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The U.S. House and Senate passed the $105.9 billion war supplemental last week, which includes $5 billion to secure $108 billion in additional lending by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Congress’s approval for increased IMF lending supports President Obama’s G20 commitments and paves the way to unlock the $1 trillion (mostly contributions from other high-income countries) for emerging and developing countries coping with the economic crisis.
In testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade last week, CGD president Nancy Birdsall argued that support for the G-20 commitments to increase lending resources at the IMF is a critical part of ensuring U.S. recovery from the economic crisis and global prosperity and security. She was, however, confronted with a host of concerns about whether multilateral lending would go to governments like Iran, Sudan, and Syria, and with one member of Congress’s view that he “is a citizen of the United States, not the world.”
Gorik Ooms and European colleagues are organizing a small meeting in Brussels in October to be called the Global Responsibilities for Global Health Rights Conference. The Conference is organized by the Helene De Beir Foundation and has the moral or financial support of AIDS Fonds, Netherlands; Parliamentarians for the MDGs, Belgium; International Centre for Reproductive Health, Belgium; International Civil Society Support, Netherlands; Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium and The Lancet, United Kingdom.
Last week the Guardian reported that the Obama Administration has approached President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil about becoming the next President of the World Bank. Seems unlikely to me – for one thing it’s early, since Robert Zoellick’s term lasts another three years, and the Administration has many other fish it is frying right now.
I am not thrilled to continue the conversation about Dambiso Moyo’s book. But Duncan Green, in a useful review of the reviews, notes that Dead Aid is now 3rd on Amazon’s U.S. sales list, so the initial hype may have a long-lasting influence.