The United Kingdom, in its new Aid Strategy out this week, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have jointly announced the creation of a £1 billion Ross Fund (named after a pioneering scientist) to fight malaria and neglected tropical diseases. But why not use the existing Global Fund for the new initiative instead of creating yet another health-related fund, of which the world is already lumbered with too many?
CGD Policy Blogs
Overseas development assistance amounts to about $135 billion dollars annually, but the cost of paying for the Sustainable Development Goals will be in the trillions. As a result, blended finance is something of a buzz phrase these days. I left a workshop on blended finance last week in Paris excited about the potential of these new structures and instruments to deliver social returns. But I was also struck by the challenges DFIs and their advocates must overcome in order to fully realize that potential.
At next week’s global climate summit in Paris the mood is likely to be somber in the wake of the devastating terrorist attacks. Spirits won’t be raised by the fact that the national emissions reduction plans submitted so far are only half of what’s needed to keep global temperature increases within the agreed target of 2 degrees Celsius. Also discouraging are the large gaps that remain between how much climate finance developing countries need to cover the costs of mitigation and adaptation and the commitments put forward by developed countries.
Small Changes, Big Impacts, and Lingering Questions: The Inaugural Birdsall House Conference Series on Women
As part of our new Gender and Development program, CGD just hosted the first annual Birdsall House Conference on Women. This year’s session, “Small Changes, Big Impact: Creating Conditions for Women and Girls to Thrive,” explored the possibility that cheap and scalable aid-funded interventions could considerably improve the lives of women and girls. Short answer: small changes do have big potential, but their limits should be acknowledged — and they require continued study and fine-tuning in order to be more effective.
Next week, nations gather in Paris for the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) with the goal of establishing a global plan to address climate change. That includes coming to agreements about how to both reduce and adapt to climate change, how to finance those measures, and how to share accountability. That’s a pretty big goal, but my guest this week on the CGD podcast, CGD senior fellow Frances Seymour, is cautiously optimistic.
In times of fear, men and women of reason have a responsibility to speak about facts.
I understand fear. I narrowly escaped a terrorist bomb in Colombia as a young man. Fear can make you do things you regret when you learn the facts. And in the United States now, fact-checking has been replaced by fear-mongering, hard evidence by hysteria.
In two weeks the world will meet in Paris for a long-awaited summit on climate change known as COP 21. In the face of despicable attacks last week, the climate conference is to be an expression of hope and solidarity.
Recently, CGD launched a major report about how laws designed to prevent money being sent overseas to terrorists and criminals can also have unintended consequences for innocent people in developing countries.
These laws impose huge fines on financial institutions that have done business with a dodgy client – knowingly or not. To avoid the risk of these fines, banks pull out of markets they see as potentially risky. That tends to mean developing countries.
Last Thursday, Under Secretary of the US Treasury Nathan Sheets spoke at CGD about anti–money laundering policies and the problem of de-risking, in connection with the launch of a new CGD working group report on the unintended consequences of anti–money laundering policies for poor countries. Sheets’s comments were consistent with the report’s key recommendations including the need for better data and for clearer guidance from financial regulators and standards setters.