French NGOs call President Macron to help fully fund the Global Fund

Ten French non-governmental organizations (NGOs) published an open editorial on the France Info website to call on French President Emmanuel Macron to mobilize his counterparts to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. The NGOs who signed the editorial are Doctors of the World, Aides, Global Health Advocates, ONE, Sidaction, Equilibres & Populations, Coalition Plus, Solidarité Sida, Solthis, and Planning familial. The NGOs formally made their request on World AIDS Day on December 1, 2018, 300 days before the Global Fund replenishment France will host on October 10, 2019, in Lyon.

NGOs have also set up a petition on calling for an increase in funding for the three pandemics.

Editorial - France info website (in French) 


Canadian government supports Oxfam Canada in empowering women and girls in east and southern Africa

With CAD20 million (US$15 million) support from the Canadian government, Oxfam Canada is launching 'Her Future, Her Choice', a program to empower women and girls to claim their sexual and reproductive health rights in Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia. In these nations, teen birthrates are among the highest in the world, a danger to the health of young girls. The program will partner with local youth and women’s rights organizations to address issues of gender inequity, discrimination, and barriers that prevent women and girls from exercising their rights. Oxfam Canada is intending to reach 250,000 women and girls and 90,000 men and boys with the program.

News release—Oxfam Canada

Former Australian foreign affairs ministers call for increase in Australian development assistance

Gareth Evans and Bob Carr, two former Australian foreign affairs ministers in Labor Party governments have called on the Labor Party to commit to an international development assistance target of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI).  Evans believes that Labor needs to strengthen Australia's role in promoting development. A 'Labor for Aid' group has called on the party's annual conference, commencing on December 16, 2018, to commit to the 0.7% target.

Media report - The Guardian Australia


Prime minister of Canada announces senior staff changes in public service

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, announced the following changes to senior members of the Public Service. Timothy Sargent, currently deputy minister for international trade, will become deputy minister of fisheries and oceans; John Hannaford, currently foreign and defense policy advisor, will become deputy minister for international trade; and the associate deputy minister of foreign affairs, David Morrison, will become the foreign and defence policy advisor to the prime minister. All position changes will take effect on January 7, 2019.

Media release—Prime Minister of Canada  


Dutch Prime Minister Rutte reaffirms commitment to addressing climate change at COP24 in Poland

Mark Rutte, prime minister of the Netherlands, delivered a speech during the opening of the 26th United Nations Conference on Climate Change, which takes place from December 2 to 14, 2018, in Katowice, Poland.

In his address, Rutte highlighted the need to bring back the spirit of Paris, the precedent conference, in which all world leaders agreed to keeping global warming below two degrees celsius. He announced his country's intention of raising the bar high on targets for CO2 emissions, with a targeted reduction of 55 per cent by 2030, provided that the rest of EU partners do the same.

Rutte also mentioned the 160 million euro Fund for Climate and Development, recently launched by his country, to help developing countries fight and adapt to climate change.

Speech - Government of the Netherlands


US President Trump to nominate State Department spokesperson as UN Ambassador

US President Donald Trump has announced his intent to nominate Heather Nauert as the next UN Ambassador. Nauert, who currently holds the position of spokesperson at the US State Department, would replace Nikki Haley, who announced her departure in October. Nauert, a former Fox News anchor and correspondent, joined the State Department one year ago without any previous government experience.  Her nomination is subject to confirmation by the US Senate. 

News article - The Washington Post

United States

JICA and Madagascar to cooperate in improving nutrition for women and children

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Madagascar have signed a record of discussions on a technical cooperation project to improve nutrition for women and children in Madagascar. The project is set to start in 2019 for the duration of five years and aims to strengthen multi-sectoral coordination, government agencies' capacity to promote good nutrition, improve monitoring and evaluation, and strengthen nutritional status through agriculture. 

Press release - JICA

Japan Agriculture Nutrition

UK project in Ghana has reduced reports of domestic violence by 50%

A new project to tackle violence against women in rural areas of Ghana, funded by UK development assistance, has reduced reports of violence by 50% in the communities where it has been piloted. So-called community-based action teams (Combat) have been piloted in 20 rural communities in Ghana and are part of a wider effort to test strategies for tackling domestic violence in 13 countries. The initiative highlights a woman's right to live free from violence as Combat volunteers, working alongside religious and community leaders, challenge the attitudes that normalize abuse in their villages.

News article – The Telegraph

United Kingdom

Former British ambassador appointed new Chair of OECD Development Assistance Committee

The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC), the international body that sets the rules on international development spending, has appointed Susanna Moorehead as the new Chair of the Committee. In an interview with Devex, Moorehead, the former British ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti, noted that she will continue her predecessor’s (Charlotte Petri Gornitzka) push to modernize the DAC and make it more inclusive, and is eager to engage in a broader debate about ODA-eligibility with regards to using development assistance as a catalyst for other sources of financing.

News article – Devex

Press release – OECD 

Global United Kingdom

Australian government confirms DFAT to administer concessional loan program for infrastructure in the Pacific

Senator Anne Ruston, Australia's assistant minister for international development and the Pacific, has announced the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) will administer the recently announced A$2 billion (US$1.5 billion) Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific. Finance sector expertise is expected to be contracted in to run the program.

News article - The Australian