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Donor Tracker to host webinar on education in emergencies

Join the Donor Tracker on Tuesday, November 24, 2020, at 15:00-16:00 CET for a webinar addressing education in emergencies, featuring experts from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), a global fund and partnership to improve education in lower-income countries, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency.

The growth of protracted conflicts and the increasing prevalence of emergencies globally have impacted the educational opportunities of millions of children. Precarious humanitarian situations around the world have been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. With just ten years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), amid a global pandemic, prioritizing the educational needs of the world’s most vulnerable children is more important than ever.

However, are donors dedicating sufficient attention to education in emergencies? Join the webinar for a discussion on financing needs, donor priorities, and policy trends in the sector.

This webinar complements our recently published report, ‘Decades of neglect: Donor financing for education in emergencies’.

Registration - Zoom

Report - Donor Tracker

Spain leads global joint statement to strengthen multilateralism

On November 10, 2020, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez hosted a high-level meeting in Madrid to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the UN. The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and heads of state and government from Sweden, Canada, South Korea, Costa Rica, South Africa, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Jordan, and Senegal virtually participated in this event. 

This group of donor and partner countries convened to publish the call to action ‘Joint Statement: Reinforcing Multilateralism Together', with the ambition of reinforcing multilateral institutions, advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and taking concrete measures to address global challenges in key areas such as global health, climate change, gender equality, and digitalization.

This initiative will be shared with other countries to actively mobilize the international community around the following goals:

  • Reduce inequality and leave no one behind;
  • Improve conditions for health, health preparedness, and effectiveness of global health systems;
  • Protect our planet;
  • Promote peace, security, and justice;
  • Defend human rights, democracy, and gender equality;
  • Take "advantage of the digital revolution"; and
  • Ensure sustainable financing.

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

Canada announces 10-year international development priorities, actions to advance SDGs

In an address made to the Canadian International Council, Karina Gould, Canada's Minister of International Development, outlined Canada's top international development priorities for the next decade. 

Canada will continue to work to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and "reshape the international order" to better support the "world’s most vulnerable people" through: 

  1. Continuing to take a feminist approach;
  2. Leading in global health to develop an approach that "delivers for everyone";
  3. Taking ownership over what Canada can do to fight the climate crisis; and
  4. Focusing efforts on democratic governance, transparency, and accountability to uphold human rights, civil liberties, freedom of expression, and a free press.

Transcript - Global Affairs Canada

Canada, EU impose sanctions on Belarus due to "ongoing human rights violations", election fraud

In coordination with the EU, Canada has imposed sanctions against Belarusian government officials "in response to gross and systemic human rights violations" that have restricted freedom of the press, expression, and peaceful assembly. 

The sanctions are being put in place after the fraudulent election in Belarus in August 2020 and the resulting "systemic campaign of repression and state-sponsored violence against public protests and the activities of opposition groups" by the Belarusian government, indicated the Canadian government's press release. 

The sanctions imposed on officials prohibit Canadians from "dealing in any property of these individuals or providing financial or related services to them." Further, these individuals are "inadmissible to Canada" under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. 

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

UK parliament debates whether to waive intellectual property rules on COVID-19 products

Some members of the UK parliament have challenged the government to use its influence at the international level to push for a waiver of intellectual property rules for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, to enable wider access for low- and lower-middle-income countries.  

Speaking at a debate in the Houses of Parliament on November 5, 2020, Wendy Chamberlain, the Liberal Democrat Party’s chief whip, noted that without such urgent action, richer countries will likely crowd out poor countries' access to COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, resulting in a two-tier rollout and deepening existing inequalities.

Chamberlain noted that rules within the World Trade Organisation (WTO) already exist to enable countries to override health monopolies in exceptional public health circumstances. She also cited how Germany, Australia, and Canada have already taken advantage of these rules, loosening their laws around compulsory licenses in order to allow (if required) the use of interventions to assist with COVID-19 without the patent holders' consent.

