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US pledges additional US$2.9 billion at Global Food Security Summit

At the United Nations Global Food Security Summit on September 21, 2022, the United States pledged an additional US$2.9 billion in assistance for global food security.

The Summit, co-hosted by the US, Germany, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Colombia, was convened as a side event during the UN General Assembly. The largest part of the pledge was US$2 billion in humanitarian aid, including food and nutrition assistance, health care, safe drinking water, and other relief to protect vulnerable populations. The package included additional measures, including 1) US$140 million in development assistance to help smallholder farmers, 2) US$220 million to feed school children in Africa and East Asia, though specific partner countries were not mentioned, and 3) US$178 million for other development priorities related to climate, trade, and the root causes of immigration.

This latest pledge is in addition to the US$6.9 billion already committed by the US in 2022 to global food security.

Press release - The White House

News report - CNN

 

USAID Administrator announces 'sub-Saharan' local development initiative

On September 19, 2022, during a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) event hosted by Peace Direct,  Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Samatha Power announced a new locally-led development initiative for sub-Saharan Africa (meaning the regions of Eastern, Western, Central, and Southern Africa, as designated by the African Union), though information on specific partner countries was not provided.

This initiative will be modeled after the Centroamerica Locale Initiative, a US$300 million initiative launched by the Biden Administration in 2021 to address increasing immigration from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador through the use of development assistance. The initiative pilots the use of direct funding to the region to build capacity and relationships with local organizations.  

Powers did not provide details on either funding or timeframes for the new initiative but said that more information is forthcoming.

News report - Devex

Canadian CSOs urge government to contribute US$904 million to Global Fund replenishment

After months of advocacy, a coalition of 14 civil society organizations (CSOs) is calling on Canada to pledge CA$1.2 billion (US$904 million) at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria's (Global Fund) replenishment conference in New York City during the week of September 19, 2022. 

Since May 2022, the coalition has called on the federal government to contribute more to support the Global Fund. As the Global Fund now seeks to recover from setbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund released its investment case calling on donors to collectively contribute US$18 billion - the minimum investment needed to save an estimated 20 million more lives. Among G7 nations, the US, Germany, and Japan have announced their support, committing to increase their pledges by 30% from the previous funding cycle. However, the Canadian government has not announced further support, drawing criticism from several CSOs.

Op-ed - Cooperation Canada

South Korea and United States sign MOU on development cooperation

On September 14, 2022, the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on development cooperation.

Won Do-yeon, Director General of the Development Cooperation Bureau at MOFA, and Michele Sumilas, Assistant to the Administrator of the Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning (PPL) at USAID participated in a bilateral development policy dialogue, with the MOU laying the groundwork for further cooperation between the two countries. 

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)

News article – Korea (in Korean)

USAID introduces new guide on 'dekleptification'

On September 7, 2022, the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) released a new guide to assist countries and citizens that aim to dismantle entrenched, corrupt political systems.

The new approach, labeled "dekleptification," draws on experiences from a number of countries, including Ukraine, Malaysia, South Africa, and the Dominican Republic. 

The resource was part of a commitment made by USAID Administrator Samantha Power in June 2022 to assist citizens who take substantial risks to increase popular democratic participation and make domestic governments work for their people. The document provided guidance on partnering effectively to create democratic transformation and was developed by USAID's Anti-Corruption Task Force to advance US strategy and counter corruption. 

Press release - USAID

Biden supplemental request includes US$12.3 billion in assistance to Ukraine, global health efforts

With US fiscal year (FY) 2022 coming to an end on September 30, 2022, and no consensus regarding funding for FY2023, the White House released a request for a US$47 billion supplement to be included in a continuing resolution, with hopes that it will pass Congress before the end of September.

Primarily, the funding relates to domestic needs, including energy spending and domestic efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and hMPXV, also known as monkeypox. However, the supplement would also provide US$11.7 billion in support for Ukraine and US$600 million to address the spread of hMPXV globally. 

Both the supplement and the resolution face an uncertain future in Congress, which normally funds the government at FY2022 levels until FY2023 bills are approved.

