Dharavi slum redevelopmentThe Dharavi Slum Redevelopment Project was approved by the state government of Maharashtra on October 16, 2018. The new proposal plans to renovate the entire slum as a whole while previous failed attempts planned to divide the slum into 12 parts. The new plan must take into account the previous failures in order to succeed in the redevelopment of such a populated area.

About Dharavi

Dharavi is considered Asia’s largest slum, spanning almost 600 acres of land. Located in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, it is a long stretch of shanty houses, dirt roads and open sewage. It is estimated that the percentage of people in Greater Mumbai living in slums may be as high as 41.3 percent. Dharavi has a population of around one million people. Because Mumbai has some of the highest rental prices in the world, Dharavi has become a more affordable option for those moving to the city.

The slum was founded in 1882 during the time of British rule during the country’s urbanization. When the plague spread through India, the British government transferred much of its industry to Dharavi. What began as a fishing village has since grown into a densely populated, culturally rich and diverse area. It has an active informal economy where businesses will employ many slum residents for leather, textiles and pottery products.

About the Dharavi Slum Redevelopment Project

Redevelopment plans for Dharavi have been on hold for the past 15 years, beginning in February 2004. There is hope now that the Dharavi Slum Redevelopment Project will follow through after a Dubai-based firm called Sec-Link Technology Corporation (STC) won the global tender to renovate Dharavi for good.

Sec-Link Group is a special purpose organization working to redevelop slum around the world. This project is largely backed by the UAE. The Dharavi Slum Redevelopment Project will cost around Rs 22,000 crore, which is over $3 billion. However, if the project continues to be delayed, the cost could grow to Rs 40,000 crore. STC proposed that slum residents will have larger, carpeted homes with 350 square feet as a minimum. Those above 300 square feet will get 400 square feet, and those over 500 will get an additional area of 35 percent.

The Dharavi Slum Redevelopment Project includes using 200 acres to rehabilitate residents and build commercial units, 100 acres for a community garden and the remaining 300 acres will be for sale and commercial complexes. This also means that new infrastructures will be implemented, such as water systems and container housing.

Previous Issues

The reason that past redevelopment projects have failed is largely due to resistance from slum residents who felt the plans were not in their interest. Because Dharavi is so condensed, it has grown into its own ecosystem. Residents rely on the micro-enterprises in the slum, some of which take part in homes and outdoor spaces being used for places of work and social interaction. It is important to residents that the economy of Dharavi and their own livelihoods are supported during this change.

In order for a housing upgrade to work for all residents, it’s important the Dharavi Slum Redevelopment Project allows for the economic and social activities that thrive in slums. By converting slum buildings into industrial centers, Dharavi can grow from deprivation into a magnet of commerce. STC will begin working on the project in 2019 and plan to finish it in nine years.

Isadora Savage
Photo: Flickr

Infrastructure in Lebanon
According to the 2018 Lebanon Economic Vision report, Lebanon’s economy has been stuck in a vicious cycle. Despite periods of prosperity, the economy has been highly unpredictable. Any substantial monetary influx is mostly channeled into less productive sectors and into financing a fiscally irresponsible administration. Combined with high levels of corruption and minimal legislative productivity, the resulting unhealthy business environment, second-rate infrastructure and poor development of Lebanon come as no surprise. Job creation and productivity are limited, hurting employment rates and continuing an economic cycle where no incremental wealth is generated. But can things change? 

Power and Electricity

Lebanon has consistently ranked in the top four worst world nations in terms of quality of electricity supply. The country even ranked as the last in the world in this segment from 2012 to 2014. The main electricity producer, Electricité du Liban, is so inconsistent that citizens are forced to purchase a private generator or subscribe to a different network. This means paying the double cost for electricity, and those who cannot afford this are sometimes forced to go without it for hours. However, the Ministry of Economy has presented a plan called the National Economic Vision 2025 to reform this sector and other sectors once and for all. The country aims to shrink non-technical losses by 2025 and to become more reliant on sustainable and renewable resources which would seriously impact the development of Lebanon.

Health Care

The Lebanese health care system is considered to be the best in the region and on-par with European quality standards, a good indicator of the development of Lebanon. Citizens boast a high average life expectancy and low neonatal mortality rates, as around 7.5 percent of GDP is allocated to health care expenditures. Nonetheless, a significant portion of the Lebanese population remains uninsured because of low wages and high insurance rates.

