US Backs World Bank Capital Increase
The World Bank has secured a $13 billion paid-in capital increase by committing to reforms in its lending programs. The increase, opposed until recently by the Trump administration, will help the bank continue its mission of alleviating poverty and supporting international economic development.

The World Bank

The World Bank is a multilateral institution that supports developing countries through loans and grants for investment in education, healthcare, infrastructure and a variety of other initiatives that accelerate and sustain economic growth. Given its status as a nonprofit organization, the bank is willing to fund projects in poorer and riskier countries that privately funded and profit-focused organizations may not be willing to.

The World Bank must have a secure capital base in order to lend this money. This funding is supplied by its 189 member countries, with the United States (17.25 percent of total subscribed capital), Japan (7.42 percent), and China (4.78 percent) providing the most capital and thus being among its largest shareholders.

In 2015, The World Bank set a goal for a capital increase for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Finance Corporation (IFC), two of its lending arms, by the end of 2017.

International Economic Development and the U.S.

Initially, this goal faced a major obstacle: the United States government. A contributor of approximately 16 percent of the bank’s capital, the United States is The World Bank’s largest shareholder and the only member to have veto power over changes in the bank’s structure, giving it the capability to block the increase.

In 2017, the Trump administration expressed skepticism over the capital increase, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressing concerns that too much lending is being directed to upper middle-income countries that have plentiful sources of credit. Mnuchin contended that the bank should target lower income countries, supporting international economic development in locations more in need of a source of loans and grants.

In April, following a World Bank agreement to commit to certain reforms, the United States pivoted from its previous objection and supported the increase, resulting in an injection of $13 billion of paid-in capital from the bank’s shareholders and channeling more resources to developing countries.

Global Financing

Lending is now expected to average around $100 billion annually until 2030, compared to $59 billion last year — a stark increase that will ensure funding for the bank’s ongoing initiatives. To cite a recent example of the bank’s capital being put to work, The World Bank approved an $180 million guarantee to Kenya in April to encourage private sector financing in the country’s largest electricity company and increase energy security.

The aforementioned reforms accompanying the capital increase will result in a greater share of initiatives directed to lower-income markets. Countries classified in the lower- to mid-range of the IBRD income classifications currently receive approximately 60 percent of IBRD commitments, and the reform package will seek to elevate that to 70 percent.

Hurdles and Hope

These reforms mean that the bank’s increased capital will be in service of supporting international economic development for countries on the lower end of the income spectrum.

The ultimate success of the capital injection and its associated reforms will be determined in the years to come, but by overcoming the Trump administration’s initial reservations and obtaining funding, the World Bank, backed by the U.S. and other shareholders, has secured its role as a leading institution for economic development for the foreseeable future.

– Mark Fitzpatrick
Photo: Google

Development Assistance CommitteeThe Development Assistance Committee is an arm of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Founded in 1961 by the OECD to better organize and execute its agenda, the Development Assistance Committee also has the duty of innovating and monitoring future and ongoing development projects.

These projects target sustainable economic growth in countries who seek the committee’s aid. It also monitors how members of the committee and the OECD use development aid. The Development Assistance Committee is made up of 30 member nations, as opposed to the OECD’s 35 members.

The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the UNDP are all observing members of the committee. The members, along with the observing members of the Development Assistance Committee form the world’s leading forum for bilateral economic development and cooperation. It is known for its neutrality.

Official Development Assistance is the or ODA is the term used by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) to define all assistance rendered by member nations that target sustainable economic development. Due to the fact that the Committee is dedicated to furthering bilateral relations between member nations and nations it deems in need of assistance, ODA is not the only form of aid.

Member nations foster development in areas that are important to their national agendas. For example, Canada, which is a member of the DAC, will focus its foreign aid towards girls’ and women’s rights over the next five years. Denmark, another member nation, will be spending much of its aid in combating the refugee crisis.

This is not the only difference between member nations. Because there is no legally binding agreement holding a nation to the amount of money it must spend each year, there is a wide range in the percentage of assistance money spent. The DAC uses a percentage of a nation’s gross national income.

In 2014, Sweden, Luxembourg, Norway and Denmark all donated more than 0.07 percent of their GNI, a target set in 1974 by the DAC. Germany spent 0.04 percent of its GNI on foreign aid and South Korea spent just 0.01 percent.

