WASHINGTON, September 16, 2021 – Manuela V. Ferro, an economist and senior leader in the World Bank, is the new World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific.
Ms. Ferro brings over three decades of experience across Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East, and South Asia and has held several leadership positions in the World Bank. As Vice President in charge of operational policies and country programs, her last senior leadership position, she oversaw the Bank’s largest crisis response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. As Director of Strategy and Operations for Latin America and the Caribbean, Ms. Ferro oversaw the Bank’s operations in a large region of middle-income countries and small states, and as Director for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management she led the economic dialogue with the Middle East and North Africa.
Ms. Ferro will oversee the Bank’s support to East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) for a sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. While in 2020 many EAP countries successfully contained COVID-19, successive waves of the pandemic are slowing overall growth and job creation and widening inequality in 2021.
“The World Bank has been a long-time partner in East Asia and Pacific and is committed to supporting the region’s recovery at this critical time,” said Manuela V. Ferro, World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific. “As Vice President for East Asia and Pacific, I look forward to forging strong partnerships with countries and development partners.”
Ms. Ferro holds a Ph.D. in development economics from Stanford University and an engineering degree from the Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal. She is known for her strategic leadership, a track record of impactful country programs, and a history of forging productive partnerships with client countries and development partners.
Ms. Ferro will manage Bank relations with 26 countries, over 1000 staff, and the World Bank’s portfolio in East Asia and Pacific, totaling around US$40 billion.
World Bank Group COVID-19 Response:
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank Group has deployed over $157 billion to fight the health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic, the fastest and largest crisis response in its history. The financing is helping more than 100 countries around the world strengthen pandemic preparedness, protect the poor and jobs, and jump start a climate-friendly recovery. The Bank is also supporting over 50 low- and middle-income countries, more than half of which are in Africa, with the purchase and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, and is making available $20 billion in financing for this purpose until the end of 2022.