The World Bank Group has lowered global growth forecast to 3.2% from earlier 4.1%, according to President David Malpass on Sunday at Spring Meetings 2022 media roundtable opening remarks.
Malpass said that people are facing reversals in development for education, health, and gender equality. They’re facing reduced commercial activity and trade. Also, the debt crises and currency depreciations have a burden that falls heavily on the poor.
He added, “For Ukraine, we’ve mobilized nearly $1bn in emergency financing, and we’ve announced another $1.5bn to support essential government services.”
Food crises are bad for everyone, but they’re devastating for the poorest and most vulnerable. There are two reasons. First, the world’s poorest countries tend to be food importing countries. Second, food accounts for at least half of total expenditures in household budgets in low-income countries, so it hits them hardest, he noted.
Malpass further pointed out that global trade is still facing quotas, high import tariffs, high export tariffs, expensive food price subsidies, and even export bans on food products. These should stop. The international community needs to immediately step up emergency assistance for food insecurity and help bolster social safety nets. From the World Bank’s standpoint, we are providing roughly $17bn per year to strengthen food security – a big part of the global effort.
The World Bank Group expanded financing rapidly, reaching $157bn in the 15 months ending June 2021.
“Vaccines were a big part of this effort. We now expect to have committed $11bn to purchase and deploy vaccines in our current fiscal year ending June 30, benefiting 81 countries. This has been a massive effort by our country teams around the world and has brought hundreds of millions of shots to arms,” he said.