The world really is too much with us. After years of peace, prosperity and progress toward the Global Goals, challenges and setbacks are following one after another now. Mark Malloch Brown, one of the world’s experts on development, calls it a Tsunami of Crises. Covid-19 set this wave of trouble in motion. But now as the World Health Organization sees the end of the pandemic in sight, economic disruptions are deepening and inflation is rampant.
We visit with an aide worker in Pakistan, Samya K. Paracha, who reports that the price has doubled for a package of basic food and fuel for families dislocated by the historic flooding.
Malloch Brown notes that the rich world’s ability to help is deeply hindered by what he describes as a crisis of democracy that has distracted many developed countries. “Our global house is on fire but they’ve not heard the alarm because its not ringing in the north, “ Brown said. “There just isn’t the bandwidth to understand that this is part of a wider breakdown.”
Co-hosts Claudia Romo Edelman and Lush end the episode on an upbeat note with a look at the decision by Patagonia’s owner to dedicate all the company’s future profits to protecting the planet.
Mark Malloch-Brown is president of the Open Society Foundations, the world’s largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights.
He has worked to advance human rights, justice, and development for more than four decades in a variety of roles: with the United Nations, the World Bank, and as a British government minister, as well as with a range of civil society groups and business.
At the United Nations, Malloch-Brown spearheaded the global promotion of the UN Millennium Development Goals as head of the United Nations Development Programme. At the UNDP, and previously as head of external affairs at the World Bank, Malloch-Brown led reform efforts that were widely seen as increasing the impact of both organizations.
He later served as Kofi Annan’s chief of staff, and then as UN Deputy Secretary General, before joining the British government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, as minister responsible for Africa and Asia from 2007 to 2009.
Malloch-Brown rejoined Open Society’s Global Board in 2009. Malloch-Brown was knighted for his contribution to international affairs and is currently on leave from the British House of Lords.
Samya Paracha runs a non-profit aid organization focusing on Fund Raising and Relief work in Pakistan. During Covid-19 Samya helped raise funds to supply basic food items to more than 2500 families within Karachi.
Her relief efforts have now extended to Flood Relief, primarily in the area of Balochistan, where she and her team have distributed ration bags with provisions for 12,000 individuals. Samya’s efforts have had a significant impact on those who were affected by the floods in isolated and inaccessible areas.
Outside of Samya’s immediate relief work, she is also working towards providing people with medium term rehabilitation through the rebuilding of housing and restocking of livestock.
Samya is a professor of economics, and has both taught and counseled students for several years, drawing on her distinguished experience in the equity departments at LTV and BEL.
[00:00:00] Mark Malloch-Brown: Our global house is on fire, but they’ve not heard the alarm because it’s not ringing in the north.
[00:00:06] Samya Kadri Paracha: Coupled with obviously all the issues going around and then corruption, you know, we are in a tight spot,
[00:00:15] Mark Malloch-Brown: There just isn’t the bandwidth it seems, to understand that this is part of a wider sort of breakdown.
[00:00:24] Claudia Romo Edelman: Hello, and welcome to the Global Goals Cast.
[00:00:27] Edie Lush: The podcast that shows how we can change the world. In this episode, the world is being overwhelmed by challenges, a tsunami of crises.
[00:00:37] Claudia Romo Edelman: I know right.
[00:00:38] First there was Covid.
[00:00:39] Edie Lush: Then Covid plunged us into a global recession, which we got out of by spending trillions, which fueled inflation.
[00:00:47] Claudia Romo Edelman: And then Putin invaded Ukraine and set off a global food crisis
[00:00:52] Edie Lush: Which is pushing prices even higher.
[00:00:55] Claudia Romo Edelman: To stem inflation the US Central Bank is jacking up the interest rates. [00:01:00]
[00:01:00] Edie Lush: Which means a super strong dollar that is making it harder and harder for many people and many governments to pay their bills and pay back their debts.
[00:01:10] Claudia Romo Edelman: We will hear how the price of eight packets for flood victims in Pakistan has doubled.
[00:01:16] Edie Lush: And we’ll speak to one of the world’s top thinkers on how we can work our way through this challenge of so many challenges.
