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August 4, 2020 19 min
“I certainly hope this is a unique moment where we will have profound conversations, not only about our own lessons or our own challenges, but about the future of humanity. … This lockdown gives us the opportunity to have long conversations that otherwise would not have happened.” Last year, the World Bank Group was busily working on two ambitious goals for its 189 member nations: ending extreme poverty within a generation, and boosting shared prosperity. This year, it has announced it will provide up to $160 billion in financing for COVID-19 over a period of 15 months to help developing countries respond to the health, social and economic impacts of the pandemic.  “We are projecting negative growth for over 150 countries in 2020,” he tells Mike. “And nearly 80% of the world's informal economy workers, 1.6 billion people, due to the lockdown, have lost their jobs, of which of 714 million are women. So this is really an unprecedented crisis.”
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