Expert group reports on mid-term success and challenges of European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership

An expert group evaluating the second European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP2) on the basis of its efficiency, relevance, coherence, appropriateness, effectiveness, and EU-added-value for 2014-2016 found overall positive results. However, the expert group urged the improvement of 1) integration, alignment, and coordination with partner states, 2) long-term strategic planning, 3) financial expectations for cooperation with other public and private partners, and 4) implementation of the portfolio approach to funding and partnerships. Several of these recommendations have been voiced previously by civil society stakeholders and partners.

Publication – European Commission


European Commission pre-publishes 2018-2020 EU work program on health research

The European Commission has pre-published a draft work programme on health, demographic change, and wellbeing research for 2018-2020. It includes calls for 1) proposals addressing infectious disease threats, neglected infectious diseases (NIDs), maternal and child health, HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and/or hepatitis C (HCV) in specific target populations, 2) the establishment of an international network of social sciences research centers, 3) the creation of a European-wide sustainable clinical research network for infectious diseases, and 4) strategic collaboration in health research and innovation between EU and China. The draft has not been adopted or endorsed by the European Commission and its components may change before finalization. Once adopted, the finalized work program will be announced on the Horizon 2020 website.

Publication - European Commission


EU affirms commitment to human rights in development

The Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union has issued conclusions affirming the EU’s commitment to human rights and a rights-based approach to development cooperation. With regard to the 2015-2019 mid-term review of the action plan on human rights and democracy, it finds that EU instruments have been increasingly coordinated and well-aligned, particularly its human rights dialogues, guidelines, and country strategies. The Council also reiterated its commitment to implementing the EU's Strategic Framework on Human Rights and Democracy as an indispensable area of the EU’s foreign and security policy.

Press release - Council of the EU


South Korea to provide US$550,000 to Caribbean countries hit by hurricanes

South Korea has announced humanitarian assistance for four Caribbean countries that have been recently affected by severe hurricanes: Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Antigua and Barbuda. According to the foreign ministry, US$300,000 will be given to Cuba, US$100,000 each to the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, and the rest to Antigua and Barbuda.

News article - Yonhap News

South Korea

Spain to hold non-permanent seat at UN Human Rights Council

The General Assembly of the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) has elected Spain as a member of the Human Rights Council for the 2018-2020 period. Fourteen other countries in addition to Spain have also been appointed as non-permanent members, including Angola, Australia, Pakistan, Qatar, Senegal, and Ukraine.

The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC) has underlined Spain’s commitment to protecting human rights worldwide, with a special focus on protecting vulnerable populations, fighting racism, and strengthening democratic governance.

Press release - OHCHR 


Canada announces CAD1 million to support food security for Rohingya refugees

Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced that Canada will contribute over CAD1 million (US$787,000) to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank to support efforts to feed thousands of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. The announcement was made on World Food Day during a harvest agriculture event in Glengarry, Ontario.

Press release – Global Affairs Canada

Canada Nutrition

Madrid City Council and ‘Acción contra el Hambre’ join efforts to tackle malnutrition

On the occasion of World Food Day on October 16, 2017, Madrid City Council and Spain’s chapter of Action Against Hunger (‘Acción contra el hambre’) launched an audiovisual exhibition on the negative effects of malnutrition in developing countries. Under the title ‘War and Hunger’, the campaign aims at showing the intrinsic ties between malnutrition and violent conflicts worldwide. According to advocates, fostering food and nutrition security is essential to end violence and advance the SDGs.

Press release - Acción contra el hambre (in Spanish)


French CSOs release study on impact of conflicts and climate change on food security

French organizations Action Against Hunger (ACF) and the Inter-Agency Regional Analysts Network (IARAN) have released a study that looks at the current state of the fight against hunger and progress toward the 2030 SDG targets. According to the study, progress and results are considerably affected by the increase in the number of conflicts worldwide and the impact of climate change. ACF calls on governments and other donors in developed countries to increase their humanitarian funding, to strengthen their support to small farmers, and to improve strategies for mitigation and climate change adaptation over the long term.

Publication - ACF

France Agriculture Nutrition

African and European youth present demands for upcoming summit

Concluding a three-day Africa-Europe youth summit, members of youth organisations from Africa and Europe called on heads of state and government attending the 5th Africa-EU Summit in November 2017 to support and advance education, skills development, mobility and access to markets, youth participation, and young people’s access to rights, among things. 'Investing in Youth' will be an overarching theme of the Africa-EU Summit, and the youth summit aimed to strengthen the role of youth in the political processes in the lead up to the event.

Website - Africa-EU Partnership


UK's Department for International Development calls for radical reform of humanitarian system

The UK's Department for International Development has released a plan to reform its approach to humanitarian assistance. Entitled 'Saving lives, building resilience, reforming the system: the UK Government’s Humanitarian Reform Policy', it proposes three key changes:

  1. An increased focus on helping countries to prepare for humanitarian crises, build resilience, and on resolving conflicts, not just responding when disaster strikes;
  2. Bringing together humanitarian and development funding to support education, jobs, health, and social protection, as protracted crises continue for longer;
  3. Pushing for more radical reform of the international humanitarian system, to promote greater efficiency and more use of innovation, including working with the private sector on insurance and risk management.

The UK has strongly highlighted its willingness to lead international reform of humanitarian assistance, with Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel speaking at both the UN General Assembly and the Conservative party conference. In 2015, the UK’s humanitarian spending totaled £1.266 billion (US$1.94 billion), 16.5 % of its total Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Publication - DFID 

United Kingdom