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The coronavirus pandemic, which has led to the closure of schools, threatens to erase the progress made in the last decade in education and health, particularly in the poorest countries, the World Bank said on Wednesday.

“Human capital is absolutely vital to the financial and economic future of the country, as well as to social well-being,” said David Malpass, president of the World Bank, during a conference call on the occasion of the publication of the report on the Capital Index.


This indicator measures the level that a child can expect to reach at age 18 depending on the health and education services in their country.

But the achievements made in the last ten years run the risk of disappearing under the effects of the pandemic.

To measure human capital, three factors are taken into account: survival (will a child born today reach school age?); schooling (how long will their schooling last and what will their achievements be?) and health (will this child leave the school system in good health, ready to continue their studies or enter the labor market in adulthood?), the World Bank explained during its first report in October 2018.

The 2020 edition includes data from 174 countries, representing 98% of the world’s population.

“The analysis shows that before the pandemic, most countries had made steady progress in building human capital for children, with the greatest progress made in low-income countries,” the report released Wednesday said.

However, even before the effects of the pandemic and despite this progress, a child born in a low-income country could expect to reach only 56% of their potential human capital, compared to a child with a full level of education. and in good health.

With the pandemic, these inequalities will widen.

“We believe that more than one billion children have stopped receiving classes because of covid-19,” he said, representing a deficit of billions of dollars mainly due to reduced learning and possible school dropouts.

This situation “hits girls especially hard,” he said, pointing to a “disproportionate impact” compared to boys.

Faced with this reality, countries must urgently invest in the education of children that will contribute to economic growth in the future, said the World Bank.

While girls outperformed boys in terms of human capital, their employment rate was 20 percentage points lower than that of men, with wider gaps in many countries and regions of the world.

“In addition, the pandemic exacerbates the risks of violence against women, early marriages and teenage pregnancy, all factors that limit the learning and empowerment prospects of women and girls,” the World Bank said.

In terms of health, Malpass highlighted that currently 80 million children do not receive essential vaccines and, therefore, are more vulnerable.

To try to reduce the dropout rate, the World Bank has launched programs in the poorest countries.

“We are trying to relaunch the learning processes. This includes equipping, reopening [de escuelas], distance education, “he explained.

“The number of children out of school is a great concern for the world outlook, the economic outlook, for the future,” he reiterated.

Therefore, countries must urgently invest in the education of children, who will be the contributors to economic growth tomorrow, he urged.

Asked about limited financial capacities, especially in poor countries, Mamta Murthi, vice president in charge of human development issues, emphasized that it is about “managing priorities.”

Murthi pointed out that countries benefiting from debt relief can, for example, reallocate this money to children’s education.

Some countries have decided to increase tobacco taxes.

“The idea is to reduce activities that are harmful to human capital while increasing the income” of a state, he said.

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Tags: the world bank human capital the pandemic of children

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Bank Robbery Reported In Middlesex County

Authorities in Metuchen were on the lookout for a bank robber late Tuesday.

Police said the man displayed a note saying he had a weapon but no weapon was shown, according to an initial report at 5:30 p.m.

The suspect was described as a tall, skinny man who fled on foot from the Chase Bank at 475 Main St. 

The amount of cash taken was not specified.

This is a developing news story. 


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