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Drug Resistant Infections
Antibiotics have long been considered one of the greatest marvels of modern medicine. Since their discovery in the early 1900s, antibiotics have promoted a previously unprecedented large-scale fight against disease. Their effectiveness, however, is starting to show its limits.

CDC Analysis

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), antibiotic resistance—also known as antimicrobial resistance or general drug resistance—is becoming more and more prevalent, with over 23,000 people dying from a drug-resistant infection or disease in the United States alone. Studies have shown that over 700,000 people die annually worldwide from drug-resistant infections. Diseases once thought to be treatable, such as tuberculosis and common bacterial infections, are slowly becoming harder to cure with standard antibiotics and antimicrobial drugs.

A Mounting Crisis

The sheer overuse of antimicrobial drugs, such as antibiotics, antimicrobials, or antifungals, is often cited as a factor in the rise of drug resistance. Numerous studies show that these medications are grossly overprescribed, specifically drugs in the antibiotic category. The overexposure of antimicrobial drugs to different bacteria drastically reduces the drug’s ability to fight infections and diseases, leading to a resistance that is almost impossible to treat. This phenomenon is only growing, with the United Nations estimating that resistant infection could kill up to 10 million people annually by the year 2050.

The Developing World at Risk

Developed nations like the United States and Western Europe have far greater chances of eliminating the problem by fighting diseases from the backend, with access to clean water, food and sanitary living conditions. But for underdeveloped countries where over half of the population lives below the poverty line, drug-resistant infections pose even more serious risks. These countries rely on antimicrobial drugs and vaccines to stave off epidemics and diseases and cannot afford to develop drug resistance of any kind. The United Nation’s (UN) latest findings point towards economic hazards of drug resistance as well, showing that if resistance continues to develop, healthcare costs and lack of resources could potentially send the economy into a decline similar to that of the 2008-2009 era.

Innovative Solutions

Finding innovative ways to combat drug resistance is the most urgent goal. The UN is among several groups looking to solve the resistance crisis, calling upon major pharmaceutical companies, research groups and investors to accelerate funding and assistance. Emphasizing the need for a worldwide plan, Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General for the World Health Organization, has stressed the need for a timely response, “Antimicrobial resistance is a crisis that must be managed with the utmost urgency. As the world enters the ambitious new era of sustainable development, we cannot allow hard-won gains for health to be eroded by the failure of our mainstay medicines.”

As a part of the much-needed urgent response plan, the WHO proposed a new strategy to the World Health Assembly in 2015 that highlights five main goals to fight drug resistance:

  1. Raise awareness
  2. Gain knowledge
  3. Reduce risk of infections overall
  4. Optimize the current use of antimicrobial drugs
  5. Increase investment in research and technology for new antimicrobial drugs

Hope for the Future

The CDC has also constructed what is known as the National Action Plan, a five-year goal with similar objectives working under their Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative. Despite the imminent threat of drug resistance, the crisis is being taken seriously with appropriate responses in progress and clear plans of action to follow.

Olivia Bendle
Photo: Pixabay

US Is Extending Iran Sanctions ReliefOn September 28, 2017, White House officials announced that the U.S. is extending sanctions relief for Iran implemented by the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The nuclear deal was coordinated by the international community and ended crippling economic sanctions against Iran by the United States, European Union and United Nations, in exchange for Iran reducing its nuclear capabilities for 10 years and limiting uranium enrichment for 15 years. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran has been upholding its end of the deal.

The relief from key economic sanctions under the JCPOA plays an important role in Iran’s future economic sustainability. The sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program limited the nation’s ability to engage in trade and its access to oil revenue and international financial institutions. This contributed to a recession in 2012 and 2013 that saw Iran’s GDP growth decline by 6.6 percent in 2012. Inflation rose to over 30 percent, resulting in dramatic price hikes in food and basic necessities, and more than a fifth of the country was left unemployed.

Though the Iran deal is still in its infancy, it has already had significant impacts on Iran’s economy. World Bank estimates place Iran GDP growth at 6.4 percent and is projected to grow by over 4 percent from 2017-2019. Projections by the World Bank show significant boosts in oil production and other industries and potential growth in women’s employment.

