Aid for countries after a disaster is rooted in our best impulses, but the way we provide it urgently needs to be reformed. We spend too little on reducing the costs of future disasters, aid shows up too late, and calls for reform are met with replies of “too bad” because the poorest people bear the greatest costs. But this is a problem that we can fix.
CGD Policy Blogs
Financing for humanitarian aid is broken. The costs of rapid- (like cyclones) and slow- (like drought) onset disasters are concentrated in poor, vulnerable countries, with a bill to donors of more than $19 billion last year. But far too often, we wait until crises develop before funding the response—what experts at CGD’s recent panel event (recording available at the link) described as a medieval approach of passing around begging bowls and relying on benefactors. The delays make crises worse. And since money shows up, however imperfectly, when things go wrong, it undermines incentives to build resilience, relegating vulnerable people to depending on fickle goodwill.
Now the Government of India and the World Bank have adopted an approach using principles we describe as Cash on Delivery (COD). The program follows three of these principles by linking payments to outcomes, not inputs; independently verifying outcomes; and allowing recipients to take the lead. India has become the single largest payer for outcomes in a nationwide sanitation initiative.
Progress Towards Reducing the Unintended Consequences of Anti-Money Laundering Policies for Poor Countries
Last November, we released a report on the unintended consequences of anti-money laundering policies for poor countries that focused on remittances, corresponding banking, and the delivery of humanitarian aid. Today, we are pleased to report progress towards reducing the negative, unintended consequences of anti-money laundering (AML) regulation, despite the shadow cast on the international development community by Brexit. One significant policy change from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and three new reports give us reasons to celebrate a little, even when there is much work to be done.
More than $3.4 billion inflows into Emerging Markets (EMs) in the week following Brexit—the largest weekly amount on record—looks like good news. Yes, but here is why EMs should not relax in a time of global uncertainty.
Challenging global economic conditions, including a combination of low growth, a limited number of jobs, and rising inequality, are fueling the rise of nationalism and populism that are a threat to global cooperation, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a speech at CGD.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently took an interest in one key form of foreign aid—US economic assistance—convening a hearing to investigate the topic. We had high hopes going in and were pleased to hear all three of the hearing’s witnesses—Jeffrey Herbst, Alicia Phillips Mandaville, and CGD’s Todd Moss—champion the use of rigorous analysis, evaluation, and selectivity in aid to promote economic opportunity in developing countries.
Keeping in mind the low levels of financial inclusion in the country, the Indian authorities have developed a broad strategy to improve access to financial services, as outlined in the report by the Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Business and Low Income Households, led by Nachiket Mor. Among the committee’s recommendations, payments banks are one innovative tool to further India’s goal of greater financial inclusion.
With election-year events crowding out the legislative calendar, there’s only so many more opportunities for the Senate to show its commitment to development and its interest in improving US development policy. Legislators still have a week and a half in town, and we were encouraged to see the Senate Foreign Relations Committee fit in an important hearing on the role of US foreign aid in spurring economic growth.
The British public’s shock decision to leave the European Union (EU) has wide-ranging implications, including for remittance flows. In this blog, we explore the plausible consequences of Brexit for those who depend on remittances from the UK.