There was a little-noticed gem among the announcements from the London conference on Syria. The headlines focused on the $10 billion of aid that has been pledged. But donors would be deluded if they thought that this additional aid, even it arrives and is properly used, would be enough to stop large numbers of refugees from trying to migrate.
CGD Policy Blogs
The UN’s World Food Program now estimates that some three million Zimbabweans, or roughly one-quarter of the population, may require food aid this year. Zimbabwe is suffering from erratic rainfall this year, blamed in large part on the El Niño weather phenomena. An estimated 70% of Zimbabweans rely on agriculture, so the impact on poverty and human welfare will no doubt be severe. But in reading about Zimbabwe’s current predicament, something struck me: neighboring Zambia seems to have no urgent food aid requirements.
To combat child marriage, the UN calls for, among other steps, the enactment of laws to raise the minimum age of marriage to 18. Zimbabwe is poised to follow this advice following a Constitutional Court ruling last month when human rights lawyer Tendai Biti (a former minister of finance and CGD visiting fellow) won a landmark case in Zimbabwe’s highest court that ruled marriage before age 18 is illegal.
Last week, within a few hours of announcing she was running for a second term as head of the IMF, it appeared that Christine Lagarde had the nomination sewn up. That’s little surprise given the incumbent’s track record. But what better time than now — when Europe’s candidate would most likely win without a stitch-up — to push reform?
Last week, more than 3,000 policymakers, practitioners, researchers, donors, and advocates descended upon Nusa Dua, Indonesia, for the 4th International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP). From the opening gong to the closing plenary, Nusa Dua hummed with experience, learning, and new ideas, originating in 100-plus countries and converging in a single conference center.
February 6 is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, FGM is still actively encouraged.
Which country’s aid is the best? And who is giving what to whom? Recent statistics from the OECD tell us that the amount of aid given to poor countries was at an all-time high of $137.2bn in 2014 – the latest year for which figures are available. That’s up by just over 1% on the previous year, but the proportion of aid going to the poorest countries has fallen.
Last night the House of Representatives passed the Electrify Africa Act. They followed the Senate, which passed the same bill by unanimous consent last December. Yes, amazingly enough, Congress has finally spoken: Combatting African energy poverty is the official policy of the land, or at least will be once President Obama holds a signing ceremony in the next 14 days.
The World Bank opened in 1946 to finance a global economy just emerging from colonization and warfare and just embarking on the Cold War. Today the global development landscape is radically different, and capital circles the globe at volumes unthinkable back then. Why keep the World Bank now?
In 2016, as we celebrate our 15th year, CGD continues to be a policy crucible, producing independent ideas, nonpartisan thinking, and practical, research-based proposals that cost little or nothing to the rich world but make a huge difference to developing countries. The problems we address and the solutions we create may have changed in 15 years, but forensic scrutiny of existing policies — or policy gaps — is an approach that continues to have real-world impact