[00:01:23] Claudia Romo Edelman: We can do this and we will talk about how, but first:
[00:01:32] Michelle: This episode of global GoalsCast is brought to you by our listeners. That’s right listeners like you who care about the future. Please spread the word, tell your friends about global GoalsCast hit the like and subscribe and give us five stars. Thanks also to CBS news digital, and universal production music.
[00:01:52] Claudia Romo Edelman: Welcome back. I’m Claudia Romo Edelman
[00:01:57] Edie Lush: And I’m Edie Lush. Claudia it was so good to [00:02:00] see you in New York in person during the General Assembly week, and huge congratulations on your award. It was so fun to be there, seeing you being celebrated as a maestro of entrepreneurship within the Latino community.
[00:02:15] Claudia Romo Edelman: Thank you, Edie. Thank you. Listen it was great to see you, and these are not easy times, but I’m really inspired to keep working because there’s so much work to do.
[00:02:27] Edie Lush: So much more to do. In fact, as we have said before, Covid 19 really set us back. The World Health Organization says that the end of the pandemic is in sight, but we’re just starting to experience the impact on economies, inflation, debt, and progress towards the global goals.
[00:02:46] Antonio Gutteres: Each peril is pushing the sustainable development walls further out of reach and in the face of such perils it is tempting to put our long term development priorities to one side, to leave them for a sunny day. But development cannot wait. The education of our children cannot wait. Dignified jobs cannot wait. Fully equality for women and girls cannot wait. Comprehensive health care, meaningful climate action, biodiversity protection, this cannot be left for tomorrow. Across all of these areas, young people and future generations are demanding action. We cannot let them down.
[00:03:31] Claudia Romo Edelman: That is the United Nations Secretary General. Antonio Guterres opening the general assembly.
[00:03:39] Edie Lush: He was really sounding the alarm, and in just a moment, we’re gonna hear from Mark Malloch Brown, President of the Open Society Foundation, and a global expert on development issues. He says that we are being inundated by a tsunami of crises. So many challenges at the same time.
[00:03:56] Claudia Romo Edelman: We have a good example. The flooding in Pakistan is horrendous. Torrential Downpours made worse by climate change.
[00:04:04] Samya Kadri Paracha: It was all mountainous area. The roads have washed away. The mountains were flowing with water. The rivers had burst their banks. All the dikes and the embankments are made on the river bed. You’re farming by the river bed. They had their cattle down there. They had their houses down there. Everything just got washed away.
[00:04:23] Edie Lush: That’s Samya Paracha, an economist who organizes aid efforts, except now rampant price increases are impinging those efforts. I asked Samya which products were more expensive now.
[00:04:37] Samya Kadri Paracha: Everything. The same package was for two and a half thousand rupees is now for five thousand rupees. That’s the price in the market. And they just say it’s expensive.
[00:04:45] Claudia Romo Edelman: Edie, it breaks my heart. I know in my own hispanic community, people are forced to make choices. We’re no longer able to buy protein for our families, we have to make choices about buying less nutritious foods for, you know, what we can afford, leading to a obesity, leading to more and more problems?
[00:05:05] Edie Lush: These price increases are squeezing everyone everywhere, and they’re pushing countries into crises and pushing us further away from the global goals.
[00:05:14] Claudia Romo Edelman: Edie you know that here at the Global Goals Cast, we will not settle for describing the problem. We insist on knowing what to do, and then highlighting those that are doing it.
[00:05:25] Edie Lush: Exactly. So I sought out a friend of the podcast, one of the world’s experts, he’s Mark Malloch Brown. He’s worked for UNHCR, UNDP, the World Bank, he was UN Deputy Secretary General. He has truly spent his life in development issues and I spoke to him about what’s happening now and what we should do.
You told me, in Davos, that we were inundated by a Tsunami of Crises. Could you just describe what those crises are.
[00:05:56] Mark Malloch-Brown: The United Nations has estimated that as many as 94 countries have this triple whammy of food price inflation, energy price inflation, and debt, combining to put their financial stability at risk, but you know, much more importantly their human capital, their people at risk. And that’s, I think what makes this crisis so profound.
It’s not necessarily a systemic crisis that’s going to bring down the global economy because a lot of it is concentrated in poorer, weaker more economically marginal countries, but the human toll of this is potentially immense. And you know, one of the many dimensions of division in the world at the moment is it’s storming up on us, and yet you know, a newspaper reader in America or somebody watching the TV news here, or indeed in Europe is largely unaware of it, that our global house is on fire, but they’ve not heard the alarm because it’s not ringing in the north.
