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Improving statistical systems in West Africa, and other news

The World Bank supports a new project for improving economic and social statistics in West Africa, and the use of renewable energy to reduce inequality in Asia and the Pacific

Each week we highlight some of the international development stories from across the globe that have caught our attention:

  • The World Bank Group has approve $379 million of credits and grants to support the improvement of statistical systems in seven West African countries, and to support greater regional integration in Africa. The new Harmonising and Improving Statistics in West Africa project aims to improve the collection and dissemination of economic and social statistics to address development challenges in the West African region. Read more in Modern Ghana.
  • A series of projects have been announced by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which will partner with non-governmental organisations to provide assistance in a range of developing countries across Africa and India, primarily targeting children and disadvantaged groups. Read more in Focus Taiwan.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic is causing an increase in individuals using mobile banking in West Africa, in an effort to avoid contamination through using cash. Currently mobile money, which is a key factor for financial inclusion in underserved groups, is only used by around one in four adults in West Africa currently, however the pandemic may be acting as a catalyst for changing social norms and attitudes. Read more in Standard Media (Kenya).
  • Projects in Asia and the Pacific are targeting remote communities to provide renewable energy resources in order to reduce inequalities, through increasing job opportunities, health, and education facilities. Read more in The Jakarta Post.
  • The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have begun the process of providing debt relief to Somalia, with the aim of bringing the country back into the international financial system after 30 years. Read more in The East African.