AFD and FHF sign convention on hospital networks and partnerships

Rémy Rioux, Director General of the French Development Agency (AFD), and Frédéric Valletoux, President of the Hospital Federation of France (FHF),  have signed the convention "Project Hospital Networks and Partnerships 3" (PRPH 3). The agreement directs €3 million in grants for projects which aim to help improve the quality of care and management of hospitals in developing countries. This should be done by creating networks and partnerships between French and foreign hospitals (public or private). Geographic priorities include sub-Saharan Africa, and thematic priorities remain reproductive, maternal, neonatal, infant, and adolescent health.

Press release - Fédération hospitalière de France (in French)

France Global

UK and OCHA hold summit to raise funding to prevent famine in Somalia

International donors committed to supporting the humanitarian situation in Somalia during a High Level meeting in London co-hosted by the UK government and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The UK government didn't specify how much was raised, but said "with additional commitments made at this meeting, Somalia’s partners have now committed some $350 million USD to the Humanitarian Response for 2018", adding that "a number of key donors made clear their intention to confirm substantial new pledges in the next few weeks."

Mark Lowcock, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator commented that, while progress had been made, Somalia continued to face a crisis, unless "substantial new resources" could be found. The event was attended by 31 UN Member States, UN Agencies, international organizations, and non-governmental organisations. 

Press release - UK government 


Swedish Minister for Gender Equality appointed as new Deputy Executive Director of UN Women

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Åsa Regnér as Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, UN Women. Since 2014 Regnér has been the Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality in the Swedish Government. She has extensive experience in the area of gender equality and women’s empowerment, having held various leadership positions in government, NGOs, and the United Nations. She succeeds Lakshmi Puri of India, who served in this role at UN Women during the past eight years.

The government has appointed Lena Hallengren as the new Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality. Hallengren has announced that her main platform will be questions relating to the elderly and welfare support.

Press release – United Nations  

Press release – Swedish government (in Swedish)

Press release –Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish)

Global Sweden

Green Climate Fund to provide US$1 billion to help fight climate change

The Green Climate Fund (GCF), headquartered in South Korea, has agreed to provide US$1 billion to help developing countries mitigate the effects of climate change and to promote climate-resilient development. The funding will go towards 23 approved projects in Zambia, Brazil, Bangladesh, and Vietnam among others.

Press release - Green Climate Fund  

Global South Korea

Sahel Alliance pledges reach €6 billion for the 2018-2022 period

The Sahel Alliance was launched in Brussels during a High-Level Conference on the Sahel. The founding members of the Alliance (France, Germany, the EU, the WB, the AfDB, and UNDP) were joined by new members (Italy, Spain, and the UK) and Sahelian countries, and announced that €6 billion (US$5.4 billion) would be disbursed over the period 2018-2022.

These investments will support over 500 projects in the Sahel region, aiming at boosting development through the 6 priority pillars: youth employment, rural development and food security, energy and climate, governance, decentralization and access to basic services, and security. 12 of those projects were highlighted during the conference as flagship examples of what the Alliance’s approach will be. Project implementation will start rapidly, as the founding members have expressed that they are pushing for an element of fast impact, since there will be monitoring and evaluations carried out already in the first year of implementation.

Press release - World Bank


France Global

19 African and International NGOs offer a framework for the Sahel Alliance

A group of 19 African and international NGOs have backed a framework for the recently launched Sahel Alliance that guarantees sustainable change in Sahelian countries, fostering a paradigm shift in development cooperation. The proposal calls for the Alliance to follow a framework that would be structured around 1) Equal partnership between African and partner governments; 2) Transparency and accountability; 3) Improving the quality and quantity of financial resources; 4) Empowering women and girls; and 5) Organizing a 2018 Sahel Summit for announcements and the joining of a broader range of partners.

Press release - ONE

France Global

OECD releases study on SMEs and entrepreneurship

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released the study "Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 2018: An OECD Scoreboard", showing that small- and medium- sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly turning to alternative sources of financing. At the same time, new bank lending is declining in a number of countries. The study finds that many SMEs remain over-reliant on bank credit and the adoption of instruments other than conventional debt significantly varies from one country to another.

Study - OECD

France Global

GPE Financing Conference draws worldwide support and US$2.3 billion in funding

At the recent Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Financing Conference, co-hosted by Senegal and France, pledges reached a combined sum of US$2.3 billion, a marked increase from the US$1.3 billion contributed over the past three years.  Nonetheless, commitments fell short of the targeted US$3.1 billion.

The conference drew 1,200 participants, including heads of state, ministers, leaders from organizations such as UNICEF and UNESCO, and even the popstar Rihanna in her role as GPE’s Global Ambassador.

The largest source of financing came from developing nations themselves, with combined national increases in public funding for education reaching US$110 billion for the period 2018-2020. Beyond that, a series of substantial pledges came from donor countries, including:

  • A$90 million (US$68 million) commitment from Australia, in line with the country's goal of ensuring increasing numbers of children have access to education.
  • CAD180 million (US$138 million) from Canada, aimed at improving education for girls. An additional CAD59 million (US$45 million) was announced in funding to improve the public education system in Burkina Faso.
  • DKK1.2 billion (US$178 million) from Denmark to be provided over the period 2018-2021.
  • In a first for the GPE, an Arab and Middle East nation became a donor, with the United Arab Emirates pledging US$100 million.
  • €100 million (US$110 million) from the European Union, on top of a €375 million (US$414 million) pledge from 2014.
  • €25 million (US$27 million) from Ireland, doubling its previous pledge 
  • NOK2 billion (US$238 million) for the period 2018-2020 from Norway, with particular emphasis being placed on the inclusion of girls in education.

Press release - GPE 

Press release - GPE 

Global Education

Global development issues in the spotlight at Davos

A range of global development topics, including women’s empowerment, gender equality, development finance, global health, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were discussed at the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

Notably, the issue of women’s empowerment was discussed through an all-female panel of co-chairs, featuring IMF's Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, and CERN's Director General Fabiola Gianotti, among others. The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, chose the opportunity to speak on the topic, emphasizing the need for equality in education, before making a pledge of US$180 million to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

Global health was another topic which drew considerable attention, with focus being placed on pandemic preparedness and malaria eradication, bringing forth the announcement of a US$180 million commitment from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the cause.

Finally, the conference placed focus on the intersection between philanthropy and private sector undertakings, with the Blended Finance Task Force presenting a report examining the US$50 billion blended finance market, its opportunities, and  barriers to further mobilization of private capital for the SDGs.

News article – Devex

Global Education Global health

CSO alliance gets positioned around OECD’s new reporting code on migration and mobility

A group of civil society organizations working on development affairs worldwide – including the European development NGO confederation CONCORD, Care, and Oxfam, among others – has submitted a set of recommendations to the OECD offering feedback on a new purpose code for the “Facilitation of Orderly, Safe, Regular and Responsible Migration and Mobility”.  In a submission letter to the OECD, these organizations outlined several concerns regarding this new reporting code. They argue that, while increasing transparency of development financing flows, it may lead donor countries to report as ODA activities that actually serve their own interests rather than those of poor and vulnerable people. 

Letter - various NGOs