‘Next Pandemic Will Come’, Warns World Bank Chief

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The head of the World Bank, Ajay Banga, has warned that it’s only a matter of time until the world witnesses another pandemic like Covid-19, NDTV reported.

During a visit to a Skill India Mission centre in New Delhi’s Dwarka today, Mr Banga said that the pandemic caused extreme learning losses, which is posing a challenge for the generation that went for schooling during that time.

The World Bank, in a 2021 report, had said that learning losses from Covid-19 could cost this generation of students close to $17 trillion in lifetime earnings.

“We have to fix what happened, and make sure we learn for the next pandemic. Because the next pandemic will come, it’s only a question of how long before it comes,” Mr Banga, who is the first Indian-Origin World Bank chief, told reporters.

Mr Banga, who took over as the World Bank President last month, also stressed on climate finance during his India visit. He said there’s a requirement of a trillion dollars a year to be invested in renewable energy ecosystem across the world in a year.

“You cannot get that kind of money from governments, philanthropists or multilateral banks alone, you have to get the private sector along,” Mr Banga said.

He added that the world is facing many crises, such as ‘climate issues, issues with fragility, conflict, pandemic, future healthcare needs, poverty, and creating jobs’.

The World Bank head said that the world should use the money it already has in the best way possible, and then come back to the richer countries and say, “what is your ambition for the future and how much money are you willing to put?”

Speaking about the pandemic’s global impact, Mr. Banga said, “India had a year or two of challenges during the pandemic, but you’ve come out of it pretty strong”.

He added that his optimism for the Indian economy is based on the country’s investment in digital and physical infrastructure.

The World Bank chief was in India to attend the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meet that concluded yesterday.(NDTV)

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