The OECD agenda is mostly economic. They focus on economic stability within nations. Currently, it is focusing on re-establishing confidence in markets, promoting public financing as a strong driver of economic growth, developing green strategies for economic growth and ensuring job growth and security for people of all ages.

In 2016, saw the appointment of a new chair of the DAC, Petri Gornitzka, who was the former head of the Swedish Foreign Aid Agency. Gornitzka is pushing for reform within the DAC and she hopes to bring smaller member nations into the fold when making decisions about future projects and funding. She also plans to make the private sector a more viable partner.

In the 2016 DAC Global Plan, the DAC also states that it wants to survey nations who receive aid linked to the DAC on what can be improved. The DAC also plans to bring the smaller donors into the fold by helping them improve the effectiveness of their aid. This is also one of the incentives that the DAC boast to countries who wish to become members.

The last members who joined the committee were Iceland, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Poland and Slovenia in 2013 and Hungary in 2016. The European Union has made it a goal of all member nations to work towards joining the DAC.

Although the DAC does not do much direct work, its work behind the scenes promoting cooperation greatly benefits the world. The continued growth of the organization will also benefit the world. 

– Nick DeMarco
Photo: Flickr


strongest democraciesFreedom House’s annual nonpartisan report on the state of global democracy, Freedom in the World, had grim findings in its newly released 2018 version. According to the report, 2017 marked the “twelfth consecutive year of decline in global freedom” in which civil liberties and political rights eroded in multiple democracies, both young and old.

That said, the focus in this post will be highlighting the world’s top 10 strongest democracies, moving from last to first, based on various economic and social factors:

  1. Uruguay
    Uruguay is known for its strong record on legal equality and social tolerance of minority groups. It has a strong economy, an informed populace and a national identity based on democratic freedoms rather than ethnicity. It is also highly regarded for its notable lack of government corruption, an issue that has long plagued other democratic nations in South America.
  1. Ireland
    Despite instances of corruption, Ireland has upheld its strong and stable democracy throughout the political turmoil of the past few years. Balanced and fair elections have maintained the country’s tradition of equal protections under the law, though Ireland could stand to dedicate more to foreign aid, giving just 0.33 percent of its Gross National Income (GNI) in 2016.
  1. Switzerland
    Notable as one of the only countries in the world to operate as a confederation, Switzerland follows a tradition of decentralizing power and allowing citizens to weigh in on government decisions through referendums, making the nation closer to a direct democracy than a representative one.  Switzerland has a long history of civil rights and political liberties, having been a democratic nation since 1848.
  1. Denmark
    A parliamentary representative democracy with open and fair elections, Denmark remained one of the world’s strongest democracies in 2017. Despite pressures following the 2015 migrant crisis, Denmark has maintained its core democratic structures. It has strong checks on power and corruption, a robust set of civil liberties for its citizens, and some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe.
  1. Australia
    Australia is widely recognized as a strong democratic system, with free and fair elections and a system of obligatory voting. The country encourages the sharing of powers, with a bicameral parliament designed to mitigate extreme divides between opposing views.
  1. New Zealand
    A nation that contains immense and stunning scenery, New Zealand is perhaps best known for its appearances in the popular Lord of the Rings movies and its thriving tourist industry. But the nation also possesses a thriving democracy. With regular elections and a system of checks on governmental abuse of power, New Zealand remains a destination for those who wish to combine epic scenery with the modern attributes of a prospering democracy. Its only shortcomings relate to combatting global poverty, as the country contributed just 0.25 percent of its GNI to foreign aid in 2016 despite strong economic growth.
  1. Finland
    Competition between multiple parties with diverse views, along with deep respect for the law and a resulting lack of corruption, made Finland one of the best democracies in 2017. It boasts a free press and independent judiciary that respects the political rights of citizens. It is above average in terms of foreign aid contributions, contributing 0.44 percent of its GNI to foreign aid in 2016, but could still improve in this regard.
  1. Canada
    A country recognized by its broad social welfare system and vast landscapes, Canada remains an admirable democratic society. A strong electoral system combined with governmental respect for diverse opinions among citizens has led to a solid and functioning country. Canada could do better in foreign aid, however, contributing only 0.26 percent of its GNI to helping less fortunate nations in 2016.
  1. Sweden
    A parliamentary monarchy with a robust and independent judiciary, Sweden remains one of the best multiparty political systems and one of the strongest democracies, incorporating the viewpoints of most members of society and benefitting from a respected judicial branch that largely upholds civil liberties. Sweden also contributes the most toward fighting global poverty among members of the United Nations, with 1.09 percent of its GNI going to foreign aid in 2016.
  1. Norway
    Despite the political and social turmoil that defined 2017, Norway preserved its status as one of the strongest democracies in the world. Norway sports strong protections for freedom of speech among its populace and has a civil society and independent media that is encouraged to critique the government and promote responsible behavior by public officials. Key to Norway’s success is its modest population, which makes it easier to represent all viewpoints in government and mitigate the societal divisions that plague larger countries. Norway also has done more than most democracies to address the issue of global poverty, contributing 1.1 percent of its GNI to foreign aid in 2016.

