Thursday, July 9, 2009

G-8 Promises $15 Billion to Poor Farmers

In an effort to aid poor farmers around the world, the G-8 has agreed to provide $15 billion over the next three years to further agricultural development in poor countries.  The US alone is expected to contribute $3.5 billion, but there are questions as to whether this number includes current foreign aid or is in addition to  current obligations.  Rather than simply providing food, the program is supposed to curb hunger by increasing the agricultural output in the developing world.

Microfinance Risk Factors Shift, Survey Says

A survey of microfinance institutions conducted by the Microfinance Information eXchange (MIX) found a massive shift in the concerns of microfinance institutions over the past year.  The number one concern was credit risk, which moved from tenth place last year, followed by liquidity and macro-economic trends, which were both toward the bottom of the list last year.   These risks overshadowed previous concerns about management quality and corporate governance, as the economic downturn is putting pressure on microfinance institutions.

Christians Criticize IRS Questions

The attorneys at the Thomas More Society, a pro-life public interest law firm, are criticizing the IRS for what they call “prejudicial questioning” of the Coalition for Life of Iowa.  The IRS expressed concern about the educational nature of the group’s protests outside Planned Parenthood, but the Thomas More Society claims that the Coalition is being unfairly refused tax exempt status.