Global Ideas News Brief: Financing coffee + The Pope's capitalism commentary

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Global Ideas News Brief: Financing coffee + The Pope's capitalism commentary

Coffee farmers in Latin America are dealing with the latest outbreak of leaf rust. A non-profit investment firm in New England is finding ways to help farmers in the "missing middle" finance the fight against the disease. Photo: Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps

Value chains

Coffee shops, farmers and a banker team up to save Latin American coffee
PRI’s “The World”
Some 2 million people work in the coffee industry from Guatemala to Peru. Now, an estimated 400,000 of them are out of work. And, things could get worse. Thousands of miles north in New England, some coffee shops and small bankers are working to make sure that doesn’t happen. They include people like Willy Foote with the non-profit investment firm Root Capital.

Energy poverty

Here's Why Developing Countries Will Consume 65% of the World's Energy by 2040
China and India hold the world's fate in their hands as energy use skyrockets in poorer countries.

Poor Countries Need Relief From Climate Change. They Need Electricity More
Bloomberg Business Week
The trends for the cost of renewable power are moving in the right direction. For low-voltage, off-grid solutions in sunny climates, they are already the cheapest option. The industrialized world is responsible for precipitating the crisis of climate change. It’s still our responsibility to fix it.

The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels
There’s a lot of hand-wringing about our warming planet, but billions of people face a more immediate problem: They are desperately poor, and many cook and heat their homes using open fires or leaky stoves that burn dirty fuels like wood, dung, crop waste and coal.


How a money-tracking tool is helping businesses grow in India
PBS Newshour
While growing up in northern India, Shivani Siroya of InVenture says she encountered entrepreneurs on a regular basis. Now, she's helping them track their finances in order to boost their businesses.

Financial inclusion

Electronic payments are paying off for Mexico
CNN Money
Going digital is saving the government more than a $1 billion. More importantly, it is creating a new market for banks and financial services firms.

Last mile

In Tanzania, Farmers Reap the Benefits of Radio
NYT opinion
How do you share ideas – including potentially transformative ones – with people who do not have Internet access, are largely illiterate, and live far from paved roads?

Food security

Millicom International Cellular: Helping Oxfam Reach Poorest People In Guatemala
Millicom today announced that international aid organisation Oxfam and Tigo in Guatemala have signed an agreement to continue to distribute aid using mobile money to people in the areas of the country that are the most affected by malnutrition.

India's rice revolution
Guardian Global Dev
In a village in India's poorest state, Bihar, farmers are growing world record amounts of rice – with no GM, and no herbicide. Is this one solution to world food shortages?

Economic development

Two reactions from The Economist to the Pope’s perspective on capitalism:

Monopolies, markets and the pope
On the inevitability of justice

Thanksgiving Dinner in Rwanda
Through a gourmet restaurant in Kigali, one couple thinks they’ve identified a better model for eliminating poverty.


33 Resilient Cities Announced by The Rockefeller Foundation
Rockefeller Foundation blog
Today, we are excited to name the first group of cities selected through the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge – cities who have demonstrated a dedicated commitment to building their own capacities to prepare for, withstand, and bounce back rapidly from shocks and stresses.


What Syria's Currency Tells Us About the Future of the Civil War
Want to understand where the conflict is headed? Keep an eye on the Syrian pound.

Syrian refugees put strain on Jordan schools amid fears for 'lost generation'
Guardian Global Dev
Tensions rise despite double shifts and extra teachers to cope with tens of thousands of displaced school-age Syrians

Kenya Can Heal Itself
NYT opinion
South Africa was afforded — and afforded itself — an opportunity to pursue its own solution to its challenge. If it worked in South Africa, it can work in Kenya, too. Our recent record of reforms demonstrates that we have an appetite to take up this responsibility.


Brief Glimpses of Everyday Life in North Korea
The country's emerging middle class—as captured through one photographer's iPhone.

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