This commonly forces citizens to pay out-of-pocket fees for medical services. Despite these factors, Lebanon is on track to improve coverage and performance under new governance by the Ministry of Public Health. Under this new leadership, the sector will be driven by evidence-based decisions for monetary compensation, meaning more fiscal support goes to hospitals and patients who need it.

Education in Lebanon

Lebanon continues to invest 7.6 percent of GDP on education, a sector that is growing faster than the base economy itself. The country has one of the highest literacy rates in the Arab world. Academia is the sixth largest employer in the country, with about 161,000 employees. Nonetheless, while Lebanese universities continue to hold a strong reputation, the performance of the primary and secondary education system is declining. To combat this, the National Economic Vision plan proposes updates and enforcement of curriculum standards at the primary and tertiary level. Promoting Lebanese universities to attract international students, and increasing technological investments into this sector are also key factors for this plan.

Agriculture

Lebanon has approximately 658,000 hectares of biodiverse agricultural land that ensures the production of more than 60 types of crops and over 10 livestock products. In 2016, the agricultural sector contributed about 3 percent to GDP, or about $1.5 billion. However, over the past decade, growth has been particularly stagnant. The use of land for low-value crops, competition from imports, poor infrastructure and development of Lebanon and limited support for good farming practices are all contributing factors. Nonetheless, a plan to prioritize crops with high export growth potential and to finance technology to modernize farming would offer this sector the stability it is lacking. A focus on sustainable water practices is also a key concern.

Industry

Industry is a top contributor to the Lebanese economy, accounting for 10 percent of GDP and employing around 194,000 people. However, between 2010 and 2016, the sector had a steep decline in productivity, reducing its contribution to GDP by about 2 percent every year. This devastating decline can be attributed mainly to the poor quality and consistency of power supply and an unhealthy business climate.

To combat this decline, plans to expand the international market by adopting and enforcing compliance with industry quality standards has been detailed by the National Economic Vision plan. In addition, investing in specific subsectors that play on the country’s strengths, like jewelry or pharmaceuticals, would help grow the sector as a whole and ensure redevelopment.

Lebanon has distinct economic and social characteristics that could successfully be harnessed for positive change. The National Economic Vision 2025 proposes not only tools for rectification, but also hope for a better future. Investing in infrastructure in Lebanon, enforcing new fiscal rules and increasing revenue would generate job opportunities and stabilize a once volatile economy. A proposed strategy and plan would offer Lebanon a chance to become the prosperous nation it once was and improve quality of life for all of its citizens.

Natalie Abdou
Photo: Flickr

Chinese Foreign AidCountries that are part of the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have been the dominant force in foreign aid to developing countries in Africa. But in recent years, China has emerged as a game changer, reshaping the global aid landscape and becoming Africa’s biggest donor. Here is a breakdown of the Chinese foreign aid package to Africa and what it means to China.

Chinese investment in Africa rocketed from a mere $210 million in 2000 to more than $3 billion in 2011 and has continued to grow. As a matter of fact, Africa is the largest recipient of Chinese foreign aid, accepting 45.7 percent of China’s ¥256.29 billion total foreign aid by the end of 2009.

The aid is divided into eight categories: complete projects, goods and materials, technical cooperation, human resource development cooperation, medical teams sent abroad, emergency humanitarian aid, volunteer programs in foreign countries and debt relief. By the end of 2009, China had sponsored more than 2,000 development projects in African countries.

Unlike OECD countries, China does not officially disclose its aid information on a regular basis. Data about Chinese foreign aid often comes from media reports and governmental documents. Research labs like AidData are scrutinizing streams of sources and have constructed a fairly solid picture of Chinese foreign aid.

According to AidData, between 2000 and 2013, the largest sector of Chinese aid to Africa was transport and storage, summing to $29 billion distributed to 36 countries. South Africa received $5.2 billion and Kenya accepted $4.8 billion. Sudan, Mozambique and Angola received $3 billion, $2.6 billion and $2.5 billion worth of aid in this sector, respectively.

The second-largest sector was energy generation and supply. Among the $25 billion aid package, Sudan got the largest amount of aid at $4.6 billion. Ethiopia received $3.9 billion and Nigeria, Zambia and Angola each received about $2 billion.

