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Posted July 10, 2007

Development Assistance & Foreign Aid | Health, HIV/AIDS & Infectious Diseases | Humanitarian Assistance

Development Assistance & FOreign Aid

How is Foreign Aid Spent? Evidence from a Compelling Natural Experiment
Werker, Eric; Ahmed, Faizal Z. and Charles Cohen
Harvard Business School Working Papers, 07-074, Harvard Business School April 2007, 37p
This paper tests the impact of an often-overlooked foreign aid vehicle:  money given by rich OPEC nations to their poorer Muslim allies. The authors investigated how this aid was used by tracking short-run effects on aggregate demand, prices, national accounts, savings, and balance of payments. “We find that aid is mostly consumed, primarily in the form of higher imports of non-capital goods. Some aid is invested and aid has a small but insignificant effect on growth.” However, the aid had no effect on financial accounts, but it raised the holdings of foreign reserves. Eric Werker is an Assistant Professor in the Business, Government, and the International Economy Unit at Harvard Business School. Faizal Z. Ahmed is also affiliated with the Harvard Business School. Charles Cohen is affiliated with Sankaty Advisors. Fulltext H1/04-07

Global Factors Shaping the Future of Food Aid: The Implications for WFP
Maxwell, Daniel
Overseas Development Institute, June 15, 2007, online edition, 15p
"Food aid is a key component of a humanitarian response but its use in other programming contexts is subject to numerous criticisms. Even in humanitarian emergencies food aid is often late, unreliable and out of proportion to other elements of the response. Three major factors will shape the future of food aid. First, mechanisms of food aid governance are being reviewed and may undergo major changes—particularly the Food Aid Convention now that hopes have diminished for an Agreement on Agriculture at the World Trade Organisation. The second significant factor is donor agency trends. Overall levels of food aid have dropped fairly steadily in recent decades and there are several discernible trends in resource allocation, procurement and the use of food aid. The third factor is an emerging body of best practice that will define acceptable standards of food aid programming in the future." Daniel Maxwell is Research Director for Food Security and Complex Emergencies, Feinstein International Center, Tufts University. Fulltext H2/04-07

Smart Economics
Buvinic, Mayra and Elizabeth M. King
Finance & Development, June 2007, v44, #2, online edition

This article discusses promoting the economic power of women toward fulfilling the targets set out in the third Millennium Development Goal (MDG3). Not only is MDG3 which calls for redressing gender disparities and empowering women a vital development objective but it is also key to achieving several of the other MDGs.
Mayra Buvinic is Sector Director for Gender and Development, PREM, at the World Bank, and Elizabeth M. King is Research Manager in the World Bank's Development Economics Research Group. Fulltext H3/04-07

Getting All Girls into School
Lewis, Maureen A. and Marlaine E. Lockheed
Finance & Development, June 2007, v44, #2, online edition
"Despite important progress in recent years, an estimated 43 million girls around the world are still not enrolled in school. The majority of them are from socially excluded groups. New strategies for educating these "excluded girls" must be found." Maureen A. Lewis is Acting Chief Economist for Human Development at the World Bank, and Marlaine E. Lockheed is a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development and formerly Education Sector Manager at the World Bank. This article draws largely from their book "Inexcusable Absence". Fulltext H4/04-07

The Continuation of Poverty
Schlesinger, Victoria
Harper's Magazine, May 2007, v314, #1884, pp58-66
The author reports on the Millennium Village Project (MVP) and its progress thus far. The goal of the MVP is to cut the number of people in half living on less then one dollar a day in sub-Saharan Africa by 2015. The author focused on some of the initiatives which have taken place in Kenya. The next step is to take what has been done in some of the villages in Kenya and expand the program to other areas of Africa. Victoria Schlesinger is a writer living in New York City. Fulltext H5/04-07

Should we Globalize Labor Too?
DeParle, Jason
New York Times Magazine, June 10, 2007, pp80-86
This article discusses the globalization of labor. Development economist Lant Pritchett proposes a giant guest-worker program that would employ millions of the world's poorest people to work in the richest economies. He argues that if goods and money can travel, why can't labor follow? Critics of this idea suggest that an army of guest workers would erode Western sovereignty, depress domestic wages, and drain developing countries of talent. Jason DeParle is a senior writer for the Times. Fulltext H6/04-07

