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Russia-Ukraine war and COVID-19 will hit developing countries hard — World Bank

The World Bank has said the war between Russia and Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic will increase pressure on food staples, oil, gas, and other essentials in developing countries across the globe.

World Bank

According to World Bank Group President, David Malpass the Russian invasion of Ukraine has added to existing headwinds in the global economic recovery from the deadly pandemic, with developing countries feeling increased pressure.

In his opening remark at the 2022 spring meetings media roundtable on Monday, April 18, 2022, he said for Ukraine, the World Bank has mobilized nearly $1 billion in emergency financing, and announced another $1.5 billion to support essential government services.

David Malpass stated that "I'm deeply concerned about developing countries. They’re facing sudden price increases for energy, fertilizer, and food, and the likelihood of interest rate increases. Each one hits them hard.

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"These, plus the war in Ukraine and China's COVID-related shutdowns, are pushing global growth rates even lower and poverty rates higher.

"We've lowered our 2022 growth rate to 3.2% from 4.1% before. People are facing reversals in development for education, health, and gender equality. They're facing reduced commercial activity and trade. Also, the debt crises and currency depreciations have a burden that falls heavily on the poor. Many discussions this week will focus on these topics."

He also charged developing countries to take action and encourage the production of food, energy, and fertilizer.

"The production chain needs all three. It’s vital for countries, both advanced and developing, to reduce their trade barriers,' he noted.

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