CGD Policy Blogs
This year, Revista Epoca reported that a man named Rafael Favaro sued the government of Brazil to obtain public subsidy for lifetime treatment of a rare form of anemia (PNH). His treatment—Soliris—costs Brazilian taxpayers approximately $440,000 per year and is among the most expensive medicines in the world. Most US insurers do not cover the medicine, only Quebec funds the medicine in Canada, and Scotland does not provide any subsidy.
The Better Than Cash Alliance announced its existence last week. The vibe I get from the website is of an organization that doesn't lack for resources, but has yet to develop identity, culture, and confidence. It is a partnership of the Gates and Ford foundations, the Omidyar Network (Pierre Omidyar being the creator of eBay), USAID, Citi, Visa, and the U.N. Capital Development Fund, which I assume means they're the funders (except that UNCDF is the "secretariat," meaning it's administering the thing).
This Wonkcast was originally recorded in February 2011. Andy Sumner updates the data from the original Bottom Billion brief in his recent working paper, Where Will the World's Poor Live? An Update on Global Poverty and the New Bottom Billion.
Paul Collier’s 2007 book, The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It, changed the way we think about poverty and development. Collier argued that the majority of the 5-billion people in the "developing world" live in countries with sustained high growth rates and would eventually escape from poverty. The rest—the bottom billion—live in 58 small, poor, often land-locked countries that are growing very slowly or not at all. These countries, stuck in poverty traps, should be the focus of foreign aid, Collier argued.
What’s going to be President Obama’s legacy on Africa? President Clinton championed AGOA, still the core of US-Africa trade relations. President Bush built PEPFAR and the MCC. There’s an outside chance that Feed the Future could be Obama’s lasting contribution, but I think the jury’s still out. So what kind of big impact-big splash effort could we hope for in the next four years, from either a second Obama term or a new Romney administration?
Britain's National Audit Office (NAO), akin to the US Government Accountability Office or GAO, is applauding the Department for International Development's Multilateral Aid Review.
This piece originally appeared in the Financial Times on September 23, 2012 (gated) and is posted here with permission.
The Indian government’s recent reforms to reduce government subsidies and embrace greater foreign direct investment were unexpected and bold. Markets have rewarded them with surging stock prices and a rebound in the value of the rupee. The reforms may yet be reversed or diluted because of the political backlash. Their impact may be more symbolic than substantive. Nevertheless, they are significant in that they reflect changes in the operating assumptions of Indian politics.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee gave a stamp of approval to two pieces of US aid reform legislation before heading out for pre-election recess this week.