[00:07:03] Edie Lush: So can you talk me a little bit through life in one of the countries, what does it look like?
[00:07:10] Mark Malloch-Brown: If you’re a garment worker in Bangladesh, for example, whose garments are typically being part of quick fashion cycles, to Europe and the US markets. You’re probably sitting idly at the moment because that kind of retail has very much stalled because of lowering consumer spending in many Western countries, and disruptions of the supply chains, and changing consumer behavior around wanting to recycle things as much as before and to buy better clothes less often, that, that kind of phenomenon. If you are somebody in Egypt or elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa you are probably struggling with your family budget at the moment.
In some cases, your supplies of wheat and other staples have been disrupted because your country depended heavily on exports from Ukraine and Russia for those basic consumer commodities. And so although, you know, supplies eased in the last month or so, you know, in many cases there’s still major market disruption and prices are still very high, and you suddenly see how people’s lives are getting squeezed in very real ways. These are not abstract issues. This is really about the economic security of families in many parts of the world.
[00:08:32] Edie Lush: You’ve also spoken about a democracy crisis, especially in the west that is not helping us respond to the crisis and the rest of the world. The fact that our house is on fire.
[00:08:44] Mark Malloch-Brown: There is a crisis of confidence in democracy itself, a feeling that it’s not got that sort of efficacy of effective delivery of solutions to people’s needs, and behind that with rising inequality in many of our societies with, you know, the economic events of the last decade or so having actually led to further enrichment of the rich and further sort of impoverishment of those, you know, who were in decent middle class jobs they’ve subsequently lost.
You know, with that rising inequality, that the sort of failure of government to deliver affordable education, decent healthcare. You know, whatever the model, whether it’s a nationalized model of healthcare in the UK or a private model in the US. Behind this sort of failure of affordability and delivery, you know, lies a growing alienation from democracy itself, a feeling that it’s been captured by elites who are utterly self-serving, whatever they say in the periodic election cycles, they have to go through to renew their hold on power. And that’s, you know, opened the door for populist candidates in many parts of the global north.
[00:09:58] Claudia Romo Edelman: Those populist candidates are ever more focused on closing doors and raising walls to the rest of the world, and Malloch Brown says that the developing world is increasingly alienated from the rich world.
[00:10:12] Mark Malloch-Brown: The second face of democracy, if you like, is what’s happening to it in developing countries. It’s seen as having been captured by the west as becoming, a sort of almost immutable part of, Western self-interest and export of Western values and, as geopolitics drives many countries closer to China and de facto to China’s very junior partner Russia, it’s leading to some real fissures in the international community. And I suspect in the coming weeks, because you know, countries are going to really be expressing their exasperation at the west’s effort to corral ’em into line behind a kind of Western campaign on Ukraine, which behind it, lies an assumption that everybody should rally to the West’s sort of democratic values, which for many countries is actually just a code name and a misleading code name for Western political self interest.
I think there is a massive wall of misunderstanding between the global north and south. Relative levels of economic hardship in developing countries, are hard for people who aren’t deeply familiar with those countries to really understand the fact that people are down to one meal a day rather than two or three, or that, they’re having to walk to work because they can’t afford to put gas in the tank or buy the bus ticket.
These incremental changes in their lifestyles are hard even for the journalists writing about it to measure, but certainly for the audience listening to it to understand. And, often in developing countries, the current expression of this is not unlike in the global north it’s you know, it’s actually apathy. It’s to not bother to turn out because what are these people gonna do for us?
So for example, you know, the most recent election in a developing country I think was Kenya, and, lowest voter turnout they’ve had in years because you know, the candidates, one was a 77 year old oppositionist running fifth time for president. The eventual winner was somebody who’d been deputy president in the last administration. So, you know, it was seen as a sort of inter elite parlor game almost, which didn’t matter to the lives of ordinary Kenyans who were struggling with rising prices, et cetera.
And I think the only moment in which developing country crisis is gonna impinge really on the consciousness, let alone the political action of the global north is sadly when it leads to a lot of instability and violence that people notice. You just wish it didn’t have to be so.
[00:13:05] Claudia Romo Edelman: But the West seems to have too much trouble to lend a hand to the rest of the world.
