Monday, February 07, 2011

Climate triggered migration will advance Globalization in years to come!

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This summary is prepared by the External Affairs Department of the World Bank. All material is taken directly from published and copyright wire service stories and newspaper articles. The daily summary and other news can be found on the World Bank’s external website at For inquiries call (202) 473-7660 or send a written request to the News Bureau.
Monday, February 07, 2011
Today’s Headlines:
  • Climate-Triggered Migration To Grow In Years To Come, ADB
  • IMF, EU Grant Romania EUR5 Billion Credit Line
  • Iraq Cabinet Ramps Up Spending As Oil Prices Rise
  • Interview: ‘Revolutions Can Become Messy’
  • Opinion: Egypt: The 40 Percent Nation
Climate-Triggered Migration To Grow In Years To Come, ADB. “Governments in Asia and the Pacific need to prepare for growing climate-induced migration in the coming years, says a forthcoming report of the Asian Development Bank (ADB)….ADB expects to issue the report, Climate Change and Migration in Asia and the Pacific, in early March….
The report highlights specific risks confronting climate change ‘hotspots’, including megacities in coastal areas of Asia. These hotspots of climate-induced migration face pressure from swelling populations as rural people seek new lives in cities. The problem is compounded by greater dislocation of people caused by flooding and tropical storms….” [Xinhua/Factiva]
AFP adds that “…governments are currently focused on mitigating climate change blamed for the weather changes, but the report said they should start laying down policies and mechanisms to deal with the projected population shifts…. ‘Governments are not prepared and that is why ADB is conducting this project,’ said Bart Edes, director of the ADB’s poverty reduction, gender and social development division. ‘There is no international cooperation mechanism established to manage climate-induced migration. Protection and assistance schemes to help manage that flow are opaque, poorly coordinated and scattered,’ he told AFP….” [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
The Jakarta Post writes that “…the report did not specify the predicted amount of people forced to move because of climate change…. [But] the study said the potential destinations of skilled people in Southeast Asia would likely be to members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), like Australia, the US and the Netherlands…. [Currently,] the dominant mode of movement in Southeast Asia is temporary and largely involves unskilled workers. Conflict has also periodically caused population movements within Asia, the study said….” [The Jakarta Post]
IMF, EU Grant Romania EUR5 Billion Credit Line. “Romania will get a fresh credit line of EUR5 from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the EU after an emergency loan helped the country exit the crisis, President Traian Basescu said Sunday. ‘It will be a two-year, precautionary-type agreement,’ Basescu said in a public address. ‘Under this deal, the IMF and the EU will place at Romania's disposal EUR5 billion’ to be drawn only in case of emergency, he added….” [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
Reuters adds that “…the agreement will help maintain investor confidence as Romania's economy struggles out of recession and will show its willingness to implement more reforms to cut its budget deficit to a targeted 4.4 percent of gross domestic product this year, from 6.6 percent in 2010….” [Reuters/Factiva]
AP reports that “…Basescu says the country will no longer take the last EUR1 billion installment of an IMF bailout loan….Romania signed up for the EUR20 billion loan with the IMF, EU and World Bank in 2009 to help pay salaries and pensions, when the economy shrunk by more than 7 percent. Basescu said if Romania needs a loan to cover a budget deficit target of 4.4 percent, it will ask the EU….” [Associated Press/Factiva]
Iraq Cabinet Ramps Up Spending As Oil Prices Rise. “Iraq's government submitted a revised draft budget to MPs for approval on Sunday, raising projected public spending as oil prices have increased, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said. The new spending program estimates overall expenditure at $81.86 billion, while income will be $68.56 billion, leaving a shortfall of $13.3 billion – about a 16 percent budget deficit….” [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
Dow Jones adds that “…al-Dabbagh also said that BP along with its partner China National Petroleum Corp. are due to pay the Iraqi government some $500 million this year as signature bonus for signing a deal to develop Iraq's supergiant Rumaila oil field. The cabinet has given the finance minister the green light to request $4.5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund and a further $2 billion from the World Bank, he said….” [Dow Jones/Factiva]
In related news, Reuters writes that “…Iraq's flour prices have tripled over the last two months because of shortages in imported wheat supplies, threatening to push up food prices that have already stirred protests in some poorer parts of the country…. In Baghdad markets, a 50-kilogram sack of flour which sold at $8.50 two months ago, now sells for $26 a bag, according to local merchants.
Government officials say price increases are temporary because they have local wheat in stock and are waiting for the arrival of imported wheat from the ports and from overseas to mix with Iraqi produce to manufacture flour….” [Reuters/Factiva]
Interview: ‘Revolutions Can Become Messy’. In an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said, “Countries [in the Middle East have] made progress: lower child mortality rates, better maternal health, as well as a reduction in poverty. The youth, however, educated or not, were not able to find jobs. One of the primary examples is South Korea. It has a population the size of Egypt’s, but exports in one day as many industrial goods as Egypt in one year.

