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Eighty World Countries Discuss Investing in Human Capital

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Ukraine took part in the event entitled “Human Capital Project. Ministerial Conclave 2021” dedicated to discussion of investing in human capital for environmental, sustainable, and comprehensive recovery in the post-pandemic period. The event took place as part of the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the Board of Governors of the World Bank Group in online format.

The Conclave was attended by representatives of 80 countries, development partners, donor organisations, and the private sector.

“Epidemics, climate change, political conflicts, migration are just some of the challenges facing the world today. Amid all this variety of problems, the development of human capital is the basis for growth of national economy and strengthening of Ukraine’s competitive position in the world. According to the World Bank data, Ukraine’s human capital index was 0.63 in 2020. It is worth noting that this indicator exceeds the average of countries with similar levels of economic development in the world but is currently lower than the average of Europe and Central Asia. For Ukrainians to fulfil their potential to the fullest, it is necessary to invest more in targeted education, health care, and social protection,” Minister of Finance of Ukraine Serhiy Marchenko said.

The key issues of the Conclave were:

  • Restoration of human capital system in health care and education sectors, solution to the jobs problem in the pandemic and post-pandemic period. Participants discussed investing in the fight against inequality and disproportionate impact of the pandemic on the poor and vulnerable around the world
  • Creation of sustainable service delivery systems through “reasonable” financing and improving, modernising social protection systems
  • Possible impact of investing in human capital on creation of comfortable jobs: expanding economic opportunities and ensuring environmental and financial sustainability.

In conclusion, the minister raised the issue of gender equality in Ukraine and spoke about the implementation of the Swedish model of gender-responsive budgeting. In 2020, Ukraine became a full-fledged member of the Biarritz Partnership to achieve equality in ensuring rights and opportunities for men and women, he added. This has already resulted in new commitments to grant parental leave to both mother and father, and implementation of legislation to combat domestic, sexist, or sexual violence.

Background

Ukraine was one of the first countries to implement the World Bank’s Human Capital Project. As part of Social Safety Nets Modernisation Project and Serving People, Improving Health Project, Ukraine received additional funding of $450 million and $135 million, respectively, from the World Bank to save lives and build capacity to support the most vulnerable part of the population and preserve jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Natalia Tolub

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