Displaying 1 - 20 of 8337

US Senate appropriations bill includes US$5 billion for global COVID-19 response

The US Senate Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee released the funding bill for FY2023 with a surprise allocation of US$5 billion in emergency funding for the global COVID-19 response as part of its funding package for FY2023. The State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) appropriations bill is the major funding vehicle for US foreign assistance. 

The top line figure, excluding the emergency COVID-19 assistance, is US$64.6 billion, approximately 15% higher than the enacted FY2022 level. This is similar to House-approved funding levels. However, it seems unlikely that the final FY2023 bill will be approved before the start of the fiscal year on October 1, 2023, making a continuing resolution at FY2022 levels the likely scenario.

Global health received US$10.5 billion, including funding for global health security (US$745 million), the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR; US$4.4 billion), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund; US$2 billion), and family planning (US$650 million).

Climate was also a top priority with US$1.6 billion slated for the Green Climate Fund (GCF), US$1.9 billion for programs at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Department of State, as well as US$550 million for the Clean Technology Fund. 

Although the numbers were roughly the same between the House and Senate SFOPS bills, the Senate slightly preferred bilateral over multilateral spending. 

News report - Devex

Sweden increases sustainable development strategy budget by US$42 million

The Swedish government recently approved a new strategy for promoting socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development conditions in Sweden's global development cooperation between 2022–2026.

The strategy – targeting people living in poverty and under oppression – amounts to SEK4.3 billion (US$42 million), a SEK250 million (US$25 million) increase compared to the previous strategy period.

Press Release – Government of Sweden (in Swedish)

Youth committee advises Netherlands to prioritise education, labor market

Six months after its inception, the Youth Advisory Committee met with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands to share experiences and ideas for foreign policy. The committee recommended that the Netherlands combat global unemployment among young people by adapting education systems and strengthening entrepreneurship.

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Youth Council set up the committee to involve young people in the ministry’s decision-making, for instance around youth participation, media literacy, and employment. The committee comprises ten people below 30 from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, and the Netherlands. Members share their insights and pose critical questions about the Ministry’s development policy when needed.

The committee met with the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher and Director-General for International Cooperation Kitty van der Heijden. The committee highlighted the issue of unemployment among young people in their countries, with many graduates lacking skills needed for the labor market. Using examples from their own countries, members of the committee pointed out potential opportunities in digital content and social media for work and entrepreneurship, as well as education on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The committee also encouraged Dutch embassies globally to set up local youth advisory committees to gain better local insight from young people.

The Youth Advisory Committee is an 18-month pilot project. The committee previously advised on the new Dutch development strategy.

Blog – Dutch Government (in Dutch)

Website – Youth Advisory Committee

Canada announces US$94 million loan, US$20 million grant assistance to Jordan

On August 10, 2022, Canada’s Minister of International Development, Harjit Sajjan, announced a concessional loan of up to CA$120 million (US$94 million) to support Jordan’s education sector provide access to safe, equitable education, particularly for youth and vulnerable groups, including girls and refugees.

Sajjan also announced CA$25 million (US$20 million) in funding for development programs in Jordan. The funding will be allocated to five projects that support innovative financing, improve women’s access to the labor market, support children and refugees’ access to high-quality education, improve solid waste management, and support sustainable and inclusive growth among Jordan’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Press release - Global Affairs Canada 

Public support for Australian ODA increases, says survey

An annual survey by the Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre showed that support for ODA has grown significantly since 2018. A separate annual poll by the Lowy Institute confirmed this growth in support amongst Australians,

Only 24% of Australians surveyed said that Australia contributed too much to ODA.

77% of voters for the government party, the Australian Labor Party, believed that ODA is 'about right' or 'not enough.' Australian ODA accounted for less than 1% of federal government spending in 2021, and recent polls indicate growing public support for ODA despite domestic economic challenges.

Report - Development Policy Centre

Report - Lowy Institute

Sweden launches new global gender equality strategy with US$130 million for 2022-2026

Sweden has pledged to continue strengthening its feminist foreign policy through a new gender equality strategy for 2022-2026, amounting to SEK1.3 billion (US$130 million), an increase of SEK300 million (US$29 million) from the previous strategy period (2018-2022).

The new strategy, which will be implemented by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), aims to strengthen efforts to promote global gender equality and the full enjoyment of human rights by all women and girls. The strategy highlights the importance of countering discrimination and gender norms as well as all forms of gender-related violence. The government has tasked Sida with promoting women's rights organizations and feminist movements' opportunities to conduct activities.

Press Release – Sida (in Swedish)

PEPFAR head wants to expand approach to address multiple pandemics

The new head of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), John Nkengasong, outlined his vision for how best to handle PEPFAR's mission in an age of multiple pandemics. Speaking before the International AIDS Conference, Nkengasong emphasized how PEPFAR's platform -- which is specifically designed to address HIV/AIDS -- should be used to address other pandemics, including the intensifying monkeypox outbreak.  

