New Parliamentary State Secretaries to lead the German BMZ with Development Minister Müller

Since Wednesday, March 14, 2018, Germany is governed by a renewed ‘Grand Coalition’ of the conservative CDU/CSU and the Social Democrats (SPD). The Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) will continue to be headed by Minister Gerd Müller. Parliamentary State Secretary Friedrich Kitschelt will stay in the BMZ. His former colleagues Parliamentary State Secretaries Thomas Silberhorn and Hans-Joachim Fuchtel will be replaced by Maria Flachsbarth and Nobert Barthle. Both are new to the Ministry and have previously served in the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, respectively. Günther Nooke remains Chancellor Merkel’s Personal Representative for Africa in the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

Website - BMZ


European parliament issues guidelines for 2019 EU budget

The European Parliament has issued guidance on the 2019 EU budget to the European Commission. Among other things, Parliament calls for increased funding for Horizon 2020, the EU’s current research and innovation program. In a document that focuses mainly on internal EU concerns, the guidance also stresses that the EU should support its migration, refugee, and border management aims by demonstrating external solidarity for peace and prosperity in countries of origin and placing greater emphasis on investments and development policies, notably the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD), the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), and the Humanitarian Aid Instrument.

Website - European Parliament


Japan announces ¥240 million food assistance grant to Gambia

Japan has announced plans to contribute ¥240 million (US$2.3 million) in food assistance to the government of Gambia by providing 4,000 to 4,500 tons of rice in efforts to improve food security and the nutritional status of Gambians facing food shortages. This food assistance is part of Japan’s development funding promised to Africa at the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) held on August 27-28, 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Press-release – MOFA (in Japanese)

Japan Nutrition

AFD and FHF sign convention on hospital networks and partnerships

Rémy Rioux, Director General of the French Development Agency (AFD), and Frédéric Valletoux, President of the Hospital Federation of France (FHF),  have signed the convention "Project Hospital Networks and Partnerships 3" (PRPH 3). The agreement directs €3 million in grants for projects which aim to help improve the quality of care and management of hospitals in developing countries. This should be done by creating networks and partnerships between French and foreign hospitals (public or private). Geographic priorities include sub-Saharan Africa, and thematic priorities remain reproductive, maternal, neonatal, infant, and adolescent health.

Press release - Fédération hospitalière de France (in French)

France Global

Germany’s development cooperation will continue to focus on Africa under Development Minister Müller

German Development Minister Gerd Müller has said his second term will focus on addressing the “root causes of flight and migration” and the voluntary return of refugees to their countries of origin. He aims to do this mainly through the creation of jobs and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) opportunities. Müller will carry the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)’s initiative “Marshall Plan with Africa” forward and wants to intensify overall development cooperation with Africa through this mechanism.

Overall, the coalition agreement of the renewed ‘Grand Coalition’ commits to the 0.7% ODA/GNI target and promises a significant increase in funds for development cooperation, humanitarian assistance, and crisis prevention, in a 1:1 ratio to increased defense spending. It also commits to reaching the target of 0.15-0.2% for least developed countries (LDCs) as soon as possible. The financial plan for 2018-2021 (presented by the Cabinet in spring 2017) is to see an additional increase of €2 billion for defense and ODA (€1 billion for each).

News article – Augsburger Allgemeine (in German)
Coalition treaty (in German)


European Parliament votes on guidance for EU budget post-2020

The European Parliament will vote on a Budget Committee report to guide European Commission preparation of the EU's next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2028. This report, "Preparing the Parliament’s position on the MFF post-2020", specifies that external assistance should include programs and instruments supporting international cooperation and development; the European neighborhood; EU enlargement; humanitarian aid; democracy, rule of law, fundamental rights, and gender equality; and trade. This report provides an important signal regarding how the parliament views the future structure of EU development aid.

Website - European Parliament


KOICA opens online exhibition on history of Korean international development efforts

The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has opened an online exhibition center, through support from Google, introducing its decades-long history of development financing. The online site shows Korea’s history, featuring items and documents, both as a foreign aid recipient and provider. The exhibition also features information on Korean's employment overseas and the country's immigration history. Currently, the site is only available in Korean. 

News article - Yonhap News

South Korea

Sweden approves continued support to Oxfam for humanitarian assistance

The Swedish International development Agency, Sida, has approved a new three-year program for Oxfam for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The decision to provide new funding to Oxfam was put on hold in February 2018 pending a response from the organization on how they handle the cases of sexual exploitation within their organization. Oxfam has since been able to show that they have strong rules and routines in place that work in practice.

Sida’s support to Oxfam is for three years for a total of US$12.6 million (SEK104 million). The assistance is expected to reach over 280,000 people in five countries, namely: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Algeria, Central African Republic, and Chad.

Press release - Sida (in Swedish) 


European Development Commissioner shines light on EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to end violence against women and girls

Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Development and Cooperation, hosted a side event at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 62nd Session focused on ending violence against all women and girls. Mimica expressed his support for the UN’s Spotlight Initiative, to which the EU pledged €500 million in 2017.

Through the Spotlight Initiative, the EU hopes to reach the most remote and vulnerable areas, which traditional programs do not reach. High-level advocates invited to the event included UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, Under-Secretary-General & Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Secretary General of the European External Action Service Helga Schmid, and Presidential Secretary for Women of Guatemala Ana Leticia Aguilar Theissen.

Press release - European Commission


Dutch Development Ministry seeks input for new development policy

Sigrid Kaag, the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, has recently launched a consultation for the new policy document that will guide overall strategy, due in Spring 2018. In this document the Minister will set out priorities and focus areas for the upcoming years.

The consultation, which consists of 9 questions around development, is open to all, including international partners. The deadline for the consultation is March 22, 2018.

Press release - Dutch government (in Dutch)