Italy supports WHO, UNICEF, and civil society organizations in Iraq with €5 million

Although armed conflict has decreased in Iraq, the need for humanitarian assistance to aid about 2 million internally-displaced people remains high. On these grounds Italy has announced a contribution of €5 million (US$5.5 million) to:

  • the World Health Organization (WHO) program for mental and physical rehabilitation of patients with disabilities
  • the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for nutrition and psycho-social support for children and pregnant women living in camps in Ninive and Erbil
  • civil society organizations providing basic health and educational programs in the country.

Twitter – Italian Agency for Development Cooperation

Italy Global health

Spanish CSOs meet PM Sánchez's High Commissioner on SDGs

The Spanish civil society umbrella organization Futuro en Común (Future in Common) met with Spanish High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda Cristina Gallach at the prime minister’s office, La Moncloa. Futuro en Común emphasized the need to advance towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda as well as to increase Spain’s development budget in order to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Gallach in turn reiterated that the Agenda 2030 is a strategic priority for Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s cabinet. She also confirmed that the Spanish Congress of Deputies and Senate were about to create a cross-cutting committee on SDGs. 

Press release – CONGDE (in Spanish)


Spain to disburse €85 million to the Sahel region in the period 2019-2021

At the annual conference of the G5 Sahel, a regional organization of five African countries, the director of the Spanish Agency for International Development Co-operation (AECID), Aina Calvo, announced an €85 million (US$94 million) pledge for the period 2019-2021. According to AECID, this additional funding will cover key development areas such as agriculture, water and sanitation, and democratic governance. €42 million (US$46 million) will be channeled as bilateral development assistance and €43 million (US$48 million) will be disbursed as loans and equities counting as foreign assistance. 

Press release – AECID (in Spanish)


Dutch Prime Minister Rutte reaffirms commitment to addressing climate change at COP24 in Poland

Mark Rutte, prime minister of the Netherlands, delivered a speech during the opening of the 26th United Nations Conference on Climate Change, which takes place from December 2 to 14, 2018, in Katowice, Poland.

In his address, Rutte highlighted the need to bring back the spirit of Paris, the precedent conference, in which all world leaders agreed to keeping global warming below two degrees celsius. He announced his country's intention of raising the bar high on targets for CO2 emissions, with a targeted reduction of 55 per cent by 2030, provided that the rest of EU partners do the same.

Rutte also mentioned the 160 million euro Fund for Climate and Development, recently launched by his country, to help developing countries fight and adapt to climate change.

Speech - Government of the Netherlands


US President Trump to nominate State Department spokesperson as UN Ambassador

US President Donald Trump has announced his intent to nominate Heather Nauert as the next UN Ambassador. Nauert, who currently holds the position of spokesperson at the US State Department, would replace Nikki Haley, who announced her departure in October. Nauert, a former Fox News anchor and correspondent, joined the State Department one year ago without any previous government experience.  Her nomination is subject to confirmation by the US Senate. 

News article - The Washington Post

United States

South Korea to represent the executive board of UN development agencies in 2019

Tae-yul Cho, the permanent representative of South Korea to the United Nations (UN) was elected as the president of the executive board of the UN Development Program (UNDP), UN Family Planning Association (UNFPA) and the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) for 2019.

The main roles of the executive board include reviewing and supervising the development activities of UNDP, UNFPA, and UNOPS. The appointment reflects South Korea’s commitment to broaden and strengthen its leadership in the international donor community, and its role as a bridge between traditional donors and recipients. 

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

South Korea

JICA and Madagascar to cooperate in improving nutrition for women and children

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Madagascar have signed a record of discussions on a technical cooperation project to improve nutrition for women and children in Madagascar. The project is set to start in 2019 for the duration of five years and aims to strengthen multi-sectoral coordination, government agencies' capacity to promote good nutrition, improve monitoring and evaluation, and strengthen nutritional status through agriculture. 

Press release - JICA

Japan Agriculture Nutrition

UK project in Ghana has reduced reports of domestic violence by 50%

A new project to tackle violence against women in rural areas of Ghana, funded by UK development assistance, has reduced reports of violence by 50% in the communities where it has been piloted. So-called community-based action teams (Combat) have been piloted in 20 rural communities in Ghana and are part of a wider effort to test strategies for tackling domestic violence in 13 countries. The initiative highlights a woman's right to live free from violence as Combat volunteers, working alongside religious and community leaders, challenge the attitudes that normalize abuse in their villages.

News article – The Telegraph

United Kingdom

Former British ambassador appointed new Chair of OECD Development Assistance Committee

The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC), the international body that sets the rules on international development spending, has appointed Susanna Moorehead as the new Chair of the Committee. In an interview with Devex, Moorehead, the former British ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti, noted that she will continue her predecessor’s (Charlotte Petri Gornitzka) push to modernize the DAC and make it more inclusive, and is eager to engage in a broader debate about ODA-eligibility with regards to using development assistance as a catalyst for other sources of financing.

News article – Devex

Press release – OECD 

Global United Kingdom

European Auditors say EU trust fund for Africa lacks focus

According to a new report by the European Court of Auditors, the EU Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) for Africa is a flexible tool for providing food, education, health, security, and sustainable development assistance. However, the Court criticized the trust fund for objectives too broad to efficiently steer action across Africa and determine whether objectives have been achieved. The auditors found implementation weaknesses and noted that trust fund projects face delays similar to traditional development assistance.

The EUTF for Africa was created as an emergency trust fund in 2015 to foster long-term stability and address the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa. The fund currently pools €4.1 billion (US$4.5 billion) and supports activities in 26 countries across three regions of Africa – the Sahel and Lake Chad, the Horn of Africa, and North of Africa.

Press release – ECA