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Since the coup ousting Honduran president Manuel Zelaya last June, the international community has responded with strong words and a mix of mostly mild actions. The Organization of American States (OAS) unanimously voted to suspend Honduras when the de facto regime ignored its demand for the immediate reinstatement of Zelaya, and the UN General Assembly has also adopted a resolution denouncing the coup. The United States and European Union have halted some forms of non-humanitarian aid. But despite some calls for action , the United States and other major trade partners have yet to adopt trade sanctions or to freeze the coup leaders' assets.
Until recently, most aid from rich to poor countries was transmitted through official bilateral and multilateral channels. However, the rapid growth in private development aid from foundations, charities, and philanthropic individuals raises a host of questions regarding the allocation of aid and its selectivity across recipient countries. Using data from private micro-lending institutions GlobalGiving and Kiva, authors Raj M. Desai and Homi Kharas analyze the lending preferences of private individuals in comparison to those of official aid agencies. Join us for a discussion of how private individuals donate to microcredit and grassroots projects, and how these aids flows are complementary to the goals of official development assistance.
Secretary Clinton will be leaving August 5 for a seven-country tour of Africa. She will hit Kenya, South Africa, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Liberia, and Cape Verde. (Whew!) The itinerary suggests that the theme of the trip will be more real politik than President Obama’s recent visit to Ghana which stressed good governance and was a celebration of Ghana’s recent electoral and economic successes. The Secretary, in choosing the largest economies and the continent’s most influential capitals, is likely to highlight more traditional U.S. economic and security interests. A few thoughts on what to expect -- and what Africa can hope for: