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World Bank Weekly Update - August 31, 2009
  Aug 31, 2009

News | Publications | Events & Discussions | Regional News and Projects I Newly Disclosed Documents I Business & Career Opportunities | On the Blogs I Take a Look | Did You Know?


* Bank Increases Gender Support and Lending

* Asia: IFC and Mitsubishi UFJ to Finance Sustainable Energy Efficiency Projects

* Peru: Business Opportunities for Investment and Trade

* IFC Highlights Growing Support for Senegal, West and Central Africa

* Mali: Reaping the Labor of its Fruits

* Video:  Water in Madagascar

* Bangladesh: Who Migrates Overseas and Is It Worth Their While?

* Mongolia: IFC Promotes Good Corporate Governance, Finances Trade

* Podcast:  IEG vs. the World Bank

* Effective Use of ICT in Education for School Managers and Teachers

* Consultation on World Development Report 2011?Conflict, Security and Development

* Bank Office in Warsaw Seeking Health/Social Sector Economist

* Climate Smart Entrepreneurs? Alliance

* Deforestation: Disastrous Consequences for the Climate and for Food Security

* A Daughter Deficit in Africa?

* Take a Look: Consultations

* Development Dialogue on Values and Ethics




Asia: IFC and Mitsubishi UFJ to Finance Sustainable Energy Efficiency Projects

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed an agreement with Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance to cooperate in providing financing for projects that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollution in Asia?s developing countries. The two institutions will focus primarily on lease financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and cleaner production projects. ?Strengthening business in Asia is one of our core strategies,? said Naotaka Obata, President and CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance. ?Partnering with IFC will help us enter new markets and provide new products to local customers for projects furthering environmental sustainability.? Read more? 


Peru: Business Opportunities for Investment and Trade

Business leaders, government officials and experts praised Peru´s unique advantages for investment and trade during a meeting organized by the World Bank in Tokyo. The seminar, ?Business Opportunities for Investment and Trade in Peru: South America´s Strategic Hub,? highlighted the country?s strong macroeconomic indicators and policies, stable legal framework, and strategic geographical position as reasons for its appeal as an investment destination.  Read more? 


IFC Highlights Growing Support for Senegal, West and Central Africa

Upon releasing its annual operational results on August 28, IFC signaled further commitment to increasing private sector investment and advisory services in Senegal and West and Central Africa. Director for West and Central Africa, Yolande Duhem, highlighted recent trade finance transactions, and IFC?s growing regional relationships and commitment to expand its work in the power sector. Read more?  


Mali: Reaping the Labor of its Fruits

One of the key parts of Mali?s poverty reduction strategy is to promote agricultural diversification and develop exports of high-value commodities. While Mali grows high quality fresh fruit and vegetables, the high cost of air freight has limited the exportation of Malian produce. In 2005, with support from the Bank, the Malian government launched the Agricultural Competitiveness and Diversification Project to improve supply chains for a range of agricultural, livestock, and fishery products. Using an innovative new model of supply chain, the project helped increase exports of fresh mangoes to 11,995 tons in 2008, an all-time record.  Read more? 


Video:  Water in Madagascar

Madagascar, off the coast of Africa, is one of the largest islands in the world. While it is rich in wildlife, water is scarce.  With help from the Bank, the government of Madagascar and private enterprise are working to get clean fresh water to citizens. In this video, see how a grant from the Bank has helped a private company finance the installation of pipelines to improve water distribution in the village of Ambohijanaka. See video? 


Mongolia: IFC Promotes Good Corporate Governance, Finances Trade

IFC recently launched the Mongolia Corporate Governance Project to help private companies improve economic performance through increased transparency and accountability. IFC also signed an agreement with Khan Bank under IFC?s Global Trade Finance Program to set up a facility of $2 million. Supporting trade finance is an IFC strategic initiative in Mongolia at a time when the financial crisis has reduced the availability of trade funding worldwide. Read more? 


