Norway increases support for humanitarian relief in South Sudan

Norway is increasing its humanitarian assistance by NOK 30 million (US$4 million) to help save lives and meet basic needs in South Sudan. 7.2 million people are suffering in humanitarian crises, according to the UN, now exacerbated by heavy rains and flooding. 

This contribution brings Norway’s total allocation to humanitarian assistance in the country and support for South Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries to a total of NOK 172 million (US$21 million). In addition, Norway has provided around NOK 11 million (US$1 million) through the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).   

Norway’s support will be channeled through humanitarian actors that are present in South Sudan and can respond to the humanitarian needs rapidly and effectively. 

Press release – Norwegian government  

Norway Global health Nutrition

US Senators claim US effort to remove sexual health from UN agreements violates law

Four United States Senators, all democrats, have raised concerns that the Trump administration -- by lobbying countries to remove “sexual and reproductive health” from United Nations agreements -- may have violated federal law.  In the lead up to the UN meetings this fall, the US sent a letter to 70 countries, urging that such language be dropped from an agreement on universal health coverage. In a letter, the four Senators wrote that the US efforts to persuade countries to remove the language was not only harmful to women and families but that it "violates the Siljander Amendment, which prohibits use of foreign assistance in lobbying ‘for or against abortion’."

Although the US failed in its efforts in September, it continues to push for the removal of “sexual and reproductive health” from international agreements. During recent consideration of a resolution on women, peace, and security, the US ambassador to the UN, Kelly Craft, said the US “could not accept” the resolution because it included the phrase.

News article - The Guardian

United States Global health

German development bank invests €25 million in Sustainable Ocean Fund

The German development bank, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), holds €25 million (US$28 million) of fiduciary holdings in the Sustainable Ocean Fund on behalf of the German federal ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation. This anchor investment will enable increased mobilization of co-investments of up to US$150 million.

KfW seeks to improve global food security, decrease oceanic plastic volume, and fortify coastline protections through private small- and medium-sized companies by investing in sustainable fishing practices, circular economies, and protections for biodiversity.

Press release - KfW (in German)

Japan provides US$3 million in food assistance to Zimbabwe

The Japanese government has announced ¥300 million (US$3 million) for Zimbabwe through the World Food Programme. About 5 million people in Zimbabwe are said to be facing serious food shortages as a result of severe weather events affecting agricultural production. 

These funds will provide approximately 4,300 tons of food assistance to Zimbabwe to improve food security and nutrition. This cooperation is an example of Japan's 'contribution to the creation of a strong and sustainable society' which was reaffirmed at the seventh TICAD Conference in Africa (TICAD7) in August 2019. 

Press release – MOFA (in Japanese)

Global Japan Agriculture Nutrition

France pledges €2.5 billion in support for African SMEs

France has pledged €2.5 billion (US$2.8 billion) to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa, of which €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) will be allocated for equities and €1.5 billion (US$1.7 billion) for debts and guarantees by 2022. Proparco, the subsidiary of the French development agency focused on private sector development, will play an important role and will soon launch a call for expressions of interest.

The announcement was made at the second annual Ambition Africa event in Paris on October 30, 2019. Speaking at the event, French minister of economy and finance Bruno Le Maire noted that 450 million young people are projected to enter the job market on the African content in 2050. Two-thirds of these jobs, he said, should be created by SMEs, which would require the resolution of a €330 billion (US$365 billion) funding gap.

Press release - French ministry of economy and finance (in French)


Gavi seeks additional €100 million in German contributions

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is seeking €700 million (US$789 million) from Germany for its upcoming 2020 replenishment in London. If confirmed, this would be a €100 million (US$112 million) increase from the contribution previous confirmed by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Gavi had vaccinated 760 million children as of reporting in late 2018, with the highest rates ever of vaccinations in low-income countries, and an estimated 13 million lives saved.

News article – Focus (in German)

Germany Global health

Italy pledges US$3 million towards humanitarian efforts in Venezuela

Vice-minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Emanuela Del Re, pledged US$3 million at the International Solidarity Conference on the Venezuelan Refugee and Migrant Crisis.  In the past two years, Italy donated US$3 million towards relief efforts in Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis.

The pledging conference was organized by the European Commission, together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Press release – Ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation


Spanish CSOs urge political parties to end stalemate

The Spanish civil society network Poletika, consisting of around 500 NGOs working on development cooperation, climate change, gender, and other issues, came together at the Congress of Deputies to denounce the government's current state of paralysis. Poletika called upon the main political parties to end the current institutional stalemate, to form a new government, and to approve the general state budget following the general elections on November 10, 2019.  

The current political situation, Poletika says, is impeding effective redressal of various challenges at both the domestic and global levels. The organization urged political parties to take immediate measures towards addressing climate change, gender-based violence, social protection, child poverty, and youth unemployment. 

Press release – Oxfam Intermón (in Spanish)


Italian analysis highlights negative representation of Africans in media

Health organization Amref Health Africa-Italia, in partnership with the Osservatorio di Pavia, a research institute that performs mass-communication analysis, published the report 'L'Africa Mediata' on African representation in Italian media.

The report found that Italian media narratives surrounding the African continent focused overwhelmingly on negative imagery of poverty, migration, and war. African actors in Italian movies and series tend to be cast in supporting roles, and as uncultured characters with exaggerated stereotypical traits.

Report download - Amref Health Africa (in Italian)


Canada's IDRC helps sponsor the World Veterinary Vaccine Congress

Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) will join 600 veterinary vaccine experts and specialists in Barcelona from October 28- 31, 2019 for the World Veterinary Vaccine Congress where the latest developments in veterinary vaccine research and development will be discussed.  IDRC is a sponsor of the World Veterinary Vaccine Congress.

IDRC will specifically be involved in sessions at the conference that highlight how their Livestock Health program is focused on improving the health of livestock and protecting small farmers. IDRC-funded research on the African Swine Fever vaccine will be presented and IDRC's Senior Program Specialist, Musa Mulongo and IDRC's Program Leader of the Livestock Health program,  Kevin Tiessen, will show how IDRC delivers innovations to low-income beneficiaries through building strategic and appropriate public and private sector partnerships. 

Press release - IDRC