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Civil Society Engagement eNewsletter - January 2010

1. World Bank to Provide an Additional $100 Million Grant to Haiti Following Earthquake and Working to Cancel Haitian Debt
2. Haiti Relief Donations from World Bank Staff Channeled Through CSOs
3. World Bank Launches the Global Economic Prospect 2010
4. World Bank Group Initiates Online Consultations on Future Energy Strategy
5. European Civil Society meet with World Bank
6. Update on Environment Strategy Consultations
7. The World Bank Supports Governance Reform in Yemen
8. ENTRIES SOUGHT: 2010 Essay Competition on Youth Employment
9. New Initiative to Scale Up Renewable Energy in Low-Income Countries Launched in Copenhagen
10. Knowledge on Fire: Girls' Schools in Afghanistan Face Highest Risk of Violence
11. Life After Conflict: Surprising Opportunities for Poor People to Escape Poverty
12. Pop superstar Shakira and Bank Join Forces to Support Early Childhood Development Programs in Latin America
 


REGIONAL NEWS AND PROJECTS
JOBS
ON THE BLOGS
PUBLICATIONS / PODCASTS 
 

 

1 - World Bank to Provide an Additional $100 Million Grant to Haiti Following Earthquake and Working to Cancel Haitian Debt
In response to the magnitude-7.0 earthquake that caused extensive damage and casualties in Haiti on January 12, the World Bank announced subject, to Board approval, an additional $100 million in emergency grant funding to support recovery and reconstruction in the Caribbean nation. In addition, the Bank is waiving any payments on Haiti's debt of $38 million (which represents 4% of Haiti's debt stock) for the next five years and will seek ways to cancel this debt. The Bank currently funds 15 development projects in the country that focus on education and community-driven development, and it will move to speed up their implementation. The World Bank Group is also sending experts to work with the Government and its international partners to assess needs and plan for reconstruction. More...

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2 – Haiti Relief Donations from World Bank Staff Channeled Through CSOs 
Bank staff have raised $310,000 for earthquake relief in Haiti and this was matched 50% by Bank management for a total of $465,000. These funds will be provided to the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders who are providing emergency medical, food, and shelter services in Port-au-Prince. The Haiti relief campaign is part of a larger staff giving program through payroll deductions which will disburse nearly $3 million dollars in 2010 to over 280 CSOs (selected by Bank staff and matched 100% by Bank management) to provide social services in the Washington area and support international development efforts worldwide. Recipients include the Capital Area Food Bank, Whitman Walter Clinic, Save the Children, Habitat for Humanity, and Amnesty International. More... 

See list of CSO Grantees for the 2010 donations and visit the World Bank Community Connection Campaign website for more.... 



3.- World Bank Launches the Global Economic Prospect 2010 
The global economic recovery that is now underway will slow later this year as the impact of fiscal stimulus wanes. Financial markets remain troubled and private sector demand lags amid high unemployment, according to the new report from the World Bank. Global Economic Prospects 2010 warns that while the worst of the financial crisis may be over, the global recovery is fragile. It predicts that the fallout from the crisis will change the landscape for finance and growth over the next 10 years. Global GDP, which declined by an estimated 2.2 percent in 2009, is expected to grow 2.7 percent this year and 3.2 percent in 2011. Prospects for developing countries are for a relatively robust recovery, growing 5.2 percent this year and 5.8 percent in 2011 -- up from 1.2 percent in 2009. GDP in rich countries, which declined by 3.3 percent in 2009, is expected to increase much less quickly—by 1.8 and 2.3 percent in 2010 and 2011. More...

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4 – World Bank Group Initiates Online Consultations on Future Energy Strategy
The World Bank Group is preparing a new Energy Strategy which is due to be completed in early 2011 and is starting consultations to seek input from stakeholders in both online and face-to-face consultations. The new strategy will guide the World Bank's efforts to reduce poverty by helping developing countries meet their energy needs in a way that is environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable. In preparation for the consultations, which will begin in February, an Energy Strategy Approach Paper and background papers have been posted online for public review in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish and Russian. The Consultation team will be holding face-to-face meetings to gather views from around the world from February through June 2010. To review the approach paper and participate in the consultations, please visit…


