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It was a beautiful, barely-fall Friday in Washington, which made it all the more impressive that twelve members dropped in on a morning House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on the multilateral development banks (MDBs).
Over the weekend, Angus Deaton won the Nobel Prize in economics. The previous weekend, the World Bank announced that the global poverty rate dipped below 10 percent in 2015, for the first time in history. These two announcements have an interesting connection.
Feed the Future has succeeded in bringing much needed attention to the pressing challenge of food security. But there is still plenty of room for improvement, particularly when it comes to encouraging country ownership and increasing transparency.
The FAO’s Somalia Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) released an assessment of external remittances to Somalia, based on a survey of both urban and internally-displaced families. The headline result from the report was that apparently remittances were on the decline, but the FSNAU survey doesn’t actually tell us much about how remittance flows to Somalia have changed in the past six months.
This week saw the release of the World Bank’s updated global poverty counts. There is new country-level data on poverty and inequality underlying these revisions. But the big change is that the numbers are now anchored to the 2011 Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) rates for consumption from the International Comparisons Program (ICP). Previously the numbers were based on the prior ICP round for 2005.
The House Financial Services Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee is holding a hearing this Friday, October 9 on “The Future of the Multilateral Development Banks.” It’s an impressive witness line-up, including CGD Senior Fellow Scott Morris, Dean Karlan, Martin Ravallion, and Patrick Chovanec.
I’m pleased to announce that we are launching a new research program focused on the economics of improving women’s lives and well-being. Our aim is to bring the best economics research to identify specific actions that can advance gender equality, from fostering women’s involvement in business and entrepreneurship to making use of international policy levers and foreign donor investments. And I’m particularly pleased to welcome Mayra Buvinic as a new Senior Fellow with decades of experience in the fields of gender equality and women’s empowerment.
After five years, capped by five days of intense, around-the-clock negotiation, trade ministers from the twelve Tran-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries announced they had reached a deal in Atlanta Sunday night. From information available so far, it looks like there were improvements in some areas of interest for developing countries. But I still have concerns in the three areas I wrote about in July.
There’s a lot to like about the climate pledges that nearly 150 countries have now submitted to the United Nations in advance of the climate summit in Paris in December. I’ve grouped them into seven storylines that I think deserve attention.
With the situation in Syria deteriorating every day, and conflict elsewhere displacing millions more from their homes and livelihoods, desperately needed food aid is falling short. Donor fatigue and budget constraints are a problem worldwide, but reform would allow the United States to help millions more people with the same food aid budget.