Nkengasong also underscored the need for a regional approach that uses all available platforms and resources that were originally established to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic. PEPFAR was created almost 20 years ago and has provided more than US$100 billion in surveillance, laboratories, supply chains, workforce development, and information systems. While PEPFAR will remain focused on addressing HIV/AIDS, Nkengasong wants to use its existing infrastructure to help with surveillance of other emerging health crises, underscoring that such threats affect PEPFAR's ability to meet its HIV/AIDS goals.  

News report - Devex 

US Congressional bill aims to increase MCC's reach to address rising poverty

Legislation is working its way through the United State Congress to expand the eligibility of the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to allow the agency to better address poverty. Currently, MCC can only work in 81 low-income countries; the new legislation would raise that number to 125, allowing it to address rising poverty in middle-income countries.

The current eligibility requirements require strict adherence to a number of issues, including income and governance, that are evaluated through the agency's scorecard.  If successful, countries enter into five-year compacts that allow for longer-term development. MCC has worked in most of the 81 countries that meet the eligibility requirements and is now looking to expand into countries where income levels are higher but poverty is rising. 

The proposed legislation passed the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and a similar measure is under discussion in the US Senate.

News report - Devex

South Korea creates K-Bio Vaccine Fund with US$383 million to strengthen vaccine production, innovation

South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) announced plans to create the 'K-Bio Vaccine Fund' to promote investment in new medicine and vaccines.

The 'K-Bio Vaccine Fund' will be created with KRW500 billion (US$383 million) to develop innovative medicine for domestic pharmaceutical companies, enhance competitiveness in the vaccine industry, and support them to enter the global pharmaceutical and bio markets. The MOHW plans to expand this fund to KRW1 trillion (US$765 million) in the future and hopes the fund revitalizes the bio-health industry and creates innovative development of new medicine in South Korea.

Press release – Ministry of Health and Welfare (in Korean)

News article – Medifonews (in Korean)

Japan signs US$14 million grant agreement with Afghanistan for agricultural productivity

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a ¥1.9 billion (US$14 million) grant agreement with Afghanistan to support agricultural productivity and the improvement of farmers’ livelihoods. The grant is part of the 'Project for the Enhancement of Food Production Capacity in Afghanistan.'

The 2021 drought led to severe food shortages in Afghanistan and the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine has exasperated the food crisis. About half of all farmers in the country are facing a decrease in harvestable crops and three million farm animals could also be lost.

The project aims will carry out initiatives in 11 provinces in Afghanistan including:

  • Rehabilitation of 326 small-scale irrigation facilities;
  • Distribution of seed packages to 18,000 agriculture farmers;
  • Distribution of livestock-protection packages including feed and vaccinations to 10,000 livestock farmers;
  • Provision of home-gardening kits to 20,500 households; and
  • Training related to the above activities.

Press release – JICA

FAO launches US$40 million project to address grain shortages in Ukraine

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched a new CA$52 million (US$40 million) Canada-funded project to address grain storage shortages in Ukraine and sustain global food supplies.

The immediate impact of the project will be an expansion and immediate availability of storage capacities - an additional 2.4 million tonnes of grain storage between 2022-2023 - at this critical harvest time for Ukrainian producers of grain and oil seeds, while the longer-term impact will be in sustaining global food supplies. This project will strengthen food security and protect livelihoods in Ukraine, while also ensuring other grain import-dependent countries retain access to adequate grain supplies at a fair cost.

14% of food storage facilities in Ukraine, a major global crop-producing country, have been damaged or destroyed by the Russian invasion, and an additional 10% are located in Russian-occupied territories. 

Press release - FAO

Press release - FAO

Italy strengthens UNICEF support in Djibouti

Italy allocated US$1 million to support UNICEF’s activities in Djibouti. The donation will be funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and will be carried out in the next 24 months to prevent violence against children and facilitate access to basic services for the most vulnerable households.

Italy will also support UNICEF and the government in Djibouti to decentralize its judiciary system and provide stronger protection for other fragile groups within the population such as migrants, internally displaced persons, and child victims of various forms of exploitation. 

News article - Italian Agency for Development Cooperation

Australian NGOs call for US$105 million increase in ODA for humanitarian crises

The Help Fight Famine Alliance asked the Australian government to increase ODA by A$150 million (US$105 million) before the revised national budget for 2022/23 is delivered on October 25, 2022.

The urgent package would assist humanitarian crises in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, and the 'Horn of Africa'. The Alliance said the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and severe weather have created a situation that could kill more people than COVID-19 through hunger.

The Alliance is comprised of 23 Australian development NGOs, including the Australian Council for International Development, Save the Children, and Micah.

News article - News.com

Canada announces funding for LGBTQ+ projects in LICs

At the Vancouver Pride Festival on July 31, 2022, Harjit Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of International Development, announced CA$9 million (US$7 million) for three projects supporting marginalized LGBTQ+ communities in low-income countries (LICs) around the world. 