News report - Politico 

US to host Global Fund replenishment, US$18 billion goal

The White House formally announced that it will host the seventh replenishment conference for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) on September 19, 2022, in New York City.  

The Global Fund's seventh replenishment aims to raise US$18 billion in pledges, which will be used in the 2023-2025 grant cycle. US President Biden's budget request for FY2023 includes US$2 billion, the first planned contribution of a total US$6 billion.

The US is both a founding member and the largest contributor to the Global Fund, which was established in 2002. The Global Fund is a multi-stakeholder organization that brings governments, the private sector, and civil society together to address HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria by working in low- and middle-income countries to strengthen health systems.

Press release - The White House

US Global Fragility Act hits congressional snag

The US Global Fragility Act, passed in 2019, hit an impasse in the US Congress on August 19, 2022.

The law, initially hailed as a new way to deliver US foreign assistance in fragile states, has been repeatedly delayed. Most recently, the conflict between Congress and the Biden Administration stems from the selection of Haiti and Libya as pilot countries for the new ODA program.

Specifically, two leading Senators, Democrat Chris Coons and Republican Lindsey Graham, criticized the inclusion of Haiti and Libya in the pilot stage, expressing concern that the two countries were too unstable to be effective partners in the program. 

Meanwhile, frustrations continue to build over the act's prolonged implementation due to insufficient communication between the Biden Administration and Congress, siloed streams of assistance, and partisan infighting.

However, the consensus remains that the Global Fragility Act is a positive and necessary step in US global development policy.

News report - Foreign Policy

New US law makes US$370 billion available for domestic climate action

The 'Inflation Reduction Act,' which US President Biden signed on August 17, 2022, contains a massive funding infusion of US$370 billion directed to climate issues, the largest such investment ever made by the US.

The new measures will affect a range of efforts to support both US industries and US consumers, including support for wind power, solar power, batteries, and critical minerals necessary for the production of batteries. The law also employs a range of tactics and investments, including tax incentives, loans, grants, and other policy instruments to reduce carbon emissions. 

While this act is largely an investment in domestic clean energy, it will also help the US meet its pledged climate goals, which look increasingly in doubt. In May 2022, President Biden made the commitment to reduce US net greenhouse gas emissions by about half their 2005 levels by 2030. The 'Inflation Reduction Act' should bring this goal within reach. It will also help the US reestablish effective climate diplomacy, something the previous administration relinquished.  

News article - Foreign Affairs

USAID announces US$30 million for gender equality, women's empowerment in Afghanistan

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a US$30 million commitment to gender equality and women's empowerment in Afghanistan. The resources will be implemented through UN Women.

The funding will go to a number of areas including increases in social protection services, support for civil society organizations that are run by women for improved women's rights, and resources to improve women's economic empowerment through better access to and training for women. The new US support comes as the Taliban increasingly restricts the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan. 

Press release - USAID

High-income countries acquire monkeypox vaccines, despite most deaths occurring in countries in Africa

While the US and Europe have secured several monkeypox (hMPXV) virus vaccines, Africa has not received any doses despite the vast majority of deaths related to the disease having occurred on the continent. 

Although 16 million doses of the one approved monkeypox vaccine are available globally, higher-income countries have already snatched most up. The US owns the majority of the vaccine supply, the EU has secured 160,000, and the United Kingdom has secured 130,000. 104 people have died from monkeypox this year in African countries, compared to a handful of deaths elsewhere. 

This reflects the early dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic around access to vaccines. Activists reiterate that the current global health architecture is not working and actually fuels health inequality.

News article - Politico

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

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

Biden announces mid-December US-Africa summit

United States President Joe Biden announced a major US-Africa summit to be held in Washington, DC, on December 12-15, 2022. The focus of the summit will be on food security and climate change. Approximately 50 African leaders are expected to attend.

The summit will include leaders from African governments, civil society, US diaspora communities, and the private sector. In a statement, President Biden said the discussion will include efforts on new economic engagement, reinforcing democracy and human rights, COVID-19 and future pandemics, food security, peace, and the climate crisis. 