The Iran deal also has the potential to fuel Iran’s development goals. Sanctions were lifted a month before Iran’s parliamentary elections and were touted as a significant victory of Iran’s moderate leadership. The elections resulted in large gains for development-minded moderates and economic reformers and significant losses for Iranian conservatives.

However, the sanctions relief for Iran remain controversial stateside. Though President Trump has chosen to continue maintaining the Iran deal, he has called the Iran deal “one of the worst deals” in history, and signaled that the U.S. is extending Iran sanctions relief temporarily and may withdraw or renegotiate the deal come October.

Furthermore, President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson believe that Iran is not complying with “the spirit” of the deal due to its ballistic missile tests, cyber activities and continued backing of terrorist groups, though no clause in the JCPOA forbids Iran from engaging in these actions. Nonetheless, the White House announced new sanctions outside of the Iran deal on several Iranian individuals and entities connected to malicious Iranian cyber activities.

Carson Hughes

Photo: Flickr

US Budget Cuts Could Weaken Global Fight Against AIDS
The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has been the largest national effort by any country to combat a single disease and has resulted in 11.5 million people put on antiretroviral treatment. PEPFAR has received wide bipartisan support since its inception in 2003, but the Trump administration has proposed a 17 percent cut to the program as part of the 2018 budget proposal. Experts are now warning that these cuts to PEPFAR and other global health programs could inflame the AIDS epidemic.

Laurie Garrett, a senior fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations fears the worst. “Without a revolutionary breakthrough in either vaccines or the entire model of HIV control, a massive second global wave of AIDS will come, perhaps within the next 10 years.” These predictions come as the U.S. shows a greater reluctance to commit funds to fighting HIV/AIDS.

With the wide distribution of antiretroviral drugs, deaths from AIDS have been halved over the past decade, but new infections haven’t slowed down. Two million people are infected with HIV annually, and these new infections are showing greater resistance to traditional treatments. Despite the need for further research, global funds for research and development have been declining. The Trump administration has proposed a 20 percent budget cut to the National Institutes of Health, America’s leading funder of HIV research.

Though the proposed budget would uproot U.S. efforts in the global fight against AIDS, political analysts have predicted that Congress will fight to reduce these cuts. PEPFAR has bipartisan support and the Republican majority considers it a party accomplishment due to its enactment by President George W. Bush. The National Institutes of Health have also recently gained bipartisan support with both Republicans and Democrats supporting greater funding.

Although the Trump administration’s cuts will likely be reduced by Congress, advocates worry that the proposed cuts will keep these programs from operating at their current levels. “I have no doubt Congress will succeed in restoring some level of funding,” says Scott Morris, director of the U.S. Development Policy Initiative at the Center for Global Development. “But it strikes me as an insurmountable lift to get back to the level of funding these programs currently enjoy.”

Carson Hughes
Photo: Flickr

OPIC Budget Cuts
President Trump’s budget proposal is significant for its massive budget cuts. One agency that would be axed in this proposal is the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Critics are now defending this little-known agency, and argue that the OPIC is crucial for fighting global poverty and improving U.S. relations with the world.

The OPIC may not receive much press coverage, but it does quite a lot with a budget of $82 billion. The agency’s main goal is to incentivize American investment in developing nations by providing loans and risk insurance to American investors. Since its inception in 1971, the OPIC built a portfolio that assisted the investment of more than $250 billion in upwards of 4,000 projects.

Of course, one may ask why the U.S. should encourage investment abroad. One reason is that it generates wealth and work for both Americans and those living in developing countries. In total, OPIC-funded projects produced over 275,000 jobs for Americans and generated more than $75 billion in U.S. exports. Much of this wealth is built by American small businesses. Seventy-seven percent of OPIC funding goes to small and medium-sized businesses. Investment in developing nations also combats global poverty and creates more viable trading partners. The proposed OPIC budget cuts could make it much harder for American businesses to create these opportunities.

The OPIC also made great returns on its loans. OPIC doesn’t cost the taxpayer a dime because the agency generated profits for 37 years. The money made goes to reducing the deficit, and the OPIC budget cuts would actually result in a loss of $2.2 billion over the next 10 years.

