:30 to design something from Washington from afar.
  • 36:34 The second lesson is constant adaptation and innovation.
  • 36:39 So for example, when COVID-19 hit, IDA stakeholders took the extraordinary decision to front load
  • 36:47 our resources that are usually divided over a three year period into the first year.
  • 36:53 As much as 43% of our financing was loaded into the first year of IDA 19.
  • 36:59 [Samuel Munzele Maimbo]: Now this is essential because if you react
  • 37:02 quickly, your recovery costs as significantly lower.
  • 37:06 But the innovation doesn't stop there.
  • 37:10 Innovation is something that IDA has carried through for years.
  • 37:14 In 2018 for example, IDA realized that donor contributions alone were not going to be enough
  • 37:21 to respond to the pace and impact that the number of crisis around the world were having.
  • 37:27 So we entered the capital markets and IDA has been issuing debt to complement its donor
  • 37:33 contributions.
  • 37:35 Our innovation has now reached a level where for every dollar that we get from donors,
  • 37:40 we're able to leverage an additional $3.
  • 37:43 [Samuel Munzele Maimbo]: Now this is helpful, but the most important
  • 37:47 lesson is that it takes a village.
  • 37:51 IDA may have reach and resources.
  • 37:54 It may have good partners and good projects, but we have to work with government.
  • 37:59 The United Nations, Multilateral Development Banks, Civil Society Think Tanks as well in
  • 38:07 order to design operations that are responsive.
  • 38:09 Otherwise, we will always be catching up.
  • 38:12 So fundamentally international coordination and corporation are therefore critical to
  • 38:18 make sure that countries are getting the support that they're able to absorb that support.
  • 38:23 And most importantly and personally for me is that this support reaches that man, that
  • 38:29 woman, that boy, that girl who needs it at the right time.
  • 38:33 Thank you.
  • 38:34 Noreyana?
  • 38:35 [Noreyana Fernando]: Thank you very much.
  • 38:36 And thanks for emphasizing this need for international solidarity.
  • 38:39 We truly are all in this together.
  • 38:41 A solution anywhere has the ability to benefit people everywhere.
  • 38:46 And as we come to a close, I'd like to turn to Hind and Mavis, you're working with people
  • 38:52 every day on the ground.
  • 38:53 You're measuring impact, visiting project sites, hearing stories.
  • 38:57 In two or three sentences, please tell us, what do we need to keep in mind when designing
  • 39:03 solutions?
  • 39:04 What does a solution need to look like in order to drive change?
  • 39:06 Hind, let's start with you.
  • 39:08 [Hind Ali]: Thank you.
  • 39:11 So recapping from Mavis and Samuel what they have said, I think, and also from the feedback
  • 39:21 that we're getting from the ground where always income generating opportunities are always
  • 39:30 described as dignified and empowering.
  • 39:33 We find people.
  • 39:35 Yeah, and interventions that are designed around people are more likely to be used and
  • 39:41 more sustainable and we find that across all the districts that we're working in Yemen.
  • 39:47 Further that, we find that even with the cash support that we're providing, people tend
  • 39:52 to invest for income generating activities, showing that there are opportunities to invest
  • 39:59 more in livelihoods and more in longer term solutions.
  • 40:03 [Hind Ali]: And now I think the message that I want to
  • 40:06 send is that we need to be more ambitious.
  • 40:08 We need to be more ambitious in linking also the social protection type of interventions
  • 40:14 with livelihoods, financial access, and access to basic services.
  • 40:20 Without basic services, people tend to liquidate their assets to access these basic services.
  • 40:25 However, if we have a layered approach with a longer term vision, those people, especially
  • 40:32 those most vulnerable people will be more resilient, will be able to sustain their livelihoods.
  • 40:37 We'll be able to lift them from the never ending cycles of the humanitarian support
  • 40:41 and they'll be able to avoid the emergency and poverty traps.
  • 40:45 [Noreyana Fernando]: Thank you, Hind.
  • 40:47 Thanks for calling for ambition.
  • 40:48 And Mavis, let me turn to you real quick before we wrap up, what do we need to keep in mind?
  • 40:52 [Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi]: So three things very quickly.
  • 40:54 The first one is partnership.
  • 40:56 You can't do this alone and partnerships are going to be critical.
  • 40:59 The challenge is big.
  • 41:01 The resources are limited.
  • 41:04 So partnerships across international agencies, local governments, civil society and the private
  • 41:14 sector is critical.
  • 41:15 The second thing is take a risk.
  • 41:18 We just don't know what the future job will be.
  • 41:22 I'm always struck by a young gentleman who told me when I was at school, I did not know
  • 41:27 I was going to do this job.
  • 41:29 It did not exist.
  • 41:31 So we don't know what the future jobs are.
  • 41:34 I don't need to really invest in innovation to help us prepare young people for future
  • 41:41 jobs.
  • 41:42 And the third thing is country led initiatives.
  • 41:45 Put countries and their people at the heart of the next IDA, invest in what countries
  • 41:53 and people need, not some idealistic idea or solution out there.
  • 41:59 Those would be my three.
  • 42:00 [Noreyana Fernando]: Thank you very much Mavis.
  • 42:02 And in fact, I believe that human capital, the idea of investing in people was elevated
  • 42:07 to a special theme for the IDA 20 replenishment cycle.
  • 42:11 So it's a fitting call to action.
  • 42:14 Thank you very much, Mavis.
  • 42:15 Thank you, Hind.
  • 42:16 Thank you, Secretary Marasini.
  • 42:17 And thank you Sam, for joining us across time zones.
  • 42:20 I know it's not a decent hour for many of us here.
  • 42:23 And thanks of course to all of you for watching and after hearing our speakers, maybe you
  • 42:28 have thoughts, questions, ideas for change.
  • 42:31 Well tweet them at us using the #IDAworksandresilientrecovery and let us know.
  • 42:36 I'm Noreyana Fernando from Washington DC on the World Bank Live's Resilient Recovery Series.
  • 42:42 Until next time.
  • 42:43 (music)

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