World Bank Veep Seeks Greater Support for Poorest Nations

Politics

New York, Sept. 15 (Jiji Press)--Akihiko Nishio, World Bank vice president for development finance, on Wednesday asked developed countries to lead the efforts to beef up support for the poorest nations, many of which have taken a hit from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic has made poverty issues more serious, and the attainment of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals would be very difficult if the current situation continues, he said in an online lecture that was hosted by Jiji Press. The lecture connected participants in New York and Los Angeles.

Nishio is in charge of the World Bank's program of extending loans to developing nations mainly through the International Development Association, a World Bank affiliate, which supports impoverished countries.

The situations are dire in the poorest countries, where new COVID-19 cases continue increasing and vaccination rates are low. Developed countries are seeing a V-shaped economic recovery, but the economies in the poorest nations will continue shrinking in 2022, Nishio said. It will take a very long time for the economies to recover from the blow from COVID-19.

According to Nishio, the impact of the pandemic is particularly severe for the health of mothers and children, namely babies and infants. There were steady improvements in maternal and child health in the poorest nations over the past 10 years, but the progress has been wiped out by the pandemic, a situation requiring a quick response, he said.

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