Other multisector and unallocated/unspecified sectors were the third and fourth largest sectors in Chinese aid to Africa. The former sector comprised $20 billion worth of aid and the latter $8.7 billion. Due to China’s non-disclosure policy, the specific items that these budgets financed are difficult to pinpoint. What is worth noting is that Angola received $4.1 billion, the second-most amount of aid in the other multisector category, making Angola the largest recipient in the top three categories.

A total of $6.9 billion was devoted to projects in the communications sector. Nigeria, Ethiopia and Tanzania were the top three recipients, receiving $1.7 billion, $1.2 billion and $676 million respectively.

Chinese foreign aid projects in Africa focus on infrastructure, with transportation, energy and communication dominating almost half of the total aid package. China is also very careful in selecting recipient countries for its aid. Most of the African countries that are endowed with generous aid are very rich in terms of natural resources.

For example, Angola, being the top recipient of more than $12 billion over the thirteen-year span, has important reserves of oil, gas and minerals. Chinese aid to Angola focuses on infrastructure development that will make the export of this wealth accessible. Other leading recipient countries like Ethiopia, Nigeria and Sudan are also rich in natural resources.

Currently, Angola is one of the largest trading partners of China. The Chinese foreign aid agenda seems to indicate an intention to establish trade with the recipient countries, which is an understandably important reason for giving out foreign aid by any country in the world.

One issue that has been hotly debated over the past several years is that, as a non-OECD member, China constantly blurs the line between development finance and foreign aid. Chinese aid does not follow the definition of official development aid set by the OECD. As a result, many of China’s activities are deemed “evil” as they demonstrate a quest for the return of natural resources or trade partnership.

Nevertheless, trading opportunity is a fundamental benefit of foreign assistance that every aid donor is concerned with. In addition, according to Brookings Institution, in reality, China’s investment in and trade with Africa only accounts for a “tiny percentage”–less than five percent–of its global investment and trade. This disproportional aid-to-trade ratio proves China’s foreign aid to Africa agenda is not so selfish.

– Chaorong Wang

Photo: Pixabay

enable consumers to fight for female education
There is a proven link between lack of education and rises in poverty numbers. People around the world struggle with poor school systems, denied scholastic access and few academic resources. Illiteracy is directly correlated to poverty, and creates a cycle that is hard to break. The difficulties associated with this crisis are large scale and ones that few individuals feel that they can fix by themselves.

 

The Female Plight

At the brunt of this battle is the female population. Due to gender-based violence, negative stigma within communities and higher rates of poverty, women globally lack education opportunities that are often provided to men.  

Many citizens believe that there is nothing that they can do to help, and rely on the bigger voices to take the lead. But there are companies working to change that and to enable consumers to fight for female education as well.

These companies work to help individuals make a global difference and improve the lives of women and girls who are deprived of an education. Consumers can join the fight to educate, empower and break the cycle of poverty created by females’ lack of schooling and access to it.

Here are a five of the most impactful companies that are working towards educating the world.

 

1. Conscious Step

This sock company supports many different global causes, including their non-profit partner, “Room to Read.” For every pair of “socks that give books” sold, a school book is given to a child in one of a list of targeted countries that struggle with education.

The company especially focuses on communities that need gender equality in their school systems, and work towards enabling girls to achieve an education alongside their male counterparts. Conscious Step also enables consumers to fight for female education through beautiful socks that everyone loves.

 

2. Sseko Designs

The apparel company, which specializes in sandals, works with young women in Uganda to ensure that many can receive a college education. Sseko Designs employs local girls during the nine-month period between the end of high school and potential beginning of college.

The organization then provides the pre-collegiate girls with employment and scholarship opportunities. For each month of their nine months,  50 percent of the girls’ earnings go into a savings fund for college. This savings account not only allows these driven women to further their education, but it also deters them from caving to social pressures to give the money away to family and friends, which would thus continue the poverty cycle.

At the end of employment terms, Sseko provides the involved girls with scholarships matching the amount of their savings by 100 percent. Thanks to their employment opportunities, the company has already sent 87 girls to college, so far.

 

3. Out of Print

A business that sells literature themed products, Out of Print not only donates to literacy programs but for every piece purchased, the company also sends one book to a community in need.

