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Oxfam Netherlands publishes report on global inequality ahead of World Economic Forum

Ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Dutch NGO Oxfam Novib published a report on the world's extreme wealth inequality. The report, titled 'Time to Care', puts economic disparities in stark terms, noting that "in 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people", and that the total wealth of the world's 22 richest men is equivalent to the wealth of all African women combined.

The report focuses on gendered economic inequality and dives, as well, into the issue of taxation systems. In particular, Oxfam observes that the Netherlands remains a tax heaven, costing developing countries 100 billion annually: money that could be invested in health and education. 

Time to Care - Oxfam Novib

Press Release -Oxfam Novib (in Dutch)

Canada announces US$33 million for seven development projects in Sudan and Mozambique

Canada has announced CA$44 million (US$33 million) in funding for seven projects on women’s economic empowerment, sexual and reproductive health, access to education, trade, and mitigation of the impacts of the 2019 cyclones Idai and Kenneth. These projects in Sudan and Mozambique were announced after Rob Oliphant, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, concluded a seven-day trip to the region.

The projects include: 

  1. Mozambican rural women’s and girls’ participatory economic empowerment, CAD$18 million (US$14 million) over 5 years: This project will foster economic empowerment for rural women in Mozambique and stimulate agri-food production through experimental agroforestry and climate-smart agriculture training;
  2. Combat absenteeism and barriers to education, CAD$15 million (US$11 million) over 5 years: This project will work to combat absenteeism and barriers to education for girls in Mozambique;
  3. Action for girls and young women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in Mozambique, CAD$10 million (US$8 million) over 5 years: This project aims to improve gender equality in Mozambique by promoting adolescent girls' sexual and reproductive health and rights;
  4. Advancing sexual and reproductive health in Cabo Delgado, CAD$250,000 (US$190,000): This project focuses on sexual and reproductive health in Cabo Delgado and will assist the Government of Mozambique in providing better services in areas affected by Cyclone Kenneth;
  5. Mozambique recovery facility, CAD$250,000 (US$190,000): Through this project, the Government of Mozambique will be provided with assistance for planning and coordinating necessary reconstruction after Cyclone Idai;
  6. Reducing Mozambique’s high trade costs, CAD$250,000 (US$190,000): This project will focus on the unfavourable trade environment in Mozambique, working to identify key interventions that could reduce in-country trade costs and trade-related inefficiencies along the Beira and Nacala corridors; and
  7. Supporting gender integration into policy planning at the Sudanese Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, CAD$50,000 (US$38,000): This project will support gender integration in policy planning at the Sudanese Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. 

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada Education Global health

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

Study examines dependency of Kiribati education initiatives on Australian assistance

A study examining the dependency of Kiribati on Australian assistance has been published in the scientific journal Wiley. The study focuses in particular on the Australian-funded Kiribati Education Facility program to include children with disabilities in school programs, which has generated significant improvements in the access of disabled children to school. There is concern that these inclusive education initiatives would not surivive without continued funding from Australia, which is in danger of being cut if the government were to change its developing funding priorities.

'Dependency on Australian aid and the introduction of inclusive education initiatives in Kiribati' - Wiley Online Library

Australia Education

European Commission announces US$321 million in new funding for development in Morocco

The European Commission adopted new bilateral cooperation programs worth €289 million (US$321 million) to support Morocco on reforms and inclusive development. The new bilateral cooperation financing was accompanied by an additional €102 million (US$113 million) in budget support for border management through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

The total of €389 million (US$432 million) in funding is intended to help contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth in Morocco while also fighting smuggling networks and protecting migrant victims. The development funding is aimed at improving access for vulnerable people to education and vocational training; strengthening the health sector; improving public administration performance; strengthening protections for human rights; and providing institutional support for the Moroccan Parliament.
 
Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, said in a statement announcing the funding that shared challenges give rise to the need for deeper EU cooperation with Africa. 
 
Press release - European Commission

EU Education

Germany pledges US$18 million to ‘Education Cannot Wait’

During the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva on December 17- 18, 2019, the German federal minister for economic cooperation and development, Gerd Müller, announced €16 million (US$18 million) in funding for the multilateral education fund 'Education Cannot Wait'.

Minister Müller highlighted the fact that children suffer most from migration and flight and that education of refugees is important for their long-term development. The multilateral education fund 'Education Cannot Wait' supports two million children and adolescents across eighteen countries hit by crises and conflict.

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

Germany Education

Japan provides US$21 million for four new gender-sensitive secondary schools in Mozambique

The Japanese government has announced ¥2 million (US$21 million) to construct four secondary schools in the Zambezia province of Mozambique's capital city, Maputo. The schools, which are expected to accommodate some 4,400 students annually, will be outfitted with new educational materials including classroom items and science laboratory equipment.

The schools will also feature gender-sensitive facilities, such as separate changing rooms and bathrooms for male and female pupils. These amenities are intended to facilitate increased enrollment and attendance rates by girls, for whom lack of private, hygienic spaces in which to utilize menstrual products is one of the primary obstacles to higher education globally.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Japanese)

Japan Education

France extends debt relief contract with DRC

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and France signed a Debt Reduction-Development Contract (C2D) on November 12, 2019, an extension of 2013 C2D between Paris and Kinshasa. The initial contract, valued at €106 million (US$118 million), was used to conduct numerous projects in the areas of governance, water, and sanitation, as well as education and vocational training. 

The second C2D, signed in November of 2019, is valued at €65 million (US$72 million) and extends those projects by allocating new resources to education (€25 million / US$27 million), vocational training (€10 million / US$11 million), governance (€17 million / US$18 million), health and water (€10 million / US$11 million), as well as to studies and supervision (€4 million / US$4 million). 

Press release - French Development Agency (AFD) 

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