Nelson and Detrixhe’s “The World Bank’s “pandemic bonds” are designed so investors pay in the event of an outbreak” explains how the just-launched pandemic bonds work. Investors who buy bonds basically act as pandemic insurers. This allows the Bank to release money to poor countries as soon as an outbreak occurs. Take Ebola, $100 million could have been made available as early as July 2014 with such instruments but “money did not begin to flow on this scale until three months later, by which time the number of deaths had increased tenfold”. So that’s a useful tool. And investors are ready to take the risk: the pandemic bond sale was 200% oversubscribed. These instruments have been used for years by insurance companies to transfer risks of natural disasters to financial markets. And they could be applied to other emergencies beyond health and natural catastrophes.
Ziad Haider’s “The case for a Global Council for Refugees” calls for the creation of a new structure that would bring together private efforts supporting refugees. It illustrates how the private sector already helps refugees, mostly around getting jobs. It points to similar business alliances in other areas, e.g. the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS. It lays out the main functions a Global Council for Refugees would play: repository of existing initiatives to avoid duplication; one stop-shop for partners; peer-to-peer catalyst, and advocacy amplifier.
My map this week is from IFAD’s “Sending money home: contributing to the SDGs, one family at a time” which presents the flows and trends in remittances during 2007-2016. The report is full of great facts. 1 billion people are involved with remittances: either sending or receiving. Half of remittance senders are women. Remittances flows to developing countries grew by 51% over the past decade while migration from these countries only grew by 28%. And look at Asia-Pacific: remittances increased by 87%!
My quote this week is from Iraqi Nori Sharif, the videographer of the brutally disturbing “Nowhere to hide”: “It is difficult to diagnose this war. It is an undiagnosed war. You can see all the symptoms: death, pain, sorrow. But you don’t understand the disease.”