Liberia has endured much turmoil in recent decades. Civil wars in the 1990s and 2000s saw the mass destruction of dams, bridges, power lines, and other infrastructure. Many of Liberia’s best and brightest citizens emigrated. Suffering from a large budget deficit, its government developed a deeper dependence on foreign aid. Furthermore, the Ebola virus epidemic of 2014–2015 killed more than 4,800 Liberians and terrified the country.
Yet, after all this, people today in Liberia generally look forward with hope.
Two key areas of development assistance have been merging quickly: health care and domestic resource mobilization. The goal is to help developing countries afford to invest in their national health systems and institutions and do so wisely. Many countries want to do more to fund their own development, and donors are on board to assist. But there is little evidence on how to do so effectively in the pursuit of greater health security.
In 2009, in rural Pennsylvania, as head of the Renewable Energy Center, I attended a community meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers about a proposed wind farm in Ogletown, in Somerset County. I was told that previous meetings on the topic had been heated enough that a police presence was necessary—and welcomed.
More than eight years ago, DAI staff tromped through the Batang Toru forest of North Sumatra, Indonesia, counting nests, observing behavior, and collecting field evidence on one of the oldest members of the great ape family—the orangutan. What they did not realize was that this group of orangutans was an entirely unrecognized species—the Tapanuli orangutan—that we now know is endemic to 475 square miles of upland forest in the Batang Toru Ecosystem south of Lake Toba.
Nowhere do entrepreneurs and investors face more risk than in fragile states where jobs and economic growth are most needed. To mitigate this risk, the EU is launching the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), part of the External Investment Plan (EIP). The EFSD brings together €2.6 billion from the existing blended-finance operations in Africa and the European Neighbourhood region and the new guarantee for €1.5 billion. The EIP will be formally announced at the 6th African-EU Business Forum 27–28 November in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Pandemics begin with a single case but don’t stay that way: since 2000, avian influenza has killed 440 people in 14 countries, Ebola more than 11,000 people in 10 countries, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) 770 people in 37 countries. The first deaths were reported locally in Hong Kong (1997), Guinea (2013), and China (2002), respectively. HIV/AIDS was first contracted by a human from a primate in West Africa—since 1981, AIDS has killed 35 million people, including 675,000 in the United States.