News article - Al Jazeera

Press release - The White House

South Korea continues to support global COVID-19 response with US$30 million to new World Bank FIF

Park Jin, the South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs, attended a virtual ministerial meeting for COVID-19, entitled 'Pandemic Prioritized Global Action Plan for Enhanced Engagement' to discuss global cooperation on COVID-19 response.

Minister Park shared South Korea’s plan to contribute to the global health cooperation system. For example, South Korea will contribute US$30 million to the World Bank's new Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) - a new financing mechanism to better prepare and respond to future pandemics. In addition to its ongoing contribution to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), South Korea will continue to contribute to the global health system.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)

News article – Yonhapnews (in Korean)

US global COVID-19 money to run out in weeks, warns USAID

The United State Agency for International Development's (USAID) Global Health Assistant Administrator Atul Gawande has warned that the funding for USAID's COVID-19 response will run out in just weeks unless Congress approves new funding. Gawande made his remarks at the health care summit held on Capitol Hill. 

USAID has been asking for additional funds -- a minimum of US$5 billion -- since December 2021, but Congress has not approved any new funding. To date, the agency has assisted 120 countries and has provided almost US$10 billion in assistance. Gawande also said that the lack of funding will mean that the COVID task force will shut down in two months.

News report - The Hill

US to provide US$1.2 billion in assistance to Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya

During his recent trip to the Middle East, US President Joe Biden announced US$1.2 billion in humanitarian and food assistance to Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya to help prevent starvation in light of the unprecedented drought and accompanying famine.  

Most of the assistance will be for emergency food assistance, nutritional assistance to prevent child malnutrition, farming and agricultural support, health and water sanitation services, and assistance to prevent gender-based violence. 

Some of this assistance was part of an emergency supplemental bill previously approved by Congress, most of which was intended for Ukraine. This latest funding announcement brings the total of US assistance to this region to US$1.86 billion for FY2022.

This announcement comes as some members of Congress urged the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development to spend already-approved funding faster.  Staffing shortages and inadequate efforts to quickly move appropriations to food assistance in areas that need it most are the primary reasons for the delay, according to the letter to the Administrator.  

News article - Reuters

Press release - USAID

News article - Washington Post

News article - Devex

Publish What You Fund releases 2022 Aid Transparency Index

Publish What You Fund released its 2022 Aid Transparency Index, which measures the transparency of key bilateral and multilateral international development organizations. Overall, the project found that donors maintained transparency near pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels; 31 of the 50 evaluated organizations scored in the ‘good’ or ‘very good’ categories, meaning they consistently publish high-quality data on development assistance disbursements. 50 donors were evaluated out of 100 points and ranked accordingly.  

Australia: The index showed that Australia's ODA transparency has continued to deteriorate. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) ranked 41 of the 50 donor organizations, a continuance of their declining trend. The agency remained in the ‘fair’ category but lost 10 points on the transparency index. DFAT was 34 of 47 in 2020 and 23 of 45 in 2018. This decline in transparency occurred under the previous Australian government. The recently elected Labor government has committed to improving accountability and transparency in the development sector. 

Canada: Global Affairs Canada (GAC) dropped from the ‘very good’ category in 2020 to ‘good’ in 2022, losing nearly 10 points in Publish What You Fund’s ranking system and ranking 17th overall in 2022, showing a concerning decrease in transparency amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.  

EU: The report evaluated the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), European Investment Bank (EIB), Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR), and the Directorate-General for International Partnerships (INTPA; formerly DEVCO).  

