Once the floodwaters have been pumped out of New Orleans —which may take weeks—insurers expect a deluge of claims. Estimates of the losses range from $9 billion to $25 billion. The high end of this range would make Katrina the most expensive natural disaster in America’s history for underwriters, topping the $21 billion paid out after Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
The Fallout: The hurricane's shock waves are already hurting at the gas pump. But the ultimate price tag depends on how fast America's energy hub can recover.
From the perspective of the Millennium Development Goals, it is good news that in 2004 per capita incomes grew almost everywhere in the developing world, and that short-term prospects are favourable. The bad news is that in sub-Saharan Africa even GDP growth of close to 5 per cent is still insufficient to attain the MDGs. The global outlook for 2005 and beyond is overshadowed by increasing global trade imbalances. How can these be corrected without a worldwide recession? The solution has to build on higher domestic demand in Europe and Japan, but a coordinated international macroeconomic approach that includes the major developing countries is also needed. (UNCTAD, September 2005)
The tsunami was a highly visible, unpredictable and largely unpreventable tragedy. Other tragedies are less visible, monotonously predictable and readily preventable. Every hour more than 1,200 children die away from the glare of media attention. This is equivalent to three tsunamis a month, every month, hitting the world’s most vulnerable citizens—its children. The causes of death will vary, but the overwhelming majority can be traced to a single pathology: poverty. Unlike the tsunami, that pathology is preventable. With today’s technology, financial resources and accumulated knowledge, the world has the capacity to overcome extreme deprivation. Yet as an international community we allow poverty to destroy lives on a scale that dwarfs the impact of the tsunami. (UNDP, 7/09/2005)
The Independent Inquiry Committee issues its definitive Report on the overall management and oversight of the “temporary” Oil for Food Programme, a programme which stretched to seven years with more than $100 billion in transactions (over $64 billion in oil sales and approximately $37 billion for food). This very large and very complex Programme accomplished many vital goals in Iraq. It reversed a serious and deteriorating food crisis, preventing widespread hunger and probably reducing deaths due to malnutrition. While there were problems with the sporadic delivery of equipment and medical supplies, undoubtedly many lives were saved. At the same time, things went wrong, damaging the reputation and credibility of the United Nations. With respect to the Programme as a whole, the Committee’s central conclusion is that the United Nations requires stronger executive leadership, thoroughgoing administrative reform, and more reliable controls and auditing. (7/09/2005)
Statement by his Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain at the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the 60th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
People are facing growing pressures to go on developing skills and knowledge over their working life-time as job mobility increases and job tasks become more complex, and governments in many countries need to do more to foster education and training at all stages of people’s lives, according to the latest edition of the OECD's annual Education at a Glance. OECD studies show that the earnings gap between the better-educated and those with lower qualifications is growing rather than shrinking. In all OECD countries, people without upper secondary education face a significantly higher, and growing, risk of unemployment
Text of the UN 2005 World Summit Outcome adopted by the UN General Assembly on 16 September 2005
The World Economic Outlook presents the IMF staff's analysis and projections of economic developments at the global level, in major country groups (classified by region, stage of development, etc.), and in many individual countries. It focuses on major economic policy issues as well as on the analysis of economic developments and prospects. It is usually prepared twice a year, as documentation for meetings of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, and forms the main instrument of the IMF's global surveillance activities. (IMF, September, 2005)
Joint Ministerial Committee of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on the transfer of real resources to developing Countries
The globalization of production is reshaping the international economic landscape. With that, the conventional wisdom of developed countries as capital and technology exporters and developing countries as importers is gradually giving way to a more complex set of relationships. The geography of international investment flows is changing. Developing countries are emerging as outward investors, and their importance as recipients of foreign direct investment in more knowledge-intensive activities is increasing. The World Investment Report 2005, focusing on the internationalization of research and development by transnational corporations, illustrates some of these changes.
Presenting interim projections for major OECD economies, OECD Chief-Economist Jean-Philippe Cotis said economic momentum on both sides of the Atlantic is now largely back in line with OECD projections released three months ago, but some of the factors sustaining buoyant growth may not continue to do so (6 March 2006)