Sunday Reader

Syrian Refugees: Is There A Silver Lining For Jordan? Many have noted correctly the increasing burden on Syria’s neighbors in absorbing millions of refugees who have crossed the borders in the last two years. As many as 3 million refugees are expected to have left Syria by the end of 2013, according to the UNHCR.

But there is good news. The UNHCR reports that it is making progress toward reducing the backlog of Syrian refugees at camps in Jordan, but the challenge remains great given the sheer numbers.

Jane Arraf of The Christian Science Monitor says there even might be a silver lining for Jordan, which has seen more than one million Syrians cross its border.

Economist Yusuf Mansur tells the paper figures detailing the drain caused by the refugees on Jordan’s economy is overstated. In fact, he says, the influx of refugees has boosted Jordan’s sluggish economy, spending money in marketplaces and taking jobs many Jordanians would not take.

Globalization Is Not A One-Way Street
For years labor unions and opponents to free trade have portrayed a globalized marketplace as a no-win for American workers. It has caused businesses to flee the US taking important manufacturing jobs overseas.

It is not that simple says Sundar Kamakshisundaram.

“Despite huge cost savings, companies have to worry about other problems like worker safety, child labor, and pollution, which can very quickly create significant risk and ultimately affect brand image. And that can have a potentially catastrophic impact on performance and profits. So a lot of companies are starting to bring production back and focusing where they should have in the first place, which is on managing risk,” he writes.

New Book Challenges “Success” of Jeffrey Sachs’ Efforts To End Poverty In Africa
In a review of journalist Nina Munk’s new book, The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty, Fortune magazine’s Ericka Fry argues his Millennium Villages Project (MVP) has been tainted by cronyism, misguided, but well-meaning, intentions and ego.

“While Sachs and his short temper provide the book’s juiciest bits, Munk effectively draws readers into the stories of the earnest, committed, and (like Munk) increasingly disillusioned group of Africans who work as MVP field staff. They have impossible jobs; tasked with managing the on-the-ground situation while keeping up with the constantly changing and increasingly pie-in-the-sky orders that come down from the New York-based MVP headquarters. While one village coordinator is being asked to write multiple drafts of a business plan for small-scale milk production, his village is facing famine and a drought so severe that an angry mob beats the driver of a water truck,” the review notes.





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