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Climate change denial may be hindering financing of agricultural adaptation research

Colin Chartres, the head of the Crawford Fund for International Agricultural Research — a leading advocacy group — has expressed concern that climate change denial may be limiting agricultural research funding in Australia. More research is needed to facilitate the necessary climate-related transformation of agriculture and food production, both in Australia and globally. More research is particularly important in the push to improve climate-smart land management practices and to build greater food security in vulnerable low-income countries.

Chartres claims that without adequate funding for research, Australia will miss an opportunity to be a world leader in sustainable agriculture. The country is well-positioned to lead the charge toward low-carbon farming, as methods and technologies developed in Australia could be used in similar semi-arid, humid environments around the world.

News article - Devex

Australia Agriculture 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

World Public Health Nutrition Congress to be held in Brisbane in March of 2020

The 2020 World Public Health Nutrition Congress, the latest of the sessions held every four years by the World Public Health Nutrition Association (WPHNA), is slated to be held in Brisbane, Queensland from March 31- April 2. Topics are set to include sustainable, resilient food systems; social protection and nutrition education; and trade and investment for improved nutrition.

Congress website - WPHNA

Australia Nutrition

Australian think tank proposes three potential areas for joint development cooperation with China

An opinion piece from the Lowy Institute has suggested that there are three areas in which China and Australia could work cooperatively in the Pacific: namely on debt sustainability,  donor coordination improvement (to the extent China wishes to join such mechanisms), and through joint projects.

A current example is the cooperative malaria project between Australia, China, and Papua New Guinea. Further trilateral cooperation would be most sensible in the health sector or possibly in the field of agriculture and food security.

Op-ed - Lowy Institute