OPIC’s activities also help U.S. national security. It’s well-known that economic growth and political stability are often tied together. When economies are booming, nations are more stable. When markets plummet, conflict begins to rise. Foreign investment aided by agencies like OPIC can make developing nations less hospitable to extremist groups that would do harm to the U.S.

Members of Congress like Republican Senator Lindsay Graham took note of the impact U.S. dollars abroad can have on national security. Graham states, “the worst nightmare for Al-Qaeda is to come into a community that feels supported and has hope…The way I look at it is, it’s national security insurance that we’re buying.”

The Trump administration supports the proposed OPIC budget cuts because they claim that the agency distorts the free market and creates a crowding-out effect that reduces private investment. Supporters of the OPIC challenged this and claim there is no evidence that the OPIC has been distorting the market.

Carson Hughes

Photo: Google

Ethiopia
On August 19, the U.S. committed to providing 35 million dollars in aid to Ethiopia after their devastating drought and recent floods. The announcement came from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Ethiopia Mission Director, Leslie Reed, on World Humanitarian Day. Aid will go toward immediate humanitarian emergencies to help Ethiopia adapt to the threat of climate change and supporting the country’s developmental progress.

In 2015, Ethiopia was hit by the worst drought in decades. More than 10 million people were estimated to need humanitarian assistance, according to OXFAM. The severity of the drought was aggravated by El Niño, which periodically warms the Pacific region and affects climate patterns all over the world. The World Meteorological Organization reported that the current El Niño is one of the strongest recorded.

The drought has impacted 85 percent of Ethiopia’s population that engages in agricultural production. The dry spell destroyed farming livelihoods and escalated food prices, food insecurity and malnutrition.

Due to the effects of La Niña, flash flooding has caused further damage in Ethiopia. According to Ethiopia Drought Response Situation Report No. 3., there have been an increased number of cases of waterborne diseases due to poor sanitation and hygiene. The number of people displaced has reached 631,508, according to the report. While a portion of this number is due to conflict, 47 percent were displaced from March to June solely due to the floods.

On August 12, the Ethiopian government asked for $612 million for immediate food aid through December of 2016. Since October 2014, the U.S. has contributed 774 million dollars in aid to Ethiopia. The funds have provided clean drinking water, food for nutrition, malnutrition treatment and health services.

USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) was sent to Ethiopia in March 2016 and has been working with the Ethiopian government to provide technical assistance, administer humanitarian assessments and bring aid to Ethiopia. DART provided four million dollars worth of drought resilient seeds for 226,000 families to grow food.

Other international humanitarian organizations are also contributing to relief efforts. Concern Worldwide and Goal Global worked to stabilize Tigray, a region in northern Ethiopia severely impacted by the drought. The aid groups provided supplementary food to women and children experiencing malnutrition.

In order to withstand this ongoing emergency, Ethiopia will need support from the international community. Although El Niña rainfall is predicted to last through until December, the country will need support in adapting to the harsh effects of climate change in the future.

Erica Rawles

Photo: Flickr

Reducing Poverty Creates US Jobs
How does reducing global poverty create U.S. jobs? When people in developing nations transition from barely surviving, to middle and upper-class, they go from consumers of basic needs, like food or toothpaste, to consumers of more luxurious items like clothing, travel and technology. Reducing poverty opens giant, untapped markets for the United States. Luxury items like these are primarily operated by American companies, and an increase in demand for product stimulates more American jobs.

One in five American jobs is related to international trade in some way. In the last forty years, the impact that trade has on the U.S. economy has tripled.

The fastest-growing markets in the world are in developing countries, and 45 percent of the United States exports go to these areas. Foreign Policy Magazine states that the world’s poor is the largest untapped market on earth. “By building new markets overseas for American products, the International Affairs budget creates jobs and boosts the economy here at home,” says Governor Tom Ridge, former secretary of homeland security.

In fact, the majority of the U.S.’s top trading partners (the countries who buy our products, pouring money into our economy and providing jobs to thousands of Americans) used to benefit from U.S. foreign aid that helped them reduce poverty.

This is shown by the Marshall Plan. Implemented after World War II, the United States invested the equivalent of 110 billion dollars in both ally and enemy countries across Europe, helping them rebuild and reduce poverty.

Today, 240 billion dollars of American goods are exported to EU countries each year. The United States has made back double what their initial investment was in just one year of trade. What if this same principle is applied to developing countries?

