International NGO consortium launches new tool to track European DAH

Global Health Advocates France and Medical Mission Institute Würzburg, in collaboration with several NGOs, including Action for Global Health UK network, Results UK, and Save the Children UK, have launched a new tracking tool named 'ODA4Health'. Aimed at unpacking the flows of Development Assistance for Health (DAH) of the top four EU donors (the UK, France, Germany and the EU Institutions), the platform seeks to provide user-friendly information on the quantity and quality of foreign assistance for health.

So far, ODA4HEALTH has noted that 1) only one donor (the UK) is reaching the 0.1%/GNI target given by WHO DAH recommendations; 2) there is an increasing tendency to use loans or equity investments to support the health sector; and 3) it is very difficult to assess to what extent each donor is contributing to Universal Health Coverage (UHC), mainly due to a lack of detailed information.

The website will be updated regularly.

Website – ODA4Health

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Germany partners with Ivory Coast and Tunisia as part of G20 'Compact with Africa' initiative

German Development Minister Gerd Müller has signed the first reform partnerships with Ivory Coast and Tunisia during the fifth EU-Africa Summit held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast from November 29-30, 2017. The partnerships come under the G20 'Compact with Africa' initiative to promote private investment on the continent, as well as the development ministry's (BMZ’s) 'Marshall Plan with Africa' to increase economic growth and stability. 

The partnerships aim to improve the conditions for private foreign investment in the two countries and consequently drive economic growth and create jobs. In return, BMZ is supporting the countries to develop their financial systems and expand efforts in renewable energies. 

Press release - BMZ (in German)


Exploratory talks to form German government fail as FDP leader walks out

Exploratory talks between the German 'Jamaica' parties (the conservative CDU/CSU, market-liberal FDP and the Greens) have failed to result in the parties forming a government. Christian Lindner, head of the FDP, announced his parties’ withdrawal from the talks, citing an inability to find a common vision for the future of the country.

The failure to form a new government means that for the time being, Germany will continue to be governed by the grand coalition between CDU/CSU and SPD. Possible options going forward are a renewal of the grand coalition, a minority government led by Angela Merkel, or new elections. It is now on German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to decide on the upcoming process. President Steinmeir will meet with leaders from the CDU/CSU, FDP, Greens, and SPD to discuss possible solutions out of the current deadlock. If the parties do not come to an agreement, the President can dissolve the parliament and trigger new elections, expected to take place in early 2018. However, current polls show that new elections would result in very similar outcomes as the general elections did in September 2017. 

News article - The Guardian


VENRO publishes SEEK study on German ODA flows

German development-CSO umbrella body VENRO (Verband Entwicklungspolitik und Humanitäre Hilfe) has just published a study, authored by SEEK's Raimund Zühr, Alexander Reitzenstein, and Sabine Campe, on the future of Germany's official development assistance (ODA) funding flows.

The report's key message is that Germany needs to spend an additional €17.8 billion from 2018 to 2020 if it wants to maintain its level of ODA spending at the 0.7%-of-GNI target. 

Website - VENRO (in German)


Germany to increase support for Morocco's energy transition

At the UN Climate Conference (COP 23) in Bonn, Germany promised Morocco additional €357 million for the expansion of renewable energies. Most of the funding will come in the form of loans.

According to BMZ, Morocco is already pioneering "an African energy revolution'" with its focus on renewable energies and ambitious commitments to cut fossil fuel subsidies. 

Press release - BMZ (in German)


Germany co-launches global partnership against climate risks, pledges US$125 million in support

In cooperation with the UK and the World Bank, Germany has launched the 'InsuResilience Global Partnership for Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance Solutions', committing an initial US$125 million to the initiative. Announced at the 2017 UN Climate Conference (COP 23) in Bonn, the Global Partnership brings together G20 countries in partnership with the V20 nations, a group of 49 of the most climate-change vulnerable countries. The aim of the Global Partnership is to increase the resilience of developing countries and protect the lives and livelihoods of poor and vulnerable people against the impacts of climate change and natural disasters. 

Press release – BMZ


Germany gives additional €100 million to support developing countries in climate change adaptation

At the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 23) in Bonn, the German Federal Environment Ministry pledged €50 million to the global Adaptation Fund, which finances measures for coastal protection and switching to new agricultural cultivation methods. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) will contribute another €50 million to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDC Fund), which provides targeted support in climate change adaptation to the poorest countries.

Germany is now the largest donor to the Adaptation Fund, having contributed €240 million to date. 

Press release - BMZ


OECD DAC holds meetings in Paris to discuss ODA

The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) held key meetings this week at its headquarters in Paris, hosting delegations from the 30 richest donor countries to discuss the rules surrounding ODA. A number of controversial issues were debated, including 1) the amount of ODA that donors can spend on in-country refugee costs, 2) the cap on the amount of ODA that can be directed towards multilateral peacekeeping efforts in conflict-affected countries, and 3) how to measure ODA spent through blended finance mechanisms.

The UK in particular has been critical of existing ODA regulations, having previously suggested that it may pull out of OECD-DAC if rules surrounding spending on military and security costs remained unchanged.

News article - Devex

German development ministry and SEKEM cooperate to strengthen sustainable farming in Africa

German Development Minister Gerd Müller and Helmy Abouleish, CEO of the sustainable development organization SEKEM, have signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation on sustainable farming in Egypt. At a meeting in Cairo, the partners agreed that SEKEM will play a major role in establishing a research centre on sustainable farming practices in Africa. An initiative of the Development Ministry (BMZ), the centre will cooperate with German organic farming associations to improve rural development, protect natural resources, and create jobs. SEKEM and BMZ will collaborate on R&D efforts and facilitate an exchange of interns between partnering organizations.

Press release - BMZ


Germany calls for increase of capital stock and welcomes new women entrepreneurs initiative

The German government, represented by State Secretary Thomas Silberhorn,  welcomed the launch of the new Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative during the World Bank Annual Meetings in Washington, DC. The US-German initiative was supported by Chancellor Merkel during the G20 summit in Hamburg, and has already collected US$340 million to provide female entrepreneurs in developing countries with capital, market access, knowledge, and networks to start and grow their businesses. Funding and advice will be provided through the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.

During the Annual Meetings, Silberhorn further called for an increase in the capital stock of the World Bank Group. Due to low interest rates, the World Bank could be forced to cut back on programs in a context of growing global challenges, Germany argues. 

Press release – BMZ (in German)

Press release – BMZ (in German)