Reducing vulnerability to climate change in developing countries a concern

October 18, 2010 By Andy Amsler

Last week, the Administration released the progress report of the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force and cited the importance of integrating climate considerations into development programming.  The report called for “…enhanced interaction and cooperation with global development partners and the private sector to promote improved knowledge-sharing and the scaling up and dissemination of best practices the help developing countries reduce their vulnerability to climate change.”  It went on to say that “addressing climate change is one of the Administration’s priority development initiatives and supports the President’s new Global Development Policy.”  One of the five goals the taskforce outlines the impacts climate change has on water, food, and energy security, public health, and national security.

Must Reads

Smart Power

Where the US should invest during tough economic times (Ken Patterson  – Asheville Citizen-Times)

The US should be investing more money in effective foreign development assistance and diplomacy efforts. Smart investments in development assistance like global education, health, and microfinance will allow us to spend less on defense in the long run because good development stabilizes nations and equips them to reject efforts of extremists to colonize within their borders. Educating kids in developing nations increases food production, reduces child deaths and the transmission of HIV/AIDS, increases individual income, and reduces the likelihood that boys will engage in armed, civil conflict. In the long run, it is development and diplomacy investments that will pay dividends for the US in form of saved lives, reduced defense spending, new trading partners, and peace of mind.

Celebs, big donors push Africa’s war on malaria (Donna Bryson and Lewis Mwanangombe – Associated Press)

It had been a long and difficult journey, fully deserving of the marching band and choirs that greeted the convoy when it finally rolled into this village deep in the African bush. The shipment had traveled from a factory in India by sea to Kenya, then overland across much of southern Africa to the place where the paved road ended. The cargo was mosquito nets – weapons in a war against malaria, a disease that has long taken a back seat to AIDS in the world’s consciousness of Africa’s woes, even though it kills almost as many Africans a year as the HIV virus. In recent years, however, malaria’s profile has risen in the world of celebrities and high-spending philanthropists. Actress Sharon Stone gave the cause a spectacular boost in a 2005, and the shipment of 11,900 mosquito nets to the Zambian village of Sesheke was financed and accompanied by Neville Isdell, a former Coca-Cola CEO, and Chris Flowers, a billionaire American investor.

Politics/Foreign Policy

U.S. military, civilian officials claim progress in Afghan war (Joshua Partlow – Washington Post)

With a year-end report card coming due, top U.S. military and civilian officials in Afghanistan have begun to assert that they see concrete progress in the war against the Taliban, a sharp departure from earlier assessments that the insurgency had the momentum. Despite growing numbers of Taliban attacks and American casualties, U.S. officials are building their case for why they are on the right track, ahead of the December war review ordered by President Obama. They describe an aggressive campaign that has killed or captured hundreds of Taliban leaders and more than 3,000 fighters around the country in recent months, and has pressured insurgents into exploring talks with the Afghan government. At the same time, they say, the Afghan army is bigger and better trained than it has ever been.

Weary of Debris, Haiti Finally Sees Some Vanish (Deborah Sontag – New York Times)

It has been obvious since January that clearing the wreckage is the necessary prelude to this country’s reconstruction, physically and psychologically. But the problem was so dauntingly big and complex that the government and donors got stuck in visionary mode, planning the future while the present remained mired in rubble. It was easier, in a way, to conceive ambitious projects that would, someday, address Haiti’s longstanding issues, like its weak educational system or its crumbling roads. By late summer, however, the need to tackle the earthquake damage directly became so glaring that some initial steps were taken.

Today in Washington – Monday, October 18, 2010
President Obama delivered remarks at the White House Science Fair
Secretary Clinton participated in a lunch for the U.S.-China Track Two Dialogue, at the Department of State

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