30
Dec

Four stories you may have missed in 2013

Written on December 30, 2013 by Waya Quiviger in News, Op Ed

There was no shortage of eye-grabbing global headlines in 2013. The Catholic Church chose a new Pope. China and Russia flexed their muscles. The U.S. and Iran, meanwhile, took a step back from the brink of what looked like a potentially explosive confrontation. But while these stories commanded an ample share of media attention, we’ve found four significant stories that may have slipped under your radar.

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Myanmar Riots

Global poverty retreats

With Southern Europe still reeling and the anemic U.S. recovery wobbling along, good economic news has been in short supply. But if you widened the lens, 2013 actually delivered some encouraging, indeed historic, news. It came in the form of a study from Oxford University’s Poverty and Human Development Initiative that concluded that developing countries were enjoying remarkable success in alleviating the worst poverty. They’ve had so much success, in fact, that Oxford predicted that crushing poverty in many of the least developed countries in the world (think Bangladesh, Rwanda, Nepal) is actually on track to be fully eradicated within 20 years.

This optimism was echoed by the United Nations’ 2013 Human Development Report, which noted that “[n]ever in history have the living conditions and prospects of so many people changed so dramatically and so fast.”

How did the worst-of-the-worst manage this economic turnaround? Growth naturally played a huge role. While advanced economies are languishing with a meager 1.2 percent annual economic growth rate, the International Monetary Fund expects the developing world to hum along at 4.5 percent this year. Oxford and the United Nations also found that a combination of a doubling of aid since 2000, an increased participation of poor states in global trade and a strong state focus on health and education have all contributed to this historic transformation. Read more…

By Greg Scoblete and Kevin Sullivan, Special to CNN

Published on Dec. 28, 2013 in GPS blogs.

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