The Center for Global Development on 10/19/08 wrote about an interview of CGD president Nancy Birdsall by National Public Radio regarding the financial crisis' impact on foreign assistance to poor countries - Experts Fear Financial Crisis Will Hurt World's Poor (National Public Radio).
'When a country is hit by a crisis, there will be a decline in aid in the subsequent couple of years," says Nancy Birdsall, who runs the center, which promotes policies to fight poverty. "There has been a return to trend in the past: Sweden's aid flows declined after its banking crisis in the early '90s, and Japan's aid flows declined when it had its problems in the '90s, but they have come back.'
One of the members of End POVERTY / Fim POBREZA, SpongeBob (likely not his real name) introduced me to this report from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). A "laundry" list of what the IFPRI is calling for covers a number of the Millennium Development Goals. The report and information on the IFPRI itself is provided below. The challenges raised by the IFPRI are only made greater by the outlook from the Center For Global Development. Even obtaining the most hopeful of outcomes in the American elections could still potentially mean a diminishing of the United State's future role, at least for a time, though it will likely be greater than what exists currently.
Joachim von Braun, director-general of IFPRI, discusses high priority policy responses including: expanding emergency responses and humanitarian aid; freezing biofuel production; eradicating export bans and investing in rural infrastructure and agricultural research.
Josette Sheeran, executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP), discusses WFP activities, including their food-for-assets programme used to train local populations, school feeding for around 20 million children and disaster-preparedness activities including canal-building and river bed restoration. Sheeran calls for more agricultural research and higher investment across the value chain.
Namanga Ngongi, president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, discusses the policy implications of high food prices for Africa. Policies are needed, he says, to create sustainable food production driven by advances in productivity rather than by expansion of cultivated area.