How to defeat witchcraft ctd.

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I finally found the time to pick up a copy of Economic Gangsters and find out exactly how coauthors Raymond Fisman and Edward Miguel propose to defeat witchcraft. (See my earlier post on Fisman's presentation at the World Bank for background):

[W]e think more foreign aid should explicitly play an insurance role for poor countries. We call this new type of aid Rapid Conflict Prevention Support (RCPS). RCPS aid would kick in for countries experiencing temporary income drops, in much the same way that it's better to see a doctor when you start getting sick rather than waiting for the infection to spread. By the time you've got pneumonia, it's already too late...

...Since sharp and unexpected income drops are the symptoms of conflict vulnerability, donors should time foreign aid to provide relief when these circumstances arise. And this is when RCPS aid would kick in. When underlying economic factors return to normal—for example, when the rains improve the following year, or world coffee prices rebound—RCPS aid could quickly be scaled back as the state's own revenues pick up...

...A more ambitious approach, and one well-suited to reducing the scourge of witch killilng, would provide rainfall insurance for all poor farming households, disbursing aid funds when the rains fail, to keep stomachs at least partly full until the next harvest season. If this food aid were earmarked for the elderly, it would turn them into valuable assets to be protected rather than disposed of as witches.

Next task - compare this approach to the one Paul Collier lays out in The Bottom Billion, particularly the militarization of foreign aid. Any takers? Comments section is open!


Ryan Hahn

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