Ideas to Action:

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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.

 

Viewers Respond to "A Funny Video about Foreign Assistance?"

Last week, CGD launched a new video to help convey why the next president needs to give U.S. foreign assistance policy something akin to an extreme makeover. "Bring U.S. Foreign Assistance into the 21st Century" has since been watched on YouTube by nearly 10,000 people and many have taken the time to send us their thoughts. The overwhelming response from viewers is: this video is "fun," "short" and "makes the point" but that they want more details of the underlying policy analysis and recommendations.

Rice Prices Fall After Congressional Hearings But Crisis Not Over Yet

This post is joint with Tom Slayton, a rice trade expert and former editor of The Rice Trader
It has been a busy week in the rice markets following CGD's release on Monday of our note about how to puncture a speculative price bubble that threatens millions of people with malnutrition and worse (see Unwanted Rice in Japan Can Solve the Rice Crisis--If Washington and Tokyo Act ). On Wednesday our proposal was discussed at hearings on the world food crisis in both the House and Senate.

InterAction Forum Brings a Dose of Political Realism (and Optimism) to 21st Century Foreign Assistance Efforts

Hundreds of development advocates gathered in Crystal City last week for the annual InterAction Forum urged a fresh effort to bring U.S. foreign assistance efforts into the 21st century.
At a luncheon plenary session during the conference, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) summarized:

Foreign assistance is more important to America's national security and foreign policy than ever before. But our Cold-War mechanisms aren't up to the challenge.

How NOT to Fix the Global Food Crisis -- France Says Poor Countries Should Provide EU-Style Farm Subsidies, while U.S. Farm Bill Puts Vested Interests First

And now for a really bad idea: according to the Financial Times Michel Barnier, France's farm minister, told a food crisis summit in Berne that Africa and Latin America should adopt their own versions of Europe's Common Agricultural Policy -- massive trade-distorting subsidies -- as a response to rising demand for food.

Retired Military "Brasstops" Call for Elevation of Development and Diplomacy in U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security

This morning, the House Foreign Affairs Committee convened its members to discuss with Defense Secretary Robert Gates the "persistent imbalance between U.S. funding for defense and diplomacy." According to a House Foreign Affairs Committee press release Chairman Berman referred to President Bush's 2002 National Security which affirmed that diplomacy and development are as important as defense. Berman said:

President Bush's African Slide Show

Yesterday President George Bush reported on his recent trip to Africa to members of the diplomatic corps, NGOs, and development policymakers at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. at an event hosted by the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation. President Bush relayed the details of what he called his "most exciting, exhilarating and uplifting trip" since becoming president and showed slides from his visits to Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana and Liberia. He argued Americans should be "mighty proud" of the work the U.S.

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