CSOs release C20 policy pack ahead of G20 Osaka Summit

The Civil 20 (C20) Summit, a side event to the Group of 20 (G20) Osaka Summit convened by civil society organizations (CSOs), has released its 2019 policy pack. Papers include anti-corruption; education; environment, climate, and energy; gender; global health; infrastructure; international financial architecture; labor, business and human rights; 'Local2Global'; and trade and investment. 

C20 representatives handed over the policy pack to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on April 18, 2019. The G20 Osaka Summit will be held on June 28-29, 2019.

Policy Proposal - C20 Policy Pack 2019

Official website – C20 Summit 2019

Press release – MOFA (in Japanese)

EU, FAO, and WFP report acute hunger affecting over 100 million people

A report presented jointly by the European Union, the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) finds that 113 million people in 53 countries experienced acute food insecurity in 2018, compared to 124 million in 2017. The number of people facing food crises is down slightly from 2017; however, there have been more than 100 million people facing food crises for three years, and the number of countries affected has risen. Moreover, an additional 143 million people in another 42 countries are just one step away from facing acute hunger.

Climate and natural disasters pushed 29 million people into acute food insecurity in 2018. The report calls for stronger links between prevention, preparedness, and response to address urgent humanitarian needs and root causes, which include climate change, economic shocks, and conflict and displacement, as well as a unified approach across humanitarian and development actions, with more investment in conflict mitigation and sustainable peace.

Press release – European Commission

EU Nutrition

Norway channels more than half of ODA to multilaterals

In 2017, Norway channeled 54% of its official development assistance (ODA) through multilateral organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the World Bank, multilateral funds, and regional development banks. This is a 14 percent-point increase from 2000, when the share was 40%.

Within multilateral ODA, 45% of ODA was channeled through multilateral organizations as core contributions and 55% was earmarked for specific countries or sectors. Of earmarked funding, 61% was regionally or country split, while the rest went to global initiatives or funds. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, as well as new financing mechanisms for the environment and climate are examples of key thematic inititatives to which Norway is a significant funder.

Press release - Government of Norway (in Norwegian)

UK launches £3 million challenge fund to improve nutrition in Africa

The UK's Department for International Development (DFID) has announced it is making £3 million (US$3.9 million) available to UK and African organizations that are able to demonstrate innovation boosting agricultural and food systems in Africa. The competition, part of the Agri-Tech Catalyst supporting projects that have a positive impact on poverty through agricultural innovation, is run by Innovate UK, the UK Government’s Innovation Agency, and DFID. The competition opens on April 1, 2019, with a deadline of May 29, 2019.

Press release - DFID

Norway highlights World Bank's essential role in multilateral cooperation during recent meetings in Iceland

Norwegian Minister of Development Dag-Inge Ulstein met Nordic and Baltic counterparts and World Bank President Kristalina Georgieva in Iceland.

One of the topics discussed was the upcoming replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank. Norway emphasized that the World Bank is a key driver of multilateral cooperation and one of Norway's most important partners in eliminating poverty and contributing to inclusive and sustainable growth. 

News update - Norwegian government (in Norwegian)

Official development assistant reform in Norway still on hold after 10 months

10 months after the former Norwegian Minister of Development, Nikolai Astrup, launched a development assistance reform, there is still no further clarification on the division of roles and responsibilities between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Norad, Norway's development agency. One month into his tenure as the Norwegian Minister of Development, Dag-Inge Ulstein, met with colleagues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Norad and confirmed that he needs more time to decide on the way forward, although the government's platform will guide their work.

News article - Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Australia considering new health security activities in Pacific and Southeast Asia

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is preparing to call for proposals to address health security issues in the Pacific and South East Asia. DFAT has identified priorities areas including health workforce, laboratory strengthening, incident management, public health surveillance and health information systems, anti-microbial resistance and infection control, and vector control. The process is drawing on scoping missions undertaken in 2018 and domestic consultative workshops.  A subsequent 'request for tender' is expected within in the first half of 2019.  

Australia has reduced its development assistance for health significantly in recent years, but the government supports a regional health security agenda, with funding and political support coming from outside official development assistance. 

Website - DFAT

UK pledges additional £200 million in humanitarian assistance for Yemen

The Department for International Development has announced an additional £200 million (US$269 million) in humanitarian assistance for Yemen ahead of the High-Level Pledging Conference for Yemen organized by the Swedish and Swiss Governments on February 26, 2019 in Geneva. UK humanitarian aid will help feed millions of people in Yemen and provide water and sanitation.  Since the start of the four-year conflict, the UK has committed £770 million (US$1 billion) in humanitarian assistance to Yemen.

Press release – DFID 

United Kingdom Nutrition

Japan announces ¥891 million support in food assistance to Yemen

Japan will contribute ¥891 million (US$8 million) in food assistance to support approximately 9 million people who are in severe food shortage and 3 million people suffering from severe under-malnutrition in Yemen. The support will be channeled through the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Press release – MOFA (in Japanese)

Japan Agriculture Nutrition

UK investing £20.5 million in early childhood development research

UK Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt has announced the launch of a new UK-funded research program to investigate what works to tackle malnutrition and poor physical, emotional, and mental development in childhood. The UK has committed £20.5 million (US$27.6 million) over 5 years and will work in countries such as Rwanda, Jordan, and Tanzania. New Zealand is considering partnering with the UK and would extend the initiative to the Pacific region.

Press release - Department for International Development