Program for 2020 Australasian Aid Conference is now available

The annual Australasian Aid Conference will be held on February 17- 19, 2020, organized by the Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre in partnership with the Asia Foundation.   

The program covers a wide range of sectors. Keynote speakers include Lant Pritchett of the Blavatnik School of Government and Oxford University on the difficult dynamics of deals, and Radhika Coomaraswamy, human rights activist, on women, peace, and security.

Conference site - ANU Development Policy Centre

Oslo's Safe Schools Declaration endorsed by 100 states

The Safe Schools Declaration, a product of the 2015 Oslo Conference on Safe Schools, has now been endorsed by 100 states across the world.

The Oslo Conference marked the beginning of a global commitment to provide safe education for children and young people in conflict-affected countries. The conference was catalyzed by attacks on thousands of students, teachers, and educational institutions by military forces, armed groups, and security forces. At the time, 28 million children worldwide were prevented from attending school due to armed conflict. 

Press release - Norwegian government 

Global Norway Education

Germany to increase efforts towards children's rights

Regarding the 30st anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, on November 20, the German federal minister for development, Gerd Müller, announced that Germany would increase efforts against child labor and towards the protection of children in crisis, conflict zones, starvation, and poverty. He also emphasized that Germany, the ILO, UNICEF, and other civil society organizations need to reinforce fair trade and supply chain policy.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was signed on November 20, 1989, at the UN General Assembly. The convention should protect children and commit ocuntries to protect their rights and dignity. 

Press release – Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (in German)

Germany Education

Spain advocates for sustainable development at UNESCO

At the 40th annual conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) held in Paris, France, the Spanish interim minister of education, culture and sports José Guirao, called for greater inclusion of the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development within the organization's current actions. Minister Guirao emphasized that culture and education play a critical role in fostering sustainable development worldwide and advocated for more political coordination at the UNESCO to help in advancing the Agenda 2030. 

Press release – AECID

Spain Education

Norway increases support for sexuality education in partner countries

The Norwegian government has announced an additional NOK 75 million (US$8 million) to support comprehensive sexuality education in partner countries. Sexuality education can promote gender equality by enabling an inclusive learning environment and improving girls' school attendance. It can reduce stigma around menstruation and helps to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancies, and abortions.  

The funding will support the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (Unesco) global campaign on sexuality education and will be disbursed between 2019 and 2021. It will target four priority countries: Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and South Sudan. 

Press release - Government of Norway 

Norway Education Global health

Norway launches strategy to eliminate harmful practices

The Norwegian government has launched its International Strategy to Eliminate Harmful Practices as part of the global community's commitment to eliminating them by 2030 as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The new strategy sets out how the Norwegian Government will target its international activities to eliminate harmful practices between 2019 and 2023. The strategy calls for zero-tolerance on harmful practices and aims to defend global norms, including sexual and reproductive health and rights. It argues that fulfilling the rights of women and girls is a basic prerequisite for eliminating harmful practices.

Government strategy

Norway Education Global health

Germany adds seven projects to African digitization portfolio

German federal minister for development, Gerd Müller, has introduced seven new African digitization projects as part of a total of €279 million (US$308 million) investment in 200 digital-focused projects there.

Recently, Müller implemented a new e-learning platform called Africa Cloud. It is one of seven such projects: 'Digital Africa' for digital and environmental-friendly mobility concepts, 'Make-IT' for digital networks and start-ups, '#eSkills4Girls-Initiative' for more education and development potential of young girls in digital companies, 'Digital Centers' as knowledge hubs on digitalization, 'Artificial Intelligence for all – FAIR forward', and the 'Strategic Partnership for a Digital Africa'.  

Press Release – Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (in German)

Germany agrees on its largest-ever development budget for 2020

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) will have a new record budget of €10.9 billion (US$12.3 billion) in 2020, up from €10.3 billion (US$11.6 billion) in 2019, following the final budget settlement meeting on November 15, 2019.

Since the draft budget for BMZ was presented by the Ministry of Finance in September 2019, the government has added an additional €500 million (US$564 million) for international climate protection measures and €11 million (US$12 million) in additional funding resulted from the parliamentary budget process.

Press Release – ONE (in German)

UK development assistance to Rwanda reaches US$1.3 billion

The British government announced that the UK has provided £1 billion (US$1.3 billion) in development assistance to Rwanda in the past two decades as part of a visit by Matthew Rycroft, the permanent secretary of the Department for International Development (DFID). This makes Rwanda one of the top recipients of UK development assistance. UK development assistance has focused on supporting sustainable and inclusive economic growth, social protection, agriculture, education, and land tenure issues.

Ahead of the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London in January 2020 and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali in June 2020, Ryecroft’s visit discussed the modern UK-Rwanda partnership beyond just development assistance.

News Article – Kigali Times


UK government outlines development assistance priorities to Parliament

At the parliamentary committee on international development, the UK secretary of state for international development, Alok Sharma, highlighted his government’s four broad priorities for development assistance:

  1. Tackling climate change and protecting biodiversity;
  2. Driving economic development;
  3. Supporting girls' education; and
  4. Ensuring an end to preventable deaths of mothers, babies, and children by 2030.

When pressed by the committee on what would be deprioritized, Sharma stated that no decisions had been made ahead of the government spending review and that with a growing development assistance budget, there may not be any cuts to other spending item areas needed. Sharma said ensuring that UK development assistance retains its primary objective of alleviating poverty and delivering value for money for British taxpayers is a priority.

Sharma gave reassurances to the committee that the government would maintain its commitment to spend 0.7% of its gross national income on official development assistance. He also gave his personal support for maintaining an independent department for international development, noting that he had seen the high-standing and extensive influence of the department around the world.

On Brexit, Sharma noted that his department was already planning how the UK could deploy any additional funding as a result of a no-deal exit including expanding the UK's bilateral portfolio. Sharma was keen to stress that the government aims to maintain a constructive relationship with European partners.

Video - Secretary of State parliamentary evidence session