Podcast:  IEG vs. the World Bank

IEG, the Independent Evaluation Group at the Bank, assesses the relevance, efficacy, and efficiency of the Bank?s programs and activities and their contribution to development. In this podcast, Roy Gilbert, task manager of IEG, spars with Judy Baker, lead economist in the urban development unit of the Bank, over the latest IEG report, Improving Municipal Management for Cities to Succeed. Read more?  




Bank Increases Gender Support and Lending

A new World Bank report, Implementing the Bank?s Gender Mainstreaming Strategy: FY08 Annual Monitoring Report, reveals that gender issues informed the design of 45 percent of all lending operations in fiscal year 2008, compared to 35 percent in fiscal 2006. The growth comes on the heels of the Bank?s launch of a four-year, $60 million Gender Action Plan, which began implementation in January 2007 to improve gender coverage in the economic arena. The report says the Gender Action Plan is beginning to show results both in terms of reaching women on the ground and influencing Bank operations more widely.  Read more?


Bangladesh: Who Migrates Overseas and Is It Worth Their While?

A Bank paper, ?Who Migrates Overseas and Is It Worth Their While? An Assessment of Household Survey Data from Bangladesh,? examines Bangladeshi emigrants, how they migrate abroad, where remittances are used, and whether the benefits from migrating are greater than the costs.  Bangladesh is among the top ten remittance-receiving countries worldwide. Globalization of labor markets has provided the opportunity for poor and unskilled Bangladeshis to improve their lives. In 2008, around 5.8 million workers were employed overseas, and remittance flows amounted to around 10% of GDP. Read more? 


For a full list of available publications:




Effective Use of ICT in Education for School Managers and Teachers

A conference, ?Professional Development of School Managers and Teachers in Effective Use of ICT in Education: A Guide for Policy Implementers,? will take place in Port Louis, Mauritius, August 31 to September 3.  The conference, sponsored by the World Bank Institute, Cisco, Intel, and Microsoft, will share international and African experience on the progress of information and communication technology (ICT) in education initiatives with African education policy implementers. Read more? 


Consultation on World Development Report 2011?Conflict, Security and Development

Nigel Roberts, co-director of the Bank's World Development Report 2011, is visiting Stockholm on August 31 for a series of consultative meetings with academia, development agencies, and government ministries on ?Conflict, Security and Development,? the topic of WDR 2011. The agenda is organized in cooperation with the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and is part of a series of consultations in nine European countries during the following two weeks. Roberts and co-director Sarah Cliffe will also visit Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Switzerland. Read more? 




Summary of Proposed Projects in All Regions:


August 28 List of Newly Disclosed Documents 




Bank?s Ghana Office Sponsors Economic Journalist of the Year Award

At a prestigious journalism event in Accra on August 15, the Bank awarded the first annual Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu Finance & Economic Journalist of the Year Award to Theophilus Yartey, Deputy Editor of Ghana?s leading business newspaper, Business & Financial Times. The Bank is sponsoring the award as an annual prize for innovation and excellence in finance and economic journalism, in honor of the late Ghanaian Finance Minister Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu. Read more? 



MALI, SENEGAL?Felou Hydroelectric Project?US$85 million equivalent in additional financing to augment the supply of low cost hydroelectricity from the OMVS (Senegal River Basin Development Authority) Power System to the national power utilities of Mali, Mauritania, and Senegal; and to develop the nucleus of a well-functioning, cooperative, power pooling mechanism for Zone "B" OMVS countries of West Africa.Read more? 



RWANDA?Second Emergency Demobilization and Reintegration Project?US$30 million equivalent to demobilize Rwandan armed groups and provide socioeconomic reintegration support, especially for women, children, and disabled ex-combatants. Specifically, the project will demobilize an estimated 9,500 former combatants and provide reinsertion support for them and approximately 10,000 members of their families. Read more? 