Many of these communities have low female attendance in education due to extremely high rates of gender violence. These products help improve these struggling communities and encourage girls to receive an education so that they can rise above poverty and illiteracy.

The book based company work to enable consumers to fight for female education, bring literacy into poorer communities and spread awareness about the difficulties in high illiteracy rates.

 

4. Bloom and Give

With a specialty in handmade bags, this company sends girls in India to school. The company works to help girls fight against social views and norms that deter them from attending class, and enable them to become educated even through cultural protests. The company donates half of their profits to programs and grassroots movements that work directly with in-need communities.

Bloom and Give’s vibrant bags and other products serve as a way for shoppers to give back globally and also help Indian communities educate girls.

 

5. Naja

This underwear and lingerie company helps educate Colombian children and aid mothers to return to work. Naja, through its “Underwear for Hope” line, employs local single mothers, or female heads of household, and provides their children with books, uniforms, school supplies and all school meals.

The company strives to change the dialogue that makes mothers choose between childcare and employment, and helps its female employees to educate their children. On top of that, two percent of Naja’s revenue goes towards local charities that fund continuing education for these women.

Naja empowers not only Colombia’s women and children to become educated but also empowers consumers to help in the process through their purchases.

 

Every Person Counts

While the education crisis is a global one, each person can make a difference. Educating women does not have to solely ride on the backs of the wealthy and the well-connected. The average person can send a girl to school, teach a girl to read and send a woman to college through conscious purchasing and globally-minded companies.

– Emily Degn

Photo: Pixabay

Focus on Farm Development Projects in Togo
Two out of five Togolese live on less than $1.25 a day and a quarter of all children under the age of five are malnourished. In addition, one-third of the population is in need of clean drinking water. Adopting a democracy in 2012, Togo has expanded its parliament ideals with a focus on developing the country for the betterment of its people. As the country crafts various projects for maturation of the economy and land, one of the main development projects in Togo is farm development. But why?

 

Why Agriculture is Important to Togo

Agriculture is the cornerstone of Togolese economy. Developing agriculture is critical in the fight against poverty and food security since about eighty percent of the people live off farming.

In 2015, 55 percent of households were below the poverty line, mostly those in rural communities. Due to the high rate of rural poverty, the World Bank and the Global Agriculture and Food and Security Program (GAFSP) invested in Agriculture Sector Support Project (PASA) to help almost 14,000 smallholder farmers and 3,300 livestock farmers enhance their livelihoods and provide a better future for themselves and families. The GAFSP was established in 2010 as a multi-donor trust fund to improve food security in the world’s poorest countries.

 

Going Green for Agriculture

Since 2014, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development started the Green Innovation Centres which focus on enhancing Food and Nutrition Security in Togo.

The objectives of the first project have been to increase the incomes of small farming enterprises, improve the regional food supply in rural target regions and boost employment. For the second project, the objective is making sure members of households at risk of malnutrition, even during a food crisis, have sufficient supplies of healthy food in their possession at all times. With this being part of the development projects in Togo for the next six years, the country could see a significant decrease in their malnutrition rates.

 

Other Development Projects in Togo

Other development projects in Togo have also risen throughout the years. For instance, the $26.2 million Urban Development project concluded in 2002, and assisted helping the urban development policy with several objectives, including laying the groundwork for innovations needed to reform the management of urban development in Togo and strengthening local governments ability to administer the city.

Approved in 2015, the development projects of Togo have focused on mining, university education and public administration. These projects totaled $15.20 million and have a closing date of December 31st, 2020.

Though other development projects in Togo may bring improvement to infrastructure and education, soon many more citizens can sleep with a full belly and retain profits from their farming labor.

– Tara Jackson

Photo: Flickr

5 Development Projects in SurinameThere are several important development projects in Suriname that are currently taking place to help the country positively progress. The United Nations Development Programme, the Caribbean Development Bank and the Inter-American Bank all currently have active development projects in Suriname.

Suriname’s economy is dependent on mineral resources such as oil, gold and bauxite as well as natural resources, due to the fact that four-fifths of the country is covered by tropical rainforest. The country as a whole, however, still needs help to keep its economy from faltering and to improve climate control.

