The World Bank’s Executive Board of Directors today approved a $125 million loan to the Government of West Bengal to support the state’s efforts to help poor and vulnerable groups access social protection services.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to focus on building capabilities of state governments to deliver inclusive and equitable social protection in times of crisis. India’s eastern state of West Bengal runs more than 400 programs that provide social assistance, care services, and jobs. Most of these services are offered through an umbrella platform called Jai Bangla. The West Bengal Building State Capability for Inclusive Social Protection Operation will support these interventions at the state level, with particular focus on vulnerable groups such as women, tribal and scheduled caste households and the elderly, as well as households in the state’s disaster-prone coastal regions.
A recent survey found that while food and in-kind transfers reach most poor and vulnerable households in West Bengal, the coverage of cash transfers is weak. Access to social pensions by elderly, widows and disabled persons, in particular, is also weak due to cumbersome application processes and lack of automated systems for application and eligibility verification.
Over the next four years, the operation will help strengthen the state’s capability to expand coverage and access to social assistance and to deliver cash transfers for the poor and vulnerable through a consolidated social registry.
“With its fast-growing urban population and pockets of urban poor, West Bengal has recognized the need to move from a fragmented, scheme-based social protection system to providing an integrated basket of social protection benefits and services to its most vulnerable citizens,” said Junaid Ahmad, the World Bank’s Country Director in India. “The project will support and strengthen the state’s capability in this area to ensure that it can deliver social protection services — both cash and in-kind — to all its vulnerable citizens.”
West Bengal faces challenges related to manual data entry, inconsistent beneficiary data across departments, and lack of data storage and data exchange protocols. The operation will help digitize the state’s unified delivery system, the Jai Bangla platform, to help consolidate disparate social assistance programs and speed the delivery of social pensions to vulnerable and poor households.
The project will also support the creation of a tele-consultation network for social care services, complemented by a cadre of case management workers who can help households with advice on eldercare and links to health services and facilities.
It will also create an institutional platform to improve coordination and effectiveness of government interventions to address the state’s low participation of women in the labor force.
“Lack of coordination among departments leads to duplication of efforts in service delivery. The project will assist in overall system improvements, helping to significantly improve the capacity of the state government to identify beneficiaries faster, track expenditures, and plan and monitor benefit delivery for the vulnerable,” said Shrayana Bhattacharya, Qaiser M. Khan and Ambrish Shahi, World Bank’s task team leaders for the project.
Jordan: US$85 million for a New Industry Development Fund
The World Bank has approved US$85 million in financing for the Jordan Support for Industry Development Fund Project, which aims to promote investments and exports in the manufacturing sector through the operationalization of a new Industry Development Fund. The fund is one of the commitments Jordan has made under its Economic Priority Plan 2021–2023.
Jordan urgently needs to create inclusive and broad-based job opportunities to promote resilient recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, requiring a shift towards a resource-efficient, export- and investment-driven growth model. Manufacturing, among the largest employers in Jordan’s economy, suffered acute shortages of cash during the COVID-19 pandemic. To diversify and expand their exports, and generate more jobs, companies now need to move out of survival mode to a new level of competitiveness.
The Government of Jordan is establishing the Industry Development Fund to put its development policies and programs on manufacturing into practice. The government asked for the World Bank’s support in designing and operationalizing the fund as an efficient, transparent, and effective delivery platform for support for firms, and as a key financial enabler for industrial transformation. Its focus will be upgrading and modernizing industries; export development and promotion; and incentivizing companies toward high performance in areas critical to the sector reaching its full potential, such as increased climate-responsiveness and female employment.
“The Industry Development Fund is a key instrument in our Economic Priority Plan 2021–2023 to help firms in the industrial sector recover and build back better following the COVID-19 crisis,” said H.E. Nasser Shraideh, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of Jordan. “It will serve as a stimulus to promote private sector-led investment, as well as modernization, upgrading, and export development, which are key engines of growth for the Jordanian economy.”
The project aims to support more than 500 export-oriented firms directly through the fund’s programs and to mobilize at least US$17 million in additional private capital. It will also support the building of effective delivery mechanisms and a robust governance and operational capacity, enabling the fund to support the transformation of the industrial sector in the longer term.
“Jordan’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has been broad-based, but many sub-sectors are operating below their pre-pandemic level and external shocks have led to higher unemployment, especially for women and the youth,” said Saroj Kumar Jha, Mashreq Regional Director, World Bank Group. “This project will complement the integrated package of support for private sector development that the Bank and the Government of Jordan are implementing to foster enhanced public-private partnerships for inclusive and resilient recovery and growth.”
The main activities financed by the Fund will include: (i) Industry upgrading and export development programs; (ii) Outcome-based incentives program; and (iii) Easing access to export credit insurance and to new supply chain finance products.
