This week, Congress is debating a Child Soldiers bill that would place limits on U.S. support to countries that do not disarm, demobilize and rehabilitate child soldiers in state forces. We should not be surprised.
CGD Policy Blogs
On October 26, the full Senate confirmed Ken Hackett and Bill Frist as non-governmental members of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Board of Directors. Says Senator Mitch McConnell in comments to Congressional Quarterly about Frist:
“As a doctor and legislator with a longstanding commitment to medical humanitarian work in Africa, I can’t think of a more dedicated and qualified person to help guide this organization."
Readers of The Economist were treated to a tantalizing prospect this past week: the possibility of eradicating malaria in the developing world (also featured in The Lancet). The piece presents this hope based on the prospect of developing a malaria vaccine, and the recent proposal of the biggest health program funder in the world - Bill Gates.
Of all the Millennium Development Goals, progress on the maternal health goal may be the most disappointing. The target is to reduce by three-quarters between 1990 and 2015 the maternal mortality ratio - the number of deaths per 100,000 live births. A study published last week in The Lancet estimates 535,900 maternal deaths in 2005, only a slight decline since the launch twenty years ago of a Global Safe Motherhood Initiative.
* This post was co-authored by Jessica Pickett
Former Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano Wins the $5 Million-Plus Mo Ibrahim Prize Partly for NOT Seeking a Third Term
In London today, Kofi Annan announced Joaquim Chissano, the former president of Mozambique, as the first winner of the largest award in the world--the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. The award consists of $5 million over 10 years and US$200,000 annually for life, as well as up to $200,000 a year for 10 years "towards the winner's public interest activities and good causes". President Chissano was praised for putting his country on a path towards peace and democracy and for a variety of economic reforms.
It wouldn't be fall in downtown Washington, D.C. without the sudden swell of black suits emerging from shiny black limousines, road blockades and heightened security that herald the arrival of finance ministers and their entourages from 185 member countries off the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF).
On October 16, Senators Biden and Lugar, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Foreign Relations, removed their two-week hold on signing of the Millennium Challenge Corporation's $20 million Threshold Program with Yemen. As we previously blogged, the decision to reinstate Yemen's eligibility for Threshold Program funding was appropriate based on demonstrated reform progress, however, such swift progression to negotiating an actual program was perhaps a bit premature.
When I saw the headlines earlier this week about the toll of drug-resistant staph infection - Staph Fatalities May Exceed AIDS Deaths - I started thinking about global warming. This wasn't some anxiety-inducing exercise to tote up all the possible things that might wipe us off the planet, but rather a musing on how a big problem that's on the minds of scientists finally makes it onto the public policy agenda - and how important it is to make sure that the "rich world" orientation of both the scientific and the policy communities doesn't obscure the important "poor world" issues.