 

The UNDP’s Projects

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is one of the organizations that has implemented different development projects in Suriname to assist in the country’s needs when it comes to climate change. The UNDP currently has three active development projects in Suriname called National REDD+ Strategy, Suriname Global Climate Change Alliance and Strengthening the National Assembly of Suriname.

The National REDD+ Strategy project’s purpose is “to ensure success in continuing to preserve Suriname’s natural capital, enhance the value of forest-related services and benefits for its peoples and contribute to the international fight against climate change and the preservation of healthy ecosystems.”

The Suriname Global Climate Change Alliance project’s purpose is to support Suriname in improving its current climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts by providing more knowledge on the effects of climate change and developing tools that target adaptation measures, as well as strengthen capacities for mangrove conservation.

The Strengthening the National Assembly of Suriname project’s purpose is to provide best practices in parliamentary development, good governance, policy guidance and initiate capacity building initiatives.

 

The CDB’s Projects

The Electricity System Upgrade and Expansion Project is another development project in Suriname that has been created by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the government of Suriname. The project’s objective is to deliver a more reliable, efficient and sustainable electricity supply in Suriname.

When discussing the importance of the project to Suriname, Vice President of Suriname Ashwin Adhin said, “Our government will leave no stones unturned to achieve the objectives necessary to improve the energy sector. We will do this together with CDB and other important people and institutions.”

 

The IDB’s Projects

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which is the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, has also partnered with Suriname to create a developmental project to assist the country’s needs. The IDB Group Country Strategy with Suriname 2016-2020 project’s objective is to support Suriname’s economic stabilization.

This project is complemented by a longer-term view on modernization of the public and private sectors in the country. Reducing subsidies, lowering public spending while protecting the social safety net, strengthening public administration and strengthening human capital are all important parts of the project’s focus.

Development projects in Suriname like the ones these organizations are implementing will continue to help the country of Suriname in its goal to become a thriving country.

– Kennisha L. Crawford

Photo: Flickr

development projects in Nauru

Nauru, the world’s smallest republic, is home to 10,000 citizens. Its economic decline corresponds with the depletion of phosphate mines in the 1980s. Phosphate mining and exports resumed in 2005, but the Nauruan government estimates the phosphate deposits’ remaining life to be 30 years.

Nauru has become increasingly dependent on aid; Australia is its largest donor. The following development projects in Nauru aim to support an economically stable and independent republic.

Aid Investment Plan 2015-2016 to 2018-2019

This project aims to promote more effective public sector management, invest in nation-building infrastructure and support human development.

Electricity Supply Security and Sustainability Project

Investments will provide two new fuel-efficient generators for the Nauru Utilities Corporation (NUC), help repair the corporation’s power station and support institutional strengthening of the NUC.

Port Development Project

Alleviating Nauru’s reliance on its problematic port mooring system, this project will construct a quay wall and access causeway, reconstruct port buildings and storage containers and strengthen the Nauru ports’ institutional capacity.

Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative

Sponsored by the Asian Development Bank, this project will reestablish banking services, improve financial literacy and undertake reforms to expand financial services on the island.

Nauru Infrastructure and Essential Services

One of several Australian projects in the nation, the goals of this project are to plan, coordinate and maintain essential infrastructure and utilities development, identify key priorities for infrastructure development and provide improved access to affordance priority health facilities.

Australia’s 2015-2016 aid program enabled development projects in Nauru and contributed to:

  • Maintaining 100 percent primary school enrollment
  • Achieving 100 percent coverage for tuberculosis and hepatitis B vaccines for newborns
  • Introducing Nauru’s first taxation system
  • Establishing the Intergenerational Trust for the People of Nauru
  • Adopting the Queensland Certificate of Education
  • Graduating 14 students from the University of New England with an associate’s degree in teaching
  • Addressing domestic violence and decision-making

Current development projects in Nauru focus on the broader Nauruan community’s need and the government’s development priorities. Nauru’s stabilization will promote prosperity and security in the Pacific region.

– Carolyn Gibson

Photo: Flickr

Mauritania is a country located in West Africa that gained independence from France in 1960. In 2007, Mauritania saw the election of its first independent and freely elected president. However, his term in office ended abruptly when he was deposed by the military in 2008. General Abdel Aziz was then sworn into the presidency in August 2009 and was again re-elected in 2014.

