Canada’s foreign minister announces new international peace initiatives

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, announced a comprehensive package of initiatives valued at CAD22.6 million (US$17.7 million) to advance international peace. The announcement was made at the close of the Oslo Forum, an annual event that convenes global leaders and peace process actors to discuss current practices in conflict mediation. The funding will support efforts to increase and improve women’s participation in peace processes, and foster inclusive dialogue. 

News release - Global Affairs Canada

Website - Oslo Forum 


EU approves security and resilience projects in West Africa

The European Commission has approved €88 million in new projects for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). The projects are designed to strengthen security, facilitate trade, and improve the resilience of the people of West Africa. The projects were approved by the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, at a meeting of the Strategic Orientation Committee of the European Development Fund (EDF) for West Africa.

The Strategic Orientation Committee aims to support the implementation of the Regional Indicative Programmes of the 10th and 11th European Development Funds, the latter of which has a budget of €1.15 billion for 2014-2020.

Press release - European Commission


EU provides €143 million to Nigeria

The European Commission has announced a €143 million assistance package to Nigeria to support recovery and reconstruction efforts in Borno State, which is suffering from a worsening humanitarian crisis as Boko Haram fighters escalate their assaults. More than 20,000 people have been killed and 2.7 million displaced as a result of violence in the area. The package combines short-term humanitarian assistance with longer-term development support, and is expected to help 1.3 million displaced people in and around Borno state with basic services and support future stability and growth.

News report - EurActiv


Think tank IDDRI releases report on how France can reach the 0.7% target

The Paris-based think tank Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) has co-authored a report with Global Health Advocates, analyzing the possibilities and challenges faced by France in reaching the 0.7% target. The report concludes that the French government could reach the target by 2022 or 2025, though this would depend significantly on strong, high-level political will. According to IDDRI, achieving the target will also require continuous engagement from NGOs, law makers, and the public. The report details feasible scenarios for increases in ODA funding, looking in particular at opportunities due to the French Financial Transaction Tax, and from budgetary allocations.

Report - IDDRI


South Korea to finance new University of Environment and Sustainable Development in Ghana

The South Korea Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) and Ghana’s Ministry of Education have taken initial steps to establish the University of Environment and Sustainable Development in Accra. The two partners agreed that South Korea’s Economic Development Co-operation Fund (EDCF), administered by the Eximbank, will provide US$70 million for the project. Programs will include a school of agriculture and agro-entrepreneurship, as well as a school of engineering and technology. The university is to be located in Bunso, Eastern Ghana, which does not currently have a full-scale public university.  

News article - Ghana Web

South Korea

Development assistance becomes subject of debate in German election campaign

Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged to increase development spending if her party (Conservatives; CDU/CSU) wins the federal elections in September 2017. She stated that this decision has already been agreed upon with Finance Minister Schäuble. Merkel's comments come after Vice-Chancellor Gabriel (Social Democrats; SPD) claimed that Germany should spend more on development to at least match the recent increases in Germany’s defense budget. According to Gabriel, who is also Foreign Minister, the defense budget will increase by 14% in the midterm while the development budget will see a 2% increase in the same time. In further response to Merkel's announcement, Gabriel called for a significant increase in funding to crisis prevention and development, especially in Africa. For every additional Euro to the defense budget, Gabriel suggested Germany invest at least €1.50 in development cooperation.

News article - US News                                    

News article - Spiegel Online (in German)



EU releases progress report on migration partnership framework

The European Commission and the High Representative/Vice-President of the Council of the EU have issued a progress report on the Partnership Framework of the European Agenda on Migration, to review progress made since its launch in June 2016. The report provides an analysis of lessons learned and examines how current approaches can be sustained to meet the goals of the European Council. It presents concrete results in priority countries – especially Niger, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and Ethiopia – which include strengthened dialogue and border control, and new EU Trust Fund for Africa projects focusing on agriculture, vocational training, youth employment, and sustainable migration management.

Press release- European Commission 


Canada to host Women Deliver Conference in 2019

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has announced that Canada will host the next Women Deliver Conference from June 3-6, 2019, in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Women Deliver Conference is held every three years, and brings together world leaders, government officials, parliamentarians, and representatives from civil society and the private sector to discuss gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Canada will also contribute CAD20 million (US$16 million) from 2017-2020 to support Women Deliver’s global advocacy programs to promote the health, rights, and well-being of women and girls.

In June 2017, Canada announced its new ‘Feminist International Assistance Policy’, which puts gender equality at the heart of its development assistance programming.

News article - Prime Minister's Office


Australia appoints first ambassador for regional health security

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced the appointment of Australia’s first-ever Ambassador for Regional Health Security, Mr Blair Exell. Mr Exell currently serves as First Assistant Secretary in the Development Policy Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. According to Bishop, the creation of the role is "an important step in reducing health security risks" to the region, and signals Australia’s commitment to leading in this area. The new role expands the responsibilities currently undertaken by the Australian Ambassador for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in order to “advance Australia’s interests” by focusing on the particular needs of the Indo-Pacific.

Press release - Minister for Foreign Affairs 

Australia Global health

South Korea and India sign US$10 billion funding agreement for infrastructure projects

South Korea and India have signed a US$10 billion agreement for infrastructure development in India, including investments in 'smart city' projects. The US$10 billion consists of US$9 billion in concessional credit and US$1 billion in Official Development Assistance (ODA). The move makes South Korea one of the first non-G7 countries to become an ODA donor to India.

News report – The Economic Times

South Korea