The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) contains a number of
provisions intended to provide disaster relief. Following certain disasters,
Congress has passed legislation with temporary and targeted tax relief
policies. At other times, Congress has passed legislation providing tax relief
to those affected by all federally declared major disasters (disasters with
Stafford Act declarations) occurring during a set time period. In addition,
several disaster tax relief provisions are permanent features of the IRC.
Portions of all 50 states and the District of Columbia are vulnerable to earthquake hazards, although risks vary greatly across the country and within individual states. Alaska is the most earthquake-prone state, experiencing a magnitude 7 earthquake almost every year and a magnitude 8 earthquake every 13 years, on average, since 1900. On December 1, 2018, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck north of Anchorage at 8:29 AM local time, causing extensive damage. Under the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), four federal agencies have responsibility for long-term earthquake risk reduction: the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). These agencies assess U.S. earthquake hazards, deliver notifications of seismic events, develop measures to reduce earthquake hazards, and conduct research to help reduce overall U.S. vulnerability to earthquakes. Congressional oversight of the NEHRP program encompasses how well the four agencies coordinate their activities to address the earthquake hazard. Better coordination was a concern that led to changes to the program in legislation enacted in 2004 (the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act of 2004; P.L. 108-360; 42 U.S.C. 7704).
The size and scope of the global forced migration crisis are unprecedented. Almost 66 million people worldwide have been forced from home by conflict. If recent trends continue, this figure could increase to between 180 and 320 million people by 2030. This global crisis already poses serious challenges to economic growth and risks to stability and national security, as well as an enormous human toll affecting tens of millions of people. These issues are on track to get worse; without significant course correction soon, the forced migration issues confronted today will seem simple decades from now. Yet, efforts to confront the crisis continue to be reactive in addressing these and other core issues. The United States should broaden the scope of its efforts beyond the tactical and reactive to see the world through a more strategic lens colored by the challenges posed—and opportunities created—by the forced migration crisis at home and abroad. CSIS convened a diverse task force in 2017 to study the global forced migration crisis. This report is a result of those findings. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Fostering the social and economic inclusion of refugees has long been the domain of governments and NGOs. In the wake of the 2015–16 European migration and refugee crisis, however, new actors have emerged and taken on important roles in integrating newcomers. This report describes key discussions and takeaways from an MPI Europe conference on these developments. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Widespread and profound public misinformation about government presents a serious challenge to democratic accountability. This paper demonstrates that two of the most common examples of public misperception may be systematically overestimated; public misperceptions of “foreign aid” spending and “government waste” are in substantial part explained by differences of elite and popular terminology. Failure to take into account what members of the public mean by waste and foreign aid has led researchers, journalists and public officials to misunderstand meaningful public critiques of U.S. policy. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
With many young children among the refugees and asylum seekers arriving in Europe and North America in recent years, policymakers and service providers are grappling with the task of designing and scaling up critical early childhood services. This report examines the approaches taken in nine key host countries, highlighting common challenges and promising practices. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
In response to the recent migrant and refugee crisis, rich countries have redoubled policy efforts to deter future immigration from poor countries by addressing the “root causes” of migration. The authors review existing evidence on the extent and effectiveness of such efforts. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Foreign aid contributes to global poverty reduction, helps protect basic rights and liberties, and benefits America’s interests – all for less than one percent of the US federal budget. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
This policy brief explores the broad spectrum of approaches to refugee settlement that include elements of community-based or private sponsorship—from the large and well-established Canadian program to smaller-scale and ad hoc initiatives in Europe. While these approaches vary widely in scope and the types of responsibilities sponsors take on, the author finds that governments and their civil-society partners generally face three common challenges when implementing them: balancing thorough program design with pressure to act quickly, providing government oversight and support without displacing willing community leaders, and cultivating strong working relationships between all parties involved. When done well, however, such programs hold the potential to foster important relationships between refugees and their neighbors and to improve integration outcomes in the long run. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Disasters no longer seem like rare events with the internet and smartphones delivering instant, compelling stories for a global audience that is curious, observant and active on social media. Experiencing disaster, then being in the public eye, can be traumatic, and so Britain’s National Health Service has issued warnings about the risks of using social media after terrorist attacks or giving personal accounts to journalists. Most odious are false reports drafted to misdirect responsibility and create an atmosphere of mistrust. Both social media and journalism have been lifelines during the recent hurricanes and earthquake in the Americas, flooding in South Asia and the flight of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar after years of mistreatment. News reports are linked with increased aid and lessons in preparation, and Humphrey Hawksley urges fellow journalists and the public to keep three factors in mind when assessing disasters: sourcing, the reporter’s role and impact of disaster coverage. “News coverage of natural disasters and war have long been pivotal at tugging heart strings and forcing changes to government policy,” he concludes. “Journalism has always been laced with vested interests and advocacy. The danger today is the immediacy in which inaccuracy speeds around the world, fueling emotions and decisions. [Note: contains copyrighted material].