For development institutions, private sector investments offer plenty of potential for promoting inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth at a profit. But how successful are they in achieving actual development gains?
A global debate on what comes after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015 is already in full swing. For Asia and the Pacific, a new development agenda will need to address those MDGs that made only slow progress or regressed and a number of emerging development issues gaining prominence.
In development, as in matters of health, prevention is better than cure. Had policymakers acted boldly to avert well-recognized economic imbalances before 2008, the financial crisis may have been avoided.
“We’ve never seen anything like this” is the refrain increasingly heard in every corner of the world in the wake of natural disasters. Indeed, intense natural disasters have increased nearly fourfold over the past four decades, with floods and storms representing 70% of the increase. Asia and the Pacific has been the worst hit region. Yet, the response to hazards of nature has been mostly to react when they strike. The upshot I see is this: unless prevention takes center stage, disasters will likely unravel progress.