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s democracy index found in its July 2017 report that democracy was in retreat across the globe, including in the United States, which is considered one of the world’s oldest and strongest democracies. It is important to examine the strongest democracies in the modern world in order to study how they have maintained strong systems of civil and political liberties, as well as what they are doing to improve other nations’ economic well-beings, a key foundation for democratic stability.

– Shane Summers

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

China Is Leading in Poverty ReductionChina is the world’s most populated country and has a culture that stretches back nearly 4,000 years. In recent years, its achievements in poverty reduction have been unprecedented. China is leading the world in poverty reduction, outpacing many other major nations in terms of national focus.

These efforts can be attributed to Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has led a drive to eradicate the problem of extreme poverty. For the first time in over 30 years, its list of areas suffering from extreme poverty has been reduced. China removed 28 counties from its list of poorest places in the country. The number of Chinese people lifted out of poverty over the last 30 years accounts for more than 70 percent of the world’s total. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang said in a forum that “China is an active advocate and strong force for world poverty alleviation.” This combined with efforts within the country shows how China is leading in poverty reduction.

The government of China hopes to share its experiences and improve collaboration with other countries as part of its plan to follow the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Years of work have led to China closing in on its goals of achieving a moderately prosperous society by 2020, beginning with the baseline task of lifting all people out of poverty. So far, more than 10 million people have been freed from poverty each year since 2012.

In an interview with Xinhuanet, U.N. Resident Coordinator and Development Resident Representative in China Nicholas Rosellini said: “These achievements not only can benefit China, but also bring experience to the world and make great contributions to global poverty reduction efforts.” He goes on to stress that without China’s contribution, there is no way to achieve the common goal of reducing global poverty and believes that China can achieve the goal of comprehensively eliminating rural poverty by 2020.

Additionally, the United Nations will provide systematic support for China’s poverty reduction work. Rosellini commends China’s contributions to world peace, as they contribute more troops to U.N. peacekeeping missions than any other permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. China has become the second-largest country to share U.N. peacekeeping costs.

Although the goals may seem somewhat optimistic, it is still significant that China is leading in poverty reduction around the world. There are many reasons for the U.S. to increase support for global poverty reduction. With less poverty comes less overpopulation, as the higher the death rate is for children in a region, the higher the birthrate. This is because when people know their children will survive, they have fewer children. In addition to this, history has shown that when people transition from barely surviving into consumers, it opens new markets and job opportunities for U.S. companies. In the United States, one out of every five jobs are export-based, and 50 percent of U.S. exports go to developing nations.

There are many positive consequences that can come from fighting global poverty and they should incentive other countries, like the U.S., to increase their support for reducing extreme global poverty.

Drew Fox

Photo: Flickr

Iran nuclear dealThe United States’ involvement with the Iran nuclear deal is up in the air, as President Trump has made his fair share of criticism of it. Support for the Iran deal is split down party lines, with most Democrats being in favor of it and most Republicans being against it.

Put into effect in 2015 during the Obama administration, the 100-page Iran deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, mandates Iran to cease nuclear development for the next decade and seeks to take apart nuclear sites in the country. In exchange, Iran will receive sanctions relief on a gradual basis as they follow the agreement. Some of the terms of the agreement include removing two-thirds of Iran’s 19,000 centrifuges and the destruction of Iran’s stockpile of uranium.

