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Can we still meet the SDGs? | GZERO Media

Shocks making it harder to meet Sustainable Development Goals

After the pandemic and now the global food crisis, meeting the UN's Sustainable Goals by the 2030 deadline will be a tall order.

But actually it's previous systemic challenges aggravated by those crises that are undermining the push to achieve the SDGs, Kathryn Hollifield, from the World Bank's Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, explained during a livestream discussion on the global food crisis hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Food Has Gotten Expensive — It May Get Scarce in the Future | GZERO Media

Global food crisis: when food isn't merely expensive

Shortages as a result of Russia's war in Ukraine have aggravated a pre-existing global food crisis that could push a billion people — most of them in the poorest parts of the world — into starvation. It's not just one thing: droughts, COVID-induced supply chain snarls, and high energy prices have all gotten us to this point. And it’ll get worse later on if we don’t find ways to future-proof global food systems.

So, what are we gonna do about it? Several experts weighed in during the livestream discussion "Hunger Pains: The growing global food crisis," hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Is Global Economic Inequality Getting Worse? | Global Stage | GZERO Media

Is global economic inequality getting worse?

Yes, said the majority of respondents in a recent GZERO poll.

What's happening in Ukraine has undone much of the momentum for narrowing the equality gap created during the pandemic, said Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media, during a Global Stage livestream conversation hosted by GZERO in partnership with Microsoft. The event was held on site at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington, DC , and was moderated by Jeanna Smialek, Federal Reserve reporter at The New York Times. The war has aggravated pre-existing problems like high inflation and supply chain disruptions. A cease-fire would help end all this, but don't count on it.

This week the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are holding their annual spring meetings. The conflict is top and center on the agenda, as is financial assistance to first help Ukraine keep the lights on and someday rebuild when the Russians leave.

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Want to help poor countries now? Open your markets to their farmers | Global Stage | GZERO Media

Want to help poor countries now? Open your markets to their farmers, World Bank chief tells wealthy nations

Many developing countries now face high inflation, especially rising food prices.

What can they do to alleviate some of that pain? Wealthy nations should step in by opening their markets to farmers from poor nations, World Bank President David Malpass says during a Global Stage livestream conversation hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with Microsoft.

"This is a moment to make friends, to help people that ... don't have as much."

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Drivers push their three-wheelers while waiting in a line to buy petrol amid the country's economic crisis in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Reuters

Is the global debt apocalypse here?

As the world largely began shifting to the “we have to learn to live it” stage of the pandemic late last year, many economists anticipated that hard-hit low- and middle-income countries might finally catch a break.

But then Vladimir Putin’s imperialist instincts got the better of him, and Russia decided to pancake Ukraine. The war’s economic effects are reverberating worldwide, with food and fuel shortages sending already high inflation soaring. Unsurprisingly, emerging economies with shallow pockets are reeling.

The backstory. Amid the pandemic, many low-income countries took on new debt to insulate their economies from the economic pain caused by rolling lockdowns, closed borders, and business closures. But even before COVID, many countries – such as Zambia, Sri Lanka, and Ecuador – were already heavily indebted partly as a result of government mismanagement and corruption. The pandemic-induced recession caused global indebtedness to balloon to a 50-year high.

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Join us for our Global Stage event live from Washington DC

WATCH : Today at 3:30 pm ET, GZERO Media streamed from the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC, to discuss "Financing the Future" as part of our Global Stage series.

Moderator Jeanna Smialek, Federal Reserve reporter at The New York Times, led the conversation with Eurasia Group and GZERO Media president Ian Bremmer, World Bank president David Malpass, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance, Republic of Indonesia, and Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Egypt. We also heard from Vickie Robinson, General Manager, Microsoft Airband Initiative, and Gintarė Skaistė, Minister of Finance, Lithuania.

GZERO Media's Webby Award-nominated Global Stage series is produced in partnership with Microsoft.

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Fatima, 7, one of Azrat's eight children, is tying to stay warm in Kabul, 24 November 2020.

Stefanie Glinski/Thomson Reuters Foundation

Winter has come to Afghanistan

A much-feared humanitarian and economic crisis in Afghanistan has now begun, and the country's Taliban government has issued an urgent appeal for cash. In particular, its foreign minister has called on Washington to help.

After the Taliban seized power in August, the US, World Bank, and International Monetary cut off Afghanistan's access to more than $9.5 billion in foreign reserves and loans. The Taliban want the Biden administration to release this money and to allow the World Bank and IMF, institutions in which Washington wields exceptional influence, to free up loans. So far, the White House has said no.

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Ian Bremmer: Trouble at the IMF | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Trouble at the IMF

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody, Ian Bremmer here, and a happy Monday to you. A Quick Take on the scandal surrounding the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and its Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva. Disclosure, full disclosure, she's someone I know very well and am very friendly with actually and have been since well before she got the IMF post. She used to be number two at the World Bank, and that is the origin of the crisis.

A "Doing Business" report, something the World Bank comes out with every year. It is used by investors to assess competitiveness of different governments around the world. And as one might imagine, there's a lot of jockeying and lobbying behind the scenes by these governments to try to show that they're doing a great job. And as a consequence, their rankings should be high.

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