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Ajay Banga Charts IDA’s Path to Global Progress

World Bank Chief underscored the urgency of action, particularly with the looming demographic shift where 1.1 billion young people will enter the working-age population in the next decade….reports Asian Lite News

During the International Development Association (IDA) Midterm Review, World Bank President Ajay Banga stressed the necessity of a robust, coordinated, and all-encompassing approach to address the intricate challenges confronting today’s developing nations.

The event took place in Zanzibar, Tanzania, with Banga extending condolences for recent floods in the region, according to a release by the World Bank.

Addressing Presidents Samia Suluhu Hassan and Hussein Ali Mwinyi, Banga acknowledged the evolving mission of IDA in the face of challenges such as poverty, climate crises, food insecurity, and the aftermath of the global pandemic.

He underscored the urgency of action, particularly with the looming demographic shift where 1.1 billion young people will enter the working-age population in the next decade.

Banga said, “The landscape we face today is far more complex: declining progress in our fight against poverty, an existential climate crisis, food insecurity, fragility, a fledgling pandemic recovery, and conflict that touches lives beyond the frontlines”.

Banga added, “Meanwhile, in the next 10 years, 1.1 billion young people across the Global South will become working-age adults. Yet, in the same period and same countries, we are only expected to create 325 million jobs. The cost of inaction is unimaginable”.

Banga highlighted the necessity of reliable electricity access, pointing out that 600 million people in Africa, including 36 million in Tanzania, lack this basic necessity.

He stressed the World Bank’s commitment to creating a world free of poverty on a livable planet, outlining a vision that expands the scope of both the World Bank and IDA.

Banga said, “With $5 billion from IDA – we are on a mission to deliver reliable, affordable, renewable electricity to 100 million Africans before 2030”.

To illustrate the transformative power of electrification, Banga shared a success story from Nigeria, where an IDA-funded mini-grid system significantly improved various aspects of community life, from agriculture to healthcare and education.

Expressing the ambition to deliver reliable, affordable, renewable electricity to 100 million Africans by 2030, Banga urged for a substantial increase in funding.

He called for the next replenishment of IDA to be the largest in history, urging donors, shareholders, and philanthropies to step up.

Banga said, “Over the last 10 years, the number of items in IDA that we have been asked to measure has grown from 120 to more than 1,000. As a result, our team and governments spend more time trying to tick the box than we do delivering results”.

In addition to financial support, Banga highlighted the importance of reforms, emphasizing the need for efficiency and accessibility.

He proposed streamlining funds, creating fewer funds with more flexibility, and reducing the bureaucratic burden by focusing on impactful outcomes.

Concluding his remarks, Banga invoked the spirit of cooperation that led to the establishment of the World Bank, quoting U.S. Treasury Secretary Morgenthau’s observation that the solution was possible only due to “the goodwill, good sense, and sincerity of all the nations.”

Banga said, “After Bretton Woods, U.S. Treasury Secretary Morgenthau observed that the World Bank was the solution to one of the knottiest problems. But, he also said that the solution was made possible because “Only the goodwill, good sense and sincerity of all the nations could have found it.”

He encouraged participants to reimagine IDA’s potential and commit to its founding vision of a world where poverty is not a barrier to human potential.

The two-day event offers an opportunity for reflection and a collective commitment to the principles and vision that define IDA’s journey. (ANI)

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V-P lays foundation of road project to boost trade with B’desh

Expressing his happiness that insurgency in the region is coming down, Naidu underlined that “peace is prerequisite for progress”…reports Asian Lite News.

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday laid the foundation for upgrading the 64.21 km road that connects Meghalaya capital with Dawki border town, along the India-Bangladesh border.

The Rs 1,600 crore project on National Highway-40 would shorten travel time between Shillong and Dawki and would connect the Meghalaya capital Shillong with the Bangladeshi border towns and to boost tourism, trade and economy between the two countries.

Speaking on the occasion in Shillong, the Vice-President stressed the importance of better road connectivity in the northeastern region to fully tap its tourism potential, ease the transport of goods, improve delivery of services and contribute to the overall development of the region.