MALAWI?Multi-Sectoral HIV/AIDS Project?US$30 million equivalent in additional financing to continue support for the Malawi government's National HIV and AIDS Action Framework. Like the original grant, the additional financing will support implementation of the joint program agreed to in the context of the HIV/AIDS Sector Wide Approach in Malawi. Read more? 



SENEGAL?Sustainable Land Management Project?US$4.8 million GEF grant to promote adoption of sustainable land management practices in priority areas of Senegal?s Groundnut Basin. The project objective is to reduce land degradation and improve ecosystem functions through sustainable land management practices. This would be achieved through support to producer organizations and to Senegal?s research and agricultural and rural consultation system. Read more? 



LESOTHO?HIV and AIDS Technical Assistance?US$5 million equivalent in technical assistance to build the capacity of government agencies and civil society organizations at both the national and local levels to address identified gaps in implementing the National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan. This will be done in an effort to contain and reverse the epidemic. Read more? 


For more regional information:




Philippines: Tap Water Brings Health and Wealth to Village

Until 2003, residents of Alfonso XIII village in the province of Palawan had no water system, no drainage, and hardly any toilets.  In November 2003, things changed when water began to flow from taps installed in homes through a Water Districts Development Project, which got US$4.1 million in funding from the Bank.  The Alfonso XIII Water Users? Association is now run by 18 of the residents who took the lead in the project. For the association and the community, the cash inflow is proving to be just as sweet as the water now flowing in their taps. Read more? 


Vietnam: Renewing Mangrove Forests

The Bank-supported Coastal Wetlands Protection and Development Project adopted a comprehensive, long-term approach to protecting Vietnam?s coastal wetlands. Typhoon Linda, which hit Vietnam?s southern provinces in November 1997, combined with fuel-wood cutting and unplanned development of shrimp farming, contributed to serious degradation of the coastal Mekong Delta. With help from the project, the mangrove forest was replanted, a full protection zone was set up for the reestablished forest, and poor and landless people displaced from the area were relocated to a buffer zone where they were enabled to engage in small-scale farming, livestock-raising, and aquaculture. Read more? 


Vietnam: Protecting the Mekong Delta

In 1999, agriculture in the Mekong Delta accounted for 30 percent of Vietnam?s GDP and more than 80 percent of its rice exports. But without adequate infrastructure, the delta?s many canals and irrigation networks were vulnerable to salt water intrusion and flooding, putting harvests in danger. Poor drinking water supplies and inadequate rural transport also held down production levels and rural incomes. The Bank-supported Mekong Delta Water Resources Project helped to develop water control infrastructure to prevent salinity intrusion, enhance irrigation, drainage, and flood protection, and improve drinking water supplies. Read more? 


For more regional information:





ARMENIA?Lifeline Roads Improvement Project?US$36.6 million in additional financing to scale up the project's activities by rehabilitating an additional 140 kilometers of the lifeline road network and connecting rural communities to main roads and highways. This additional loan will also help mitigate the impact of the financial crisis by creating temporary jobs in road construction, such as the design of project roads, supervision of works, capacity development in pavement design and road safety. Read more? 


New World Bank Resident Representative in Belarus

The Bank?s new Resident Representative in Belarus, Ivan Velev, recently assumed his duties in Minsk. Velev will lead the Bank?s efforts to deepen engagement with Belarus. Velev, a Bulgarian national, joined the Bank in 1997 and held positions in different regions working on issues of corporate strategy, governance and infrastructure.  In his most recent assignment, he coordinated activities in public sector reform and infrastructure development in the Bank?s Regional Office for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova in Kyiv. Read more? 


For more regional information:




Haiti: Institutionalizing Key Public Governance Reforms

Haiti is the poorest nation in Latin America and the Caribbean and among the poorest in the world. Establishment of a functioning and transparent state is vital for the country?s long-term stability and economic growth, as well as for a more efficient allocation of public resources to reduce poverty. Through IDA-financed budget support and technical assistance, transparency and efficiency in the use of public resources have improved. Improvements in budget formulation, execution and reporting have been particularly effective. Read more? 


