Weekly Round-up

This week in development…

  • USAID has announced that they will tap into an emergency trust fund – one that has not been touched since the global food price spike and crisis in 2008 – to respond to the extreme food insecurity in South Sudan. “The scale of the suffering and humanitarian need there is shocking, and the threat of famine is real,” said National Security Advisor Susan Rice in a statement profiling the $180 million that will be drawn from the fund.  The account being drawn upon is specifically allocated to Food for Peace programming, and intended to meet emergency or unanticipated food aid needs.
  • August 18 is the 500 day milestone until the target date to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The questions of “were the MDGs successful?” and “where do we go from here?” have begun to dictate the discussions and work of the development community, as attention shifts towards the post-2015 development agenda. Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind the acclaimed street photography blog Humans of New York, has partnered with the UN to take a 50-day “World Tour” to raise awareness of the MDGs and informally track their progress.
Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan, courtesy of Humans of New York http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/94726975821/the-zaatari-refugee-camp-is-twelve-kilometers

Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan, courtesy of Humans of New York http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/94726975821/the-zaatari-refugee-camp-is-twelve-kilometers

  • On August 12, the National Democratic Institute launched a series of ready-to-use but highly customizable web-based applications, called DemTools, for use by NDI partner organizations across the globe. The applications utilize Amazon Web Services cloud, and were created to offer affordable and sustainable ICT for development projects. DemTools will be continuously hosted by NDI, and will remain accessible to these organizations beyond the term of the partnership.
  • Philippines President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino announced in televised remarks on Wednesday that he was open to changing the country’s constitution – a move that may allow him another term in office, if elected. President Aquino indicated he would listen to his “boss,” the people in considering a second term. We recently featured a post covering ongoing reforms in the Philippines, and the country’s potential to be the “next Asian Miracle.”
  • On August 13, UNICEF released a report which estimates that by the end of this century, 40 percent of the world’s people will be African. David Anthony of NPR warns that a lack of investment and business partnerships linking Africa with the rest of the world could result in crippling poverty and mass inequality. Anthony called on African leaders to “make the correct investments in children that are needed to build a skilled, dynamic African labor force that’s productive and can grow, and can add value to the economy.”
  • The Asian Development Bank has highlighted the need for functional public transport development, which Devex writes is possibly Asia-Pacific’s top development priority. The ADB will pivot its transport project focus from road and general infrastructure development to include more urban transport programming. The ADB’s chief transport specialist Jamie Leathers notes,“when done right, transport can contribute to poverty alleviation by increasing economic opportunities through access to markets and providing mobility to people that allows them to reach basic services such as schools and health centers.

Prepared by Caitlin Allmaier, a researcher for the Global Food Security Project at CSIS.

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