Foreign aid is a shambles in almost every way

NOT long ago Malawi was a donor darling. Being dirt poor and ravaged by AIDS, it was needy; with just 17m inhabitants, a dollop of aid might visibly improve it. Better still, it was more-or-less democratic and its leader, Joyce Banda, was welcome at Westminster and the White House. In 2012 Western countries showered $1.17 billion on it, and foreign aid accounted for 28% of gross national income.

The following year corrupt officials, businessmen and politicians pinched at least $30m from the Malawian treasury in just six months. A bureaucrat investigating the thefts was shot three times (he survived, somehow). Germany said it would help pay for an investigation; later, burglars raided the home of a German official and stole documents relating to the scandal. Malawi is no longer a donor darling. It now resembles a clingy lover, which would be dumped were it not so needy. It still gets a lot of foreign aid ($930m in 2014), but donors try to keep the cash out of the government’s hands.

Read more

Remittances are three times greater than aid – how can they go even further?

This year the World Bank expects remittances to reach over $600bn; they will play a crucial role in fundings the SDGs

When people in developed countries complain about the amount of aid sent to developing countries, the retort is a return volley of cold, hard facts: “Remittances sent to all countries in 2012 (developing and high income) was $534bn, three times greater than aid budgets to the developing world. In 2016, the World Bank expects remittances to reach over $600bn, with over $440bn being sent to developing countries”.

Read more

Invitation to bid: Engaging diaspora communities to support youth employment in Senegal and Morocco

This Invitation to Bid is intended to select a recipient or consortium of recipients to receive IFAD grant financing to implement a project on ‘Engaging diaspora communities to support youth employment in Senegal and Morocco’. Potential recipients or consortiums of recipients are being invited to develop a project proposal based on the background and guidance detailed below and in the ‘Invitation to Bid’ document.

Read more

UN General Assembly High-level Meeting to Address Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants – Apply for Civil Society Steering Committee

On 19 September 2016, the UN General Assembly will host a High-level Meeting at UN Headquarters in New York to address large movements of refugees and migrants, with the aim of bringing countries together behind a more humane and coordinated approach. UN Member State consultations are underway to finalize the organizational arrangements, including on a possible outcome, for this High-level Meeting of the General Assembly.

Read more

A slow recovery for Nepal’s tourist industry

Tourism is the lifeblood of the Nepalese economy, but since the earthquake in 2015 that cost 8,000 lives and left many thousands more homeless, visitors have stayed away. Almost a year later, the country is still struggling to recover. In Durbar Square in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, there are few people who are obviously tourists; just a handful of people eating lunch amongst the piles of bricks. If anyone resembling a visitor from overseas does turn up, locals in traditional topi caps, saris, flipflops and fleeces, come over waving their laminated badges, saying “official guide, official guide”. They are all desperate for business. Not that there’s much left to tour. The royal palaces and temples that dotted the city’s famous square still lie in ruins, a year after the 7.8 magnitude quake shook the valley. Four hundred years ago this was a network of royal palaces, stables, temples – now it’s mostly rubble.

Read more

Remittances to Lebanon to keep sliding: economist

Expatriate remittances to Lebanon will continue to fall slightly in 2016, according to economist Ghazi Wazneh.

“Remittances to Lebanon will see a slight drop in 2016 because oil prices are expected to remain low, which will negatively impact the income of Lebanese working in the Gulf, thus curbing their money transfers to the country,” he told The Daily Star.

Wazneh explained that around 65 percent of remittances to Lebanon come from oil-producing countries and this is why low oil prices will continue to have an impact on remittances.

Read more