[00:13:12] Mark Malloch-Brown: For the first time in 70 years, we have a generalized war in Europe.
There is a sense that Europe stands, quite close to the edge where all sorts of accidents, like use of nuclear weapons, or even the nuclear reactor going AWOL and creating a nuclear disaster.
And so in that context, European politics and north American politics is all sucked into the vortex of managing this conflict and its immediate consequences. And there just isn’t the bandwidth it seems to understand that this is part of a wider sort of breakdown of the post-world war II Pax Americana led global order, and that, you know, in some very profound ways geopolitics has been shaken to its roots, and yet we are sort of racing around with a sort of NATO bandaid for one facet of it and a very grim, and important one, the Ukraine conflict. But we don’t understand it’s part of a bigger elephant that, you know, we’re just feeling one limb of the problem.
[00:14:26] Edie Lush: So, what should we do?
[00:14:31] Mark Malloch-Brown: We have to reset our offer to the world, around a renewed cooperative set of partnerships, which clearly breaks with the post-World War II order and the international economic arrangements, which were born out of the immediate moment of decolonization where, we imported into the early structures, and constitutional arrangements and behaviors of institutions like the world bank and the IMF – that old empower imbalance of a Northern dominated world. And we’ve got to make a clear conscious break with that to relaunch these sets of institutions in, you know, a much more balanced way.
We then have to add to that a massive investment in shifting the world to a more sustainable growth trajectory. Uh, We’ve got to just face up to the fact that, you know, Africa is likely to be, you know, something like 40% of the world population within a generation or so.
And we’ve got to start investing in addressing that in time. And you know, we’ve got to recognize the emerging power of Asia within the global political economy. And you know, all these things are things which require vision and statesmanship and the difficulty is it comes at a moment when even if some Western leaders, you know, may well have an aptitude for statesmanship, I have to say it’s fairly well hidden, but let’s assume they do. They’re so pressed by domestic concerns, fragility of their own political positions at home, that it’s hard for them to reach that point where they really start making this kind of scale of concessions in terms of the rebalancing of power, which means less power for the west, more for the south.
And so probably this has to start with domestic politics. It’s got to start with a new generation in most of our countries, just sort of shaking free of the kind of older gerontocracies which dominate our politics in many countries, particularly frankly, here in the US. And moving on past the sort of establishments of the Republican and Democratic parties beyond the 160,000 people mostly over 65, who as members of the British Tory party, chose the new prime minister in Britain.
[00:17:06] Edie Lush: Mark makes a strong appeal to young people to step up with a new way of thinking about leadership.
[00:17:13] Mark Malloch-Brown: Their social conscience is big, their political activism, small, because they felt sort of largely alienated by the politics of their parents. They, they need to get stuck in and they need to sort of move their countries on and, the equity in politics that I’m asking for internationally has a strong domestic dimension as well.
I mean, leave politics to your parents, and then don’t be surprised if everything from the pension system to the tax system you know, benefits the old, at the expense of the young, and maybe it’ll be student debt that will finally be the trigger to get a more activist younger generation of, political leadership engaged in all our countries.
But it’s got to be a leadership, which unlike its parents, has got the vision to lead abroad as well as at home.
[00:18:04] Claudia Romo Edelman: He wants young people from the rich world to pay more attention to the rest of the world, and he has a proposal for how to do it that some of our old listeners might recognize: The Marshall Plan.
[00:18:17] Mark Malloch-Brown: If ever this tired metaphor finally had found its historic moment of use it’s this, because this is a global crisis.
That said, you know, I think it is a jaded overused term and, you know, but behind it lies a belief that, you know, the US put up 2% of its global GDP for the Marshall plan, actually the calculations for what’s needed globally today, you know, at least at the beginning, are a kind of threshold of two to 3% of global GDP on top of what’s happening at present.
And under my sort of new cooperative model, I wouldn’t expect it to just be 2 to 3% of US or European GDP. I’d expect it to be 2 to 3% of every country’s GDP as we combine to, isolate, identify the capital investments we need to make for recovery and a green transition to renewable energy, et cetera. And we’d work on this collectively as a global community and we’d do it around principles of transparency and sound management because, you know, the last thing you want is this money to get stolen and end up in Swiss bank accounts and, creating more debt et cetera.
