Japanese loans ¥200 billion to Bangladesh to support infrastructure projects

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has announced ¥200 billion (US$1.8 billion) in loans to Bangladesh to support infrastructure projects including:

  • Matarbari Port Development Project (loan amount: ¥2.7 billion (US$24 million))
  • Jamuna Railway Bridge Construction Project (loan amount: ¥37.2 billion ($342 million))
  • Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project (loan amount: ¥7.4 billion ($68 million))
  • Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project  (loan amount: ¥79.3 billion ($729 million))
  • Matarbari Ultra Super Critical Coal-Fired Power Project  (loan amount: ¥67.3 billion ($619 million))
  • Health Services Strengthening Project (loan amount: ¥6.6 billion ($60 million)).

Press release - JICA 


European Commission proposes to overhaul development in next multi-year budget

The European Commission has proposed a consolidated €89.2 billion instrument for development cooperation for 2021 to 2027. The 'Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument' (NDIC) has three pillars: geographic, thematic, and 'rapid response,' for responding to crises. Among other things, the budget allocates €3 billion for a 'Global Challenges' thematic program, covering a range of topics, including health, education, women and children, migration, and the environment. European civil society is concerned about this streamlining of instruments.

Website – EU

Press release – CONCORD Europe

News article – Euractive


France launches a new Strategy for Fragility Response

French Secretary of State to the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, has presented the new French Fragility Response Strategy - something that was first announced at the last Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation (CICID) on February 8, 2018. In addition to the French strategy, the French Development Agency (AFD)'s fund for Peace and Resilience (the 'Minka Fund'), and the French version of a World Bank and United Nations report on conflict prevention have also been presented ("Pathways for peace").

These initiatives are part of the French government's focus on international stability and crisis response, seeking to put in place an approach that links diplomacy, security, humanitarian assistance, stabilization, and development. Such is the French vision for the recently created Sahel Alliance. Lemoyne also reiterated the government's commitment to reaching  0.55% ODA/GNI by 2022, of which €500 million will go towards humanitarian, food, and stabilization aid. AFD's Minka Fund will also double its resources, reaching €200 million per year.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs 


South Korea represents UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

President Kim Mi-yeon of the Women with Disabilities Arts and Cultural Network has been elected as a member of the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Kim has extensive expertise in human rights and strong support from the South Korean government. She is the first South Korean woman to become a member of the CRPD.

The South Korean government plans to continue to work for better representation in UN human rights mechanisms.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

South Korea

New Italian minister of interior closes Italian ports to NGO rescue boats

Italian Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini has declared that Italy will deny permission to another migrant-rescue ship to dock at an Italian port following refusal to another ship carrying 629 migrants on June 10. Salvini, who is also deputy premier and leader of the League party, said via Twitter: "Italy has stopped bowing its head and obeying, this time THERE IS SOMEONE WHO SAYS NO." 

The development came a day after the new Spanish government headed by Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez offered to allow the ship to dock in Valencia. The refusal to accept it in Italy was the first major anti-migrant move since far-right Salvini took office this month.

News report - The Guardian 

EU Italy

European Commission launches newsletter on social inclusion in development

A new, regular newsletter will report on the European Commission's work in migration and employment to advance the Sustainable Development Goals on Ending Poverty (SDG 1), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), and Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10), in line with the new European Consensus on Development. In launching the newsletter, the European Commission emphasized that European development is above all about increasing social and economic inclusion and ensuring all people have secure livelihoods, enabling them to live a life in dignity, out of poverty. 

Press release – EU 


German development minister presents new 'Development Strategy 2030'

In an interview with the Augsburger Allgemeine, German Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) announced the upcoming launch of his new ‘Development Strategy 2030’. His strategy centers around creating incentives for private investments, especially in Africa, as well as giving young people perspectives for a future in their countries of origin. To do so, he plans further investments into vocational training and education. The new development strategy focuses on crisis regions with large migration, among others the Maghreb. Müller is asking for an additional €880 million to fund his strategy goals and emphasizes that to reduce migration, the support of people in their countries is essential.

Interview – Augsburger Allgemeine


German Chancellor Merkel argues Germany must spend more on security

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has argued in an interview that Germany must spend more money on defense and intelligence services, agreeing with US President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly criticized Germany for investing too little in security.

Currently, Germany spends 1.2% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on its defense budget. Just before the G7 Summit, Merkel announced an increase of the budget to 1.5% of the GDP, to be reached before 2025. Though the new commitment has been positively received by the international community, it still falls below the NATO goal of 2%. 

Interview - Tagesschau (in German)


G7 countries commit US$3 billion to education for women and girls in crises

At the G7 Summit held in Charlevoix, Quebec from June 8-9, 2018, Canada, the UK, the EU, Germany, Japan, and the World Bank committed US$3 billion to invest in women and girls’ education in crisis and conflict situations. This commitment will, among other things, support innovative methods to provide education to vulnerable and hard-to-reach groups, including refugees and displaced people, and support developing countries to provide opportunities for girls to complete at least 12 years of quality education.

With a commitment of US$2 billion (over five years), the World Bank is the largest contributor, followed by Canada (US$350 million) and the United Kingdom (US$250 million). The money raised exceeds the US$1.3 billion a global coalition of 30 humanitarian and development organizations has been calling for. The Canadian government said the commitments represented "the single largest investment in education for women and girls in crisis and conflict situations", and that the proposed investment could help to educate more than eight million children and teenagers.  

Press release – Prime Minister of Canada’s Office

Detailed assessments of the 2018 Australian and New Zealand ODA budgets

Professor Stephen Howes from the Australian National University (ANU) has published an assessment of the Australian ODA budget for 2018-2019. Howes assesses the amount of potential decline in Australia’s ODA. Terence Wood, also from the ANU Development Policy Centre, analyzed the scale of New Zealand’s  development assistance budget. New Zealand has announced substantial increases over the next four years.

Blog  - ANU Development Policy Centre (Australia)

Blog  - ANU Development Policy Centre (New Zealand)