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Haiti 10 years after the earthquake: the fight for social and economic justice continues

Iolanda Fresnillo

10 Jan 2020 14:17:31

Delmas camp for  people internaly displaced by the earthquake. I Fresnillo/ Dec 2013 On January 12 2010 an earthquake of magnitude 7.3 on the Richter scale ripped through Port-au-Prince metropolitan area and other parts of Haiti. More than 1.5 million people, representing 15 per cent of the country's population, were directly affected by the earthquake. According to the Haitian government, 316,000 people lost their lives. An estimated US$ 7.8 billion dollars of damage was caused - equivalent to more than 120 per cent of the GDP of 2009. Everyone in Haiti has a story that begins or ends on 12 January and many wounds remain open. Everyone lost someone. Everyone remembers where they were that day. From debt relief to oil debt When the earthquake struck, I was with a group of European ...

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The right finance crucial to success of the EU’s Green New Deal

Eurodad

10 Dec 2019 15:20:08

The new European Commission is sending a clear signal by tabling a “Green New Deal” within a month of its inception. But to be a true statement of intent rather than a mere public relations manoeuvre, it must speak to the urgency for action. Equally, it must address the climate challenge in all its dimensions, not just environmental or economic, but the interconnected social and political dimensions as well. Related to this are three crucial tests to determine whether the detail will make or break the deal.  The first test is how seriously the EU will take its responsibility to uphold the Paris agreement’s commitment to stay well below the 1.5 deg C threshold. As part of the industrial world, the EU has a specific responsibility not only to act at home but to ...

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The Bretton Woods Institutions, 75 years on: reform or risk irrelevance.

The Bretton Woods Institutions were built on the ruins of an old world-order, at the end of World War II, and the dawn of a new world order, marked by the birth of many new nation-states and the onset of the cold-war. Ostensibly, the Institutions were created to preserve the peace by ensuring macroeconomic stability, supporting development and discouraging the creation of hostile trade or currency blocs. Yet, right from their beginnings, they have been the source of critique and concern. There were concerns about asymmetries of power, particularly in favour of the US. Then came concerns about uneven-handed treatment of countries in very similar circumstances. On the one hand, post-war Europe could quickly recover thanks to the US stepping in and instituting the Marshall fund. On the other, ...

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The escalating costs of Public-Private Partnerships in the UK (II): who will pay the bill?

Cecilia Gondard

14 Nov 2019 13:47:51

This is the second of two blogs on PPPs in the UK. Read the first part here. Proponents of public-private partnerships (PPPs) often cite “risk sharing” as a benefit of PPP contracts, as it allows for “costs-sharing” and “profit-sharing” between the public and private entities. The recent figures on the escalating costs of PPPs in the UK, however, paint a much clearer picture of who is actually paying the bill and who truly benefits.  Taxpayers are paying the bill. Investigations revealed that, as of September 2019, by the end of UK PFI deals, these will have triggered additional costs of £5bn from the public sector budget– and therefore, taxpayers’ money. As Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail pointed out that “PFI schemes cost taxpayers billions of pounds.”  ...

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Eurodad response to OECD consultation on international tax rules

Tove Ryding

14 Nov 2019 11:30:37

Together with members and allies from across Europe, Eurodad has submitted a response to the OECD consultation on the secretariat’s proposal for new international rules to determine the way taxing rights are allocated between countries. The submission, which can be found in full here, among other things highlights that: The signatories welcome the growing recognition of the shortcomings of the transfer pricing system and the arm’s length principle. Furthermore, the signatories welcome the growing recognition of the value of taxing multinational corporations on the basis of their global consolidated profits, with taxing rights being allocated between governments based on an agreed formula and supplemented by a minimum effective tax rate. However, as it stands, the signatories consider the ...

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The escalating costs of public-private partnerships in the UK (I)

Cecilia Gondard

13 Nov 2019 11:33:37

This is the first of two blogs looking at PPPs in the UK. Read the second part here A team of investigative journalists linked to UK media iNews have undertaken an in-depth investigation into the scandal of private finance initiatives (PFI) – the British term for Public Private Partnerships or “PPPs – in the UK. The resulting series of articles detail alarming numbers on how much of taxpayers’ money is being sunk into PPPs. The investigation comes nearly two years after the collapse of Carillion, a construction giant involved in many PPPs within the UK and Ireland. The incident drew attention to the large number of PPPs in the UK along with the huge overall burden they place on the public budget. The figures surrounding the PPP costs scandals raise the key question of “who pays ...

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A Global Green New Deal – new UNCTAD report outlines a financing plan

Bodo Ellmers, Maria Romero

10 Oct 2019 11:21:59

The debate about a Green New Deal has recently been reinvigorated in both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe, the Green New Deal is part of the priorities of the European Commission’s President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. And at the UN in New York last month, sustainable development was featured in a series of global Summits, including the Climate Action Summit. In response, UNCTAD used the momentum to  launch the 2019 edition of the Trade and Development Report (TDR) which analyses the new deal from a financing perspective, identifies constraints and outlines innovative financing options.  Urgent need for more and better development finance  The new report comes at a time when neither the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda nor the Paris Climate Agreement is on track. ...

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Will the new Commissioner for International Partnerships adopt a more cautious approach towards blended finance?

Jan Van de Poel, Nerea Craviotto

08 Oct 2019 15:24:10

Earlier this week, Members of the European Parliament had the opportunity to hear the Commissioner-designate for ‘International Partnerships’, a crucial step before she can be formally appointed by the Council later this month. In her statement to MEPs, former Finnish finance minister Jutta Urpilainen committed to focus on meeting the SDGs, reducing inequalities and eradicating poverty. To achieve these ambitious objectives, Urpilainen stressed the need to put a stronger focus on ‘leveraging private capital’ as ‘traditional measures of aid delivery are not enough’. The EU has been using various instruments to crowd in private finance in its development efforts for a number of years now even though there is no established evidence of their positive development impact. The ...

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A new European Commission: What are the implications for Development Finance in the next five years?

Following the European elections in May, former German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen has assumed the role of President-elect of the European Commission. In July, von der Leyen, the first woman to take this post, released a concept paper titled “A Union that strives for more” and on Tuesday this week she unveiled the names of the new Commissioners.  And with these releases, the policy agenda of the next European Commission, mandated to govern until 2024, is slowly taking shape. In response, we ask what are the implications for development finance?    Sustainable financing for sustainable development?  Sustainable development rhetoric scores highly on von der Leyen’s policy agenda, but the devil lies in the detail. The concept paper outlines “a strategy for ...

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UN Independent Expert links International Financial Institutions’ austerity push to Human Rights impacts

Gino Brunswijck

12 Sep 2019 13:00:36

This week, the UN Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights, Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, released a report on the role of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in imposing economic reforms that violate human rights. In particular, the report highlights how widespread promotion of austerity measures has had an adverse effect on human rights impacts in a number of countries. The document is due to be presented to the UN General Assembly in October, In line with Eurodad findings, the Independent Expert questions the basic assumptions used to justify the introduction of austerity measures. Rather than contributing to economic growth, they tend to aggravate economic recession, worsening debt ratios and inequality. The IFIs widely prescribe such policies through lending and attached conditionalities, ...