The project prioritizes gender balance and includes measures to ensure the inclusion of women business leaders/owners and employees, and of various vulnerable groups in the fund’s programs.
How Liquidation Auctions Give Small Businesses a Chance to Compete in Retail
Liquidation auctions are a goldmine for small businesses. Many of the small businesses struggle with capital and filling up their stock. Running a small business is not the easiest thing to do in the current market situation. Liquidation auctions are a great marketplace for small businesses where they can register massive profits when it comes to their businesses.
Small businesses which buy liquidation pallets manage to secure a good profit while keeping their costs low. In this article, we have covered the main methods by which small businesses can transform themselves into thriving businesses by using some of the best wholesale liquidation companies.
Small businesses struggle when it comes to placing orders in bulk. They generally do not have the capital to get a ton of products for cheap. Many of these businesses struggle because they do not have the investment capital required to get the required quantities of products. When you buy liquidation pallets it helps you to save money.
You get a variety of products for a fraction of their cost. These pallets generally help you to make a profit even if you list the products for resale at the lowest prices. They require small capital and are the best when you have limited funds for stoking up your inventory.
Every small business owner knows the pain of having to place an order with the big brands. The big companies have a lot of procedures which you have to go through to place an order with them. Many a time they do not even bother delivering to small businesses as the order quantity is less. To fulfill the needs of the customers, small business owners can buy liquidation pallets.
You should use some of the best wholesale liquidation companies to get your hands on amazing branded products. Amazon returns liquidation is also a great way to source branded items without having to go through the painful process of placing an order with the company.
When trying to source products from different sellers these small business owners have to pay a lot of money for shipping. These extra costs often make the difference between a sustainable business and one which fails. Buying a liquidation pallet allows business owners to reduce their shipping costs to a fraction of what it would have been earlier.
This is because the business owners can get a lot of products while having to pay the shipping costs of only one pallet. This reduces the individual shipping costs which may eleven end up draining a company of its capital.
For s small business variety plays a big role. You want your store to be a one-stop destination for all of your customers. These businesses generally have a smaller but loyal customer base. Having a variety of products allows these businesses to thrive. They get their customers to purchase more products with the increase in the variety they have.
A liquidation pallet bought from one of the best wholesale liquidation companies can give you all the variety you could ask for. They help you to fill up your inventory fast and with many different products. You even select the category of the pallet from options such as clothing, electronics, etc. This helps you prevent getting unwanted items while helping increase the variety of the business.
There is a huge upside to buying liquidation pallets. These pallets from time to time will have very expensive items which you can get for a bargain. When you buy liquidation pallets you have the huge upside of getting a product that may be so valuable that it covers the cost of your entire pallet. These incredible finds can help you secure a profit through the sale of a single item from the pallet.
Even if you do not manage to get an incredibly valuable item you can still easily manage to sell all the items from the pallet and register a profit. This means that you do not go to a loss even if you do not have a very valuable item. If you do manage to get such an item it will help your business massively. The chances of losing money by reselling the items from a pallet are very less.
Liquidation auctions are events that every small business owner should be looking to participate in. It does take some time to understand the best marketplaces to buy such liquidation pallets and get the best deals. We recommend that you start by buying from the most reputed sources and then only move to other marketplaces which sell liquidation pallets. These pallets are a great way to reduce business costs while maximizing your profits. The pallets provide ou with the opportunity to scale your vines and expand your inventory by spending considerably less. As a small business owner, when you buy liquidation pallets you get to compete with the big retail stores.
Zero Waste Europe endorses ENVI Commitee decisions in RED III and ETS
Today, the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) committee voted on the Renewable Energy Directive (RED III) and the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) supports the decisions taken to help accelerate the transition to a circular economy in Europe.
RED III (Renewable Energy Directive)
The ENVI committee has agreed to limit the use of mixed waste for the ‘renewable energy’ generation purposes.
Mixed waste sorting & support schemes
The ENVI Committee is modifying the definition of biomass, removing the expression “fraction of” in reference to the waste, and introducing a mandatory mixed waste sorting system. The two changes ensure that only non-recyclable biogenic waste will be used for renewable energy purposes. Moreover, waste incineration of biogenic waste (biowaste, paper, etc.) can only be supported if separate collection, recycling, and reuse obligations are fully met.
For Janek Vähk, ZWE’s Climate, Energy and Air Pollution Programme Coordinator: “The change is very positive because, at incineration plants, the ‘biodegradable fraction of waste’ is always combusted with fossil-derived materials. This will put an end to generating renewable energy using a technology that is powered by a substance – mixed waste- which is far from being renewable”.