For more regional information:




For more regional information:




Denmark and Bank Support GHG Reductions, Energy Efficiency in Bangladesh

The government of Denmark and the Bank signed an agreement on August 25 with the Infrastructure Finance and Development Corporation Limited in Bangladesh, which will pave the way for purchasing greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The reductions would come from 20 energy efficient Hybrid Hoffman brick kilns (HHK) at various stages of production and construction.  The HHKs use 50 percent less coal than regular brick kilns, which will reduce green house gas emissions and other air pollutants, improving air quality in the densely populated areas around Dhaka. Read more?   


For more regional information:




Bank Office in Warsaw Seeking Health/Social Sector Economist

The Bank?s Human Development Unit for Europe and Central Asia is recruiting a locally hired Health/Social Sector Economist for the World Bank Office in Warsaw. The incumbent should have broad skills in policy dialogue and analysis in health, education, and social protection, with the expectation that the health sector will be the primary area of focus. The position will report to the sector manager for health in Washington, but will be based in Warsaw and have responsibilities in Poland and the region.  The incumbent will be offered an extended-term consultant appointment for the initial period of one year. For detailed job description? To apply, go to


For a full list of open positions and scholarships




Climate Smart Entrepreneurs? Alliance

On the YouThink blog, Saptarshi Pal discusses the need for a youth foundation that provides entrepreneurship training to young people and helps create social entrepreneurs. She describes her experience in forming the Climate Smart Entrepreneurs? Alliance (CSEA) as a stepping stone to the Youth Foundation. CSEA was conceptualized in collaboration with Jadavpur University Global Change Program as an association of budding and existing ?green? entrepreneurs of Eastern India. It enabled such entrepreneurs to network, share experiences, and help each other work toward a common goal. Read more? 


Deforestation: Disastrous Consequences for the Climate and for Food Security

Shiva Makki discusses the devastating consequences of deforestation on the Climate Change blog. Makki says that forests are not only one of the most valuable natural resources, they are also crucial to ensuring decent conditions for all living organisms.  However, the rate at which our planet is being stripped of its forest cover is alarming.  The Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that over 30 million acres (or 13 million hectares) of forests are destroyed by human activity every year.  If deforestation continues at the current rate, mature natural forests in Papua New Guinea will be gone in 15 years or less, and in Indonesia and Myanmar, in about 10 years.  Read more? 


A Daughter Deficit in Africa?

On the Africa Can blog, Africa Chief Economist Shantayanan Devarajan discusses a New York Times Magazine article on the ?daughter deficit??a phenomenon observed in India and China in which many fewer girls than boys are being born and are surviving to age 5.  ?Up to now, I had been thinking of this as an Asian phenomenon, associated with cultural values in India and China,? says Devarajan.  But recent findings that the mortality rate for girls in Africa is about twice as high as for boys seems to indicate that ?the daughter deficit? (or ?son preference?) may be coming to Africa.? Read more?  





Through consultations, the Bank Group taps into a broad range of perspectives, and strives to integrate new ideas and comments into its operations, policies and final documents. Consultations enable the Bank to capture the experience and knowledge of multiple audiences such as government, civil society, academia, and the private sector; to give greater voice to the poor; to increase the transparency of Bank processes; and to increase citizen involvement in development decision making. Read more? 




Development Dialogue on Values and Ethics

The Development Dialogue on Values and Ethics (DDVE) oversees the Bank?s dialogue with faith leaders and faith-based organizations. The unit maintains partnerships with faith-based organizations (FBOs), including the World Faiths Development Dialogue, and organizes or participates in a significant number of seminars, workshops, and conferences, including the July 2009 meeting that took place in Accra, Ghana. DDVE has recently begun projects to assess the contribution of FBOs to service delivery, with a particular focus on fragile states. DDVE also participates in events sponsored by other organizations, such as the August 2009 UNFPA Policy Roundtable, and the September 2009 Strategic Consultation on Faith & Malaria of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.Read more? 




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