Mauritania continues to experience tensions between ethnic groups, and suffered serious threats to its security through activities from various terrorist organizations. However, since 2011 strategies and development projects in Mauritania have been implemented that use dialogue and military actions, which have stopped terrorist attacks from occurring thus far.

After years of insecurity and instability, the situation in Mauritania is improving politically. Various international and national organizations are working in Mauritania to improve the lives of citizens and increase economic growth and decrease food insecurity. Here are five development projects in Mauritania that are currently active or have recently concluded.

  1. Skills Development Support Project
    This project was initiated by the World Bank and implemented by the Directions des Projets Education et Formation. The project ran from April 2011 to December 2017. Carrying a total cost of $17.6 million, this project’s objectives were to improve the efficiency as well as quality of training institutions in Mauritania and to foster a more “market driven technical and vocational education training system.”
  2. Programme de développement durables des oasis
    This project was approved in 2003 and ran until 2012, and was financed by IFAD. Costing a total of $33.9 million, its major objective was to reduce the poverty rate in five provinces in Mauritania. The project promoted sustainable farming solutions through the spread of technology and supported the financing of economic as well as social infrastructures, which reached 50,000 households.
  3. Poverty Reduction Project in Aftout South & Karakoro Phase II
    This is another project financed by IFAD, but one that is currently active. Costing a total of $28.9 million, this project aims to improve livelihoods and incomes for women and young people in 21,000 rural households in three moughataas (departments), which include M’Bout, Ould-Yengé and Kankossa. This will be achieved by fostering an increase in the economy through sustainable resource management, specifically by developing systems of crop and livestock management, soil restoration and water management and support for local project development.
  4. Construction of the Rosso-Boghé road
    This project is funded by the African Development Bank (ADB), the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF) and the Mauritanian government, with loans of $11.69 million and a grant of $720,000 from the ADB and a loan of $8.6 million from the NTF. The construction of this road will help develop the right bank of Senegal River and will have an enormous impact in promoting the development of agriculture, fishing industries and transportation services. It will affect 100,000 people in 67 localities.
  5. Integrating disadvantaged young people into the building sector
    This project, started in 2006, will conclude in 2020 and will affect regions of Gorgol, Guidimakha and Brakna in Mauritania. Implemented by the International Labour Organization, and costing a total of €3.2 million, this project’s primary objective is to help improve the living conditions of youth through improving access to professional training and employment. The goal of the results are to improve the quality of work in construction through training and enlarge the scope of professional training programs.

Although only five development projects in Mauritania are mentioned here, there are numerous other organizations working within the country to improve the lives of Mauritanians. Through collaborative and inclusive effort, the livelihoods, economy and food security of many are sure to improve.

– Miho Kitamura

Photo: Flickr

 NicaraguaAmong the many ongoing development projects in Nicaragua, one company’s $50 billion idea may be the economic launch it needs to defeat the nation’s poverty. Despite the country’s growing economy, it is still one of the poorest countries in Central America. Currently, 29.6 percent of Nicaraguans are living in poverty and 8.3 percent are living in extreme poverty.

Nicaragua’s economic standing is predicted to shift positively with the development of certain infrastructure throughout the country. This includes building the Nicaragua Grand Canal, a free trade zone, two ports, an international airport and hotels with connecting roads.

Wang Jing, a Chinese business tycoon, proposed this project in June 2013. Following his project proposal, he created the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Incorporated (HKND) and invested $200 million of his own.

Development projects in Nicaragua are still in progress and have many significant advantages that will help the Nicaraguan economy blossom.

The Canal

While an interoceanic canal through Central America already exists, the Nicaragua Grand Canal will bring additional opportunities for trade throughout the Western Hemisphere. The canal is estimated to be 178 miles long and 30 meters deep, which will accommodate larger ships.

Over twice as deep, and three times as long, a canal of this size would be significantly larger than the Panama Canal. Accommodating larger ships through this canal will be a large incentive for several global companies to use it.

Free Trade Zone

The proposed Free Trade Zone development project in Nicaragua benefits everyone with tariff-free trade. It also provides the opportunity to avoid customs and have full control of product movement. With fewer regulations, producers and consumers can get products faster and at a better price.

