World Bank launches pandemic trust fund, confirms extreme challenges in developing countries
The World Bank Group has launched a new trust fund for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (PPR). The President, David Malpass said the United States-backed support will assess and strengthen health preparedness throughout the developing world. The economic expert delivered a speech on Thursday at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) ahead of the 2022 WBG-IMF Annual Meetings. Noting that a tough reality confronts the global economy, Malpass said a series of harsh events and unprecedented macroeconomic policies are throwing development into crisis. The chief assured of World Bank's commitment to alleviate poverty and boost shared prosperity, announcing that support for developing countries, especially for climate-related finance, reached $31.7billion in 2022. He hinted that the Group's upcoming Poverty and Shared Prosperity report suggests that the deterioration in development progress began well ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic. Malpass noted that developing countries were facing an extremely challenging near-term outlook due to the shocks in recent years. The factors include higher food, fertilizer and energy prices, rising interest rates and credit spreads, currency depreciation, and capital outflows. Malpass said global energy production may take years to diversify away from Russia, prolonging the stagflation highlighted in the World Banks Global Economic Prospects. "Many developing countries are also struggling in governance and rule of law; debt sustainability; climate adaptation and mitigation; and limited fiscal budgets to counteract the severe reversals in development from the COVID-19 pandemic. "The pandemic which alone led to over six million deaths geopolitical conflicts, and extreme weather events have hurt countries and people worldwide, with the poor bearing the brunt, especially women and girls." "Developing countries are being hit by more severe climate-related disasters. Man-made greenhouse gas emissions are causing climate change, which in turn is having tragic impacts on development." "Adaptation by countries and people harmed by climate change and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions are urgently needed," the President added. Stressing that the urgency is clear in daily news reports of inflation, climate change, famine, civil protests, and violence, Malpass said the World Bank is fully engaged in the challenges and eager to work on solutions.