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European Commission adopts 2020 humanitarian assistance budget of US$1 billion to support 80+ countries

The European Commission has adopted its initial humanitarian budget of €900 million (US$1 billion) for 2020, to help people in over 80 countries across the Africa continent, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. This amount is a significant decrease from 2019 when the Commission adopted a record humanitarian assistance budget of €1.6 billion (US$1.8 billion). Within the 2020 budget, €400 million (US$444 million) will fund programs in Africa, including to support those affected by the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel. €345 million (US$383 million) will be directed to the Middle East to address the crises in Yemen and Syria. €111 million (US$123 million) will go to Asia and Latin America to assist those impacted by the crisis in Venezuela and to support conflicted affected regions in Afghanistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
 
Funding for humanitarian assistance is a strong priority of the EU development assistance budget, accounting for 11% of the EU’s bilateral spending. 
 
Press release - European Commission

EU Nutrition

EU to provide US$25 million in humanitarian assistance to southern Africa during region’s worst drought in decades

The EU will contribute a humanitarian assistance package of €23 million (US$25 million) to countries in southern Africa, suffering from the region’s worst drought in decades. Zimbabwe will receive €17 million (US$19 million) to provide emergency assistance for food, clean water, basic health care, and protection to vulnerable people. Eswatini, Madagascar, Lesotho, and Zambia will receive the remaining €6 million (US$7 million) for food assistance and nutrition support. 

In the last year, the EU allocated €68 million (US$75 million) since January 2019 for humanitarian assistance in the Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean region, which is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters such as droughts and floods. 
 
Press release - European Commission

EU Global health Nutrition

Japan to host Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit in 2020

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that Japan will host the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit in December 2020, following the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo. This is in keeping with the trend started after the London Olympics in 2012 and continued after the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

The 2020 summit will stress the double burden of malnutrition, which relates to the existence of both over- and undernutrition simultaneously within individuals, households, countries, or other populations. The event will also aim to contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through a number of methods including:

  • Integrating nutrition into universal health coverage;
  • Building a healthy and sustainable food system;
  • Measuring against malnutrition in fragile or conflict situations; and
  • Securing financial reforms to improve nutrition.

In preparation for the Tokyo Nutrition Summit 2020, the Japanese government intends to collect information on Japan’s nutrition policy and future direction, as well as data on furthering international contributions to nutrition.

In addition to serving as the host country for the summit, the Japanese government has allocated ¥81 million (US$736,000) for sharing technical information with industry, academia, and government officials; ¥46 million (US$418,000) for researching and analyzing the nutrition policies of various countries; and ¥5 million (US$45,000) for setting up project headquarters to promote an enabling environment for healthy living.

Press release – Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (in Japanese)

Global Japan Nutrition

Canada funds flood relief initiatives in Republic of Congo

On January 14, 2020, Canada's Minister of International Development, Karina Gould, announced CAD$250,000 (US$190,000) in funding for the World Food Programme to assist in delivering food and cash resources to communities impacted by the flood in the Republic of Congo. 

CAD$40,000 (US$30,000) in funding will also be provided for the distribution of emergency kits containing essential household items to 500 families, and for the facilitation of water and sanitation workshops with affected communities.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada Global health Nutrition

Australia partners with 6 East African countries in launch of research program on bean varieties

The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) has announced a program to improve bean varieties to increase micronutrients and reduce cooking time. Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, and Kenya are partner countries in the program. 

Shorter cooking times can reduce environmental impacts and the adverse health effects of exposure to cooking fire emissions.

Press release - ACIAR

Australia Agriculture Nutrition

US foreign assistance for poverty programs sees small increase for FY2020

As part of its overall funding package for the 2020 fiscal year, the US Congress has increased poverty-focused international assistance by US$1 million or 4 percent. This package was approved despite President Trump's continued support for cuts to US foreign assistance.

Included in the legislation is US$5 million for global nutrition, bringing the annual total to US$150 million. The final bill also included provisions to protect poverty-focused development assistance to Central America and food-security funding worldwide, allowing Congress more oversight to ensure food-security funds are disbursed and not subject to deep cuts at the end of the fiscal year.

News blog - Bread for the World

United States Nutrition

Australian photojournalist illustrates health crisis in neighboring Papua New Guinea

Award-winning photojournalist Alex Ellinghausen has outlined health challenges in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the key role of Australian government assistance and NGO programs. 

Documenting a visit to PNG with members of Australia's federal parliament, Ellinghausen emphasized the ongoing tuberculosis and nutrition problems affecting PNG's children. He also wrote on the improving situation for girls’ education and the programs addressing gender-based violence.

News article - Sydney Morning Herald

UK’s development assistance oversight body to evaluate effectiveness of DFID’s nutrition spending

The UK’s development assistance oversight body, the Independent Commission on Aid Impact (ICAI), is undertaking a new review to assess the effectiveness of the UK government’s work to tackle malnutrition and end hunger in low-income countries.

Between 2013-2020, the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) spent £2.96 billion (US$3.9 billion) of development assistance aimed at improving the nutrition of 50 million people by 2020. ICAI's review will focus on assessing the accuracy of DFID's results from eight country assessments: Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, Tanzania, and Zambia. The full review will be published in mid-2020.

Report - ICAI Nutrition Approach Paper

United Kingdom Nutrition

Norway’s Center Party Youth says government must take leading role in fight against global food shortages

The leader of the Center Party Youth has written an opinion piece on Norway's leadership against global food shortages.

The author writes that Norway has a responsibility to produce food to the extent of its ability, and to use its considerable resources to pursue a development assistance policy that contributes to increasing access to safe food. Furthermore, to ensure that resources are used well, international trade agreements must take into account variations in price levels between countries and other conditions.

A stronger focus on agricultural development assistance is important for Center Party's alternative state budget for 2020. States' ability to produce food for their own populations is a prerequisite for global stability. Therefore, the Center Party wishes to commit 10% of all Norwegian bilateral development assistance to be earmarked for agricultural purposes.

Op-ed – Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)

Norway Nutrition

US to provide additional humanitarian assistance to Haiti

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced that it will provide additional support to Haiti to help address the ongoing humanitarian crisis. USAID will provide US$1 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) to move emergency assistance to Haitians in vulnerable situations, as well as to finance food storage and information management. USAID will also continue to help WFP distribute approximately 2,200 metric tons of food.  This is in addition to ongoing US humanitarian efforts.

Press release - USAID

United States Nutrition