According to U.S. officials, European allies and the United Nations, Iran has been following the deal. For the Trump administration, this is not good enough. While not violating any terms in the agreement, Iran has reportedly been testing ballistic missiles and supporting militant groups in Syria and Yemen.

During an interview with Fox News, President Trump stated that the deal was done “out of weakness, when actually we had great strength.” The administration is looking to strengthen the provisions of the deal or back out of it entirely.

For those who support the deal, much of the concern lies with their belief that dropping out of it will hurt the United States’ global governance and influence. In an interview with Kasie Hunt on MSNBC, Senator Al Franken said that with European allies, Russia and China having no intentions of abandoning the Iran deal. It would only isolate the United States and “undercut” our leadership in the world.

“If the United States desires to keep nuclear weapons out of Iran, I say they should remain,” said Desiree Hendrix, a political science graduate from the University of Delaware. Hendrix also believes that leaving the Iran deal could jeopardize the United States’ global influence because of its status as being part of the big five in the U.N., and the U.S. would not be able to just assume further alliances with Europe due to its current fragile state.

The House of Representatives will vote on whether the United States will remain in the Iran nuclear deal next week.

– Blake Chambers

Photo: Google

America FirstThe nationalist wave is sweeping across the United States in the form of Donald Trump’s America First foreign policy. But isolationist policies can indirectly fuel the very threats that nationalists seek to keep out.

Donald Trump’s America First platform is unapologetically nationalist, built on hardline immigration policies, a pledge to bring jobs back to American soil and drastic cuts to foreign aid. But U.S. policies that encourage isolation and show no concern for the health of the global economy could have unintended consequences and pose a serious threat to our national security.

Global conflicts and civil wars create refugees, decrease educational opportunities and deprive people of their basic needs. These conditions have been widely reported to breed political unrest and give rise to extremist groups such as ISIS. Just last year, Daniel Byman told the Washington Post, “terrorist groups don’t emerge out of nowhere, and wars are perhaps the richest soil for seeding and growing violent groups of all stripes.”

For the year 2017, the United States has allocated $42 billion to foreign aid. These funds are earmarked for important causes such as Peace & Security, Humanitarian Assistance and Economic Development. Foreign aid benefits our economy through increased trade opportunities with developing countries. It also keeps us safe by preventing or seeking to end conflicts abroad and the national security threats that come along with such conflicts.

A common argument for cutting U.S. foreign aid, most common among conservatives, is that it is an unnecessary expense that we cannot afford with such a large national debt. But at $42 billion, foreign aid accounts for just 1 percent of the budget. This pales in comparison to the over $600 billion a year that the U.S. spends on its military.

While some conservatives may not see the benefits of foreign aid, many prominent Republicans have spoken out against President Trump’s drastic cuts. Former president George W. Bush acknowledged the link between foreign aid and national security earlier this year and told NPR, “When you have an entire generation of people being wiped out and the free world turns its back, it provides a convenient opportunity for people to spread extremism.”

Many former generals have also been vocal about the need to protect the U.S. Foreign Assistance budget. Many retired three- and four-star generals sent a letter to Congress earlier this year to stress the importance of USAID for our national security. Gen. James Mattis, our current Secretary of Defense, has also made strong comments about the importance of foreign assistance in promoting peace.

It is important to let our knowledge of this link between regional conflicts around the world and U.S. national security threats inform the debate around our current president’s America First agenda. We need to learn to see foreign aid as an important investment in our national security as well as a way for the United States to be a leader in creating a more peaceful and prosperous world.

– Aaron Childree

Photo: Flickr

Depression in the Developing WorldDepression is one of the most common conditions affecting Americans each year. In a country as developed as the U.S., health professionals can readily provide high-quality care to patients struggling with depression. Prescription medications have proven successful in treating and helping patients manage their depression, as have therapy and counselling programs. This is unfortunately not the reality for people affected by the same mental illness in the developing world.

It is estimated that 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide, yet less than 10 percent of people in developing countries have access to adequate treatment and care options. A study conducted in rural India found that just under 40 percent of the entire population suffered from some form of mild to moderate depression. Another study conducted in Pakistan found that 50 percent of all women living in rural areas suffered from some form of depression or anxiety. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that patients who had previously endured a traumatic event – such as conflict or fleeing their countries as refugees – had a significantly increased risk of experiencing recurring depression.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized the severity of depression and its nature as a global health crisis. Conditions which commonly exist in developing countries, such as social and political instability, armed conflict, refugee crises, economic instability and food instability are all extremely high risk triggers for anxiety and depression disorders. According to the WHO, a disproportionate number of the world’s medical professionals practice in developed countries. There is a far greater availability of healthcare in places where it is least needed.

