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The World Bank Report on Fragile States: 5 Takeaways

*This post is co-authored by Kaysie Brown
The World Bank's Operations Evaluation Division has just released a lengthy report documenting a rise in the world's "fragile states" and drawing a direct connection between state weakness and transnational threats. As Karen DeYoung reports in today's Washington Post,
“Fragile" countries, whose deepening poverty puts them at risk from terrorism, armed conflict and epidemic disease, have jumped to 26 from 17 since the report was last issued in 2000.
Increased attention to development and stability in fragile states by both the World Bank and the U.S. Government signals the importance of and challenges associated with providing assistance in these critical yet vulnerable states. CGD recently launched the Engaging Fragile States initiative to focus on key unanswered questions for the development community working in these tough environments. A quick read of the Bank report raises a number of issues that our work is focusing on:

McPassport to Labor Mobility! (Seriously!)

Hat Tip to the PSD Blog for an intriguing story that the mainstream media almost entirely missed today. The president of McDonald's Europe announced in Brussels plans to issue European McDonald's employees a "McPassport" -- a new type of document that could greatly increase the labor mobility of its 225,000 European employees. Christine Bowers at PSD Blog writes:

UN Women's Agency Proposal Moving Faster than Expected

In a speech that took even insiders by surprise, UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, Stephen Lewis, announced yesterday that a high-level UN Panel will recommend the creation of a new UN Agency for Women. The recommendation by the High-Level Panel on UN Reform would pave the way for the proposal for a new agency to be submitted to the UN General Assembly, where approval is considered likely.

India's Brain Gain: Can Africa Follow?

The BBC recently featured a story on the flow of skilled Indian emigrants and their offspring returning to India. An Indian official says: "In the 1960s when people left India the buzz word was 'brain-drain'. We see it now as 'brain-gain'."

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