So, part of this new cooperative model of collaboration that I’ve spoken of is a real mutual accountability, not the old imposed austerity of the IMF or the world bank, but agreed plans by countries with these kinds of institutions. And then, you know, a contract on both sides about their delivery and a transparent contract.
So it’s taking aid and its relationships out of the shadows out of the post-colonial geopolitical world and putting it on a much fairer, transparent platform, so we can all see that these monies are really being spent at the global public interest.
[00:20:16] Edie Lush: Mark Malloch Brown speaks about the world crises from years of experience, and he also gives voice to those living through the crisis as captured in a survey by the Open Society Foundation of 22,000 people across 20 countries.
[00:20:32] Mark Malloch-Brown: Climate is a global concern. Inflation is very much a top domestic concern, and it was the case across pretty much all countries.
And you know, what the survey showed is, you know, how rescuable this situation still is. Pretty much everybody, majorities in almost all countries agreed that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was egregious, and majorities everywhere agreed that Russia shouldn’t be rewarded by keeping Ukrainian territory, and, you’ve got this sort of growing economic crisis at the same time that you’ve still got a level of agreement on what went wrong in Russia, but, what you see behind the survey is, you know, that countries, you know, can’t afford to make the choices the west wants to impose on them.
They can’t cut ties with China, a much more important investment and development partner at the moment, than the west is. They don’t have that economic option at a time when their house is burning. So, you know, I think the survey just drives the fact that the West’s position on Ukraine is not one that the rest of the world rejects, what they get angry about, is being made to, to sort of line up behind that position, to the exclusion of everything else.
And, I think what you read in the tea leaves of this survey, is unless the world gets its act together to address some of these top concerns in developing countries, by next year, at fast forward, you could anticipate, you know, a lot more hostile attitude in the survey towards international corporation. For now there’s still everything to play for. Is the west gonna rise to that opportunity?
[00:22:15] Claudia Romo Edelman: Thanks to Mark Malloch Brown, president of the Open Society Foundation. Clearly climate and inflation are top concerns. If there’s one country that knows this painfully, it’s Pakistan.
[00:22:32] Samya Kadri Paracha: Dear donors. On the 17th of September, we managed it all. Mashallah. 170 ration bags, which means 170 houses, which means about 850 people. We set up a mini medical camp, we gave out mosquito nets and tarpaulin for basic shelter and shoes for kids and clothing. We distributed on the east bank of the folklore Polari river in Balochistan in the union council canal district. These villages that surrounded the river banks were washed away during the incessant rains and river flooding two months ago, and have lost most of their crops and livestock, lives have been lost and 74 out of 150 houses have either been damaged or washed away.
[00:23:18] Edie Lush: That’s the voice of Samya Paracha who we heard at the beginning of this episode.
[00:23:25] Samya Kadri Paracha: We were the first to distribute rations on this scale. For us, it was a one kilometer track followed by two kilometers of wading through the flowing river and then a drive through a boulder ridden river bank to reach the settlements.
And that is how we arrived. People, when they heard about us, had crossed three to four rivers and streams to reach us.
These people though, surviving on subsistence before, are now absolutely poverty ridden. A trip for dry rations is either a six hour car drive, if they can find somebody who’s willing to take them, or a two to three day walk to the nearest market. Malaria is rife, and now, so is dengue and other minor ailments.
So when COVID started and the lockdowns happened in 2020 my cleaning girl had come and she’d said oh you know the, the situation is really really bad where we live. This is inner city. So I just put this little post out and I said you know the holy month of Ramadan was coming and everybody’s extremely generous during that period and gives out a lot of charity and I said why are you waiting for that time, do it now.
And Edie, money just started flowing in. I raised more than $50,000 sitting at home, and obviously I went into panic mode because I was like what am I gonna do with so much money, you know. And so I found a student of mine who had told me about this Robin Hood army that used to collect food at night from dinners and parties and distribute it. And, they have this little organization called meal donate and I teamed up with them and we fed 11,000 houses in 2020.
[00:25:05] Edie Lush: Wow. Samya really illustrates the point of this episode. She’s been working since the start of the pandemic and has been trying to keep up with this crises of crises.
[00:25:16] Samya Kadri Paracha: And then the floods came.