Depression is a disease which can limit a patient’s functioning and cause them a great deal of discomfort and suffering. The WHO has listed depression on their Mental Health Gap Action Program, and as a result, they aim to curb the rising number of individuals suffering from depression in the developing world. The plan is to provide adequate training and assistance to people who might not have extensive healthcare backgrounds, so that they can better assist people suffering from depression in developing nations.

There is a real and dire need to determine ways in which to combat depression in the developing world. With the support of the international aid community, organizations such as WHO can implement aid strategies to hopefully bring an end to the disproportionately high number of untreated depression patients living in the developing world.

Tyler Troped

Photo: Flickr

United States Releases $17 Million Dollars to Reduce Extreme Poverty in NigeriaThe United States and Nigeria established diplomatic relations in 1960, when Nigeria gained independence from the United Kingdom. Since then, the United States and Nigeria have improved their relationship and developed bilateral representation. On October 4, 2017, the U.S. gave the government of Nigeria $17 million as part of their 2015 Development Objectives Assistance Agreement.

According to the announcement released by the United States Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria, the funding will be divided to “support Nigeria’s power sector needs ($14 million), help increase agricultural productivity and economic growth ($2 million) and strengthen good governance ($1 million).” In total, the United States has provided $719 million to Nigeria under the agreement, which establishes four priority goals: improving governance, furthering economic development, expanding opportunity and enhancing stability, to be achieved in 2020.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) “is the lead U.S. government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.” USAID partners with Nigeria to promote economic growth, equitable access to education and to clean water. In line with the four goals of the 2015 agreement, USAID’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy goal is to “reduce extreme poverty in a more stable, democratic Nigeria.”

According to the U.S. State Department, “Nigeria is the largest economy and most populous country in Africa with an estimated population of more than 180 million and an estimated gross domestic product of 510 billion USD in 2013.” Despite its economic prowess, Nigeria is also one of the poorest countries in the world, with a poverty rate of 64 percent.

Nigeria has the highest number of children out of school and the second-highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the world. Nigeria’s large (and growing) population and wide wealth disparity greatly increase the issue of poverty. From 2004 to 2014, absolute poverty in Nigeria rose by 6 percent, while the number of millionaires living in the country in that period rose by more than 44 percent. The 2015 Development Objectives Assistance Agreement between the US and Nigeria is aimed at addressing these factors of Nigeria’s poverty epidemic.

With the recent investment from the U.S., Nigeria’s human rights and economic concerns will be addressed. USAID has a long history of assistance to Nigeria and the relations between the two countries span far beyond. The U.S. is the largest foreign investor in Nigeria and the countries belong to multiple international organizations together. Reducing extreme poverty in a stable, democratic Nigeria will reduce the wealth gap and promote the development of multiple sectors of Nigeria’s economy.

Eliza Gresh

Photo: Flickr

How to Become a Representative for Congress
How does one become a representative for Congress? The journey to becoming a Member can be difficult and demanding. However, the privilege to represent one’s country can be very rewarding.

The U.S. Congress is divided into two chambers. The requirements vary by chamber, as do the roles they serve. To become a member of Congress one must first decide whether one wants to serve in the House of Representatives or in the Senate. Once having made this decision, one must meet certain specifications to qualify for office.

