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Also In Global Health News: Unconventional Approach To Development; Ending Sahel Food Shortages; Anti-TB Drugs In India; Brazilian Foreign Aid

Atlantic Profiles Economist With Unconventional Approach To Development

The Atlantic features a profile of Paul Romer, a Stanford economist, who is “bent on cutting down … the conventional approach to development in poor countries.” Rather than count on aid dollars, Romer “is peddling a radical vision: that dysfunctional nations can kick-start their own development by creating new cities with new rules” and “centers of progress that Romer calls ‘charter cities.’” He proposes that poor countries lease “chunks of territory to enlightened foreign powers,” attracting jobs, investment and private capital so “foreign aid would not be needed” (Mallaby, July/August 2010).

Experts: End Sahel Food Shortage Cycle

“[S]cientists are urging donors and local governments to end the region’s cycle of major food shortages,” Reuters AlertNet writes. “Aid can help to improve immediate food security … but what we need are policies and strategies that bring about structural changes in agriculture,” said Mohamed Beavogui, director for West and Central Africa at the U.N.’s agriculture development fund (IFAD). “Until now, every time there has been a crisis we (the international community) have provided massive aid but we have not worked with the Niger government to put an end to these cyclical shortages,” he said. Reuters notes that IFAD is providing loans for fertilizer as well as seeds and small tools “for the upcoming planting season to help farmers recover from the current crisis and prevent another one from happening next year” (Fominyen, 7/16).

Business Standard Examines Need For New TB Drugs In India

The Business Standard reports on recent appeals in India for the government to conduct “advance market selling [of] anti-[tuberculosis] vaccines” in place of the current practice of procurement through a bidding process “to provide incentives to drug companies for developing drugs.” The article examines the toll of TB in India, the need for the development of new anti-TB drugs and notes the collaboration between several pharmaceutical companies with the TB Alliance to develop new TB drugs (Mohaparta, 7/16).

Economist Examines Brazil’s Role In Foreign Aid, Development

The Economist examines Brazil’s growing foreign aid programs, such as a Haitian dairy co-operative that receives funds from the Brazilian government and encourages “mothers to take their children to school in exchange for free meals.” The article notes the “wide implications” Brazil’s aid effort has for its standing in the world. Though it’s donating more, “Brazil also still receives aid so, for good or ill, its aid programme is eroding the distinction between donors and recipients, thus undermining the old system of donor-dictated, top-down aid,” the Economist writes (7/15).