[00:25:18] News Source: Northeast India and neighboring Bangladesh have been hit by heavier than usual monsoon rains causing water.
[00:25:23] News Source: More than 180 people have been killed in devastating flooding and landslides in Nepal.
[00:25:28] News Source: Nearly a million, uh, have been affected.
[00:25:31] News Source: They’re experiencing some of the heaviest post monsoon rains for years. Flooding rescue efforts…
[00:25:35] News Source: Experts say floods following seasonal rains are increasing due to climate change.
[00:25:41] Samya Kadri Paracha: The mountains were flowing with water. The rivers had burst their banks. All the dikes and the embankments are made on the river bed. You’re farming by the river bed.
They had their cattle down there. They had their houses down there. Everything just got washed away.
[00:25:57] Claudia Romo Edelman: So the call for the nations went out again.
[00:26:00] Samya Kadri Paracha: And, the money flowed. And I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that one, you can trust me, you know it’s not going into my pockets. And the second thing is, I go myself.
So in the last two months I’ve raised about $17,000 roughly. So we left at three in the morning and we were told it would take three hours, but after seven hours, we still hadn’t reached, and the roads have washed away. I saw huge pieces of tarmac. It was all mountainous area. The road had slipped off and there were huge cracks in it. So I asked the local who was with us and I said, did you have an earthquake? Because I didn’t read about an earthquake. And he said, well, you know, it rained so much. Maybe we had an earthquake and we didn’t know about it.
[00:26:44] Edie Lush: Even in good times, life in this part of Pakistan is hard. These are people living in extreme poverty or one disaster away from extreme poverty.
[00:26:55] Samya Kadri Paracha: The history of Balochistan is that they have 500 feudal lords or Sardars as we call them. They have huge tracks of land and they get labor and it’s bonded and they live, they work, they’re all uneducated, they’re dirt poor with the biggest hearts that you can find. They’re not looked after because they’re bonded labor and they don’t vote. They’re given one tent for about 50 people, you know. One of the tents we went into had 12 people living there. The baby was born that Saturday. There was a new bride in the tent and everybody was living in the tent. And, next to this land where they were on, this gravel land which was 40 degrees plus. Just behind it, was lush green grass, where there were horses grazing, and they’re not allowed to go onto that land. Um, so this is bonded labor, so we decided that we will target them.
So the way these people live is very subsistence. So they’ll grow stuff for three months. And all of that got washed away.
So we have 10 kilos of wheat, three kilos of rice. We eat a lot of lentils. So I had, two kilos of one type of lentil and two kilos of the bigger chickpea type of lentil, which is a very good protein. Then we have oil, we have clarified butter, which is Ghee we have salt. We do give a packet of some spices. But one mixed packet. Then we have tea, sugar and milk. They do have cattle. So, if they really don’t want to sell them, they do end up eating them.
The good thing is we don’t need to take them any drinking water because the rivers are flowing. Our last volunteer told us that the sum balance, and I don’t know if it’s the pH balance, but he said, city water that we drink is at 260, and this is at 180, and every time we go out, we take so much water for ourselves. Everything finishes. So we just drank river water.
[00:28:58] Claudia Romo Edelman: Samya’s efforts ran straight into the global inflation crisis.
[00:29:04] Samya Kadri Paracha: The same package was for two and a half thousand rupees is now for five thousand rupees That’s the price in the market. And they just say it’s expensive. Coupled with obviously all the issues going around and then corruption, you know, we are in a tight spot, but we are managing and we are managing to get our goods out there. I think that’s the, that’s the biggest thing.
[00:29:27] Edie Lush: What’s striking about talking with Samya is the way the immediate crisis, the floods, the inflation, intersect with the challenges we already know about, like the need to adapt to climate change.
[00:29:39] Samya Kadri Paracha: I’m a teacher of economics and I keep on telling my kids, this is not nature and this is not an angry God. This is man. This is all man. You are not making the right embankments. You are not making dams. You are not making canals. You’re not creating proper irrigation channels. In the last 40 -50 years, India built 3000 dams. We built three. So all this absolutely fantastic water we are not storing it. It’s all gone into the sea.
They knew these floods were coming three months before they did. Nobody was moved to higher grounds. It is going to rain more and yes, it is raining much more.
The weather is changing. It is changing and we’ve done it. We’ve done it to earth. So Earth’s taking it back. Right. And you can see it. You can see it with the fires and the rivers drying up in Europe.