How to Become a Representative

  1. Meet the Qualifications
    The U.S. Constitution requires Members of the House be at least 25 years old, have been a U.S. citizen for at least seven years, and live in the state–though not necessarily the same district–they represent. Article VI, clause 3 requires that all Members take an oath to support the Constitution before they exercise the duties of their office.The Constitution was deliberately written to make becoming a Member of the House more accessible, to making this chamber closest to the people. Founders wanted it to be possible for ordinary citizens to obtain office and for elections to be frequent.To be eligible for the Senate, candidates must be at least 30 years old, have been a U.S. citizen for at least nine years and reside in the state they plan to represent at the time of election.
  2. Identify Key Issues 
    Members of Congress are representatives of their constituents. To become a representative for Congress, potential candidates need to determine and articulate issues that are relevant and important to voters. One must have strong knowledge of current political affairs and one’s stance on current and future policies.
  3. Build a Network
    Connections and relationships are key to running a successful campaign. According to Business Insider, this factor is causing many hopeful millennials to lose congressional races. In a blog post by hopeful House Member Erin Schrode, a 24-year-old activist from Northern California who hoped to be the youngest woman elected to the House, told readers a man told her after voting he would have voted for her instead of the incumbent–had he known who she was. Name recognition is an essential component of a successful campaign.
  4. Fundraise
    Money matters in elections. Funds pay for advertisement, media exposure, branding, letters to potential voters and commercials. While there is no minimum amount required to run for office, more funds equate to better efficiency and exposure.
    Wendy Carillo, a thirty-six-year-old who arrived in America as an undocumented immigrant recently launched a race for Congress. In an interview with Medium, she suggested a candidate should raise at least $100,000 to pay for the “mini enterprise” one creates when running for office.
  5. File Paperwork
    According to BallotPedia, federal law requires all candidates to file a statement of candidacy within 15 days of receiving donations or funding costs for their campaign that exceed $5,000. This is the only part of ballot access that is mandated by federal law. To have one’s name printed on an election ballot, a congressional candidate must do one or both of the following: collect and file petition signatures and/or pay registration fees. Once this is satisfied, requirements vary from state to state.
  6. Campaign
    The final and most crucial task is to campaign. Talk to voters. Learn what matters to them. Appeal to their desires in your language and actions. Congressional candidates can spend up to 18 hours a day campaigning. A successful candidate must know and act on what matters to voters.

Still want to become a representative for Congress after having read up on how to? Stay grounded in the fact that campaigning does not have to be difficult or tiresome. Listening to the needs of constituents and turning them into policies make the work rewarding and gratifying. Our country truly becomes a nation for the people, run by the people when members of Congress remember this principle.

Jeanine Thomas

Photo: Flickr

How the Elimination of U.S. Special Envoys Impacts Foreign RelationsRecently, U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, outlined his elimination of U.S. special envoys in order to reorganize and expand upon other positions. Many of these special envoy positions that are being eliminated are integral to global health initiatives. They include the U.S. Special Representative for International Labor Affairs and the U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change. Further, senior representative and special coordinator positions for impoverished areas including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, Burma and Syria are being eliminated.

Tillerson’s plan prioritizes other special envoy positions that reflect the current administration’s focus on topics including business and the War on Terror, and the reorganization plans to place a heavier emphasis on positions within the commercial and business affairs and anti-Islamic State military coalition.

In his statement, Tillerson noted that his choice of elimination of U.S. special envoys was based on whether or not the positions have “accomplished or outlived their original purpose.” In response, Column Lynch, diplomatic reporter to Foreign Policy, stated that Tillerson’s plan, “downplay[s] African peacemaking and outreach to the Muslim world.”

Special envoys are important positions to fill in order for the U.S. government to reach out and help global communities, because the presence of U.S. representatives in underdeveloped countries contributes to development and growth. Lynch fears that many of the positions being eliminated by Tillerson are considered unimportant to the current administration.

However, special envoys exist in order to represent the U.S. government on issues like climate change, food insecurity and water resources around the world, which are issues that are critical and impact global health. The removal of special envoys in positions that aid such issues in underdeveloped countries impacts U.S. foreign relations in a number of different ways.

Namely, according to Ngaire Woods, Global Economic Governance professor at the University of Oxford, the health of a country has been found to be directly correlated to the functioning of its government. Thus,  a lack of special envoys and foreign assistance in underdeveloped countries, which may ultimately have negative impacts on health outcomes, has the potential to intensify political instability in such countries. Political instability is a large predicator as to whether or not a country poses a national security threat to the U.S.

On the other hand, many additional positions will remain intact by the current administration, and some will be expanded upon. The special envoy for the Office of Global Food Security will be moved to the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Tillerson stated, “I believe that the department will be able to better execute its mission by integrating certain envoys and special representative offices within the regional and functional bureaus,” and so, many positions will receive better funding and direction under specific entities that are reflective of each position’s respective values.

Emily Santora

Photo: Flickr