World Bank

people holding boxes of food supplies

While the past year has been tremendously challenging, there have been remarkable stories of human resilience, ingenuity, and creativity. From helping small companies weather the pandemic, through supporting women firefighters, creating sustainable jobs for youth, connecting people to high-quality healthcare and vulnerable groups to food suplies, to kickstarting sanitizer production - the World Bank shares six stories of hope from around the globe. These are not billion-dollar projects, but the tales of everyday entrepreneurship and innovation happening on a small scale with a big impact.

A healthcare worker transfers the vaccine from the vial to a syringe.

The global COVID-19 vaccination campaign will be the largest in history. The delivery of COVID-19 vaccines presents challenges unprecedented in scale, speed, and specificities, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Anticipating the availability of safe and effective vaccines, the World Bank together with WHO, UNICEF, the Global Fund, and Gavi rolled out readiness assessments in more than 100 low and middle-income countries. As countries ramp up efforts to vaccinate their populations, the world’s poorest countries show varying degrees of readiness.

Workers stand facing a conveyor belt processing bananas.

Nearly every business in the world has been affected by COVID-19. While one-fourth of companies saw sales falling 50 percent in October-January from pre-pandemic levels, a third said their sales increased or stayed the same. Capturing the impact of the pandemic on businesses, the World Bank analysis reflects the performance of more than 120,000 firms in over 60 countries. The assessment is expected to help inform recovery efforts. In developing countries, despite government programmes  –  businesses most affected by the shock – were the least likely to receive government support.

Not long ago, the 74 poorest countries in the world were well on the path to a better, more prosperous future. But COVID-19 is threatening all that. Today, health workers, teachers, students, employees, scientists, women, men and many others are weaving stories of resilience in the midst of this crisis.

How to support survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) in fragile and conflict-affected regions where health facilities are scarce and often out of capacity? In this video, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr.

mother and daughter looking at laptop

COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on the lives of young children, students, and youth. Even before COVID-19 hit, the world was experiencing a learning crisis. 258 million children of primary- and secondary-school age were out of school. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the learning crisis, and the impact on the human capital of this generation of learners is likely to be long-lasting. And the unique nature of the pandemic places parents as first-line responders for children’s survival, care, and learning. This places a burden on all families, especially the most vulnerable. The World Bank is supporting COVID-19 response investments in 62 countries, covering the entire cycle from early childhood to higher education. 

A man sits in front of a computer wearing a mask and face shield.

Although global economic output is recovering from its COVID-19 collapse, the World Bank Global Economic Prospects shows it will remain below pre-pandemic trends for a prolonged period.

Image of a busy street with the letters over the image that read: 2020 The Year in Review.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our lives, the World Bank provides an overview in 12 charts and graphics, of its research in the face of a truly unprecedented crisis.

The World Bank is providing US$12 billion to help low-and middle-income countries get ready to deploy vaccines, including expanding storage, building cold chains, developing data and tracking systems, training health workers, and building trust in immunizations through citizen and community engag

Health care workers

The World Bank Group has mounted the fastest and largest health crisis response in its history to save lives from COVID-19. The first operations focused on strengthening health systems to tackle the immediate challenges of COVID-19. In countries ranging from Afghanistan and Haiti to India, Mongolia, and Tajikistan, World Bank financing brought more medical staff onboard and ensured that they were well trained and equipped to deliver emergency care. It also helped ensure that public outreach messages to citizens on prevention and protection were quickly disseminated.

Collage of graphs

This year’s World Bank publication guides readers through the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) using interactive storytelling and innovative data visualizations.

Like water, data can shape the world. World Bank Water data aggregates thousands of datasets across organizations and countries to help decision makers develop policies based on solid evidence as well as help researchers better understand needs to formulate solutions.

The Trade Facilitation West Africa programme managed by the World Bank focuses on reducing trade barriers for small-scale cross-border traders in West Africa.

Entrance to a shanty town.

For almost 25 years, extreme poverty was steadily declining. Now, for the first time in a generation, it is increasing. This setback is largely due to major challenges — COVID-19, conflict, and climate change — facing all countries. The increase in extreme poverty from 2019 to 2020 is projected to be larger than any time since the World Bank started tracking poverty globally in a consistent manner. A new World Bank report — Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2020: Reversals of Fortune — sheds light on the threats to poverty reduction and provides recommendations to navigate this tough terrain.

money transfer in Zambia

As the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis continues to spread, the amount of money migrant workers send home is projected to decline 14 percent by 2021 compared to the pre COVID-19 levels in 2019, according to the latest estimates published in the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief.  The foremost factors driving the decline in remittances include weak economic growth and employment levels in migrant-hosting countries, weak oil prices; and depreciation of the currencies of remittance-source countries against the US dollar.