The largest corporations in America understand the economic potential of untapped markets throughout the developing world, the subsequent boost in American jobs that accessing these markets could provide and the dire need for the United States’ foreign policy to invest in developing countries through aid.

In July 2012, over 50 major companies collaborated and sent a letter to Congress in support of the International Affairs Budget. It is in the economic interest of Google, IBM, CitiBank, Coca-Cola, Campbell Soup Company, Cargill, John Deere, Land O’ Lakes, PepsiCo, Walmart, Kraft, Johnson & Johnson and others to alleviate global poverty.

These companies wrote, “As business leaders, we know that U.S. economic growth is linked with global trade and the world’s economy like never before. As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has noted, overseas markets represent 95 percent of the world’s consumers and 80 percent of global purchasing power. Trade already supports one in three U.S. manufacturing jobs, and these trends will become even more pronounced in the future. For all these reasons, we urge you to support a strong and effective International Affairs Budget. While just 1 percent of the federal budget, these programs are vital for achieving a more prosperous future for American businesses and the U.S. economy.”

One example of the economic potential that exists in developing nations is Indonesia’s 2011 Boeing deal. As Indonesia’s national poverty level diminished and their economy grew steadily, they became classified as a middle-income country, with help from aid investments by the U.S. and other nations. Boeing announced its largest deal in company history: 230 jets for 22 billion dollars with Indonesia’s Lion Air. Indonesia’s poverty decline has stimulated millions of new consumers of United States products, which also creates countless American jobs.

Tech companies see the consumer potential that exists in Africa; some estimate that there are over 1 billion untapped potential users of technology in Africa today. For this reason, companies are attempting to connect Africans to the internet. In Google’s Project Loon, high altitude balloons supply remote regions with beams of WiFi. Facebook has plans to fly 11,000 solar-powered drones to give Africa access to WiFi. Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative is a 20-year plan. “ The Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative is built on the dual beliefs that technology can accelerate growth for Africa, and Africa can also accelerate technology for the world,” says their website.

Other companies are rushing to invest in Africa. Marriott estimates that Africa will be the next Asia in terms of economic development, and spent $200 million that will provide 23,000 more rooms across Africa. “Africa has significant untapped potential for travel and tourism, both as a destination and source of new global travelers. The continent’s GDP is anticipated to grow at over 5 percent annually over the next several years which we expect will raise more people into the emerging middle class,” said Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott.

The support that important American companies give to international aid, the rush of companies to become involved in developing regions, the United States’ history with aid investment and the importance of trade in the American economy all support the dire need for international aid investment in the world’s poor.

– Margaret Mary Anderson

Sources: The Borgen Project, Microsoft, Rural Poverty Portal
Photo: CNN

child poverty
Increasing economic inequality between middle and upper economic classes has grown since the ’90s. Children living in urban centers remain the most affected by poverty and low income.

Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health released a statement based on a study showing that poverty increased dramatically after the recession in 2007. The report states, “Years after the end of the Great Recession, child poverty remains widespread in America’s largest cities. Nearly three children in five living in Detroit are poor, according to the most recent Census figures, a rate that has grown by 10 percentage points since the onset of the Great Recession in 2007. Most children in Cleveland and Buffalo also live in poverty, as do nearly half the children in Fresno, Cincinnati and Memphis.”

The way the U.S. defines poverty is different from the way many other countries define the issue. Most other countries measure poverty after a person has received the social service benefits. However, the U.S. Census measures a person who is below the poverty line before they receive government funded social services that could technically keep them out of poverty.

Children in poverty then, are measured without the benefits that have otherwise kept them out of poverty. Contributing writer, Tim Worstall, of Forbes Magazine writes, “It’s the number of children who would be in poverty if there wasn’t this system of government alleviation of poverty. When we do actually take into account what is done to alleviate child poverty we find that it’s really some two to three percent of U.S. children who live in poverty. Yes, that low: the U.S. welfare state is very much child orientated.”

The Center for American Progress Fund reported that over 45 million Americans are living in poverty. For a family of four this would mean making a combined income of $23,834 or less in a year. Poverty is concentrated disproportionally in the South. Mississippi, for example, is currently at the top of the list with an overwhelming 24.1 percent of the population living below the poverty line.

