Afghanistan debt - when words get lost in translation Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy/World Bank One of the many successful fiscal initiatives implemented in Afghanistan was the HIPC, the Highly Indebted Poor Country program, a joint IMF–World Bank effort to reduce the public debt of poor countries. We called this the forgiveness of debt. At an early stage in this work I had to meet with a senior Afghan ...

Nepal:  from relief to reconstruction Keshav’s house (left) and his mother’s house (right), before the earthquake In Nepal’s hamlets and villages, in the first days following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 25, families sheltered under crude lean-tos, made of whatever relatively waterproof materials they had to hand. Keshav Thapa Magar, who lives with his wife, son and two daughters on the southeastern edge ...

Nepal one month after the earthquake Kathmandu after the first earthquake It has been a month since a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit central Nepal on April 25. What happened next? Having experienced a real threat of death, many survivors manifested avoidance (“I don’t want to talk about it!”), hyper-vigilance (“What’s that noise? Is the ground moving?”), intrusive thoughts (“What if the next big one may ...

Bangladesh: The challenges of living in a delta country Deltas are often described as cradles of civilization. They are the testing grounds for early agriculture and the birthplace of hydraulic engineering as we attempted to shape the landscape to suit our needs. Deltas are the unique result of the interaction of rivers and tidal processes resulting in the largest sedimentary deposits in the world. Although comprising only 5% ...

Shaping a procurement plan for emergencies Volunteers unload relief materials in Nepal. Credits: Johannes Zutt/ The World Bank Nepal is coping with the consequences of a disastrous earthquake. During the next months the government will be under a lot of pressure to respond quickly to the needs of the population. Public procurement units across the country will also feel this pressure. They will be deciding ...

Virtual Classrooms Foster Medical Education and Research in Bangladesh Prof. Laila Banu (center) and Next Generation Sequencer (left) in her laboratoryBangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) is a leading post-graduate medical institution and the only medical university in Bangladesh. It plays a unique role in enhancing the quality of medical education and research. BSMMU is one of the largest beneficiaries of the Academic Innovation Fund (AIF) under the ...

Time is Running Out for Nepal Earthquake Survivors Security forces clearing the rubble at the historic Patan Durbar Square in Kathmandu Valley. Credits: Rajib Upadhya. World Bank It is Day Ten since the earthquake struck Nepal and the scale of the devastation is only just becoming evident. The official death toll has now crossed 7,000, of which 5,000 have been confirmed in remote rural areas. As many ...

The poorest are the hardest hit in rural Nepal Nepal Poverty Map @World Bank While Kathmandu is steadily fighting to get back to some sense of normalcy, the situation is very different outside the capital where all districts around Kathmandu and between Kathmandu and the tourist town of Pokhara have been very severely affected. Relief supplies - food, water, shelter and medical aid, are slowly starting to move ...

Nepal earthquake emergency has barely begun in rural areas Remains of several houses in Pauwathok On Saturday I drove to Sindhupalchok, in the mid-hills of Nepal, to the northeast of Kathmandu. The narrow road climbed up and down the shoulders of the hills, along clear streams, through green forests and among fallow terraced fields with neat piles of cow dung waiting to be spread. In the shade of a ...

Wanted! Your proposals on Regional Integration in South Asia Home to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, South Asia is one of the fastest growing regions in the world and yet one of the least integrated. Intra-regional trade accounts for only 5% of South Asia’s GDP, compared to 25% of East Asia’s. Meanwhile, with a population of 1.6 billion, South Asia hosts one of ...

How online work is changing labor force participation and fostering urban youth inclusion in Pakistan The Digital Youth Summit 2015 (May 7-9, 2015, Peshawar) will explore the potential of e-lancing. The vibrant city of Peshawar is getting ready to host the 2nd Digital Youth Summit (May 7-9, 2015, Shiraz Arena). Co-organized by the KP IT Board, Peshawar 2.0 and the World Bank, the Digital Youth Summit is a tech conference and startup expo gathering participants from ...

Will South Asia make the most of cheap oil? The world economy today presents itself as a diverse canvas full of challenges and opportunities. Advanced economies continue to struggle towards recovery, with the US on its way to tighten monetary policy as the economy picks up while a still weak Eurozone awaits quantitative easing to kick in. At the same time, plunging oil prices have set in motion ...

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