[00:30:32] Claudia Romo Edelman: One reason the citizens of developing countries have lost faith in globalization and government is the corruption rampant everywhere.
[00:30:41] Samya Kadri Paracha: The government wants the money to come to the PMs relief fund, but nobody really wants to give it to them. Right.
And what I’ve realized is that a lot of people want to give it to people like me, who they know are on the ground. Right. We know the reality. We are the custodians of your money. It’s not my money. I’m the custodian. I take that money and I go to these areas.
I just still don’t understand why they’re given so much money by foreign donors, because nobody trusts them, right? why are you giving them money? you know, we don’t trust them. I wouldn’t give them my money. I never have, and I never will. I’d rather do it myself, you know?
In most of these affected areas, all these people have been told that they’ll be given 500,000 rupees, which would be $2500/ $3,000 to rebuild their houses. But, the locals keep on saying that they keep on doing surveys, nobody’s going to come forward and give us anything, or we haven’t received anything so far. So that is a bone of contention. In another few months, once this emergency situation is over, we are going to start looking. If we have the funds, we’ll start looking into rebuilding or working with organizations that do rebuilding of these areas.
[00:31:58] Claudia Romo Edelman: We’ll stay in touch with Samya and bring you updates on that effort to rebuild the damage done by the flooding.
[00:32:08] Edie Lush: So there’s a few points that Mark brought up in the interview that I just wanna touch on because I know that you’ll have something to say too, and, one of them is that we are back from the public health crisis mostly, but we’re still faced with so many other crises, including this crisis of democracy.
And what he’s arguing for is a fairer balance and distribution of power, doing away with old institutions or radically reforming institutions like the World Bank, the IMF, the Security Council of the UN, because the way that they’re operating is part of the problem.
[00:32:48] Claudia Romo Edelman: No, look, I hear you. What happened to the building back better, with all the plans, Edie, that we had during Covid about like, yeah, yeah, yeah -we’re gonna reset and, you know, the grand reset. I just feel that we’re building back and people have forgotten about the better because, because we’re still in crisis. It’s almost like building back without an intention. The restaurants are full, the planes are full, but we haven’t solved the rest.
[00:33:15] Edie Lush: One of the things that I was most struck by when I was in New York for the General assembly week was a survey that was released by the FII and, it found that across the world, the number one concern at the moment is the cost of living crisis. People are so worried about the impact of energy, food prices on their lives, all the things we’ve been talking about in this episode, and that’s true everywhere.
And of course, to solve this or alleviate it what’s needed is increased partnership, and, as Mark Malloch Brown points out, this is happening. This crisis is happening. While the whole web of global relationships just isn’t working. Country to country, institution to institution. And this is manifesting in all kinds of different ways.
You know, the North is distracted by its own problems. I’ve been in the US for the past two weeks watching the UK where I live, tear itself apart over the mini budget, the huge borrowing, the debt that we’re taking on, and then the tax cuts, some of which now have been rescinded and there’s so much focus at problems at home that there seems very little time and ability to worry about the fate of others. Like for example, those in Pakistan.
[00:34:37] Claudia Romo Edelman: This is, I don’t even wanna count of how many UNGAs, you know, like the UN General Assembly Week, and I would say 70% of all the conversations were talk. But hey, listen, there was 30% of new voices, of new generations, of people coming with completely different angles.
I think that’s what Mark was talking about, it’s like, where are the voices? Are the voices of the South really ever gonna be heard? And you know, like, is that what we need? And in the same day Edie, I was, you know, talking to my former colleagues at UNICEF and started to compare the reality of Hispanics and Latinos within UNICEF and the different countries; and in certain areas of the world the more diverse you are, the more valued your voice is, the more valued your opinion is.
[00:35:24] Edie Lush: Hm.
[00:35:24] Claudia Romo Edelman: Because you are like really representing those that have not been heard before. You know, those farmers, those, you know, people from the Amazon are right now really at the front and center of the climate, you know, of the climate equation, because they have really represented what’s happening on the ground.
So I left a little bit more, incentivized by those 30% people that are the new voices, 30% of people that I’ve never heard or seen before that are not grand, that don’t have titles, and yet they’re at the table. So I got excited about that and that might be the point that Mark was trying to make.