Recycled Carbon Fuel – RCF
The agreed text also improves the European Commission’s wording to limit the potential use of fossil waste-derived ‘recycled carbon fuels’ – such as plastic-to-fuels.
In the proposed methodology to assess the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions savings for recycled carbon fuel, the ENVI Committee has removed the reference to the concept of ‘avoided emissions’. The concept would have allowed plastic-to-fuels manufacturers to subtract emissions that are ‘avoided’ from alternative use, such as waste incineration, making it easier for those fuels to meet the 70% GHG savings threshold required, in the transport sector to contribute towards renewable energy targets. A recent study on plastic-to-fuels shows that plastic-derived fuels produce high exhaust emissions compared to diesel.
Lauriane Veillard, ZWE Chemical Recycling and Plastic-to-Fuels Policy Officer said: “We welcome the committee decision to exclude ‘avoided emissions’ from the calculation rules for recycled carbon fuels. From a ZWE perspective, supporting the development of RCF in the context of RED III would have undermined the higher tiers of the waste hierarchy by discouraging ‘reduce and reuse’ behaviour”.
ZWE calls on the European Parliament to improve the wording. in its upcoming vote in September. to fully exclude the use of fossil-based fuels in the Renewable Energy Directive.
ETS (EU Emissions Trading System)
The ENVI committee has proposed the inclusion of municipal waste incineration under the EU ETS. This means that, from 2026, these highly climate polluting facilities will have to pay an ETS carbon price (fee) per each tonne of fossil CO2 they emit. This additional cost of incineration will act as an incentive for waste prevention and recycling, which will then become more competitive (i.e. less costly) than incineration. Moreover, additional jobs will be created since recycling and waste prevention activities are more labour-intensive than waste incineration.
Janek Vähk, ZWE’s Climate, Energy and Air Pollution Programme Coordinator: “The proposed inclusion of incinerators is extremely positive as the doubling of fossil CO2 emissions from those facilities have gone unnoticed and unaddressed for decades”.
A recent report shows that one-third of the CO2 emissions from the plastics system are caused by incineration of plastic waste. The inclusion of incinerators is needed to incentivise plastics circularity and waste prevention, and to reduce CO2 emissions (see ZWE’s report on ETS).
Nevertheless, the ENVI committee is only proposing to include incinerators from 2026 after conducting a review in 2024 to consider potential measures to avoid ‘unintended consequences’ of the inclusion.
Janek Vähk added: “From ZWE’s perspective, the late inclusion and the review are not justified. Shipping and landfilling of waste are both well regulated and have specific targets such as landfill minimisation and pre-treatment obligations. These rules will be further tightened with the current review of Waste Shipment regulation and the Waste Framework Directive“.
“The inclusion is of fundamental importance to allow the EU climate and circularity goals to be successfully met. We hope that the European Parliament will support the ENVI committee position in its upcoming vote in June by supporting the inclusion of municipal waste incinerators in the EU ETS”.
Mali’s withdrawal from G5 Sahel, Joint Force ‘a setback’ for the region
Mali’s decision on 15 May to withdraw from the G5-Sahel group and its Joint Force is “unfortunate” and “regrettable”, a...
First polio outbreak in 30 years declared in Mozambique
Health authorities in Mozambique declared an outbreak of wild poliovirus on Wednesday after confirming that a child in the country’s...
G7’s potential should be utilized positively
The G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, and...
Nations must ‘act together, urgently and with solidarity’ to end crisis of food insecurity
Hunger levels around the world are at “a new high”, the UN chief said on Wednesday, in a call to...
Americas: Rising COVID-19 caseload should be a ‘wake-up call’
COVID-19 rates are on the rise in the Americas, where new infections and fatalities have been steadily increasing over the...
Musings of a journalist – Part 3
The entire idea of writing this is that as journalists we find ourselves finding and scratching other people’s truths. However,...
Saudi religious moderation: the world’s foremost publisher of Qur’ans has yet to get the message
When the religious affairs minister of Guinea-Conakry visited Jeddah last week, his Saudi counterpart gifted him 50,000 Qur’ans. Saudi Islamic...
Southeast Asia4 days ago
Vietnam-US relations and the US-ASEAN Summit
Middle East3 days ago
Iran Gives Russia Two and a Half Cheers
Americas4 days ago
A U.S.-ASEAN summit—a face or a farce
Middle East4 days ago
Ignoring the Middle East at one’s peril: Turkey plays games in NATO
South Asia4 days ago
Sri Lankan economic crisis and the China factor
Intelligence3 days ago
New ISIS Strategy and the Resurgence of Islamic State Khorasan
Economy3 days ago
Possible Impacts of the Russia-Ukraine War on Global Food Trade
South Asia3 days ago
The sizzling “Political Matrix”; What will happen now?