Sida hosts launch of two global education reports

On December 11, the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) hosted the launch of the World Bank's 2018 World Development Report and UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM). The focus of both reports and the discussions that followed was on the ‘global learning crisis’ and the need for improved accountability on equitable education. To date, the focus within education has been on enrollment and attendance, two indicators that have seen great improvements. However, the challenge now is to ensure that students in poor settings are receiving quality education.

Sida’s Director General Carin Jämtin made opening and closing remarks, emphasizing that Sweden will be maintaining a high level of financial commitment at the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) replenishment conference in February 2018. 

Website - Sida (in Swedish)

News article - Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish)


French ministers support a European financial transaction tax

Four French ministers have expressed their willingness to support the introduction of a Europe-wide financial transaction tax (FTT) in order to help developing countries mitigate the impacts of climate change. France already makes use of a national FTT, which brings in about €1.5 billion in revenue a year. Half of this is allocated to the fight against global poverty and climate change. 

According to Minister of Ecological and Solidarity Transition Nicolas Hulot, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire, and Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation Frédérique Vidal, resources from a European FTT would be directed towards helping the world’s poorest to adapt to climate change. This would add up to €5 billion in assistance for developing countries per year by 2020, with at least €1 billion being used to fund mitigation efforts.

Op-ed – Le JDD (in French)


EDTCP calls for 2018 nominations recognizing outstanding contributions to health research

The European and Developing countries Clinical Trial Partnership (EDCTP) is seeking nominations recognizing outstanding individuals and research teams from Africa and Europe who have made significant contributions to health research in the following categories:

  • Scientific leadership;
  • Outstanding female scientist;
  • Outstanding research team;
  • The Dr. Pascoal Mocumbi Prize for scientists, policy-makers, or advocates for health and research aged 51 years and above.

In addition to scientific excellence, the awardees will have made major contributions to the EDCTP objectives of strengthening clinical research capacity in Africa, and supporting networking between developing and developed countries.

Nominations are open until February 28, 2018, 17:00 CET.

Website – EDCTP

Norway pledges additional US$5 million to UN's emergency response

Norway has pledged to increase its annual contribution to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) from US$47 million to US$52 million for the next four years. According to Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide, this will increase predictability for partner organizations and make humanitarian operations funded by Norway more efficient.

The UN has recently called for US$22.5 billion in funding to meet the needs of humanitarian operations in 2018. The CERF is an important part of the international first-line response to crises. 

Press release - Government of Norway (in Norwegian)


EDCTP and GHIT announce new partnership supporting product-development research

The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT) and the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) have announced a new partnership to support product-development research. The partners’ first action will be to co-fund a clinical study that examines the use of a new tablet formulation to treat schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease, in preschool-aged children.

According to the announcement, EDCTP and GHIT are looking forward to co-funding research of mutual interest. Both organizations share a common funding scope covering HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and poverty-related infectious diseases.

Website – EDCTP

EU-Africa summit 2017 declaration published

The joint EU-Africa declaration resulting from the recent EU-Africa Summit, held from November 29-30, 2017 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, under the overarching theme of 'Investing in Youth for a sustainable future', is now online. It notes four strategic priorities for the period leading up to the next summit, likely to be held within three years' time:

  • Investing in people – education, science, technology and skills development;
  • Strengthening resilience, peace, security and governance;
  • Migration and mobility;
  • Mobilizing investments for African structural and sustainable transformation.

Website – Africa-EU Partnership


Norway calls for creation of UN summit on tax and financial transparency

The Secretary General of Norwegian Church Aid, Anne-Marie Helland, has called for the creation of a Norwegian-initiated UN summit on tax and financial transparency. The summit would be the first step towards ensuring a fairer global tax system, to which developing states currently lose over US$200 billion a year. Helland urged the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide, to increase efforts to strengthen tax institutions, and claimed that there will be strong support for such an initiative from both civil society and the private sector.

News article - Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)


Ibero-American summit in 2018 to focus on SDGs

Spanish foreign minister Alfonso Dastis participated in a  meeting of the General Secretariat for Ibero-America held in La Antigua, Guatemala, where foreign ministers from Spain, Portugal, Andorra, and Latin American countries agreed to focus the next Ibero-American Summit on the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda. The event takes place in Guatemala in November 2018 under the title, 'For a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable Ibero-America'.

Press release - MAEC (in Spanish)


CGD releases research on link between contraception and women’s empowerment

At the Annual Birdsall House Conference on Women, held in Washington on December 7, 2017, the Centre for Global Development (CGD) released five new publications on various topics related to family planning, and women and girls. Under the theme of 'Reproductive Choices to Life Chances', the research focuses on the link between contraception and women's economic empowerment. Speakers at the conference included Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, and Dr. Joyce Banda, Former President of Malawi.

A recording of the conference is available online along with the new publications. 

Website - CDG

United States

Spain and the EU join forces on violence against women in Guatemala

Spanish Secretary of State for International Cooperation and Ibero-America Fernando García Casas, and EU ambassador to Guatemala Stefano Gatton, signed an agreement to join forces in the fight against violence against women in Guatemala. The agreement includes a joint cooperation program, which will be funded both by the EU (€15 million) and Spain (€1.6 million). The program, which will be implemented by Spanish development agency AECID, aims to promote effective measures to prevent violence against women and girls, and to improve the quality of services offered to victims of violence. 

Press release - MAEC (in Spanish)