Tag: Vijaya Ramachandran

 

Postcard from Haiti: Life after the 2010 Quake

This is a joint post with Julie Walz.

On January 12, 2010, at 16:53 hours, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the city of Port-au-Prince, killing over 200,000 people and leaving several million homeless. Foreign aid poured into Haiti, at the rate of almost a thousand dollars per Haitian. For the past two years, we have been putting together the various pieces of data we could find on aid flows and foreign involvement after the quake. We found that the big international NGOs and private contractors have been the primary recipients of billions of dollars in U.S. assistance have been not been required to report systematically on how they use the funds. There has been a lack of accountability to both the funders and recipients. Our preliminary impressions based on our visit to Haiti are that this lack of accountability is if anything worse on the ground: the NGOs are frequently not accountable to the Haitian government or to the people they aim to serve. We even learned something about earthquakes--for example, did you know that Haiti’s two major faults (the northern Sententrional fault and the southern Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault) are called slip-strike faults, and are similar to the San Andreas Fault in California? It was the southern fault that triggered the quake two and a half years ago.

Thunderstorm over Port-au-Prince

Credit: Vijaya Ramachandran

Getting Greater Value from Post-Quake Aid to Haiti

The January 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, killed over 220,000 people, displaced several million, and flattened much of the capital, Port Au Prince, also unleashed a tsunami of outside assistance. In the 28 months since the earthquake official donors have disbursed almost $6 billion in aid to help the people of Haiti, the equivalent of $600 per person for a country where per capita annual income is just $670. Where has all the money gone? On the second anniversary of the quake we set out to answer this question; our new CGD policy paper is the result. The short answer is that the vast majority of the money so-far disbursed has been paid to international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private contractors. And while many of these organizations do excellent work, there is shockingly little information on how they used the funds.

The Untapped Potential of Global Public Investors: Vijaya Ramachandran

Vijaya Ramachandran

Looking for an investor with billions? Want to know where the money is? If you’re a country with a sound financial and political record seeking money for infrastructure, you can find it in the hands of “global public investors” (GPI’s), a growing group of little-known foreign investment vehicles on the prowl for safe investment opportunities.

Five CGD Experts on the Seoul G-20 Summit

G-20 SeoulG-20 leaders gathering in Seoul this week face a full plate of issues, most prominently the effort to stave off beggar-thy-neighbors currency devaluations. This week on the Global Prosperity Wonkcast, we've distilled highlights from a private briefing I organized where five CGD experts shared their views on key issues facing the G-20, and their implications for poor people not represented at the table.

The Gulf Gusher & Africa’s Offshore Oil Boom: Todd Moss and Vijaya Ramachandran

Todd Moss & Vij RamachandranAs the BP well in the Gulf of Mexico continues to spew thousands of barrels of oil each day, media attention has been focused on the toll on nearby economies and ecosystems and on the U.S. political response. On this edition of the Global Prosperity Wonkcast, we look beyond the Gulf of Mexico to explore what implications America’s biggest environmental disaster might hold for the new offshore oil boom getting underway in Africa.

Why a Bretton Woods Non-Commission?

I am pleased to announce the launch of the CGD’s Bretton Woods Non-Commission on Governance Reform of the IMF and the World Bank.  The possibility and the options for deep reform of these institutions are greater today than ever. Ironically, this is thanks to the oncoming global economic crisis, which has exposed the limits of their financing, legitimacy and relevance in the 21st century interconnected global economy.