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EU to provide US$25 million in humanitarian assistance to southern Africa during region’s worst drought in decades

The EU will contribute a humanitarian assistance package of €23 million (US$25 million) to countries in southern Africa, suffering from the region’s worst drought in decades. Zimbabwe will receive €17 million (US$19 million) to provide emergency assistance for food, clean water, basic health care, and protection to vulnerable people. Eswatini, Madagascar, Lesotho, and Zambia will receive the remaining €6 million (US$7 million) for food assistance and nutrition support. 

In the last year, the EU allocated €68 million (US$75 million) since January 2019 for humanitarian assistance in the Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean region, which is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters such as droughts and floods. 
 
Press release - European Commission

EU Global health Nutrition

South Korea to provide humanitarian assistance to Philippines in wake of volcanic eruption

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Korea will provide US$200 thousand in humanitarian assistance to the Philippines following the recent eruption of the Taal volcano, beginning on January 12, 2020. The funds will be channeled through the Philippine Red Cross and will be used to help the tens of thousands of people displaced by the eruption. 

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

South Korea

Australia and South Pacific could see dramatic geopolitical fallout from climate change

An article in The Diplomat magazine outlined the dramatic geopolitical implications of climate change for Australia and its neighbors. Low-income countries in the region are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and extreme weather, which pose a threat to their food and water security, as well as to their homes and livelihoods, increasing the possibility of forced migration.

Many of these low-income countries lack the resources and infrastructure to tackle the challenges of climate change alone. Australia has, for a long time, been involved in peacekeeping and development assistance initiatives in the region, but climate change has not been a development policy priority. The article's author joined calls for greater efforts from the Australian government to recognize the scale of the threat posed by climate change and to take bold action to mitigate major geopolitical fallout. Devastating bush fires across the continent have put an international spotlight on Australian government inaction around climate policy.

News article - The Diplomat

Australia

Japan to host Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit in 2020

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that Japan will host the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit in December 2020, following the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo. This is in keeping with the trend started after the London Olympics in 2012 and continued after the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

The 2020 summit will stress the double burden of malnutrition, which relates to the existence of both over- and undernutrition simultaneously within individuals, households, countries, or other populations. The event will also aim to contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through a number of methods including:

  • Integrating nutrition into universal health coverage;
  • Building a healthy and sustainable food system;
  • Measuring against malnutrition in fragile or conflict situations; and
  • Securing financial reforms to improve nutrition.

In preparation for the Tokyo Nutrition Summit 2020, the Japanese government intends to collect information on Japan’s nutrition policy and future direction, as well as data on furthering international contributions to nutrition.

In addition to serving as the host country for the summit, the Japanese government has allocated ¥81 million (US$736,000) for sharing technical information with industry, academia, and government officials; ¥46 million (US$418,000) for researching and analyzing the nutrition policies of various countries; and ¥5 million (US$45,000) for setting up project headquarters to promote an enabling environment for healthy living.

Press release – Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (in Japanese)

Global Japan Nutrition

Japan announces US$3 million to UNICEF’s emergency response for children in northeast Syria

Japan has announced US$3 million in support to UNICEF's emergency response fund for vulnerable children and families in northeast Syria. Due to the escalation of the conflict in the region since October 2019, new waves of displacement have aggravated the needs of an estimated 2 million people in the affected area.

The funding will serve populations including families in camps, collective shelters, and host communities through improved water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services. Safe access to water in camps and collective shelters will be provided through emergency water trucking, as well as through more latrines, water points, and hygiene supplies. In urban centers, the contribution will be used to repair damaged infrastructure and restore interrupted services.

As part of the announcement, Mr. Akira Endo, Special Coordinator for Syria and Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of Japan in Syria, declared Japan’s continued commitment to supporting children and families in Syria.

Press release – UNICEF

Japan

Japanese delegation visits Cambodia to continue assistance with ongoing mine removal efforts

In an effort to better understand efforts towards mine action in Cambodia, members of the Japan-Cambodia Parliamentary Friendship Association conducted an official visit to Cambodia in January 2019. During the visit, Chairman Imamura Masahiro led a delegation to the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC), one of the organizations at the forefront of the fight to remove live mines which remain in the ground from past conflicts.

The Government of Japan has previously assisted CMAC with technical assistance and grants worth more than US$70 million, in addition to US$50 million in other non-monetary contributions.

During the visit, Chairman Masahiro reinforced Japan’s continued commitment to supporting development in Cambodia, including but not restricted to  mine action.

Press release – Cambodian Mine Action Centre

Japan

Canada announces US$43 million for Ebola relief in DRC

On January 15, 2020, Canada's Minister of International Development, Karina Gould, announced CAD$56 million (US$43 million) in funding to the Democratic Republic of Congo. These funds will be used to help control the ongoing Ebola epidemic, to provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations, and to strengthen local health systems.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada Global health

Deadline for submissions to Australia's review of development assistance program extended to February 14, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has extended the January 31, 2019 closing date for public submissions to the Australian government's review of the official overseas development program. Submissions on the new policy and related new performance framework will now close on February 14, 2020.

Organizations may email their submissions of up to 5 pages to development.submissions@dfat.gov.au

Submission call - DFAT

French development agency releases facts, figures, interactive map on Sahel interventions

France's development agency (AFD) has released key facts and figures and an interactive map related to its interventions in the Sahel region, notably through the Sahel Alliance, a development initiative led by the EU, Germany, and France. Projects with the Sahel mostly seek to address root causes of poverty and inequalities in the region.

The summary of interventions details the impact of 22 of the 600 projects with implementation dates between 2018 and 2022. AFD notably indicates that 2.1 billion (US$2.3 billion) has been committed while 1.1 billion (US$1.3 billion) have already been disbursed. In total,  9 billion (US$10 billion) will be allocated through the Sahel Alliance (all partners included) from 2018 to 2022. 

Press release - AFD (in French)

France

Report shows majority of UK government departments failing to meet ODA transparency targets

A new report by Publish What You Fund, an NGO focused on transparency in development finance, reports that the majority of UK government departments responsible for disbursing official development assistance (ODA) are not on track to meet the government's 2020 transparency target. 

In 2015, the UK government announced a new cross-government strategy for administrating ODA. To counteract concerns that channelling less money through the Department for International Development (DFID) would reduce transparency, the government committed to ensuring that all departments disbursing ODA would have a 'good' or 'very good' ranking according to the Publish What You Fund Aid Transparency Index by 2020.

The report, commissioned by the UK government to track progress, shows that only 3 of the 10 relevant departments are meeting the target: DFID, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is rated as the least transparent. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) was rated as 'fair'. 

Report - Publish What You Fund

News article - Devex

United Kingdom