How do we make that 30% that happens in one week, know, like during the year at the global scene, how do we make that a little bit more permanent and then slowly increase the percentage of those voices.
[00:36:11] Edie Lush: The other thing that I heard from Mark Malloch-Brown was this concern that the West is still operating from this mindset of a sphere of influence, and the concern that I have is that this higher inflation, the food and energy prices, is gonna continue to cause slower global growth and will lead to increased food insecurity.
And we’ve seen over the last year/ two years, that the numbers of people who are in acute food insecurity are higher and higher still in Sub-Saharan Africa, in Middle East and North Africa, in South Asia and in Latin America and the Caribbean. And the other thing that Mark pointed out was that we don’t always pay attention to it until that anger from the global south gets noticed when it leads to instability and violence, and we’ve seen that already in Sri Lanka and Peru, the mass protests, the political violence. And we also know that riots are a possibility in Turkey and Egypt. So, having the ability to increase where we’re looking is so important even as we deal with these crises at home.
[00:37:22] Claudia Romo Edelman: Absolutely Edie. Look at my continent, Latin America will be taken over by those people that are managing anger as their weapon to actually get back. Because my continent is upset. And you’re gonna see more and more leaders representing the desire of people to change and not be part of that ecosystem that is talking to the same people all the time, benefiting only the same people all the time. We need to make sure that we find a path forward where we can all win or there’s no one left behind.
[00:37:56] Edie Lush: So Claudia, we’re gonna end on a high note, right, because we are also here to celebrate champions, and when I was interviewing Mark Malloch-Brown, the Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard had come out just before saying that any profit that was not invested in Patagonia in running the business is now gonna go towards fighting climate change.
And when you go to Patagonia’s website now, it says Earth is now our only shareholder. So I asked Mark about that.
[00:38:25] Mark Malloch-Brown: Patagonia is always in a sense, been out there as a leader and its founder is, you know, obviously a remarkable individual. So hopefully it will set a new standard and, generate some competitors and others who will seek to match it.
And I think behind it, does lie, a continuing shift in what a good corporation looks like in today’s world. We won’t get the kind of levels of GDP transfer and investment that I’ve mentioned without a massive private sector part of it. You know, that is where the real capitals, mountains are, and a lot of things which people have been talking about for years, but have been hugely ineffective in solving to a scale, which would get this level of capital in developing countries.
I mean, in fact, you know, by many indicators private sector funding in financing and investment and development type activities has gone down in the last few years, despite all the talk it’s been trending the opposite direction to the conversation. So, you know, Edie, you talk to people at, DAVOS and they enthusiastically lay out their plans for all they’re gonna do in developing countries.
The track record is the exact opposite. And so it’s a huge reset that’s got to happen with the private sector and, you know, we have to understand those of us trying to encourage that reset that, you know, it’s not just about winning the empathy of CEOs. It’s about models that allow them to make money while doing good. And the world’s still not cracked the code
[00:40:09] Claudia Romo Edelman: Here here to companies that are making a difference. Companies like, Patagonia, that are gonna continue putting a purpose over profit and that are really showing the way that is possible to be a force for good and a force for growth. So here’s to Patagonia.
[00:40:24] Edie Lush: And, I think that’s all we’ve got for you today. Claudia, was great to see you in New York. Absolutely delighted, and I want to see more of you in the next coming months.
[00:40:34] Claudia Romo Edelman: Here’s to closing season six. Welcome to season seven. It’s a pleasure as always. So great to being able to see you in person. And now, thank you so much and see you later.
[00:40:48] Edie Lush: See you soon, and, thank you so much to our guests, to Samya Paracha and to Mark Malloch Brown for joining us, and, thanks to you in the audience. Please like, subscribe, give us all the stars and follow us on social media.
[00:41:09] Michelle: Global GoalsCast was hosted by Edie lush and Claudia Romo Edelman. We are editorial gurued by Mike Oreskes, editing and sound production by Simon James. Our operations director is Michelle Cooperider. Music in this episode was courtesy of universal production music, one of the world’s leading production music companies, creating and licensing music for film, television, advertising, broadcast, and other media, including podcasts. Original music by Neil Hale, Angelica Garcia, Simon James, Katie crone, and Andrew Phillips.
Thanks also to CBS news digital.