The World Region
Today, we had the pleasure of launching our Spanish version of the World Bank Meetings Center, El blog de las reuniones del Banco Mundial.
The Spanish version of the site, like the English, will feature links to press releases and stories, and also include commentary and short video interviews.
You can access the Spanish site by clicking on the "Espanol" on the top right of any page.
Speaking at a news conference this morning ahead of the start of the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings, Bank President Robert B. Zoellick hit on the need to address the second and third waves of economic fallout being felt in developing countries.
“First and foremost we need to ensure that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. When financial crises hit Latin America in the 1980s and in Asia in the 1990s…basic health, nutrition and education budgets were cut back severely. This time we must ensure that governments can protect targeted social expenditures and finance effective safety nets,” Zoellick said.
Nor can infrastructure be neglected, he said, citing the long-term negative consequences of slashing infrastructure investment during past crises. To help promote investment in roads, electricity, telecommunications, etc.--as a means of creating jobs and spurring economic growth--Zoellick said the Bank is planning a massive infrastructure initiative, to be formally launched on Saturday.
Zoellick also highlighted the Bank’s plans to boost support for agriculture—increasing lending from $4 billion in 2008 to $12 billion over the next two years to help ensure food security.
- Statement: Investments in safety nets, infrastructure needed to support poor in crisis
- Release: Bank to Invest $45bn in Infrastructure
- Story: Food Crisis Not Over for Many Poor People
- Webcast: IMF Webcast of Press Conference
Watch President Zoellick's opening remarks at the news conference below:
You can listen to the interview using the player below:
How is the financial crisis impacting youth around the world? Youthink!, the Bank’s website dedicated to kids and young adults, asked its cadre of youth bloggers from around the world to answer that question.
"Even if the situation ahead of us is really bad, what good would it do to stress about it? It’s more productive to focus on the good things and keep on working towards our goals as a society…" said contributing blogger María Rodríguez of Colombia.
Bringing together seven young bloggers from across the world, the Youthink! blog features posts about topics as wide-reaching but impactful as climate change to health in the developing world. Since launching in January 2009, Youthink! bloggers have managed to spark lively debates and discussions among the site’s audience.
The first batch of Youthink! bloggers are:
- Stacy Alcantara, Philippines – Youth Coordinator; Active Citizenship Research
- Christine Cassar, Malta – Director, People for Change Foundation
- Nicholas Lembo, USA – MA Candidate; International Development
- Nate Miller, Benin – World traveler and public health professional
- Saptarshi Pal, India – World Bank International Essay Winner, 2008
- María Rodríguez, Colombia – Director; Red de Generación de Oportunidades Sociales (Social Opportunities Generating Network)
- Joao Felipe Scarpelini, Brazil – Youth Activist; Peace Child
- Saadia Iqbal, USA – Youthink! Editor
A 2006 Webby Award winner, Youthink! aims to inform youth on development issues and inspire them to get involved. The site contains a section for educators, and most of the content is now available in French, Spanish, and Chinese.
Civil Society Forum
The World Bank Group, together with the IMF, opens its doors on Thurs., April 23, for dialogue with the 400+ CSO leaders from around the world who have registered for the Spring Meetings.
The four-day Civil Society Policy Forum will bring together Bank and Fund staff, CSO representatives, government officials, and others to exchange views on a variety of topics ranging from the global economic crisis and climate change, to information disclosure.
Find out more about the Forum and the schedule of events at the Civil Society Policy Forum page.
Press Room Opens
In addition, some 800 accredited journalists have registered for the meetings. Some have found a temporary home at the Bank/IMF press room, which opened yesterday. Tomorrow is the deadline for submitting the online application for press accreditation.
If you're a member of the press and haven't yet completed the online application for accreditation, be sure to do that here.
The blog has been up and going for a few weeks now, but it was only this week that the Youthink! blog officially went live. It's definitely worth checking out.
If you're reading this post, then the new World Bank blog platform at blogs.worldbank.org is live and open to the public.
Welcome to the World Bank Meetings Center!
This space provides links and inside access to the information, ideas, and issues being discussed at various events such as the IMF and World Bank spring and annual meetings.
Spring Meetings 2009
Each Spring, the IMF's International Monetary and Financial Committee and the joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee hold meetings to discuss progress on the work of the Fund and Bank.
We're launching this site a week before the Spring Meetings begin so that we can start providing you with some original content that will let you take a look at the important issues that are being discussed over the nex week. In the next few days, expect coverage of major Meetings-related events, photos and videos from the proceedings, and even various ways for you to get involved and have your say.
We're looking forward to an exciting few days ahead, and even more excited to be able to share these events with you.