What’s New August 2006

This page lists changes to this site for August 2006.

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Supposed to be a “Development” round of trade talks, the almost five year-long Doha round collapsed at the end of July, 2006. The US found itself on the defensive as around the world blame was directed at the US, in particular by the EU. However, the EU has also been part of the reason for failure throughout the five years. This article looks at what happened at the end of 2006, and also introduces a collection of articles that were written at the time of each previous major WTO meetings from the initial Doha round in 2001 and since.

An overview of the crisis in the middle east has been posted.

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Official foreign aid effectiveness is increasingly coming under scrutiny. It has long been criticized that much of foreign aid involves clever accounting, money that does not actually reach the poor, and less than optimal use of resource, such as expensive consultancy from donor countries when locals could do it better, for much less. Furthermore, aid is often tied to restrictive conditions and the interests of the donor, which do not necessarily reflect the agreed priorities of combating global poverty and achieving sustainable development. The international development agency, Action Aid, calculates that around a half of all foreign aid is such “phantom aid.” The foreign aid section on this site has been updated with a pie chart breaking down this foreign aid diversion, plus additional details.

This web site has continued to grow. From July 2005 to now, there were almost 11 million page views to the site (up from about 6.5 million the previous year). During peak periods of the year, the site was getting, on average, some 40-50,000 page views per day. The site continues to grow and be developed without any additional sponsorship, advertising, or funding (other than what comes out of my pocket). As with last year, I find that I have had even less time this year to spend on the site, but am pleasantly surprised that it has continued to grow like this. Thank you so much for your continued support and please do tell your friends and colleagues about the global issues web site if you find it useful.

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