In comparison to Bonded Warehouses, consumers and producers benefit from a Free Trade Zone. In addition to the canal benefits, this Free Trade Zone will encourage businesses around the world to utilize the new developments.

The Ports

The development of a seaport would boost the economy by creating jobs for Nicaraguan citizens. With the creation of two ports, the country would benefit financially from imports and exports. As a result of the opportunities that these ports would create, poverty levels would decrease. Nicaragua would also become a major contender in international trading.

Building an International Airport

An international airport would open more opportunities for travel. This development project in Nicaragua is crucial because it will encourage tourists, businesses, journalists and world leaders to visit more frequently than before, simply out of convenience.

It is also a means of product movement. Airports create several jobs from janitorial and stock, to managing and piloting. The nation would see significant economic change because of its development.

Hotel and Highway Development Projects in Nicaragua

Hotel development projects in Nicaragua would boost tourism rates substantially. Nicaraguan tourism has grown over the last several years, which has created several employment opportunities. In 2013, Nicaraguan tourism created 7.9 percent of the nation’s employment and is predicted to hit almost 9 percent by 2024.

Not only would hotels create hundreds of jobs for struggling locals, but it would also bring in a substantial amount of revenue for the country and the value of the land. With the creation of hotels and resorts comes investors, which have a substantial effect on the economy as well.

Unfortunately, these projects have not had much progress, despite breaking ground in December 2014. Although Jing suffered from the 2015 stock market crash, he is still hopeful and persistent that these projects will be completed, regardless of his own financial standings. These projects could be the effort that puts an end to the serious poverty issue which threatens many Nicaraguans.

– Courtney Hambrecht

Photo: Flickr

5 Development Projects in Tonga

Tonga is a country comprised of 170 islands in the South Pacific, located close to Fiji and American Samoa. The island nation has a relatively high unemployment rate. This, coupled with an economy largely dependent on agricultural means of making money, has led to the creation of various development projects in Tonga. In recent years, these projects have improved stability in different aspects of the country.

Education

In 2012, the Peace Corps began a development project in Tonga designed to teach English as a foreign language. Aside from teaching English, the project’s larger goals are to improve the Tongan education system through the utilization of more computers and other technology. It also assists Tongan teachers in discovering new methods of teaching that are more student-centred. In addition, the project focuses on helping students develop healthy lifestyle habits. These lifestyle lessons are taught as part of the English language curriculum.

Growth Development

One of the more recent development projects in Tonga began in April 2017. The World Bank approved $5 million for policy reforms in the island nation. According to a press release on the World Bank website, these reforms aim to “improve the management of public finances, boost government accountability and encourage a more dynamic and inclusive economy.”

Climate Change

In 2013, the Asian Development Bank launched the Climate Resilience Sector Project in Tonga. This projects helps strengthen the country in the face of increasingly dangerous threats from climate change. The project finances low cost solutions which are executed at the local community level. Aside from this, the Asian Development Bank is also working with the Tongan government to create more renewable energy. By 2020, Tonga hopes to get 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources.

Environmental Protection

In July 2014, the United Nations Development Programme’s Pacific Office in Fiji created a project with the intention of protecting the ecosystem of the Fanga’uta Lagoon Catchment on Tongatapu Island. The project’s three main goals are to improve management of the lagoon, introduce an environmental management plan and educate local communities and national stakeholders about the role of the lagoon ecosystem and the benefits of protecting it.

Improved Healthcare System

The Australia-Tonga Aid Partnership, created in 2016, is a project where the Australian government provides funding each year to assist development projects in Tonga. Just last year, Tonga received around $30.4 million in aid from Australia. In particular, one of the projects that utilizes this funding is the Tonga Health System Support Program.

Phase One of the program began in 2009. Following this, Phase Two of the program started in March 2015. The objectives of the program are to stop the progression of noncommunicable diseases, generally advance health care services across the nation, provide enhanced mental health services, improve gender equality and provide access to universal health care.

Tonga has begun to experience a flourishing tourism industry that is becoming a main source of income for the nation. As a result of these five development projects in Tonga, the country can maintain economic, environmental and social stability as it continues to progress.

The support from these organizations will help Tonga combat increasing environmental risks that the country will face from climate change. Through these programs, Tonga will only continue to grow and further advance their infrastructure.

– Jennifer Jones

Photo: Flickr