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

Oxfam France publishes proposal on French international development policy

Oxfam France participates in a joint effort -- under the Etats Généraux de l’Alimentation (EGA) -- to influence French international assistance policy, specifically with regards to food security. The EGA gathers agricultural organizations, private companies, governmental actors, and CSOs working on food-related issues to advocate that the French Ministry of Agriculture adopt policies that strengthen food sovereignty through local agriculture development and agroecology.

Oxfam and various CSOs have put forth policy proposals online, which can be voted on by the general public.

Publication - Etats Généraux de l’Alimentation (in French)

France Agriculture Nutrition

Former French culture minister elected Director General of UNESCO

Former French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay has been nominated the new Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) by the organization’s executive board. She replaces outgoing Director General Irina Bokova. Azoulay's nomination comes at a difficult time for UNESCO, with the US's recent withdrawal of its membership due to a perceived “anti-Israel bias” within the organization. French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Le Drian reiterated support for Azoulay and UNESCO's mission, stating that “France promotes strong and responsible multilateralism capable of meeting the challenges of our time”.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in French)


Norway’s total commitments to women's health and safety reaches US$89 million

The Norwegian government has proposed an increase in earmarked support to women's health and safe abortion of US$2.2 million for 2018. This will go to UNFPA and other international organisations that have a strong track record of results. The funding is in on top of the ‘She Decides’ commitment and brings the total support for women's health and safe abortion in the period 2017 to 2020 to US$89 million.

Website - Norwegian Government (in Norwegian)


Norwegian Liberal Party and the Christian Democratic Party announce budget negotiations to begin in the beginning of November

Leading Norwegian political parties the Christian Democratic Party and the Liberal Party are engaging in budget negotiations following parliament entering session. Christian Democrats aim to increase allocations for families, schools, and development assistance. The party claims that there is a gap of US$21 million to reach the target of spending %1 of gross national income (GNI) on Official Development Assistance (ODA), as Norwegian GNI has increased more than the ODA budget. The party will prioritize health and education in developing countries, which results in the highest development impact.

The Liberal Party will push for more efforts within climate and environmental measures to incentivize people to make sustainable choices.

News report – Norge idag (in Norwegian)


Japan announces ¥320 million grant to Benin as part of TICAD VI commitment

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that it will provide a ¥320 million grant (US$2.6 million) to the government of Benin as part of its commitment made at the 2016 Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI). The grant will be used to strengthen food security and improve malnutrition and poverty levels in the country, which is currently facing severe food shortages.

Press release – MOFA (in Japanese)

Japan Nutrition

Norway's 2018 budget proposal includes increase of ODA funding by US$161 million

The ODA budget proposed to the Norwegian parliament on October 12, 2017 includes an increase of US$161 million, resulting in a total of US$4.35 billion for ODA overall. Efforts to achieve the SDGs have been strengthened. The budget priorizes education, health, climate, sustainable energy, job creation, and humanitarian development, and has a geographic focus on vulnerable states.

Website - Norwegian Government (in Norwegian)


Norway proposes historic level of ODA to health and education in 2018 budget

The Norwegian government considers education and health prerequisites for sustainable development and poverty alleviation. It has thus proposed an increase in contributions in its latest ODA budget to global health of US$50 million, and additional support for education of US$23.6 million. This leads to a historically high level of funding dedicated to global health and education of US$950 million.

Website - Norwegian Government (in Norwegian)