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US reauthorizes Global Food Security law

US President Trump signed the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act, recommitting the US to its 'Feed the Future' program to help alleviate global poverty, hunger, and malnutrition. USAID Administrator Mark Green released a statement commending the bipartisan work of Congress and noting that reauthorization was necessary given the rise of hunger globally. According to Green, the new act "demonstrates the US' strong commitment to empowering smallholder farmers and strengthening communities and economies to protect and accelerate their progress on their journey to self-reliance." 

Press release - USAID

Norwegian increases support for climate-adapted agriculture

According to its new budget, Norway will increase support for food security and climate-smart agriculture by US$7.1 million (NOK 60 million) in 2019. The increase will be earmarked to support vulnerable areas that are severely affected by climate change. According to Norwegian Development Minister Nikolai Astrup, climate adjustment is a prerequisite for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Norway is contributing to it through agricultural guidance, the development of soils that can tolerate more drought or excessive precipitation, and support for fertilizer and irrigation, safer storage, and access to markets.

 Press release - Norwegian government (in Norwegian)

Norway prioritizes women’s rights and equality in 2019 development budget

The Norwegian government has proposed a US$119-million (NOK 1 billion) grant to women's rights and equal opportunities in its 2019 development assistance budget. The funds will be used for measures to improve women's and maternal health, through health care and other development policy efforts that strengthen women's rights. This includes core contribution to UN Women's Rights and Equity Organization (UN Women), UN Populations Fund (UNFPA), and various targeted gender equality measures. Equality and women's rights are goals in themselves, but the government states that succeeding in these areas is also important for other Sustainable Development Goals.

The core of Norway's work for gender equality is sexual and reproductive health and rights, including family planning, maternity health, and safe and legal abortions. 

Press release - Norwegian government (in Norwegian)

Norway to increase development spending by US$2.5 billion in 2019

In its 2019 development budget, Norway has proposed spending US$4.5 billion (NOK37.8 billion) on development assistance, corresponding to about 1% of Norway’s Gross National Income and NOK2.5 billion more than in 2018. To increase the effectiveness of Norway’s efforts, the government has chosen to concentrate on:

  • Education
  • Business development
  • Agriculture and renewable energy
  • Climate change, environment and oceans,
  • Humanitarian action.

Around US$2.7 billion (NOK23 billion; 60%) of the development budget will be allocated to these areas.

Press release - Norwegian government

Japan gives US$39 million to improve roads for Japanese communities in Bolivia

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed an agreement with Bolivia to provide up to ¥4.2 billion (US$39 million) to improve roads and replace a bridge in Santa Cruz, the country's largest agricultural region. The area is home to two Japanese-Bolivian communities.

Press release - JICA

Japan Agriculture

US House Foreign Affairs Committee reauthorizes the Global Food Security Act

With bipartisan support, the US House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) passed a bill reauthorizing the Global Food Security Act, which stipulates the development and implementation of a comprehensive, whole-of-government strategy to combat hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. In approving the bill, HFAC Chairman Ed Royce stated that "Congress is taking a big, bipartisan step forward to provide relief. Reauthorizing and strengthening the Global Food Security Act will save lives and break down barriers to agriculture-led economic growth in the developing world. It will allow us to stretch our dollars further, and deliver the right response, at the right place, at the right time. It will provide poor farmers overseas, particularly women, new opportunities."

The bill has already passed the Senate.

Press release - HFAC

United States Agriculture Nutrition

Spain to strengthen cooperation with multilateral institutions working on nutrition and rural development

Spanish development agency (AECID) Director Aina Calvo went to Rome to meet with the head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, to strengthen collaboration between both institutions and to prepare the Parliamentarian Global Summit Against Hunger and Malnutrition taking place in Madrid October 29-30, 2018. 

Press release - AECID (in Spanish)

Spain Agriculture Nutrition

Japan's development agency signs US$50-million loan agreement with Brazilian grain company

The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed a US$50-million loan agreement with major Brazilian agribusiness, Amaggi Exportação e Importação Ltda. The loan will be invested in a JICA project that aims to reinforce agricultural supply chains, and will support the company's activities in improving the infrastructure for grain transport in the north-east of the country, as well as small- to medium- scale farmers.

Press release - JICA (in Japanese)

Japan Agriculture

Australian foreign minister announces expansion of Pacific Labour Scheme

Australian foreign minister Marise Payne announced that the Pacific Labour Scheme, which allows Pacific workers to undertake non-seasonal work in rural and regional Australia, is being expanded to include Samoa, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands. The scheme has already provided job and remittance opportunities for over 25,000 workers from the Pacific and Timor Leste since 2012. It is an "integral" component of Australia's efforts to strengthen the region's economic resilience and to promote greater cooperation.

Press release - Department of Foreign Affairs

Australia Agriculture

UK to help boost productivity in the farming sector in Africa

UK international development secretary Penny Mordaunt has announced a new push by the Department for International Development (DFID) to help transform the agricultural sector in Africa in order to improve food security and reduce poverty. Two-thirds of people living in extreme poverty work in the agricultural sector and most of them are women, according to the World Bank.

In order to enhance productivity in the sector, DFID will provide an additional £13 million (US$17 million) to the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed) to develop seven new livestock vaccines for major neglected tropical diseases that often hinder farmers from expanding livestock production. DFID will provide £55 million (US$74 million) to AgDevCo, a UK-based nonprofit investment organization that gives early stage funding to agricultural businesses in Africa in order to assist with  expansion and improve their commercial viability. £20 million (US$26 million) will go to the Food, Trade and Resilience Program, co-funded with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with the aim of increasing the incomes of 1.8 million farming families by supporting companies who source, process, and trade food across African borders. 

Press release - UK government

United Kingdom Agriculture