Council on Foreign Relations


Foreign Affairs

The Price of Poverty
Psychology and the Cycle of Need
Johannes Haushofer
Summary: 
Poverty has psychological consequences, including stress, sadness, and anger, which may create a trap that keeps people mired in destitution. To make aid more effective, then, donors and policymakers should start considering whether their programs address mental as well as physical well-being.
Poverty is powerful. For those within its grasp, it alters every aspect of existence. People who happen to be born poor consume less than those born rich. They have worse access to education and healthcare and frequent exposure to corruption, extortion, and violence. An average person born in a place like Sub-Saharan Africa lives in a very different world than an average American.
The notion of the "happy poor" is simply not borne out by the data.
Variables such as stress and happiness are important metrics of success for development programs.

Kenya Divided
Why the Showdown Between Kenyatta and Odinga is Empowering al Shabaab
Paul Hidalgo
Summary: 
The political upheaval and conflict in Kenya could not be better for the Islamist militant group al Shabaab. Its continued attacks have successfully pitted the country’s two top politicians against each other in a game of political brinkmanship that could plunge Kenya into a toxic ethnic conflict -- exactly the kind of environment in which a group like al Shabaab can thrive.
The current political upheaval and conflict in Kenya could not have been better scripted for the Islamist militant group al Shabaab. Its continued attacks have successfully pitted the country’s two top politicians, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his main rival, Raila Odinga, against each other in a high-stakes game of political brinkmanship that could plunge Kenya into another toxic ethnic conflict -- exactly the kind of environment in which a group like al Shabaab can thrive.

What Really Happened in Congo
The CIA, the Murder of Lumumba, and the Rise of Mobutu
Stephen R. Weissman
Summary: 
Newly available evidence shows that the CIA engaged in pervasive political meddling and paramilitary action in Congo during the 1960s -- and that the local CIA station chief directly influenced the events that led to the death of Patrice Lumumba, the country's first democratically elected prime minister.

It didn’t take long for Congo’s transition from Belgian colony to sovereign state to turn ugly. Both the Soviet Union and the United States were keeping a close eye on the mineral-rich country at the heart of Africa when, on June 30, 1960, it gained independence under a democratically elected government headed by Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba. A charismatic nationalist, Lumumba led the only party in parliament with a nationwide, rather than ethnic or regional, base.

Council on Foreign Relations

Tuesday, 07-08-14A Conversation with Patricia de LilleWatch this meeting live on Tuesday, July 8, 2014, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. (ET). Mayor de Lille discusses the challenges South Africa faces after twenty years of democracy, including the legacy of the apartheid years and economic difficulties in recent times.


Tuesday, 07-08-14Cape Town Mayor Says Clean Government and Pro-Business Policies Are Keys to DevelopmentCape Town mayor Patricia de Lille joins Ann Cooper of Columbia University to offer her thoughts on recent events in South African politics.
Friday, 06-13-14What Really Happened in CongoIt didn't take long for Congo's transition from Belgian colony to sovereign state to turn ugly. Both the Soviet Union and the United States were keeping a close eye on the mineral-rich country at the heart of Africa when, on June 30, 1960, it gained independence under a democratically elected government headed by Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba.
Thursday, 05-29-14Remarks by IMF Director Lagarde at Africa Rising ConferenceIMF Director Christine Lagarde gave the keynote speech at the Africa Rising conference in Mozambique on May 29, 2014. She discussed demographic, technological, and environmental challenges to growth, and policy priorities.
Wednesday, 05-28-14Central African Republic in CrisisHuman Rights Watch's Rona Peligal leads a conversation on the atrocities occurring in the Central African Republic, as part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.
Saturday, 05-17-14Conclusions of the Paris Summit for Security in NigeriaOn May 17, 2014, heads of state from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, France, Niger, and Nigeria and representatives of the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States discussed how to combat the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram, which abducted more than 200 school children.
Friday, 05-09-14Press Briefing by Rear Admiral Kirby on Secretary Hagel's Middle East Trip and U.S. Response to Kidnappings in NigeriaOn May 09, 2014, Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby previewed Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's travel to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel. Rear Admiral Kirby also provided details on U.S. participation in a coordination cell in Nigeria, to help Nigerian authorities analyze intelligence regarding Boko Haram's kidnapping of school girls.


Thursday, 05-08-14Media Call on NigeriaCFR Senior Fellow and former ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and Senior Advisor at the United States Institute of Peace Johnnie Carson discussed the recent violence and kidnappings in northern Nigeria and preparations for the World Economic Forum starting in Abuja.

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