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Spain-African Union women's empowerment fund presents summary report on activities

 The Spain-African Union New Partnership for Africa Development's (NEPAD) joint fund on women's empowerment has presented its final report on its activities and achievements. It found that since its creation in 2017, the fund has supported more than one million women through 79 development-cooperation programs implemented in 38 African countries. With €20 million in funding, disbursed entirely by the Spanish development agency AECID, the fund mostly focused on fostering women’s economic progress, strengthening gender-based CSOs, and preventing violence against women and girls. 

Press release - AECID (in Spanish)

Spain

ECDPM publishes dossier on gender perspective in development cooperation

The European Centre on Development Policy and Management (ECDPM) has collected its work on gender and development cooperation in a new dossier. The dossier seeks to lend a gender perspective to a range of topics in international development policy, with a focus on 1) peace and security, 2) business, trade and finance, and 3) agriculture, nutrition, and climate change. It also includes an 'other' category with research on engaging boys and men in gender equality initiatives, and gender-related budgeting in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Newsletter and website – ECDPM

EU

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

EU France Germany United Kingdom

French President Macron's 'One Planet' summit achieves concrete commitments to fight climate change

The One Planet Summit, hosted in Paris on December 12, 2017 by French President Emmanuel Macron, the UN, and the World Bank, gathered over 54 heads of state, private-sector companies, and international organizations to discuss the use of financing in the fight against climate change. A number of concrete new commitments were made. 

The World Bank announced that it will stop financing oil and gas exploration and exploitation after 2019; a coalition of sovereign wealth funds (from Norway, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and New Zealand) pledged to work together to 'green' their portfolios; and philanthropists Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson pledged to increase the share of their actions in favor of the climate, with Bill Gates allocating US$300 million to fund programs on climate change and its impact on agriculture.

News article – Le Monde (in French)

France

European Commissioner launches global alliance to fight violence against women

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Council of Europe, the European Commission, and UN Women have launched an alliance to tackle violence against women and girls at a global level. In a joint statement, Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, reemphasized the EU’s commitment to take concrete actions to end violence against women.

Building on the OECD's Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI), the alliance will collaborate on collecting data for indicators of SDG 5: 'Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls'. These results will provide data on legal frameworks that will help countries adapt their policy responses to effectively address domestic violence, sexual harassment, and rape.

Press release – EU

EU

Sida signs new financial guarantee agreement with World Bank

The Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) signed a new agreement with the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) to provide financial guarantees that will enable large, sustainable infrastructure investments in low-income countries. The financial guarantees will be provided to two of the world’s largest insurance companies, Allianz and Eastspring Investments (Prudential), enabling them to lend up to SEK8.6 billion (US$1 billion) to developing countries for sustainable infrastructure projects. The IFC will manage the loans and monitor the investments. 

IFC and Sida will jointly share the risk for the non-repayment of loans. Sida’s guarantee is valued at SEK535 million (US$65 million), although it is estimated that little or none of this will need to be paid out.

Press release - Sida (in Swedish)

Sweden

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)

Sweden

EU urges swift implementation of updated 'Aid for Trade' strategy

EU development ministers adopted conclusions urging swift implementation of an updated EU 'Aid for Trade (AfT)' strategy, which aims to raise countries’ productive capacity and tackle poverty through trade. The updated EU strategy aims to improve developing-country integration into the international trading system; enable trade and investment to help reduce poverty; improve complementarity of trade and development policies; enhance allocations to least-developed countries, countries experiencing fragility and affected by conflict; increase synergies between the development financing tools used by the EU and its Member States to promote aid for trade; and enhance the impact of aid-for-trade programs through greater engagement with the private sector, civil society, and local authorities.

In 2015, the EU and member states committed more than €13 billion in foreign assistance in support of trade and productive capacities.

Source: Website – EU

Weblinks: www.consilium.europa.eu/media/32047/st15656en17.pdf; http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-15573-2017-INIT/en/pdf

EU

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)

France

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

EU