White House announces US$27 million in grants for women's empowerment initiative

The Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (WGDP), launched early in 2019 and spearheaded by White House advisor Ivanka Trump, announced its first round of grants of US$27 million of the original US$50 million pledge.  According to Trump, the money will go to 14 projects in 22 countries and benefit 100,000 women. The WGDP projects are primarily located in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. 

News article - The Hill

United States

Italy agrees to wide-ranging €78 million package of development assistance

On July 10, 2019, the Italian Joint Committee on Development Cooperation, chaired by the vice minister of foreign affairs Emanuela del Re, agreed to a package of initiatives worth €78 million (US$88 million). €50 million will be allocated to complete the consolidation works on the Mosul Dam in Iraq. The rest of the approved resources are intended to fund projects in Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Colombia as well as United Nations Agencies' cross-cutting programs.

Website- Ministry of Foreign affairs and International Cooperation (in Italian)


Director of French development agency criticizes USAID's 'self-reliance' strategy

The director-general of the Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), Remy Rioux, criticized the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID's) strategy of promoting 'self-reliance' as "perverse". In an interview with Devex, Rioux called upon Europe to reject USAID's policy as the wrong model for development. USAID's 'journey to self-reliance' policy is built on the notion that the purpose of US foreign assistance is to end the need for its existence. AFD's head called that idea outdated.

News article - Devex

France United States

Tokyo International Conference on African Development to address technology and innovation

The theme of the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development has been announced as 'Advancing Africa's Development through People, Technology and Innovation'. The conference will be held on August 28-30, 2019.

The government of Japan will increase its support in human resource development as well as science, technology, and innovation to trhe African continent.

Press release - MOFA


Sigrid Kaag receives report on better integration of the SDGs and human rights

The Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) published its advice to the Dutch minister of foreign trade and development cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, on the relationship between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and human rights. On the basis of the conclusions of the report, the AIV made nine policy recommendations for Ms. Kaag.

For each recommendation, a number of tools were provided to operationalize foreign policy on these points. These recommendations included the need for better integration of development, human rights, and environmental policy, using the Agenda 2030 of the SDGs to strengthen the multilateral human rights system, or prioritizing the work against shrinking civic spaces (including publicly emphasizing the importance of independent civil society organizations and human rights defenders).

Full report - Advisory Council on International Affairs (in Dutch) 


UK government announces new Green Finance Strategy

The UK government has published a new Green Finance Strategy, focused on aligning the UK's private sector financial flows with environmentally sustainable growth and strengthening the competitiveness of the sector overall.

While the strategy is predominantly domestically-focused, it also touches upon the UK’s international role and includes the recent commitment by the prime minister to ensure all UK development assistance is aligned to the UN Paris Agreement. The strategy also calls for the UK's development finance institutes to make climate-related financial disclosures in their annual reports.

Green Finance Strategy - UK Government  

United Kingdom

Council of the EU adopts conclusions on supporting sustainable development across the world

The Council of the EU adopted conclusions on July 8, 2019, in response to the European Commission’s 2019 Joint Synthesis Report of the European Union and its member states on 'Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals across the world'. The Council affirmed its support for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ahead of the United Nations’ High-Level Political Forum in September 2019 to review progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 
The Council underlined the EU’s history of strong support for social and human development in its development cooperation efforts by giving priority to social protection, decent work, universal health coverage, and access to education. However, it took note of several areas with insufficient progress, including using integrated approaches to achieve the SDGs, tailoring support to the needs of partner countries, encouraging partner countries to integrate the SDGs into their national strategies, working better together within the EU and its member states through joint programming, and developing more robust results-reporting systems. 
Council Conclusions - Council of the EU

EU Education Global health

South Korea to support modernization of Mongolia's National Archives

The Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) of South Korea has signed an agreement with the Mongolian minister of finance to modernize the National Archives of Mongolia. For this project, EDCF will provide a concessional loan of US$19 million, which will be used to implement a digital device and e-management system.

Press release – EDCF (in Korean)

South Korea

Canada supports interim power-sharing agreement in Sudan

Global Affairs Canada released a statement in support of the interim power-sharing agreement between the Sudanese Transitional Military Council and the Forces of Freedom and Change. The release also recognized the important role the African Union and Ethiopian envoys had during the mediation process. 

Canada sees the success of this new government as crucial for ensuring that Sudan is able to operate as a democratic, peaceful, and prosperous country.

News release- Global Affairs Canada


Over half of G7 spending for education goes to achieving gender equality

UNESCO's Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report has shown that 55% of spending by the G7 on education projects is earmarked for initiatives that strive to eradicate gender inequalities in schooling.

France, who currently holds the G7 presidency, is the second-largest donor, at 76%, after Canada at 92%. The analysis was part of a broader examination by UNESCO and GEM examining donor allocations to gender parity in education. The report gives recommendations for countries to equalize access to education between the genders, which include the following:

  1. Fighting negative gender norms through coed sports or extracurricular activities that allow children of all genders to engage with one another, and encouraging girls to participate in STEM activities;
  2. Increasing equitable access to education through conditional cash transfers, food for education initiatives, second-chance programs and strong technical and vocational training for women in key industries;
  3. Strengthening teaching and learning resources through the revision of curriculum frameworks to help develop gender-responsive toolkits for teachers, and the provision of financial incentives for female teachers in remote locations;
  4. Improving the learning environment through the development of local community learning centers and the legal frameworks and codes of conduct, and the enforcement of minimum standards on water and sanitation.

Blog post - UNESCO World Education Blog

Building Bridges for Gender Equality report - Global Education Monitoring