Some 50 developing countries face recurrent natural disasters, yet many don't seem to recognize they will recur. Almost half the countries borrowing from the World Bank did not mention disaster prevention in their development plans.
With 1,500 dead, 20 million people displaced, and millions of hectares of agricultural land underwater, Pakistan would seem to have a solid claim on international support. So why is Pakistan having such trouble attracting support?
Free trade works very well for investors, financial institutions, and large multinational companies. At the same time, our free trade agreements push aside interests of workers, communities and the environment.
Is there discrimination at the World Bank? I had no notion of this until my African colleagues made me aware. Reading over the information provided to me, I was shocked at the dreadfully low number of black employees and job candidates.
As civil society groups try to figure out where they fit into Haiti's quest for "development," movements for workers' rights are emerging as a counterweight to the aid agencies often associated with oppressive neo-imperialism.
Though pressure is building from the financial industry to slow reform efforts -- and concerns about fiscal conditions risk drawing public and political energies away from the need to act -- we must seize this moment and implement broad financial reform soon.