The European Commission’s (EC) ECHO scored ‘good’ overall and ranked 13th among evaluated donors, improving by nearly nine points compared to the 2020 index. The EC’s INTPA scored 15th among evaluated donors and ranked in the ‘good’ category, but declined by 4 points in transparency from 2020. The EBRD’s sovereign portfolio ranked 24th among donors and scored in the ‘good’ category, declining by 3 points since 2020. The non-sovereign portfolio was also placed in the ‘good' category, but ranked 31st among donors. The EC’s NEAR ranked in the ‘good’ category, as it did in 2020, but declined significantly in transparency, dropping nearly 15 points. The EIB’s sovereign portfolio ranked 33rd among donors and remained in the ‘fair’ category, as it was in 2020; the portfolio also lost 3 points in transparency compared to 2020. The EIB’s non-sovereign portfolio also stood in the ‘fair’ category, ranking 37th among donors.  

France: The French Development Agency (AFD) ranked 28th among donors and sat in the ‘good’ category. The agency improved by five points compared to 2020 and jumped up from ‘fair.’  

Germany: Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) scored ‘good’ overall and ranked 11th among evaluated donors, improving by seven points compared to the 2020 index. Germany’s Federal Foreign Office (FFO), on the other hand, ranked 43rd among donors with only 37 of 100 transparency points. 

Italy: The Italian Development Cooperation Agency (AICS) has gradually improved its performance since 2017. In 2020, AICS was placed in the ‘fair’ category, but the agency improved by 5 points, ranking 34th overall in 2022.   

Japan: The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) dropped the most out of the evaluated agencies – by 26 points – sliding from ‘fair’ to ‘poor’ in 2022 and ranking just 47th out of 50 donors evaluated.  

Netherlands: The Netherlands’ Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) declined by 4 points from 2020, but remained in the ‘good’ category, ranking 23rd overall.  

Norway: Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) dropped from ‘fair’ in 2020 to ‘poor’ in 2022, losing seven points.  

South Korea: South Korea’s Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) scored ‘good’ overall and ranked 14th among evaluated donors, improving by seven points compared to the 2020 index. 

Spain: The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) ranked 42nd among donors, losing nearly 17 points since 2020 and remaining in the ‘fair’ category.  

Sweden: The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) ranked 21st among donors, improving by 4 points since 2022 and sitting in the ‘good’ category. 

United Kingdom: The report found the transparency of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has declined.  According to the index’s ranking, the FCDO fell from 9th place in 2020 to 16th in 2022; no UK agency scored in the 'very good' category for the first time since the Index was launched in 2012. The FCDO and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) sat in the ‘good’ category. The FCDO has underperformed compared to the former Department for International Development (2020) across all five Index components; this is largely the result of a lack of organizational and country strategies and inconsistent release of results, evaluations, and objectives.

United States: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) ranked 25th among donors and was placed in the ‘good’ category; however, the agency lost nearly 12 points and declined significantly in transparency since 2020. The US State Department ranked 32nd among donors, losing 5 points since 2020 and dropping out of the ‘good’ category to ‘fair.’  

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent US government agency, scored in the ‘very good’ category and ranked 5th among donors. The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) jumped from ‘fair’ to ‘good’ in 2022, improving by nearly 9 points and ranking 20th among donors.  

Recommendations for all donors included:  

  • Publishing more project budgets to facilitate planning and coordination;  
  • Implementing government entity references and developing referencing approaches for the private sector to track assistance flows;  
  • For Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), improving non-sovereign portfolio data;  
  • Publishing comprehensive data on project impact metrics; and 
  • Publishing budget documents, project procurement information, and impact appraisals.  

Report - Publish What You Fund 

News article – BOND  

News article - The Telegraph 

News article - National Tribune 

US to partner with South African tech company to produce mRNA vaccines

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Afrigen Biologics Ltd -- the company selected by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the technology transfer hub in South Africa -- announced a partnership to develop messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. The vaccines will be used against a host of diseases, including COVID-19, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and Ebola.

This hub -- the first of its kind globally -- was established in 2021 to increase the knowledge and skills needed to produce mRNA vaccines in low- and middle-income countries. The US will supply the materials needed to start the production of the vaccines, as well as technology and training. Ultimately, the hub will be able to establish all processes in-house. However, because no commercial producers (such as Moderna) would share their technology, any vaccines developed by the hub will need to go through human clinical trials. The hub intends to own its intellectual property in the future. 

New article - Devex