Blending Finance Not SDG Financing Silver Bullet Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Anis Chowdhury

After largely failing to provide 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income (GNI) in aid to developing countries for almost half a century since making the commitment, donor countries have recently promoted blended finance (BF) as a solution to the financing for development challenge. Blending refers to combining public development funds (in the form of grants, technical assistance or interest indemnification) with loans from private lenders. Following adoption of Agenda 2030 for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the OECD and the World Economic Forum (WEF) claimed that "blended finance represents an opportunity to drive significant new capital flows into…

A Note on Estimating Income Inequality across countries using PPP Exchange Rates Jayati Ghosh

The use of exchange rates based on Purchasing Power Parities to compare income across countries and over time has become standard practise. But there are reasons to believe this could lead to excessively inflated incomes for poor countries and in some cases also inflate the extent of real changes over time. Estimates of gross domestic product growth in Chinese and Indian economies in recent years provide examples of this. ELRR_PPP_Exchange_Rates (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally posted in the Economic and Labour Relations Review on January 30, 2018.)

World Bank fudges on inequality Jomo Kwame Sundaram & Anis Chowdhury

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – collectively drafted and then officially agreed to, at the highest level, by all Member States of the United Nations in September 2015 – involves specific targets to be achieved mainly by 2030. The Agenda seeks to "leave no-one behind" and claims roots in universal human rights. Thus, addressing inequalities and discrimination is central to the SDGs. Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2016: Taking on Inequality is the World Bank's first annual report tracking progress towards the two key SDGs on poverty and inequality. Annual reporting on poverty, inequality This particular report evaluates progress towards…

How to End Hunger Hilal Elver and Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Last September, world leaders made a commitment to end hunger by 2030, as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It sounds like a massive undertaking. In fact, the world already produces enough food to feed everyone. So why does the problem persist? Poverty and hunger are intimately connected, which is why the SDGs target elimination of both. For someone living at the World Bank’s poverty line of $1.90 per day, food would account for some 50-70% of income. The Bank estimates that almost four-fifths of the world’s poor live in rural areas, though those areas account for…

On the Cusp of A Genuinely Transformative Agenda? Gabriele Kohler

At least 2.2 billion people are affected by multidimensional poverty (UNDP HDR 2014),[1] and probably one billion by hunger. Income, wealth and health inequities are spiraling. There are currently over 40 million people in acute distress as internal or cross-border refugees.[2] The planet is suffering from perhaps irreversible climate change and biodiversity loss, man-made and system-generated. To address these unprecedented attacks on human rights and human development, four parallel but interrelated negotiation processes are currently underway in the multilateral sphere –  on the post-2015 development agenda, on climate change, on an update of the women’s agenda,  and  on financing for…

High Time to be Analytical, aware of History – and Angry Gabriele Köhler

We  are  reading  enlightening  economic  literature  such  as  Thomas  Pikkety,  Joseph  Stiglitz,  Branko Milanovic,  or Deepak Nayyar .  Or,  if  that’s  too  strenuous:  we  stroll  past  shops  selling  1euro/dollar T-shirts. Or if we’re not shoppers, the daily news carries reports on income and wealth inequality. On Youtube, we can watch a video from the Asia Pacific Forum on  Women, Law and Development,  showing  how  the  Wal-mart owners earn in one second  what  a  garment  worker  earns  in  a  year ;  and another  one  from  the  IDS Sussex  showing  how  the  global  care  value  chain  works .  Or  if  we’re  internet…