5 - European CSOs Meet with World Bank Vice President 
The World Bank Vice President for Concessional Finance and Global Partnerships, Axel Van Trotsenburg recently met with a range of Brussels-based CSOs and other stakeholders for an informal exchange of views on the Bank’s response to the economic crisis, the forthcoming replenishment of IDA 16 and the proposed capital increase for the Bank. Representatives from a number CSOs participated including Eurodad, CIDSE, German Marshall Fund, and Carnegie Europe. The meeting also included European Parliament officials and United Nations representatives. Axel informed participants that in response to the global financial crisis, the Bank had nearly tripled its commitments to middle income countries and fast tracked IDA commitments to low income countries. More…

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6- Update on Environment Strategy Consultations
The World Bank Group is currently undertaking global, multi-stakeholder consultations on a new Strategy to help its clients achieve environmental sustainability. The current phase of consultations is an open dialogue on a concept note available in six languages (Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, French and English). An update from the consultations so far indicates some stakeholders telling the Bank to "close the gap between what it says on environment and what it actually does," others that it should communicate more about the links between development and the environment. Do you agree? What do you think the role of the Bank Group should be in the whole issue of Climate Change? Please read the concept note and provide your comments via the website, or look on the consultations calendar to see if there is a consultation meeting being held near you. More…


7 - The World Bank Supports Governance Reform in Yemen 
With the wider goal of supporting good governance in Yemen, the World Bank Office in Sana’a organized consultative meetings on December 14 and 15, 2009 to discuss the results of the national household survey on corruption and consult on establishing a coalition of civil society groups to fight corruption. While inflation and high living expenses were the key concerns of the randomly surveyed 1420 Yemeni people, the survey result showed that the sectors most affected by corruption were health, education, and electricity; and identified women and the poor as the most vulnerable to corruption. More than 85 participants, including government officials, parliamentarians, civil society representatives, and academics, provided valuable insights and recommendations during this 2 day workshop, stressing the importance of establishing a coalition of civil society watchdogs, the appropriate legal framework, and a clear mandate to expose and prevent corruption. More...

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8 - ENTRIES SOUGHT: 2010 Essay Competition on Youth Employment
The World Bank and its partners have announced its seventh annual youth Essay Competition. This year’s topic is on Youth Unemployment. Students and non-students alike, between 18 and 25 years of age are eligible to apply. There are also other side prizes. Video and photography submissions are also encouraged. Finalists for each category will participate in the ABCDE conference in Stockholm, Sweden slated for May 2010. Prizes for first, second and third positions are; $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 respectively. Last year’s edition attracted 2,469 submissions from over 150 countries with 90% of submissions coming from developing countries. Deadline for submission is March 16, 2010. For more information and to apply visit…


9 - New Initiative to Scale Up Renewable Energy in Low-Income Countries Launched in Copenhagen
During the recently concluded Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, the World Bank launched a unique program to support the scaling-up of renewable energy in low-income countries. The new program, Scaling up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP), became effective with the announcement of financial support of $50 million by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. SREP, a targeted program under the Multilateral Development Banks’ Climate Investment Funds, aims to demonstrate how to initiate energy sector transformation by helping a small number of low income countries take renewable energy solutions to a national programmatic level. More...

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10- Knowledge on Fire: Girls' Schools in Afghanistan Face Highest Risk of Violence 
According to a new report by the Afghanistan Ministry of Education, CARE International, and the World Bank titled, “Knowledge on Fire: Attacks on Education in Afghanistan,” attacks on Afghan schools are increasing at an alarming rate. Girls are at particular risk of attacks aimed at keeping them out of school. The study suggests that a community-based approach to education can improve social acceptance of education and mitigate the risk of attack on Afghan schools, teachers and students, especially girls. Of all attacked schools, girls’ schools account for 40%. Attacks on schools and lack of security throughout the country have serious negative impacts on the education sector. More…


11 - Life After Conflict: Surprising Opportunities for Poor People to Escape Poverty 
A New study released by the World Bank on January 11, shows that people can and do move out of poverty after conflict. “Life After Conflict: Surprising Opportunities for Poor People to Escape Poverty” is the fourth book in the critically acclaimed Moving Out of Poverty series recently launched by the Bank. The series was launched to provide bottom up perspectives on poverty and local realities by over 60,000 people living in 500 communities in 15 countries. This study argues that while conflicts unleash horror and suffering, they also destabilize old ways of doing things and create new openings for poor people to get ahead This latest publication focuses on seven conflict-affected countries and urges a rethinking of post-conflict strategies to rebuild states from below. More...

