Over the last sixty years, we have seen many changes in what constitutes a "rich" country, but little difference in what counts as a poor country requiring significant development assistance. While donor status appears more closely tied to relative income, significant recipient status appears to have been effectively tied to a low absolute income. Charles Kenny asks why the world has become stingy.
CGD Policy Blogs
The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced destructive nationalism, but it has also highlighted the necessity of international collaboration. Global-minded citizens—starting in the United States—must now push their governments to cooperate and support multilateral institutions
On the sidelines of the 74th annual proceedings of the UN General Assembly, one recurring idea caught my attention: interconnectedness.
Last week, the US Treasury Department submitted a report to the appropriations committees of the House and Senate on strengthening the accountability mechanisms of the World Bank and International Finance Corporation, fulfilling a requirement included in the spending package signed into law earlier this year. The report acknowledges recent increases in caseloads and recommends that both the Inspection Panel and the IFC’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) be allocated larger budgets to carry out their responsibilities.
The US Supreme Court decided, in a ruling on Jam v. International Finance Corporation (IFC), that the IFC can be sued in US courts.
In 2019-20, donors will commit roughly $170 billion of public funding to an alphabet soup of international aid organisations, many of which their citizens may never have heard of. Each replenishment will be considered as a separate exercise, ignoring the reality that they are competing for limited donor resources.
Last week, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Jam et al v. International Finance Corporation. At stake: the extent to which international organizations including the IFC enjoy immunity from prosecution in US courts.
Bangladesh is hosting nearly one million Rohingya refugees—mostly crowded into in one of the country’s less-developed areas, Cox’s Bazar. A minority population in Myanmar, stripped of citizenship in the 1980s, the Rohingya have been denied access to education, meaningful livelihoods, and other basic rights for years. Now as refugees in Bangladesh, Rohingya need protection and support to secure health services, safety, food, education, and other opportunities.
International actors have criticized decisions by the Trump administration to reject the Paris Climate Accord, abandon the Trans Pacific Partnership, and withdraw from a United Nations declaration intended to protect the rights of migrants. However, there is one international body, the Paris Club, whose members may be rooting for the United States to leave. That’s because, in the absence of congressional action, continued US membership in the Paris Club could impair the economic prospects of some of the poorest countries in the world.
Even for countries that are far away from graduating from foreign aid, the importance of domestic resource mobilization for maintaining macroeconomic stability and sustained economic growth is well documented. A look at the experience of countries that have received HIPC debt relief validates this point and underlines the need for attaching a high priority to tax policies and practices in international assistance programs for low income countries.