The Mexican Connection
Quirk, Matthew
The Atlantic Monthly, April 2007, v299, #3, pp26-28
Mass migration has left many towns in Mexico half-empty, but much wealthier. Remittances to Mexico exceed $20 billion a year. By 2003, remittances had become Mexico’s second-largest source of external finance, ahead of tourism and foreign investment and just behind oil exports. That same year, then-President Vicente Fox noted that the roughly 20 million Mexican-origin workers in America create a larger gross product than Mexico itself. Worldwide, remittances have surpassed direct aid in volume, and international development institutions (along with the governments of many less developed countries) have recently seized upon them as a key to economic growth in the global South. The United States is the largest source of remittances; Saudi Arabia is number two. Mexico is the largest recipient of U.S. funds. Matthew Quirk is an Atlantic staff editor. Fulltext H7/04-07

HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases

The Plague: Could It Happen Again?
Sever, Megan
Geotimes, May 2007, v52, #5, p24, online edition
Centuries ago, plague was brought about by the expansion of global travel at the same time climate changed. Given the extent of globalization today, and the fact that the climate is changing, health officials and the public wonder if there is a risk of history repeating itself. Megan Sever is managing editor of Geotimes. Fulltext H8/04-07

The Power of Partnerships: Third Annual Report to Congress on PEPFAR (2007)
The United States President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, posted June 9, 2007, online edition, various pagings
"The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Emergency Plan/PEPFAR) is part of a broader renaissance in partnerships for international development. Under the leadership of President George W. Bush, and with the bipartisan support of Congress, this renaissance – with a particular focus on Africa – has represented both a massive commitment of treasure and a change of heart. The United States is changing the paradigm for development, rejecting the flawed “donor-recipient” mentality and replacing it with an ethic of true “partnership.” Fulltext H9/04-07

Bad Medicine in the Market
Bate, Roger and Kathryn Boateng
Health Policy Outlook, AEI, posted June 9, 2007, online edition, 6p
"Counterfeit medicines are an insidious threat to global health, and the risks they pose have been largely underestimated to date. Apart from failing to cure disease, they can cause mental and physical damage—and even death. Fake drugs containing insufficient active ingredients breed resistance, which can make standard drugs useless. The problem is disproportionately severe in developing and emerging-market countries, which also have the highest burden of infectious diseases. Countries have the primary responsibility—both in stopping criminal manufacturing and distribution and in protecting their citizens from counterfeit products—but multilateral organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) must do more to expose the problem and help countries tighten regulatory controls. While monitoring of outright fakes is improving and arrests of those trading in them are increasing, some global agencies are promoting
drugs they assume to be good copies of branded drugs but which are probably substandard. Global agencies must stop this double standard and develop effective methods of improving detection of all substandard products." Roger Bate is a resident fellow at AEI. Kathryn Boateng is a research assistant at AEI. Fulltext H10/04-07

Humanitarian Issues

Climate Change Refugees
Sachs, Jeffrey D.
Scientific American, June 2007, v296, #6, online edition
This article explains that the change in the earth's climate induced by humans will make many parts of the world inhabitable, causing mass migration all over the world. It says that the four most vulnerable zones are low-lying coastal settlements, subhumid and arid regions, farm regions dependent on rivers fed by melting snow and humid areas in Southeast Asia. Much of the disruption of these regions will revolve around water: either a shortage of it or a damaging abundance of it. Jeffrey D. Sachs is director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Fulltext H11/04-07

The Flight from Iraq
Rosen, Nir
New York Times Magazine, May 13, 2007, pp32-45
This article focuses on the millions of Iraqis displaced by the Iraq war and reports that the treatment of refugees in neighboring countries in the Middle East has been mostly friendly, but lacking in rights such as working and owning property. The article also suggests that refugees may bring violence with them as they mingle in different sectarian areas. Nir Rosen is a contributing writer for the Magazine and a fellow of the New American Foundation. Fulltext H12/04-07

The Year in Tornadoes
McCarthy, Daniel and Joseph T. Schaefer
Weatherwise, March/April 2007, v60, #2, pp42-49
"The article reports on Tornadoes that hit the U.S. in 2006. The author said that the year started with a storm system which developed over southern Colorado and moved east toward Missouri. The tornado season starts nationally between March 1 and March 10. A two-day tornado outbreak from March 30 to 31 created tornado reports from the central Plains and between Indianapolis, Indiana, and Detroit, Michigan." Daniel McCarthy is a warning coordination meteorologist and Joseph T. Schaefer is director at the NOAA/NWS National Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. Fulltext H13/04-06

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