Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Congo-Brazzaville: Too corrupt for debt relief or too indebted to fight corruption?

After a bitter fight between the World Bank's board of directors and Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, Congo-Brazzaville was allowed to reach decision point in the HIPC program on March 9. The deal was almost held up after reports that Congo’s President Denis Sassou-Ngueso spent $300k at a New York hotel, but this scandal wasn’t enough to convince debt relief diehards that Congo wasn’t perhaps the most worthy recipient

Approach Bird Flu Like Financial Contagion -- Seriously

If your neighbor’s apartment is on fire, do you hoard all the water until the flames are at your door? That seems to be the U.S. response to the risk of avian influenza. The U.S. strategy (see Owen Barder’s summary U.S. Plans for Avian Flu is mostly "U.S. first." It emphasizes stockpiling existing anti-viral medications and pushing research on vaccines to serve the U.S. Particularly in the face of a global shortage, such massive stockpiling is off-base.

How High the Ceiling? US Proposal on Agricultural Subsidies Would Make Caps Meaningless

While US negotiators continue to hammer on the European Union to improve its offer on agricultural market access in the Doha trade talks, US intransigience is holding up progress on agricultural subsidy cuts. One of the few achievements thus far in the negotiations is agreement that there should be caps on the amount of subsidy for specific commodities, such as cotton. US negotiators are insisting on using 1999-2001 as the base period for setting these caps, while other negotiators want to use a longer period average, for 1995-2000.

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