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New High-Level Report Calls for Higher Taxes on Tobacco, Alcohol, and Sugary Beverages to Prevent Millions of Deaths

The Task Force on Fiscal Policy for Health, co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg and Lawrence Summers just launched a report calling on governments to substantially raise taxes on tobacco, alcohol, and sugary beverages. Such policies could avert an estimated 50 million premature deaths while raising $20 trillion of new revenues. This isn’t particularly new news to the global health community which has been pushing for increased taxes to reduce consumption of products which are toxic to health. But it IS news that this Task Force has issued such a strong report for at least two reasons.

CSAE conference topics

What’s the Latest Economics Research on Africa? A Round-up from the Center for the Study of African Economies 2019 Conference

Last week’s annual Center for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) conference brought together researchers from the African continent and around the world for the presentation of nearly 300 papers about nearly every aspect of African societies, from agriculture to education to firms to health to trade. Here I provide a micro-summary of almost every paper presented at the conference.

Stock photo of various currencies

DIBs: Value for Money or Just an Interesting Financing Mechanism?

At the end of 2018, the world had seven development impact bonds (DIBs) and more in the pipeline. Yet questions remain about the potential of DIBs—still a new financing instrument—compared to other pay-for-performance arrangements. With a dearth of standard and transparent evaluation methods, it is difficult to reliably assess whether DIBs are good value for money, and if they are, how best to structure them to maximize their efficiency.

FY20 Budget Request: Humanitarian Funding

Trump’s Foreign Assistance Budget Request, in 3 Charts

President Trump’s FY2020 budget request landed with a thud on Capitol Hill Monday. Once again, the administration is proposing deep cuts to the international affairs budget and, once again, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have pledged to reject the proposed reductions in US development and diplomacy spending.

A map of Nigerian conflict deaths in 2012 by state

Another Hidden Horror of 21st Century Conflict: Children’s Suffering

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize, awarded last week to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, calls attention to sexual violence during war and civil conflicts—a horror too often unstated and wished away. There’s another largely hidden horror the world needs to reckon with: the toll that civil conflicts, some so local that they rarely make the news, takes on children.

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