A common criticism of fair trade coffee is that very little of the price markup goes back to the farmers themselves. So now, if you really want to cut out the middlemen, you can buy 1,000 pounds of top-quality coffee beans direct from the farmers, thanks to Cup of Excellence. After a rigorous competition, these coffee-lovers select the best beans from six Latin American countries and auction them on their site.
In this lecture Anne Kruger ambitiously tries to summarize the economic history of the 20th century, as well as highlight key challenges for the 21st and possible lessons for going forward.
The World Bank's Independent Evaluation Group has issued the first comprehensive and independent assessment of Bank assistance for trade. The report finds that despite greater openness, full benefits from trade are yet to be realized. The $38 billion in World Bank financing for trade programs since 1987 helped poor countries open markets, but were not as effective as hoped in boosting exports and growth, and fighting poverty.
"The developed world has a responsibility to help developing economies meet their energy needs in an environmentally sustainable way… So at the World Bank meetings in April... I will propose a World Bank facility -- a 20 billion-dollar fund for developing economies to invest in alternative sources of energy and greater energy efficiency."
That’s Gordon Brown, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The World Bank has launched an international essay competition. Write about how you contribute to solving community problems or how you influence decision making. You must be 25 or younger and not a PhD student to participate. April 2 is the deadline.
Social Edge and Global Giving have teamed up to launch the Global Giving Index. They pitch it as “a unique tool to help Social Entrepreneurs around the world monitor their progress, adapt their messaging or launch new social ventures.”
The lack of clean water and basic sanitation that afflicts up to 40 per cent of the world’s population knocks at least $556bn (£317bn, €458bn) a year off the world’s potential economic growth, according to the World Health Organisation, equivalent to about 1 per cent of global gross domestic product.
A colleague, Samuel Maimbo, recently came back from a Bank supervision mission to Marzar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, where he visited a cotton factory. He shared with me his diary from the trip, with some great pictures. A snipet:
The biggest disappointment was the state of the roads. They were in a complete state of disrepair. Potholes everywhere, waterlogged roads, mud and a complete lack of maintenance. It almost reminded me of Bossaso in Somalia.