The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu at the foundation stone laying ceremony of improvement/widening of Shillong-Dawki section of National Highway-40, in Shillong (PIB)

Naidu called for fast-tracking of all the developmental activities in the NE states, utilising the funds provided by the Centre for various projects with transparency and accountability. “If we can expedite all projects here-without delay or diversion, northeastern states have the potential to become the growth engines of the country,” he said and stressed that development of the country is incomplete without the development of northeast.

Expressing his happiness that insurgency in the region is coming down, Naidu underlined that “peace is prerequisite for progress”.

Referring to the complexities of road connectivity in the northeastern region, the Vice-President also highlighted the importance of improving connectivity through air travel. Noting a marked improvement in air connectivity for the region under the Regional Connectivity Scheme, he called for more direct flights from and to the northeast with the rest of the country.

The Vice-President congratulated Rebecca Vanessa Suchiang, who was present during the event and a woman belonging to the local indigenous community becoming the first Chief Secretary of Meghalaya.

Meghalaya governor Satya Pal Malik, Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma, Deputy Chief Minister P. Tynsong among other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari also participated through a recorded video message.

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J&K allocates Rs 12,600 cr for district development

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha says the bottom-up approach has been adopted to map optimal strategy for socio-economic development, inclusive growth, reports Asian Lite News

With an eye to spur equitable development in the grassroots, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha gave the nod to the Rs 12,600.58 crore District Capex Budget 2021-22. This allocation is more than double the previous year’s budget of Rs 5134.40 crore. 

The Capex Budget for all 20 districts was approved during a high-level meeting, chaired by Sinha at the Civil Secretariat, with the active involvement of Panchayats, Block Development Councils (BDCs), and District Development Councils (DDCs) on Wednesday.

As per UT administration’s release, during the marathon meeting, 20 chairpersons of DDCs, and all Deputy Commissioners gave a brief overview of their respective district plans.

Highlighting the key features of the District Capex Budget, Sinha observed that the community need-based plan has been prepared which focus on a rapid rise in the standard of living of the people, employment opportunities to locals, ensuring better roads, potable water and electricity, tourism potential, empowering youth and determining other priorities as per public demand.

He said that the bottom-up approach has been adopted to map optimal strategy for socio-economic development, sustainable and inclusive growth at the grass root level, strengthening of basic amenities and development of human capital by solidifying health and educational institutions.

“Jammu and Kasmir is witnessing a new dawn. For the first time, after the detailed deliberations, a plan has been prepared with the collective efforts of the Panchayati Raj Institution’s and the administration. The active participation of the public and their representatives in the planning process has laid a strong foundation for the developmental plans at Gram panchayat, block, and district levels. The district plan preparations started at Panchayat level and through BDC, it finally reached the District Development Council (DDC),” Sinha said.

While congratulating the DDC, Block Development Committees, Sarpanches, Panches, officials of UT Administration for preparing the historic district development plan, Sinha maintained that the community-based planning will play a key role in the implementation of the development works.

“With this historic move, the three-tier Panchayati Raj system has been further empowered through funds, functions and functionaries in Jammu and Kasmir to cater to the developmental needs of the people through efficient mobilization of resources,” the Lt Governor said.

Sinha also directed the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to take urgent action in order to tackle implementation constraints in infrastructure projects.

“More than 80 per cent of works taken up this year should be completed within 12-months with the true spirit of Jan Bhagidari and through the help of PRIs,” he told the DCs.

Sinha further asked the DCs and PRIs to focus on youth engagement, solid waste management, improving the health and education sector, provision of clean drinking water/irrigation facilities, better mobility, livelihood generation, and tourism and sports infrastructure.

He advised the DCs to maintain the connection with the public, besides sharing best practices for better and effective implementation of developmental works.

Sinha further informed that the UT administration is initiating District Evaluation Framework which will be finalised soon and the performances of the districts and their ranking will be published monthly. “An institutional mechanism will be put in place for monthly review of the progress in every district,” he added.

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