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Views from the Center

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Cash (or Food?) for Thought: The Debate on Cash versus Food Isn't Over (Yet)

This is a joint posting with Cindy Prieto
On February 13, 2009, the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) began distributing food vouchers to 120,000 "cash-strapped residents" in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso -- representing almost 10 percent of the capital city's population. The distribution program is part of WFP's efforts to mitigate the impact of high food prices in the country, which have persisted after an abundant harvest. As the Country Director for WFP in Burkina Faso explained, "Sometimes it makes more sense to give people vouchers than bags of food."

How Will We Cope with Downside of Global Hyper-Connectivity?

By providing fiscal stimulus and strengthening financial sector regulation, of course. But that may not be enough. Will the U.S. and the Europeans also revisit the idea of a global social contract -- to protect millions of people losing their jobs in developing countries? In a speech I delivered to the Dutch Scientific Council in December, I argued that

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