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Views from the Center

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2006 Commitment to Development Index Launches

I am pleased to announce the release of the 2006 edition of the Commitment to Development Index. Each year the CDI rates and ranks 21 rich countries on how much their policies help or hurt poorer nations. The CDI assigns scores in seven policy areas (foreign aid, trade, investment, migration, environment, security, and technology), with the average being the overall score.

The Bride Price

Child bride, Copyright Stephanie Sinclair for The New York TimesIn "The Bride Price," a compelling feature in Sunday's New York Times, correspondent Barry Bearak and photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair (photo featured in this post) focus on the all-too-common phenomenon of early marriage in

Nigeria unloads Paris Club debt: What next?

On April 21 Nigeria made its final buyback payment to its bilateral creditors, completing the wipe-out of more than 80% of its debts. In the end, Nigeria paid $12 billion in cash -- out of the more than $34 billion saved so far from higher oil prices -- in order to buy back $30 billion in debt, an overall 60% discount.

Progress on human rights in Turkmenistan? Give me a break

On April 14 the Washington Post carried an editorial criticizing European policy makers for their efforts to give Turkmenistan Most Favored Nation trade status. As the Post points out, the European Commission’s argument that “Most Favored Nation” status is justified by “positive steps” on human rights is simply not tenable. Turkmen president Niyazov’s cult-of-personality rule and systematic economic mismanagement is robbing the country of its future.