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CGD Policy Blogs


Did the West Aid Niyazov's Destruction of Turkmenistan? Will it be Different Now That He is Gone?

”The passing last week of Saparmurat Niyazov, better know as Turkmanbashi, Father of the Turkmen, has brought his unfortunate country briefly into the limelight. Niyazov was the dictatorial leader of Turkmenistan for more than 20 years, maintaining his hold on power even as the Soviet Union dissolved. It is no secret that Niyazov oversaw the steady destruction of his country.

Moldova Signs $24.7m Threshold Program

*This post is co-authored by Sheila Herrling and Sarah Rose.
Last week the MCC and Moldova signed a Threshold Program agreement for $24.7 million aimed at targeting corruption. Moldova began its own anti-corruption reforms at the end of 2004, and MCC money will go toward strengthening independent watchdogs like NGOs and the media as well as the government’s own internal anti-corruption agency in order to address persistent corruption in the judiciary, the health care system, the tax and customs agencies, and the police.

Flu Vaccine Woes

Once again, volatile demand for flu vaccine is giving everyone a headache. A mere two years ago supply fell badly short of demand, turning US seniors into "immunization tourists" to Canada, and putting President Bush on the defensive during the 2004 campaign. This year, demand is way off, and suppliers can barely give the vaccine away; they face the prospect of wasting valuable doses because the vaccine is developed specifically for this year's strain.

Getting Real on Health Financing and the Global Aid Quagmire

In the latest issue of Finance & Development, George Schieber, Lisa Fleisher and Pablo Gottret argue - correctly, in my view - that low government spending is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to financing basic health services and social protection in low-income countries: it's not just a question of "how much money," but also of who pays and how it's spent.