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French and German development agencies strengthen partnership

The director of the French development Agency (AFD) and Joachim Nagel of KfW, the German state-owned development bank, signed a memorandum of understanding reinforcing the cooperation between the two development institutions. The agreement aims to double the level of co-funding and the number of staff exchanges by 2022-2023.

The partnership sealed between AFD and KfW also provides for closer collaboration on several levels, concerning strategy, operations, knowledge-sharing, and joint communication. Both organization will jointly work effectiveness of foreign assistance, the international climate agenda, the environment, and the reinforcement of the European cooperation system. The partnership also considers further cooperation on geographic priorities - Africa and the Sahel in particular - and near neighbours in the Caucasus and Balkans.

Press release - French Development Agency

France Germany Global

Key Dutch partners on child marriage discuss progress on issue at the Hague

On April 1 key partners working on the issue of child marriage in the Netherlands came together in the Hague to discuss progress on the last three years of implementation of the main Dutch-funded programs. The event marked three years since the partnership 'Girls not Brides Netherlands' was formed and happened under the auspices of Princess Mabel van Oranje and Mette Gonggrijp, director general of the Development Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They both received midterm evaluations of the programs that were the result of consulting thousands of girls across 17 countries. 

Twitter account - NL Women's Right's (Official Twitter account of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Women's Rights & Gender Equality Taskforce)

Global Netherlands

Swedish government website on sex education website proves successful in the Middle East

'Youmo.se', a website commissioned by the Swedish government to provide online sex education support and information for young people who are seeking asylum or have recently sought asylum in Sweden, has shown promising results in 2018. Run by the company Inera, it offers information about the body, sex, and relationships in several languages including Somali, Dari, and Arabic. An analysis of the website traffic for 2018 found that over 80% of the visitors to the website were outside Sweden. The highest number of visitors came from Iran, while the most visited page was the Arabic-language page on the vulva and the vagina. 

According to Swedish Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Lindhagen, these results show that Sweden has an important role to play in sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the site is a good complement to Sweden's project work in this area. 

Radio Interview - Swedish Radio (in Swedish)

UK's Overseas Development Institute publishes 'Principled Aid Index'

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI), a UK-based think tank, has published an index that ranks donors of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee according to how much their funding abroad focuses on poverty-alleviation and other factors over "short-sighted domestic return". The 'Principled Aid Index' assesses factors such as how much of a donor's assistance goes to the poorest countries, how much support goes to multilaterals to encourage global cooperation, and how much assistance is formally tied to trade. Luxembourg ranked first, followed by the United Kingdom and Sweden. 

Report - ODI

Data dashboard/infographic - ODI

Global

Dutch minister of Education and civil servants reflect on last Commission on the Status of Women

Dutch Education Minister Ingrid van Engulshoven described in an article in the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant the outcome of the meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women, which concluded at the United Nations headquarters in New York on March 23. She said that the outcome document of the meeting was "Something better than we had initially hoped for" given opposition from a conservative coalition formed by the US, Russia, the Vatican, and Islamic countries.

Other views and relevant news for the Netherlands coming from CSW were also shared widely by other ministerial staff members on their Twitter accounts, including Mette Gonggrijp, director of social development, and Hinke Nauta, coordinator of the Taskforce for Women's Rights and Gender Equality.

News article - De Volkskrant (in Dutch)

Twitter Accounts - Mette Gonggrijp; Hinke Nauta

Global Netherlands

Women’s quality higher education will be on the agenda for G20 summit in Osaka

The fifth World Assembly for Women (WAW!) and Women 20 (W20), one of the group of 20 (G20) engagement groups established to make recommendations to G20, convened in Tokyo, Japan. At the meeting, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emphasized the importance of diversity and women’s empowerment to solve multiple social issues.

Abe also announced that the government of Japan would support at least 4 million women living in developing countries to attain high-quality education or skill development until 2020. In addition, in the coming G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan will address women’s education in developing countries as an agenda item.

Programme of the 5th WAW!/W20

Summary of the 5th WAW!/W20 (in Japanese)

Statement – Shinzo Abe (in Japanese)

Global Japan Education

Donors raise almost US$7 billion in development assistance for Syria

International donors have pledged close to US$7 billion for the victims of the Syrian war at a donor conference in Brussels. The money will be spent on food, medical products, and education. More than half the funding is earmarked for the support of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries.

According to the United Nations (UN), although the money raised exceeds expectations, US$7.8 billion in total is needed to meet the needs of Syria and its neighboring countries. 90% of the money is provided by only 10 countries and Germany is the second largest donor, providing €1.4 billion (US$1.6 billion) over the next three years.

News article – Deutsche Welle

Press release – Federal Foreign Ministry

Germany Global

Dutch minister calls for increased support of women in the fight against climate change

On the occasion of International Women's Day, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag and Costa Rican Minister for Environment and Energy Carlos Manuel Rodríguez co-wrote an article calling for increased support of women in the fight against climate change, highlighting a coalition of countries and institutions that are making women a priority.

Kaag and Rodríguez serve as co-chairs of the National Development Contributions Partnership (NDC Partnership), which works with national governments, international institutions, civil society, researchers, and the private sector to fast-track climate and development action. According to the article, gender-responsive NCDs allow countries  to "develop climate-related policies, programs, and budgets with the power to address existing gender inequalities from the outset".

News article - Medium

Global Netherlands Agriculture

Dutch parliament debates the future of development cooperation and MFF

In a dynamic and well-attended meeting, Dutch members of parliament (MPs) and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag discussed the role that the EU should play in the future with regards to development cooperation. Topics of discussion included the Multiannual Financial Framework, the EU's long-term budget, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Attendees also debate policy on education, shrinking civic spaces, climate change, and migration. 

The full debate can be watched here.

Debate page - Dutch Parliament (in Dutch)

Global Netherlands

The Netherlands provides emergency assistance to Yemen

Sigrid Kaag, Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation, participated in an international conference in Geneva where she announced that her Cabinet will devote €13 million (US$15 million) in life-saving humanitarian support for Yemen. The funding is to be spent through United Nations (UN) and Dutch organizations on food, medical care, water, and sanitation, among other basic needs.

Kaag is also taking the lead in mobilizing support for mental health and psychosocial support in crisis situations. She is organizing an international conference on the topic in Amsterdam in October. The Netherlands supports the political process with the goal of peace and reconstruction of the country under the leadership of the UN, which has declared Yemen the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.

News article - Government of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Global Netherlands