Chamberlain, who was supported by Sarah Champion (Labour MP and Chair of the International Development Select Committee), called for the UK to step up as a force for good and support the South African and Indian proposal for intellectual property monopolies to be waivered on COVID-19 products.

However, Wendy Morton, minister at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), noted that the UK government wanted the existing rules on intellectual property rights to be upheld and not waivered. Morton cited the importance of intellectual property rights in incentivizing companies to invest in research and development around new drugs against COVID-19. 

The UK government has spent around £1.0 billion ($1.3 billion) on research for COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccines and has contributed £548 million (US$709 million) to the COVAX Facility, an international partnership under the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator that pools resources to negotiate vaccine deals, with the goal to also help lower-income countries have more equitable access to vaccine candidates.

News article - Devex

Canada to co-host UN's Peacebuilding Fund Replenishment Conference, will emphasize gender responsiveness

In January 2021, Canada will co-host the UN's Peacebuilding Fund Replenishment Conference. The purpose of the conference is to secure "predictable and sustained commitments" to the Fund for the next four years.

The Fund will support the international community engaging in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, and this recent round of funding specifically focuses on gender responsiveness and the "unique needs of fragile states during the COVID-19 pandemic."

To date, Canada has consistently been one of the top ten donors to the UN Peacebuilding Fund.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada introduces new 'women, peace and security' agenda initiatives, commits US$11 million for women peacebuilders

While celebrating the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (which recognized the important role that women play in preventing conflicts and called for increased inclusion and protection of women), Canada released new 'women, peace and security' (WPS) agenda initiatives.

The government will provide CA$10 million (US$7 million) for women peacebuilders globally and CA$5 million (US$4 million) for grassroots women peacebuilders. Canada has also introduced a new annual awards program to bring attention to excellence in WPS research and civil society leadership, and is planning a global advocacy campaign to "recognize, support and protect the important work of women peacebuilders".

The WPS agenda is a key part of Canada's feminist international foreign assistance policy.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada's IDRC launches call for proposals from researchers in LMICs, Canada with emphasis on food systems security

Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), in partnership with the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, has called for research proposals focused on improving policy interventions, as well as finding novel solutions to problems related to environmental sustainability, gender, population health, and social equity in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Funds are available for doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows in both LMICs and Canada focusing on one or more of the below themes:

  1. Promoting healthy and sustainable food systems in LMICs;
  2. Supporting interdisciplinary exchanges of ideas; and
  3. Harnessing existing lessons and best practices from research, policy, and civil society realms that work to improve food systems, environmental sustainability, and global health.

Press release - International Development Research Centre

Canada pledges increase in international assistance spending, announces projects in Sahel to fight COVID-19 and climate crises

Canada's Minister of International Development, Karina Gould, has announced that Canada will increase development assistance spending in the Sahel. This pledge is in response to "the deteriorating security situation in the Sahel" and a commitment to support those most vulnerable being impacted.

Gould announced Canada's plan to build "bilateral development assistance programs with Chad and Niger", as well as Canada's involvement in four new development projects in Burkina Faso to respond to critical gaps in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), food security, and agricultural resilience to climate change in the context of COVID-19.

These commitments aim to help the most vulnerable, including those dealing most with the ramifications of the COVID-19 and the climate crises. 

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada announces series of new diplomatic appointments

Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne has announced a series of new diplomatic appointments. These include:

  1. Ailish Johnson Campbell, Ambassador to the European Union (replacing Daniel Costello);
  2. Jenny Hill, Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan (replacing Douglas Scott Proudfoot);
  3. Reid Sirrs, Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (replacing David Metcalfe); and
  4. Claude Demers, Ambassador to the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire (replacing Julie Shouldice).

