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Americans Strongly Support Humanitarian Aid

18 September 2017

Americans Strongly Support Humanitarian Aid

It was alarming last May when the White House proposed slashing budgets for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development by nearly 30 percent in the 2018 fiscal year starting October 1.

Those draconian cuts aren’t likely to happen, but we won’t know the outcome for at least another three months. In a surprise, President Trump and Congressional leaders agreed September 6 to fund the government at current levels through mid-December, setting up a new round of high-stakes, year-end budget talks.

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11 September 2017

Opioids and the Shrinking Labor Force

In his best-selling Hillbilly Elegy, author J.D. Vance opens a window into the widening opioid crisis churning across America. “Drugs have come in,” his second cousin, Rick, says when Vance drops by for a visit in Jackson, Kentucky. “And nobody’s interested in holding down a job.”

A top expert on the U.S. labor force, Alan B. Krueger, has written a new analysis studded with insights that closely link the two national challenges suggested by cousin Rick – soaring opioid* use and declining numbers of working-age men and women with jobs.

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28 August 2017

On Film: Glorious National Parks; Horrific Child Soldiers

With a three-day weekend and the unofficial end of summer looming, maybe you’re looking for a good movie or two if you have time to kick back for a few hours.

We recently came across a spectacular 3D IMAX feature, National Parks Adventure, and a brutal Netflix drama, Beasts of No Nation, that take you to opposite emotional extremes… and deliver deeper understanding and appreciation of their subjects.

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21 August 2017

Chronicles in Fighting Poverty: Innovation

This is the second of two posts adapted from remarks by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on technology’s value in advancing global development. She spoke recently at the Aspen Institute in collaboration with the annual Brookings Blum Roundtable on Global Poverty.

Chair of Geneva-based Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala describes three more cases of how the fight against poverty is sparking technology innovation.

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14 August 2017

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on Technology, Development

We’re delighted to share this week important insights from Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on technology’s value in advancing global development.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, chair of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, is one of the great champions for improving lives of the poor. Twice Nigeria’s finance minister, a former managing director and one of three candidates in 2012 for the presidency of the World Bank, she is a development economist and author with more than thirty years of courageous leadership in fighting poverty.

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31 July 2017

Quickening Rise of Global Middle Class

More good news: the number of people with a shot at more stable, healthier lives is growing even faster than believed. Every day, demographers estimate, more than four hundred thousand people are joining the global middle class, with incomes above $11 per day. That’s approximately five people every second.

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24 July 2017

Can Solar Vault U.S. Back into Africa’s Future?

An absorbing New Yorker piece last month portrayed how solar-power gadgets and their entrepreneurs are bringing electricity for the first time to hundreds of thousands of poor Africans.

Many of these increasingly affordable gadgets and their durable quality are the handiwork of American-led companies. This raises an intriguing question: Can solar power bolster America’s uncertain prospects as a future trading partner in Africa?

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17 July 2017

G-20 Pledge: More Opportunity for Women

In several welcome statements this month, the Group of 20 nations put on their agenda the principle we know as basic for fighting global poverty: creating greater opportunity for half the world’s population. Girls and women.

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10 July 2017

U.S. Development Aid: How Much in FY 2018?

U.S. foreign economic and development policies have been crafted since 1945 to advance three national interests: keep America safe, grow American and global prosperity, and represent American values.

Should the current balance among these objectives be altered to reflect a changing world? Moreover, should the U.S. continue to take the lead on global development issues? And, if so, how?

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26 June 2017

Undergrads, Walking the Villages

We had no idea how many students would sign up for lectures on global poverty when that course first appeared in the catalogue for University of California, Berkeley undergrads in 2005. We hoped for thirty. More than a hundred registered.

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