The economy hence made little progress and corruption was also a factor in driving people out on the streets….  Last year we compiled a report on the region, which did not look favorably on the problem of corruption and nepotism. However, corruption is a global problem….Of course we also have a responsibility to ensure that our programs are free of corruption. At the same time, we are however working in a complex environment and can’t merely go to the places where this wouldn’t be an issue….
We can support the modernization process….My main worry now is that we will not be able to help a new reform-oriented regime quickly enough…. It would be a tragedy if we missed the crucial moment to help and a regime that is planning reforms was swept aside because it did not have the necessary funds….In Tunisia, we are already in contact with the transition government. We are trying to assist with the recovery of stolen assets. We are making every effort, to clear up the financial situation. The high food prices could become a problem….
The biggest problem of most developing countries is the risk of overheating, inflation, potential asset price bubbles and therewith the danger of a boom-bust….The development of food prices is particularly pressing….This is why I pushed for food prices to be on top of the agenda of the twenty most important economic powers….” [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany)]
Opinion: Egypt: The 40 Percent Nation. In an opinion column published in The New York Times, David Brooks writes, “…A mountain of research has established that countries with strong underlying institutions have better odds of making it to democracy….So I've been reading reports from the UN, the World Bank and other groups to see what they say about the strength of Egypt's institutions. These reports give the impression that Egypt is a place where people are trying to lead normal, middle-class lives, but they are frustrated at every turn by overstaffed and lethargic bureaucracies….
The UN Human Development Index ranks Egypt 101st out of 182 countries….The World Bank Institute puts Egypt at around the 40th percentile when it comes to government effectiveness. It puts Egypt in the 50th percentile when it comes to the quality of regulations and rule of law… The government’s economic reform effort illustrates the strength and weaknesses of the governing institutions. 

The World Bank gives Egypt high marks for its efforts to move from a centrally planned to a more market-oriented economy. For example, an entrepreneur now has to go through only six procedures to start a company, taking an average of seven days….But corruption levels are around the global average, which is to say, corruption is rife. It takes 218 days to get a building permit to put up a warehouse, with all the attending bribes….
Socially, the country seems stymied….The country has some nongovernmental organizations, but far fewer than the global average, and those that exist are restricted and dominated by the government. Journalists have tried to create a space for a free press, but with only moderate success….The biggest gap, by far, is political. The government has successfully prevented political parties from forming, with limited exceptions like the Muslim Brotherhood….
But now things seem to be changing. And while you wouldn't say that Egypt possesses the sort of human, social and institutional capital that will enable it to achieve miracles over the next few years, you'd have to say it has some decent underlying structures. And, if led wisely, it has a reasonable shot at joining the normal, democratic world.” [The New York Times]
Also in This Edition, Briefly Noted Construction of a railway line connecting Botswana's Mmamabula coal field with the Namibian port of Walvis Bay, pegged at up to $9 billion, is expected to start in 18 months, Namibia's Director of Railway Affairs in the Ministry of Works Robert Kalomosaid on Friday. [Reuters/Factiva]
The Kenyan government has invited Chinese contractors to take over construction of an $826-million highway in the capital, Nairobi, after the World Bank refused to finance the project, Business Daily reported. [Bloomberg]
Majority Republicans in the US House of Representatives will introduce legislation this week to claw back tens of millions of dollars of US contributions to the UN, claiming that the money is misspent. [Financial Times]
The amount of fish caught in the Arctic has been dramatically under-reported for decades, making the northern ocean environment appear far more pristine than it really is, according to a new study published in Polar Biology. [Reuters/Factiva]
Indonesia's gross domestic product grew 6.1 percent last year, Central Statistics Agency chairman Rusman Heriawan said Monday. [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
The Philippine government has allowed the private sector to import 163,000 metric tons of rice this year as it needs to stockpile on the staple before world commodity prices increases further, the authorities said Monday. [Xinhua/Factiva]
Sri Lanka's monsoon rains spread to more villages and towns on Sunday, leaving at least 14 people dead and more than one million with flooded homes, officials said. [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
India's economy is expected to grow 8.6 percent in the current fiscal year, a government statement said – its highest rate for three years despite a series of interest rate hikes. [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday said that developing countries need a legal system conducive to both rapid economic development and promoting equitable distribution of the fruits of development, according to the Indo-Asian News Service. [Xinhua/Factiva]
Egypt's economy has lost at least $3.1 billion as a result of the political crisis in the country, investment bank Credit Agricole said in a report released on Friday. [Associated Press/Factiva]
Egypt's stock exchange will not reopen on Monday as planned and a date to resume trading has yet to be decided, its chief Khaled Serri said on Saturday as anti-government protests slow economic life. [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
Egypt's former finance minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali, fired by President Hosni Mubarak in a cabinet shakeup, resigned Friday as chairman of the International Monetary Fund's advisory board. [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
The Palestinian Authority will ask for substantially less foreign aid from a donor conference this year than in the past and hopes to wean itself off budget assistance by 2013, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Friday. [Reuters/Factiva]
Iran's next wheat harvest this year will be 30 percent less than forecast due to drought, forcing it to resume imports. [Reuters/Factiva]

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