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12 – Pop superstar Shakira and Bank Join Forces to Support Early Childhood Development Programs in Latin America
During the last Ibero-American Summit in Estoril, Portugal in December, pop superstar Shakira and the World Bank confirmed their partnership to support expanding early development opportunities for Latin American children. This region-wide initiatives experts say, are key to fully develop a child’s intellectual potential. Currently, very few Latin American countries have such programs while 35 million children in the region lack education and hundreds of thousands die every year as a result of preventable maladies such as chronic malnutrition. According to Shakira “Education is to human life what foundations are to houses, and that’s why we have come to form a great partnership for early infancy”. More…

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REGIONAL NEWS AND PROJECTS

AFRICA

Mali: Feeding Program At Remote School Helps Keep Enrollment Up
Battered by the wind, scorched by the sun, and with its surrounding walls almost completely covered with sand, the school in Tassinsack (near Timbuktu in the North of Mali) is a symbol of the government’s commitment to education. The school is benefiting from a World Bank’s pilot project for school canteens, a crucial program that encourages school enrollment by addressing child nutrition. “The small portions of rice with dried fish or meat that the children eat at their only daily meal at school serve as an incentive for parents to allow them to get an education,” Principal Mahamane Tandina said. More…

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EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Asian Countries Tap Climate Funds for $800 Million in Boost for Innovative Climate Action 
Three countries in Asia are poised to integrate new efforts for low-carbon growth in their national development plans after the first-ever infusion of new funding from the Clean Technology Fund on December 1. Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand have been awarded a total of $800 million in support of investment plans for a range of innovative climate activities. These include catalyzing private sector investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy through local banks, transmission system upgrades to reduce losses and support renewable energy development, and significant urban transport improvements, through the Asian Development Bank and World Bank Group. Together, the three national investment plans are expected to mobilize nearly $10 billion in co-financing. More… 

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EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA

The World Bank Supports the Government of Croatia in Mitigating the Impact of the Global Crisis 
The government of Croatia and the World Bank on January 13, 2010 signed a Loan Agreement in the amount of EUR200 million (USD$297 million equivalent) for the Fiscal, Social and Financial Sector Development Policy Loan to the Republic of Croatia. During the event, the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Republic of Croatia, H.E Ivan Šuker said "cooperation with the World Bank is of exceptional importance..." The Vice Prime Minister continued, "by approving this new project, the World Bank has confirmed its support for the Government’s measures targeted at further stabilization of the macroeconomic situation in the Republic of Croatia and alleviation of the impact of the global financial crisis". More... 

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LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

Financial Support is Key for Latin America's Low-Carbon Growth Plans 
The Director for Sustainable Development in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region, Laura Tuck, stated at a recent event that increased environmental awareness spurred by rising global temperatures has placed Latin America at the forefront of low-carbon growth. But the success of the region’s initiatives depends largely on whether promises made at the Copenhagen Climate Summit regarding emission limits and financing, become binding regulations. She and others pointed out those efforts of Latin American nations such as Mexico and Brazil, who in other to avoid further environmental deterioration, have taken the lead in the adoption of measures to tackle global warming, such as national low-carbon growth strategies, which represent a sea change from just two years ago. More… 

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MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Middle East Region Receives $750 Million Loan to Promote Solar Power
The World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund (CTF) in December 2009, approved financing of $750 million to accelerate the development of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) in the Middle East. According to the Bank, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has some of the world’s best production conditions for solar power. The CTF financing will mobilize an additional $4.85 billion from other sources for CSP programs in five countries in the Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia. Market dynamics in MENA can provide a strong enabling environment for large-scale investments. More… 

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SOUTH ASIA

World Bank provides support for modernization of old, polluting coal-fired power plants to lower carbon emissions
India’s power shortage is a daunting barrier to the country’s development. More than 40 percent of Indian homes do not have electricity and 60 percent of Indian industrial consumers are forced to make their own arrangements for securing a reliable power supply, according to Roberto Zagha, World Bank Country Director for India. “Using coal more efficiently and making it less polluting is an important step for India even as the government develops longer term solutions for addressing its climate change concerns” said Mr. Zagha. In a big step towards helping the Government lower carbon emissions, the World Bank recently signed a loan agreement of US$180 with the Indian Government towards lowering carbon emissions and boosting power production at Indian's coal-fired power plants. More… 

