East Asia’s miracle countries are the stuff of both economic legend and considerable debate. One part of the story may be demographics: East Asia saw rising life expectancy and declining birth rates that dramatically, if temporarily, increased the proportion of the population that was of working age. But now the demographics have shifted as a result of falling birth rates and a rising population of retirement-aged people. Absent a policy response, that could portend a cursed demographic future.
CGD Policy Blogs
Giving up the “Statebuilding” Ghost: Lessons from Afghanistan for Foreign Assistance in Fragile States
The end of America’s twenty-year war in Afghanistan will change many paradigms that have dominated US foreign policy for decades. President Biden’s recent assertion that military interventions are not the solution to humanitarian crises is a good place to start. Just as urgent is the need to revisit the notion that foreign assistance can build a state.
Afghanistan’s history is blighted by the actions of foreigners. The near-neighbours have plenty on their consciences; others further afield do too, including the British a century ago, the Russians in the 1980s, and the US-led NATO coalition over the last 20 years. So who wants what now?
Calls have been made for the international community to protect and support education for Afghan children at home and abroad. Last week Gordon Brown urged the G7 to continue funding education for girls in Afghanistan, as long as the Taliban government allows girls to attend school. We agree, but with caveats. We urge the G7 and the broader international community to step up their own hosting of Afghan refugees, to ensure that education is included in humanitarian responses, and to embrace local solutions as they move to protect education for Afghan girls and boys.