Yesterday, the U.S. Congress struck a blow against corruption abroad when Chair of the Foreign Ops Appropriations Subcommittee Nita Lowey (D-NY) removed all non-military and non-humanitarian aid to Afghanistan from the FY11 budget. She claimed:
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The House is set to mark up an FY2010 supplemental appropriations bill tomorrow that includes $45.5 billion in new funds and close to $12 billion in rescissions—including a $150 million cut to MCC’s FY2010 funds. Meanwhile, the same committees are tackling the full FY2011 appropriations bill, and we can expect additional MCC cuts. I don’t envy appropriators’ tough job to balance money and politics, but I also can’t understand why the MCC always seems to be caught in the crosshairs. While we wait for reviews and policy directives to bring clarity to the rest of U.S.
Over 7 million people are expected to face severe food shortages in Niger over the next few months. When I was there in early June, many villages in the far east of the country had not yet received rain, there had been an exodus of young men to Nigeria, Benin and Libya, and women were searching for the bitter green berry – known as dilo – to cook and eat, a last resort for those who have nothing.
Capitol Hill put a spotlight on the process for developing therapies and other products for neglected diseases last week during a congressional hearing featuring CGD visiting fellow Tom Bollyky, but with mixed results.
I heartily applaud the release of the G-20 Principles for Innovative Financial Inclusion (click and scroll down to see them). At a time of increased focus on financial sector regulation to reduce risk, it is crucial that we not lose sight of the fact that increasing access to appropriate financial services remains essential to reducing poverty and achieving sustained growth.
A few weeks ago, I wrote with excitement about what the G8 and G20 might mean for global health.
Today Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that she is removing funding for Afghanistan beyond humanitarian aid from the FY2011 appropriations bill. The State and Foreign Operations bill is due to be marked up this Wednesday, June 30th.
The G-8 and G-20 summits held in Canada last week yielded few headlines on development issues, but there was plenty of rhetoric about global interdependence and poverty reduction and a handful of promising, if mostly modest, development initiatives just below the media’s radar.
As expected, the G-20 declaration focused on when and how to unwind stimulus programs that helped to avert a global economic collapse, and on strengthening regulation of the financial sector to avoid a repeat of the 2008–09 financial crisis.
No surprises on the G-20 front. Deficits and financial sector reform dominated the headlines coming out of last weekend’s Toronto Summit. Development appeared largely as an afterthought. Even though my heart and head are hopelessly hitched to development policy, I think the focus was about right. Ensuring robust recoveries in G-20 nations will do more to support growth in poor countries than endlessly rehashed debates about global aid flows. Leave that for the UN MDG Summit this September. That said, the G-20 did do something small worth highlighting. Tucked away unobtrusively in the