Some aspects that affect the structural reasons for poverty consist of low economic mobility, federal minimum wage and little to no healthcare coverage. Because children born into poverty start out with a smaller pool of resources to draw from, the cyclic nature of poverty continues generation after generation. Minimum wage is another factor in the conversation as states such as Louisiana, Alabama and South Carolina adhere to federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Healthcare is nearly impossible for families living below the poverty line to afford especially if they have jobs that do not provide benefits.

The concentrated collective poverty of certain demographics is reinforced by state and local governments. Concentrated collective poverty refers to a relatively affluent country that has destitute segments of the population living in long-term poverty. Although the rate of child poverty in the U.S. is skewed, there are still large demographics underserved with a lack of resources.

– Maxine Gordon

Sources: Forbes, Salon, Britannica
Photo: Century Times

Top 10 Global Poverty Nonprofits
Let’s begin with the obvious, all of us at The Borgen Project… are big fans of The Borgen Project. Our bias aside, below is a list of 10 of the top global poverty nonprofits and their commendable work.

 

Top Global Poverty Nonprofits

 

1. The Borgen Project – The Borgen Project has taken the plight of the world’s poor to the political level. With access to most members of Congress and an advocacy network of volunteers in every state, The Borgen Project is considered one of the most politically influential organizations fighting for the world’s poor.

2. ONE Campaign – ONE Campaign uses grassroots and advocacy to raise awareness and money to help put a stop to global poverty. They mainly focus their attention on those living in impoverished conditions in Africa.

3. Global Giving – Global Giving is a charity fundraising web site that gives nonprofits from anywhere in the world a chance to raise the money that they need to improve their communities. Since 2002, the project has raised $114,889,647 from 392,257 donors and has supported 10,252 projects.

4. UNICEF – UNICEF is one of the largest nonprofit organizations and it is dedicated to helping children in need. UNICEF does so much for children around the globe, all while promoting education for girls and better health for pregnant women.

5. Partners in Health – Partners in Health is another nonprofit much like [email protected], which is geared towards providing a better quality of living and preventing disease. Partners in Health partners with doctors and health institutions across the globe to provide much needed relief for people who would otherwise be unable to afford health care.

6. GiveWell – GiveWell is a combination of several top rated charities all over the world. Most, if not all, of these charities provide relief for impoverished people in every nation.

7. CARE – CARE wants to cut poverty off at its roots. This nonprofit provide tools for people who are at a higher risk of falling into poverty and they help them to be successful and rise above the poverty within their nations.

8. Life in Abundance – Life in Abundance is a Christian-run organization that mobilizes churches and missionaries alike to provide relief for those who are suffering. This nonprofit wants to provide a healthier lifestyle to those who are living in poverty.

9. International Rescue Committee – The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives to prevent global poverty. The nonprofit was founded in 1933 due to a request from Albert Einstein himself. The IRC has since offered lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster.

10. [email protected] – [email protected], while not primarily putting an end to global poverty, is trying to eradicate one facet of it. [email protected] is a nonprofit that provides vaccinations for those less fortunate so they will not be plagued by preventable diseases.

 

 

Sources: About.com, CARE, GiveWell, Global Giving, International Rescue Committee, Life in Abundance, Partners in Health, Philanthropedia, The Borgen Project, UNICEF
Photo: The Guardian

pollard
In 1985, American analyst Jonathan Pollard was arrested for sending classified information to the Israeli government. He was given a life sentence, marking the first time in U.S. history that a life sentence was given for spying for an ally of the United States.

Now, Israeli President, Shimon Peres, is traveling to Washington, D.C. where the issue of Pollard’s release will be front and center. Officially, Peres is going to receive the Congressional Gold Medal as well as the 2014 Lantos Human Rights Prize. In addition, he has promised to meet with President Obama about the prospect of releasing Pollard, who has been imprisoned in America for nearly three decades.

One of the organizers of the movement to free Pollard, Efi Lahav, implored President Peres to lobby President Obama during his trip, stating that, “We believe your upcoming visit to the U.S. is the most serious opportunity yet to release Jonathan Pollard.”

