Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Chinese leaders have struggled with an age-old problem: how to feed a growing population with a small amount of arable land. Despite the country’s agrarian beginnings and the ideological importance of the farmer in Maoist thought, nagging concerns about efficiency, food security and sustainable agricultural development have never been fully resolved. Even as China has dazzled the world with its technological progress in cutting-edge fields like artificial intelligence, renewable energy and bioengineering, to the government’s dismay, China has been slow to make similar advances in farming despite boasting the […]
Aid and Development Archive
Is It Wishful Thinking to Expect the U.S. to Return to the Paris Climate Deal?
In his staunch defense of multilateralism delivered to the U.S. Congress earlier this week, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his hope that the United States would not in fact leave the landmark Paris agreement on fighting climate change, as President Donald Trump has declared. Macron’s appeal to the need for active American leadership underscores only one of the obstacles to an effective global response to this urgent environmental threat. Some of these challenges are inherent in the mechanics of a long and overdue transition to lower-carbon forms of energy. Others are due to political decisions made by global economic powers, […]
Can ‘Citizen Science’ Save Vietnam’s Environment From Unchecked Economic Growth?
In early April 2016, fishermen in Vietnam began noticing something alarming: Dead fish were washing up on the shores of several provinces. Days turned into weeks, and the dead tuna and mackerel kept coming, joined by clams and even one whale. It turned out to be the largest environmental disaster in Vietnam’s history. Fishermen lost their livelihoods, and some people fell ill after eating fish that had apparently been poisoned. But at first the government kept quiet about the cause of the mass fish kill. Authorities limited coverage of it on state media and arrested hundreds of people who participated […]
As the U.S. and Russia Spar Over Syria, China Sits Strategically on the Sidelines
The 105 cruise missiles that the United States, France and the United Kingdom fired at Syria late last week, in response to another suspected chemical weapons attack by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, deepened the divide between Western powers and Russia over how to approach the next stage of Syria’s war. But amid divisions playing out both at the United Nations and on the ground in Syria, China sits in a precarious and uniquely advantageous position. As an actor that strictly denounces the use of chemical weapons and upholds the principle of nonintervention, Beijing condemned both the chemical attack outside Damascus […]
Almost a month after voters went to the polls in the first round of elections, Sierra Leone has chosen a new president. Julius Maada Bio, the candidate for the Sierra Leone People’s Party, secured 51.8 percent of the vote in the March 31 runoff against Samura Kamara of the ruling All People’s Congress. Maada Bio, who lost in the first round of 2012’s presidential race, was sworn in as president on April 4. This is not the first time Maada Bio has led Sierra Leone, as he was the military head of a transitional government for three months in 1996. […]
The Demographics Behind the Middle East’s ‘Youth-Driven Wave of Political Unrest’
Population growth in the Middle East has created a variety of challenges for governments, but especially how to integrate so many young people into the economy. Failing to come up with a solution could have severe ramifications, though. A baby boom in Egypt since 2011 has added 11 million people to a population that is now approaching 100 million, according to Bloomberg. With a quarter of Egyptians between the ages of 18 and 29 unemployed, and an increasing number of young people entering a labor market that is ill-equipped to absorb them, many experts are raising concerns. Egypt isn’t alone. […]
If you need a break from the tawdry soap opera of American politics and the twists of national security policymaking these days, 2018 provides many milestones that recall actual American greatness, even instilling some hope for its renewal. Last week marked the 70th anniversary of the formal beginning of the Economy Recovery Plan, commonly known as the Marshall Plan. It was not only a financial infusion to jumpstart the struggling economies of Europe torn apart by World War II, but a demonstration of American planning and organization, as well as the role of visionary public and private sector leaders. It […]
When the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis barreled into a sleepy coastal town in southern Bangladesh last August, the prime minister in Dhaka pledged that her impoverished country would go without food if that was what it took to help the Rohingya fleeing violence from the army in Myanmar. Almost nine months later, that welcome is starting to wear thin as the exodus far exceeds past influxes of Rohingya refugees and settles into a prolonged, seemingly intractable situation, taxing one of the world’s poorest and most densely populated countries. Bangladesh, no stranger to the Myanmar military’s paroxysms of ethno-nationalist violence, has […]
U.S. President Donald Trump’s hostility to existing trade deals and his heavy-handed approach to long-standing partnerships has exasperated Latin America. No longer able to depend on smooth relations with Washington, various countries in the region are pursuing other alliances and sources of economic growth. The collection of articles below sheds light on the shifting trade strategies of Latin American leaders as they try to mitigate the danger posed by Trump’s unpredictability. Purchase this special report as a Kindle e-book.Diversifying Portfolios Trump’s Protectionism Has Mexico Looking South to Latin America for Trade For more than a year now, Mexico has been […]
As He Squeezes the Palestinians, Trump Is Throwing Out 25 Years of U.S. Policy
On March 24, a bill requiring the U.S. government to cut financial aid to the Palestinian Authority quietly passed into law as part of the omnibus spending bill signed by President Donald Trump. The new law, known as the Taylor Force Act, is the latest in a series of punitive measures taken by Washington against the Palestinians that are casting a shadow over their bilateral relationship and threatening stability in the Middle East. Ostensibly, the law is directed at a longstanding policy of the Palestinian Authority to provide financial support to the families of Palestinians killed or imprisoned by Israel. […]