This funding will be allocated through three organizations: APCOM Foundation, Cuso International, and the World Bank Group. The projects are intended to improve services and operations of local LGBTQ+ organizations in Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, and Thailand), to create more inclusive and gender-responsive work and community environments for LGBTQ+ youth in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and to expand country-level research on sexual and gender minorities in LICs.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Press release - Global Affairs Canada 

Committee recommends reducing Norwegian development spending channels to improve oversight

A survey conducted by the Fridtjof Nansen Institute and Deloitte, on behalf of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD), resulted in a discussion about how Norwegian international development funding is managed. 

The survey performed an area review of the Norwegian Foreign Service and found potential for streamlined and improved efficiency in development policy funding. 

The committee was critical of the disparate and high number of government parties managing development funding, including the UD, other ministries, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), and 46 different foreign missions.

Within the UD, 35 units cover international development funding, involving 800 case workers and 170 managers in the decision-making process. The committee argues that the large number of units, both in Norway and internationally, leads to fragmented management and the lack of a holistic approach to development funding. 

In addition, the survey notes that funding is also allocated to a variety of multilateral organizations, Norwegian NGOs, local NGOs, government entities in recipient countries, and private actors, making oversight difficult.

The committee argues that Norwegian international development funding can be strengthened by:  

  • Consolidating responsibility for development policy into one department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  • Clearly prioritizing what needs to be achieved in development spending oversight;
  • Assessing which channels are most effective for achieving these goals;
  • Significantly reducing the number of entities managing Norwegian development funding; and
  • Reducing the number of recipient countries for Norwegian development funding, but ensuring the appropriate allocations of emergency humanitarian assistance, as needed.

News article – Aftenposten (in Norwegian)

New patch delivery system could improve access, effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines

Researchers at the University of Queensland tested a high-density microarray patch on mice and used it to deliver a dose of Hexapro SARS-CoV-2 spike vaccine. The patch was produced by the Brisbane biotechnology company Vaxxas.

Researchers found the patch was much more effective at combating the Omicron variant than the same vaccine administered via needle. 

Large-scale trials have not yet taken place, but various vaccine types appear to yield a better immune response when delivered using the patch.

Once human trials on patch delivery systems are complete and approved, vaccine access could improve globally. Reduced need for supercool refrigeration and skilled vaccine administrators will make vaccines more accessible in hard-to-reach areas. 

News article – News.com

EU’s global health clinical trials partnership publishes 2021 annual report

The EU’s partnership for funding global health research and research capacity building in 'sub-Saharan Africa', the European Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), has published its annual report for 2021. 

According to the annual report, EDCTP’s grants portfolio totaled €814 million (US$860 million) for 435 projects in 2021, including 140 collaborative clinical research projects, 90 capacity development projects, and 205 fellowships. EDCTP also launched a Global TB Vaccine Research & Development (R&D) Roadmap to help coordinate global efforts on developing tuberculosis vaccines.

Report - EDCTP

Canada announces US$12 million for UNAIDS

On July 29, 2022, the Canadian government announced a CA$15 million (US$12 million) contribution to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) for 2023-2025. 

This funding renews Canada’s commitment to ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, addressing the stigma and discrimination faced by key populations, and ensuring that women and girls are able to make decisions about their bodies. The Canadian government is also continuing its long-standing partnership with UNAIDS by supporting the implementation of the Global AIDS Strategy 2021-2026. 

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Germany increases financial resources for fight against hunger to US$930 million

The German government plans to contribute €880 million (US$930 million) to the fight against hunger, especially for countries in Africa and the Middle East. In March 2022, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged €430 million (US$454 million) to address the global food security effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine; Germany's pledge has since increased. 

The Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) will distribute the funds across existing channels: €588 million (US$621 million) will go to existing crisis instruments, €250 million (US$264 million) to the BMZ’s special initiative ‘One World No Hunger’, and €42 million (US$44 million) will be contributed to the World Food Programme (WFP). The BMZ aims to channel the financial resources to countries affected by simultaneous crises - for example, climate change or armed conflicts. This includes, according to the BMZ, countries in East Africa, the Sahel Region, and the Middle East, as well as Egypt and Tunisia. The countries will receive short-term support in addressing the acute food crisis, as well as in addressing long-term changes in agriculture and supply chains.

BMZ’s implementing partners for the funds include the WFP, the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), Oxfam, and the German Welthungerhilfe.

News article – Deutsche Welle (in German)

News article – Globe Echo

Briefing paper – Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (in German)

Canada delivers 3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Mexico

On July 28, 2022, Canada delivered a shipment of 3 million BioNTech/Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses as part of its commitment to a comprehensive and global response to COVID-19.

Canada has committed to donating the equivalent of at least 200 million doses to COVAX by the end of 2022. Thus far, Canada has donated the equivalent of over 137 million doses. 

Twitter - Embassy of Canada in Mexico

Twitter - Harjit Sajjan