Previous talks to release the convicted spy have fallen through at the last minute, and this trip may prove to be the final opportunity to strike a deal. Pollard is up for parole in 2015. His release could be part of a larger prisoner swap in which Palestinian prisoners would be released by Israel.

However, those talks fell short in the past. Instead of using Pollard as a bargaining chip, President Obama could also free him as a humanitarian gesture that would reaffirm ties with Israel. Whatever Obama decides, it is certain that the issue of Pollard’s release will be broached by Peres.

The day before Peres left for the U.S., he met with Pollard’s wife where he claimed that, “It is a national responsibility to work to free Pollard, I will speak to the President of the United States on behalf of the people of Israel. I intend to do this during my meetings in Congress and at the White House.”

On top of that, Peres will also deliver a speech to Congress, thus giving him another opportunity to exert influence in Washington.

While Peres will no doubt be pleased with his prestigious awards, the focus of the trip will certainly be Pollard.

Pollard was once a candidate for a CIA graduate fellowship, but was turned down due to a history of emotional instability and drug usage. He eventually landed a position as an analyst at the Navy’s Anti-terrorist Alert Center where Pollard had access to a wealth of classified intelligence information.

As a lifelong sympathizer of Israel who had dreams of eventually emigrating, he was easily talked into becoming an Israeli spy. In 1984, Pollard was contacted by a family friend in Israel who set up a meeting with his eventual handler. Shortly after, Pollard began handing over documents in bulk.

During the course of his 17-month spying career, Pollard leaked over 800 highly classified documents.

After a co-worker noticed Pollard accessing classified documents without authorization, the FBI became suspicious of Pollard. Spooked, Pollard attempted to seek refuge at the Israeli embassy in D.C., but he was turned away. He was arrested shortly after.

What happens next remains to be seen. Over the next few days, Pollard could be released in a deal that would help to deescalate the Israeli Palestinian conflict. President Obama could also opt for the humanitarian route and free Pollard with no strings attached. Whatever happens, Pollard’s usefulness as a bargaining chip is quickly running out, and President Peres’ trip to D.C. will likely be a decisive turning point on the matter.

While the official purpose of the visit is to honor Peres’ past accomplishments as a human rights leader, the true reason for the trip could have humanitarian implications that extend far into the future.

– Sam Hillestad

Sources: Jewish Press, CNN, USA Today, Jerusalem Post
Photo: The Algemeiner

Jim Kim World Bank President US Fiscal Uncertainty Affecting World Economy
It is constantly said of the profound impact of the United States’ domestic developments have abroad, that when the U.S. sneezes the rest of world catches cold. But what of the bottom 40% of the population of developing countries living in such squalor, unable to afford access to the most basic medical attention?

President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim warns of the dire effects that a hard credit defaults would have on the world’s poorest. Kim issued these statements in Washington D.C. where this week meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund took place in the wake of the recent government shutdown.

The inaction on Capitol Hill has led to international anxieties that a bill will not be passed on time to raise the U.S.’s debt ceiling, and would thereby create a U.S. default that would result in an international calamitous economic backlash. The U.S. Treasury debt has kept global economies perilously afloat for years, including those emerging economies of developing countries in Asia and Africa.

As the House and Senate continue their standoff, the Treasury Department’s Oct. 17 deadline looms mere days away. World leaders are deeply concerned with U.S.’s perilous waltz at the edge, but in the midst of dense official debate, it becomes easy to forget the repercussions on the world’s poorest people.

In an interview with USA Today, Kim urged legislators to “Please consider politics beyond the Beltway, politics beyond your own districts. Really think about the impact that inaction can have on poor mothers in Africa, trying to feed their children. It will really have an impact on those mothers. It will have an impact on young men and women trying to create businesses in the Middle East. This is real. This is not a theoretical impact. It’s very real.”

In the cold shadow of an uncertain future, President Kim’s words shed light on a cause that all parties and nations can and must agree on: the eradication of extreme poverty. Perhaps it is more fortuitous than darkly ironic that the meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund followed up the United States government partial shutdown.

The talks have surely opened the dialogue to support heroic bipartisanship in Congress in the interest of the global good and sustainability—a responsibility that the United States has the privilege to hold alone.

– Malika Gumpangkum

Sources: CNN, New York Times, LA Times, BBC, USA Today
Photo: Yahoo News