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Aid and development links: Smoking costs a trillion, Global Gag Rule, peak global and more

This week's links cover a range of health, aid and development issues, including the impact of reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule by US President Donald Trump and efforts to plug the subsequent funding gap.

Aid and development links: Smoking costs a trillion, Global Gag Rule, peak global and more

  • A new report from the WHO has found that smoking costs the global economy more than US$1 trillion in health care costs and lost productivity annually. 
  • The UN is calling for an 'immediate and massive' reaction to the very real risk of a widespread famine in Somalia that could impact more than six million people.
  • An undercover investigation into the rates of starvation in Bono State, Nigeria, where Boko Haram is most active, is leading some to believe that all children under five in the region have died. 
  • Charles Kenny discusses how much corruption eats into foreign aid budgets, arguing that while it is a problem for aid, it is nowhere as big a problem as many suggest.
  • Have we reached peak global? This is the question Owen Barder asks in his discussion of the CGD’s latest Commitment to Development Index results.
  • Meanwhile, the Centre for Global Development is embroiled in an argument with Action Aid and Education International about the efficacy of Randomized Control Trials assessing a charter school program in Liberia.
  • Ashlee Betteridge and Camilla Burkott assess the fallout of President Trump’s reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule (otherwise known as the Mexico City Policy), and take a look at Australia’s policies with regards to family planning. Vox also has a primer on the issue.
  • The Dutch government has already announced an international safe abortion fund that hopes to plug the funding gap left by the gag rule.
  • The Economist summarises the results of a study on Haitians who secured visas to temporarily work in the United States. Monthly income of the successful candidates was 1,400% higher than those that were unsuccessful, with most of it flowing back to Haiti as remittances. Migration is certainly a powerful tool, and one primed for our region.
  • Robin Davies looks at Australia’s foreign aid generosity from Menzies to Turnbull, showing that we are a much stingier nation than we have been in the past.
  • Finally, we are a week away from launching a new Lowy Institute report on Strengthening the Asian Development Bank in 21st Century Asia. Stay tuned to the website, and if you are in Canberra come along to the launch.

Photo: Flickr/waldopepper

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