World Bank

WTO talks: World Bank opposes COVID-19 vaccine intellectual property waiver

His comments on the subject, made during a call with reporters on World Bank economic forecasts, came as WTO negotiations over the proposed waiver resumed in Geneva.

Asked whether he backs a WTO vaccine IP waiver, which India, South Africa and other emerging market countries argue is needed to expand vaccine access, Malpass said: "We don't support that, for the reason that it would run the risk of reducing the innovation and the R&D in that sector."

New roads for Vanuatu’s South Santo

The project design and supervision consultant contract has been finalised and signed by the Korea Consultants International Co Ltd (KCI).

Detail survey, design and procurement of works will start this month and the phase 1 that will last for 12 months before the 2nd phase of the construction supervision that will take 36 months during actual works construction.

Extreme poverty set for first rise since 1998, World Bank warns

The pandemic is compounding the forces of conflict and climate change, which were already slowing poverty reduction, the bank said.

By 2021, this could rise to as many as 150 million, it added.

Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than $1.90 (£1.50) a day.

The projected increase would be the first since 1998, when the Asian financial crisis shook the global economy.

Before the pandemic struck, the extreme poverty rate was expected to drop to 7.9% in 2020.

US$10m emergency World Bank funding for Vanuatu

The emergency funding will support the government’s ongoing work to protect Vanuatu from the global COVID-19 pandemic and boost its capacity to respond to the immediate economic impacts, at a time when government is also facing significant response needs associated with last week’s Category Five Tropical Cyclone Harold.

New Vanuatu transport project will improve resilience to disasters, access to markets

The project involves the upgrade of the vital 65-kilometre South Santo Road, on Vanuatu’s second most-populated island of Espiritu Santo, to guard against potential climate impacts and natural disaster risks.

The project will significantly improve access to markets and essential services and contribute to faster, safer and more reliable road transport in Santo island.

Wider impacts will be felt across the country with 10 percent of Vanuatu’s total population to see benefits from the works and technical assistance.

Major boost for Disaster Risk Management in Vanuatu

Vanuatu is considered to be one of the countries most at risk to natural disasters in the world. The new World Bank operation, which provides US$10 million that can be activated in the event of a major disaster, is supporting reforms that will deliver stronger risk mitigation and prevention actions in Vanuatu. These reforms are helping to shift Vanuatu’s disaster risk management system from a focus on response/emergency management, to a greater emphasis on risk reduction, climate adaptation and longer-term recovery.

World Bank to prioritise climate change resilience in Pacific

Its vice president for East Asia and the Pacific, Victoria Kwakwa, was in Tonga last week for talks.

Ms Kwakwa said the World Bank was working closely within Australia's Step Up and New Zealand's Pacific Reset programmes.

"We've been working on several things including supporting countries to strengthen their climate change resilience, working to support policy reforms to build their economic resilience and we're also working together on the connectivity agenda," Ms Kwakwa said.

"As you know, this region is very remote, even compared to other small island states."

World Bank advocates more participation for women in Seasonal Worker Programme

The Seasonal Worker Programme has employed 17,320 Pacific Islanders since 2012 and delivered approximately $US110 million in net income gains to the region.

The report, launched in Canberra, outlined a series of 11 Policy recommendations which would lead to greater benefits across the region from Australia's Seasonal Worker Programme.

The World Bank's Jesse Doyle said this included helping Pacific workers utilise cheaper ways of sending money home, increased participation for women and improved opportunities for countries with lower participation.

Tuvalu's international airport to be upgraded

The money would go towards repairs of the runway at Funafuti Airport, which was being damaged by water infiltration exacerbated by tidal and sea level impacts.

Several trial design solutions for the problem would be tried during this cyclone season.

The World Bank's Pacific country director, Michael Kerf, said it was imperative that Tuvalu's only international airport continues to function safely.

He said the project would help Tuvalu be resilient from the impacts of climate change.

World Bank optimistic about Pacific growth

The document, 'Pacific Possible', has been launched at the Pacific Islands Forum in Samoa.

The Bank said the document had been three years in the making, and was the culmination of extensive consultations with Pacific Island and Pacific Rim governments, non-governmental organisations, academics and individuals across the region.

It has identified tourism, fisheries, the knowledge economy and labour mobility as key areas offering opportunities.

The report also mentions deep sea mining, yet advises caution.