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Featuring Brian Dillon
Assistant Professor, Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington
With Discussant Gawain Kripke
Director of Policy and Research, Oxfam America
Hosted by Mujobu Moyo
IDRC Research Fellow, Center for Global Development
Moderated by Kimberly Elliott
Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development
It is widely believed that oil prices impact food prices in developing countries. Yet evidence on this relationship is scarce. Using maize and petrol price data from east Africa we show that global oil prices do affect food prices, but primarily through transport costs, rather than through biofuel or production cost channels. For inland markets, world oil prices have larger effects on local maize prices than do world maize prices. Furthermore, oil price shocks transmit much more rapidly than maize price shocks, suggesting that policies to assist food insecure households during correlated commodity price spikes should consider transport cost effects.
How and by how much do global crude oil price shocks affect local food prices, particularly in countries with high levels of subsistence food production? Brian Dillon will present his paper “Global Oil Prices and Local Food Prices: Evidence from East Africa”, which tackles that important question, focusing on maize markets in the four major east African economies: Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Successful suppression of COVID-19 in the United States will require urgent and decisive action by state, local, and community leaders across the country. To support effective decision-making, top global health security leaders have released a COVID-19 Frontline Guide. Developed in response to calls from local governments for more information on how to protect their communities, the online tool features eight indicators of progress for self-assessment and seven key actions that each include checklists of decision points. The guide provides a framework to help local leaders establish effective strategies to fight the outbreak, both by reducing transmission of the disease and by supporting their communities effectively. The website and guide will be discussed at an online webinar on Tuesday, March 31 at 12:30 pm ET. Register below, and we will provide the Zoom information before the event.
Aid agencies are scrambling to adapt as the COVID-19 pandemic is felt throughout the world. Join TNH Senior Editor Ben Parker as he speaks to leading experts and practitioners from across the humanitarian sector to discuss some of the most pressing issues. How will COVID-19 impact crisis-affected and already-vulnerable communities? How is the humanitarian sector adjusting to life under the shadow of a new global pandemic? Where should priorities lie? And what does this crisis reflect about the changing face of vulnerability?
Novartis Access is a new line of mostly branded generic NCD medicines offered at a wholesale price of US$1 per treatment per month. Please join us for a seminar featuring Peter Rockers and Veronika Wirtz, who will present findings from recent and ongoing work examining Novartis Access in Kenya, the first country to receive the program. The researchers will first present evidence from a randomized controlled trial of the impact of Novartis Access on the price and availability of NCD medicines at health facilities and households. They will then present evidence from their latest analysis, which explores patient willingness-to-pay (WTP) for Novartis Access-branded generics compared to unbranded generic equivalents. The researchers will discuss their findings in light of current policy reforms in Kenya. Finally, the seminar will examine lessons learned from the RCT of Novartis Access and its potential implications for other pharmaceutical companies, along with the broader global health community, in developing and implementing programs to improve access to medicines.
In Capitalism, Alone, Branko Milanovic argues that capitalism has triumphed because it works. It delivers prosperity and gratifies human desires for autonomy. But it comes with a moral price, pushing us to treat material success as the ultimate goal. And it offers no guarantee of stability. In the West, liberal capitalism creaks under the strains of inequality and capitalist excess. That model now fights for hearts and minds with political capitalism, exemplified by China, which many claim is more efficient, but which is more vulnerable to corruption and, when growth is slow, social unrest. As for the economic problems of the Global South, Milanovic offers a creative, if controversial, plan for large-scale migration. Looking to the future, he dismisses prophets who proclaim some single outcome to be inevitable, whether worldwide prosperity or robot-driven mass unemployment. Capitalism is a risky system. But it is a human system. Our choices, and how clearly we see them, will determine how it serves us.