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September 2018

A week at the UN General Assembly: Working better and smarter together to prevent crisis

Franck Bousquet's picture
© UN Photo/ JC McIlwaine

This week, I attended the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). This annual gathering provides an opportunity for the international community to discuss some of the most pressing global challenges, innovative solutions to address them and progress since last year.

I had the chance to participate in several key events on (FCV). Since 2010, the number of major violent conflicts has tripled, and the fragility landscape is becoming even more complex. Violent extremism, climate change, pandemics and food insecurity are on the rise. Conflicts drive 80 percent of all humanitarian needs.

The UN and the World Bank working together in crisis-affected situations

Franck Bousquet's picture
Girls School in Sanaa. © UNICEF Yemen
Girls School in Sanaa. © UNICEF Yemen



 
At the United Nations General Assembly this week, the UN and the World Bank, together with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) launched the , the first global partnership dedicated to preventing famine. With support from the world’s leading tech companies, the FAM aims to use data and state-of-the-art technology to pair decision-makers with better, earlier famine warnings and pre-arranged financing.

Why a human rights based approach to water and sanitation is essential for the poor

Christian Borja-Vega's picture

It may have taken decades, but access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation is now firmly recognized as a human right. How did this happen? What does it mean in practice? And how can it help the rural poor gain access?

In July of 2010, the United Nations General Assembly “explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realization of all human rights” in Resolution A/RES/64/292. Despite these commitments, . . Take the example of Mozambique. New World Bank research, the ‘WASH Poverty Diagnostic’, . The research finds that inequitable access is due to poor governance and lack of specific attention to the poor and vulnerable; not only it is a matter of life and death, water and sanitation are basic rights.

How antimicrobial resistance (AMR) stewardship is a critical part of strong health systems

Uzo Chukwuma's picture


Under the East Africa Public Health Laboratory Networking Project, diagnostic capacity has been strengthened through the construction of state of the art laboratories. © Miriam Schneidman / World Bank Group 2018


My interest in public health began in childhood and was marked by my experiences growing up in a low-income country with limited public health infrastructure. I felt firsthand the impact of an inadequate public health system when a beloved cousin succumbed to AIDS. My mother suffered a prolonged, resistant infection with complications after invasive surgery, and my family constantly battled malaria due to drug resistance or counterfeit drugs.

Weekly links September 28: the peril of meetings, endogenous responses mess up big data uses, what 600+ development papers tells you about our field, and more...

David McKenzie's picture
  • . They have stopped offering free training, and are currently designing a new training that will cost $40 and be available November 6. Twitter is recommending either the or the as possible alternatives if you need something now, or want something that is free.
  • Andrew Gelman offers a nice reminder of .
  • This week the Declare Design team ask Answer is yes, but hard. See also my with Miriam Bruhn on this.
  • On the Econ that Matters blog, Chris Barrett and John Hoddinott look at : “the quality of the work is remarkably high”, “suggestive evidence of an evolution in the field away from certain topics. There were virtually no “pure theory” papers, although the best papers often contained a short theoretical or conceptual model to motivate the empirical work. There were few submissions in macroeconomics... surprisingly little on trade ...Despite the profound long-term effects of climate change on developing countries, we received relatively few submissions on this topic” – also most work is on Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and very few papers use IV or matching.

Where to go for information on access to information

Jim Anderson's picture
Photo: World Bank

I get stirred up by all types of governance data, so in honor of the , I though I’d highlight a few efforts to measure access to information. Information on access to information, if you will.

In Zambia, This Is What Climate Resilience Looks Like

Iretomiwa Olatunji's picture
Sandbags filled with impermeable stone will protect this school from flooding in Zambia’s Mongu District. Photo: Darius Silupya

In communities throughout the world, children are back to school. But what if, in this era of climate change, the school is under water?

In Zambia’s Western Province, flooding has forced many students to commute to distant schools or stay at home for much of the first half of the school year. This is a common issue in African countries, where the seasonal shift between drought and flood is increasingly rapid and extreme.

Severe weather patterns, including floods, droughts, extreme temperatures and thunderstorms, repeatedly damage poorly constructed buildings, like schools, in the flood-prone communities of the Western Province and other parts of Zambia.

Mental Health in Prisons: How to Overcome the Punishment Paradigm?

Patricio V. Marquez's picture
Early this year, I was part of a panel . This year’s meeting focused on the theme, “Bending Towards Justice: A Summit for Mental Health Equity” to address the question Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. posed fifty years ago – ‘where do we go from here?’.

I was deeply touched by statements and testimonies from people from all walks of life, but what impressed me the most was the discussion about the “veil of oblivion” surrounding the dire conditions of mentally ill people in jails and prisons.

What can African countries learn from China about transport and logistics?

Bernard Aritua's picture
Qiulongpo Port Container Terminal in Chongqing. Photo: Li Wenyong/World Bank

The 2018 held in Beijing concluded on a high note with a pledge of $60 billion of development assistance from China to countries in Africa – together with the $60 billion pledged 3 years ago, it means China is investing $120bn over 6 years in Africa. Most of this assistance is directed at financing infrastructure. Several African leaders were featured on local and international media, and policy makers are no doubt contemplating the various dimensions of the China-Africa relation.


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