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JOBS

Senior Public Sector Governance Specialist - Nairobi, Kenya
The Africa Public Sector Reform and Capacity Building Unit (AFTPR) is part of the World Bank Africa Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Group (AFR PREM). The unit’s focus is to strengthen public sector management and governance across all the countries in the Africa region AFTPR currently provides both analytical and project support to public sector and governance issues in Kenya. AFTPR is looking to recruit a dynamic and problem-solving Senior Public Sector/Governance Specialist to be based in Nairobi, Kenya, to lead the World Bank’s public sector management and governance program in Kenya and other countries in the Department. Application closes February 5, 2010. For more information and to apply, please visit 

 

Climate Change Operations Officer - Washington, DC
The Climate Investment Funds (CIF), comprising two new funds, the Clean Technology Fund and the Strategic Climate Fund, were approved by the Board of Directors of the World Bank on July 1, 2008. They will provide important new interim funding to developing countries to address urgent climate change challenges. The position of Operations Officer has been established to support the Administrative Unit’s (AU) work on planning, management, and reporting on CIF funded activities and their results. The Operations Officer will report to the Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of the AU which is based at the World Bank. application closes on January 29. For more information and to apply, please visit…. 

For full list of vacancies at the World Bank, please go to… 

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ON THE BLOGS

Will Climate Change Funds in Developing World Flow to NGOs?
A recent study by the World Bank put the price of climate adaptation in developing countries at US$75-100 billion per year between 2010 and 2050. Tom Brubisich, a Consultant at the World Bank, in this blog states that, developing country governments will need major help from NGOs, especially community-based ones, to carry out successful climate adaptation that helps to maintain and even increase vital agricultural and other economic growth. However, he emphasizes the need for NGOs to be players in climate change in developing countries, especially those countries that are poor and fragile More… 

More on theblogs

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PUBLICATIONS / PODCASTS

Convenient Solutions for an Inconvenient Truth: Ecosystem-based Approaches to Climate Change
Current efforts to address climate change focus mainly on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly through cleaner energy strategies, and on attempting to reduce vulnerability of the communities at risk by improving infrastructure to meet new energy and water needs. This book sets out a compelling argument for including ecosystem-based approaches to mitigation and adaptation as a third essential pillar in national strategies to address climate change. Such ecosystem-based strategies can offer cost-effective, proven and sustainable solutions contributing to, and complementing, other adaptation strategies. More... 

 

SmartAid 2009: New Tool to Boslter Microfinance Management 
The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) on January 11, 2010 lunched a new tool to help microfinance funders improve their management systems, spur new thinking about donor accountability and, promote effectiveness of aid delivery for developing and emerging countries around the world. The tool called SmartAid for Microfinance Index is geared to help funders assess the systems they use to support the design, implementation, and monitoring of microfinance funding. It offers an independent review of participating funders’ strengths and weaknesses in five areas: strategic clarity, staff capacity, accountability for results, knowledge management, and appropriate instruments. This first launch edition indexed 11 funders, including development finance institutions (AECID, AFD, IFC, MIF), multilateral agencies (AfDB, EC, IFAD, ILO, UNCDF), and bilateral agencies (GTZ, SDC representing more than 50 percent of cross-border funding to microfinance. More… 

 

The Social Dimensions of Climate Change: Equity and Vulnerability in a Warming World
While major strides have been made in the scientific understanding of climate change, much less understood is how these dynamics in the physical environment interact with socioeconomic systems. In order to focus attention on these previously neglected and poorly understood social dimensions of climate change, the World Bank convened an international workshop in March, 2008, with the participation of community activists, former heads of state, leaders of Indigenous Peoples, representatives of non-governmental organizations, international researchers, and staff of the World Bank and other international development agencies. This book brings together the latest knowledge on the consequences of climate change for society and how best to address them. More... 


For Full list of World Bank Publication see… 

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This Newsletter is produced by the Civil Society Team of the World Bank (WB) in collaboration with other WB units. The Newsletter highlights some of the many policies, programs, and initiatives of the WB which may involve or be of interest to CSOs. We welcome your comments and feedback to make this newsletter as useful as possible. You can subscribe to the Newsletter using a new registration page: http://www.worldbank.org/civilsocietyengagementnewsletter/. Please share your comments on the Newsletter with us: civilsociety@worldbank.org. All past issues of the Newsletter can be found on the WB site on Civil Society Engagement at: http://www.worldbank.org/civilsociety




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