Ideas to Action:

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CGD in the News

December 12, 2018

Digital wallet concept can boost farming (Business Daily)

From the article:

More than 60 percent of farming in Africa is done manually and only less than 20 percent employ machinery and this is the key reason that the continent still lags in food security. Research shows that agricultural production has remained stagnant while at the same time the population has expanded with a fast-rising middle class.

As a result, Africa food imports are rising so much that according to the World Bank the demand will be up by 60 percent by 2030. The President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, in a speech at the Centre for Global Development event held in Washington DC in April 2017, said “Africa’s annual food import bill of $35 billion, estimated to rise to $110 billion by 2025, weakens African economies, decimates its agriculture and exports jobs from the continent.”


August 8, 2017

Trump Administration's Africa Policy in Focus at AGOA Trade Talks (Reuters)

From the article:

With the Trump administration's trade agenda focused on reining in China and renegotiating the North American Free Trade agreement, Africa has barely appeared on the radar screen.

That could change this week as President Donald Trump's top trade negotiator and other senior U.S. officials head to the West African nation of Togo to review a Clinton-era free trade pact with sub-Saharan Africa, in the administration's first high-level delegation to visit the region...

The administration has paid little attention to developing a U.S.-Africa policy, said Kim Elliot, a trade expert at the Washington-based Center for Global Development.

"This administration has just shown almost zero interest in Africa," said Elliot. "It has not been a big focus, there is no sign at all that it has engaged the president's interest."

Read full article here.

July 11, 2017

As US Pledges $639M, Aid Agencies Say Speed Key to Saving Lives (VOA News)

From the article:

Aid agencies say they welcome the Trump administration's promise of nearly $640 million to help four countries dealing with rampant food insecurity but say the pledge is overdue and taking too long to reach the people who desperately need it.

President Donald Trump announced the pledge at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany last weekend, several weeks after Congress approved the expenditures for Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen...
Noah Gottschalk, a senior humanitarian policy advisor at Oxfam America, decried what he called an “enormous delay” in the pledge being announced...

Jeremy Konyndyk, a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, said that during his time in government, funding announcements were typically made after money was in the process of being spent.

Konyndyk served as the director of USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) between 2013 and 2017.

Read full article here.

July 7, 2017

Are Immigrants Taking Farm Jobs From US Citizens? In NC, Farmers Say No. (The News & Observer)

From the article:

A 2013 study by the Center for Global Development analyzed more than a decade’s worth of data from North Carolina farms and found that “no matter how bad the economy becomes, native workers do not take farm jobs.”

In 2011, the state had about 489,000 unemployed residents and roughly 6,500 available jobs in agriculture through the North Carolina Growers Association, the biggest employer of H-2A workers in the United States. Only 268 U.S. natives applied, and 163 showed up for the first day of work. More than half quit by the end of the first month, and only seven people completed the growing season.

In contrast, 90 percent of all Mexican farm workers hired through the Growers Association in 2011 remained through the end of the season.

Read full article here.

May 31, 2017

'Trump's Aid Budget is Breathtakingly Cruel – Cuts Like These Will Kill People' (The Guardian)

From the article:

The Trump administration may not see the value in investing in peace, but these budget choices will just mean more people killed by conflict.

I could go on and on. I could talk about the debilitating cuts to global food security programming, which will all but guarantee more famine risks in the years ahead. I could talk about the wholesale elimination of Development Assistance funding, which supports basic education, economic development, clean water, and countless other interventions that improve millions of lives each year. I could talk about the zeroing out of the Food for Education programme, which helps kids in extreme poverty stay in school by providing them with a simple daily meal.

But you get the picture. This budget will harm tens of millions of lives to save fractions of pennies. It is gratuitously cruel and unbecoming of the deep American traditions of helping those in need around the world. President Trump and his budget director should think hard about the standard they’ve expressed for themselves – and begin to refocus this budget on “actually helping” people.

Read full article here.

July 22, 2016

At a Glance: This Week’s Brexit Briefing (The Wall Street Journal)

From the article

This week Theresa May took her first foreign trip as Britain’s new prime minister, to reassure the continentals that they weren’t being cut off. The size of the task involved in reshaping British trade relations after exiting Europe became clearer. A major takeover showed either that Britain was open for business or that its assets just became a lot cheaper with the post-Brexit devaluation.

Kimberley Ann Elliott at the Center for Global Development looks at the question of bringing the U.K.’s membership of the World Trade Organization up to date. One complication is agriculture: the WTO’s 162-strong membership gets a say on British subsidies.

Read the full article here

November 11, 2015

Floods, Riots In Mock 2026 Food Crisis Test Government Response (Bloomberg)

From the article: The year is 2026. Flooding, worsened by climate change, has devastated Bangladesh and driven millions of hungry refugees to its border with India. Worried about unrest and disease, India asks other nations for help.

The U.S. and China respond -- China with aid deliveries, the U.S. by boosting aid to Pakistan, which has its own food crisis that’s adding to India’s tensions. That assistance helps India focus on Bangladesh. The crisis recedes.

While the scenario was fictional, two food-price shocks since 2008 have prompted riots and fueled revolutions around the world. Experts say such disruptions are likely to occur more frequently as a warming climate plays havoc with global food production. That fear brought together representatives of corporate food producers, aid groups and governments for two days this week in Washington where they role-played a simulated food crisis. Bloomberg News also participated, representing how media would react to a crisis.

Read full article here

September 11, 2015

Johnson Introduces School Snacks Bill (Politico)

From the articleJOHNSON INTRODUCES SCHOOL SNACKS BILL: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has introduced a bill to allow the Agriculture Department’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to include fresh, frozen, canned, dried and pureed fruits and veggies into school meals. The argument: It would ensure that schools can use program funds more effectively and accommodate cold-weather states, where local fruit and vegetable harvests are seasonal.

Read full article here

October 27, 2014

Jack Lew Goes to Africa (Marketplace)

From the article

"When the Treasury Secretary goes to Africa, it’s about finance and private investment," says Todd Moss, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. "I would expect some kind of either energy or agriculture deal to be announced in Tanzania."


"There will be some specific deals announced, probably at each stop," says Moss. "Otherwise it’s a huge wasted opportunity."

But both Schneidman and Moss say the larger goal is to send a message: that Africa—home to six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world—matters to the American economy.

Read the article here

June 25, 2014

Food Fight: Coast Guard Bill Could Limit Aid to Hungry (Aljazeera America)

From the article:

The Coast Guard authorization bill generally sails through the House without debate. This one was no exception. Even as it reached the Senate in late March, few were aware it contained any provisions related to humanitarian aid.

Sneaking the provision into an unrelated bill was necessary because the maritime industry can no longer count on the once-robust support of aid groups and the agriculture industry, said Kim Elliott, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development who specializes in food policy. “Farmers still defend [the law], but not as fiercely, because they’re doing great … and [aid groups] have been shamed into some sort of reform. That’s why they tried to sneak it into this bill, I think. It’s really getting indefensible.”

Read the article here