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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Pity the Fools: The UN’s embarrassing aid proposal

There have been many many bad ideas over the years about how to help Africa, but here’s my vote for the worst one in a long while: UNCTAD’s proposal to create a new UN agency to manage a doubling of aid flows to the continent.
Before we get to the proposed solution, the analysis of the problem is deeply flawed. According to the press release:

U.S. suspends Ghana from aid program

Washington – The Bush administration today abruptly suspended financial assistance to Ghana through its new Millennium Challenge Account (MCC), indefinitely postponing the schedule for signing a new compact in July. News of the suspension came the day after Ghana’s 2-1 victory in the World Cup. MCC CEO John Danilovich said the suspension was not because of any failure on Ghana’s part in the traditional MCC focus areas of ruling justly, investing in people, and economic freedom. He said "It’s a new area of concern.

Class Act: The UK Invests in Global Education

Think about the plight of many of the poorest countries in the world: Governments may know that long-term national prosperity depends on getting children into school, teaching them well, and keeping them there until they’ve mastered reading, writing and arithmetic. But the social returns aren’t likely to come for more than a decade, when the six-year-olds of today enter the labor market.

Millennium Villages: Useful contribution to development or publicity stunt?

Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute of Columbia University, spoke yesterday at CGD (video clip available) to describe his Millennium Villages Project. Sachs’s argument is generally that countries like India developed not by ineffectual, small amounts of foreign aid – as he argues the US delivers today – but by creating a Green Revolution. Communities learned to work together, and with fertilizers donated in part by the United States, they became able to feed themselves and eventually to begin developing.