What We’re Reading: G8 Summit Day 2

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New York Times: Obama Enlists Major Powers to Aid Poor Farmers with $15 Billion
Barack Obama has enlisted the world’s leading powers to contribute $15 billion to help millions of the world’s poorest farmers grow enough food to feed themselves, in a plan set to be unveiled Friday. The money, spent over three years, would come from the US and the other G8 members. The countries have promised to better coordinate their efforts so they don’t have overlapping programs, with the World Bank playing a pivotal role. President Obama has made the productivity of farmers in the developing world a priority since taking office. If the promised aid is delivered and is actually new money, it will be the largest international effort in decades to combat hunger by investing in agriculture.

New York Times Op Ed: Nicholas Kristof: Would You Let This Girl Down?
In an op-ed in today’s New York Times, Nicholas Kristof asks why the G8 countries are collectively so far behind in meeting aid pledges for developing countries. He argues that aid organizations are ineffective at selling their causes: “Any brand of toothpaste is peddled with far more sophistication than the life-saving work of aid groups.” He says humanitarian appeals also emphasize the scale of the challenges in ways that are as likely to numb people as to galvanize them and advises that aid groups ‘go back to the drawing board’ in order to influence G8 leaders and others.

New York Times: Poorer Nations Reject a Target on Emission Cut
Yesterday the world’s biggest developing nations, led by China and India, refused to commit to specific goals for slashing heat-trapping gases by 2050. Negotiators for 17 leading polluters abandoned targets in a draft agreement for climate change meetings in L’Aquila. But the countries embraced a goal of preventing temperatures from rising more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and developing nations agreed to make “meaningful” if unspecified reductions in emissions. The Times says the mixed results underscore the challenges facing President Obama as he tries to use his first G8 meeting to force progress toward a climate treaty.

The Hill: High Expectations Surrounding Obama’s Trip to Africa
Coverage in anticipation of President Obama’s trip to Ghana is ramping up. Here is a story from The Hill that discusses the expectations surrounding the visit and how Obama could shape US policy towards Africa. It quotes ONE’s Tom Hart.

Reuters: White House Unhappy with IMF Limist in US Spending Bill
Later this week Congress is expected to consider a $48.8 billion spending bill for the State Department and U.S. foreign operations that would impose several limits on U.S. participation in the International Monetary Fund. The Obama administration said yesterday it strongly opposed the bill, which would restrict its ability to respond to future financial crises through the IMF. The legislation in the House also requires the U.S. representative to the IMF to oppose allowing countries that have supported acts of terrorism to withdraw hard currency like U.S. dollars, Japanese yen or Euros from the IMF.

-Grace Lamb-Atkinson

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