News release- Global Affairs Canada

Canada's International Development Platform recommends Canada make four immediate commitments to international development

Canada's International Development Platform (CIDP) suggests four commitments that Canada should make on international development immediately. CIDP makes the case for Canada to:

  1. Preserve and codify recent additions to the International Assistance Envelope base;
  2. Take a leadership role on the four deliverables outlined in the International Monetary Fund's 'Mobilizing with Africa' agenda;
  3. Publish a comprehensive accountability report that consolidates Canada’s international COVID-19 response; and
  4. Incorporate the clear evidence of the COVID-19 crisis' gendered impact and the emerging evidence of regression on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicators in an updated development portfolio risk assessment.

Analysis - CIDP

Canada's IDRC approves new research initiatives on COVID-19, food security in sub-Saharan Africa

Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has approved five new research initiatives related to COVID-19’s impact on food systems, nutrition, and food security in sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, in West Africa and the Sahel.

The below 12-month projects were selected for "their capacity to document interventions in real time and share lessons widely for effective responses from government and donor agencies" to the COVID-19 crisis. 

  1. 'Initiative prospective agricole et rurale' (IPAR) will assess the role of social protection and strengthening local food systems in Niayes, Senegal; 
  2. 'Conseil ouest et centre africain pour la recherche et le développement agricoles' (CORAF) will explore the impacts of the pandemic on "food systems and livelihoods" in the Sahel;
  3. 'Association pour la promotion de l'élevage au Sahel et en Savane' (APESS) will support the livestock sector in West and Central Africa;
  4. Institute for Poverty, Land, and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) will examine the political economy of African food systems during the pandemic; and
  5. Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) will research "opportunities for reconfiguring unequal gender relations" in Burkina Faso and Senegal.

News release- IDRC

Canada recognizes International Day of the Girl, moving forward on National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marked the International Day of the Girl by giving a statement on the importance of gender equality to achieving the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals and the threat that the COVID-19 crisis places on progress toward these goals. 

Trudeau reaffirmed Canada's commitment to the empowerment of women and girls both domestically by supporting women and children facing domestic violence and developing a National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence, and internationally through investments that align with the Feminist International Assistance Policy. 

News release - Prime Minister of Canada 

Canada launches center for prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse in development sector

Cooperation Canada, a coalition of Canadian international cooperation organizations, has announced the official launch of Dinga, a center to help Canadian international development and humanitarian organizations improve their PSEA (prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse) policies to protect program participants, especially women and girls.

Digna offers training and resources that rely on "inclusive, intersectional, human-rights based approaches that promote gender equality" and "tackle power imbalances". 

The idea for Dinga emerged in 2018 from Cooperation Canada's Steering Committee on the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Misconduct, and its development started in the spring of 2019. 

Press release - Cooperation Canada

Canada's IDRC launches AI Readiness Index, emphasizes need for responsible use of artificial intelligence

Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), in partnership with Oxford Insights, have developed the 2020 Government AI Readiness Index which measures "country preparedness for artificial intelligence (AI)". This Index is the first to incorporate an aspect of "responsible use" into the design.  

The Index points to the challenges and opportunities of government AI readiness and responsibilities. The purpose is to help inform policies among governments and stakeholders globally and promote knowledge sharing. Even though AI has the potential to "transform public services," there is also potential for irresponsible use that deepens existing global inequalities. 

Canada ranks 14th in "AI governance readiness," and 11th in responsible AI use. A key insight from the Index is that low-income countries are adopting AI and recognizing the significance of responsible AI, with Senegal ranking 9th and Mauritius ranking 13th in this category. 

Press release - IDRC

With focus on gender-based analysis, Canada announces funding for Ukraine security reform

Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne, has announced over CA$4 million (US$3 million) in funding to strengthen Ukraine's defense and security sector.

Specifically, this funding will go toward projects that "integrate technical expertise, gender-based analysis, and results-based management tools to enhance security sector institutions."

This funding builds on Canada's Operation UNIFIER (launched in 2015) which provides military training and capacity building to Ukraine.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Fearing backslide on SDG progress, Canada announces additional US$300 million to support humanitarian COVID-19 response

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an additional CA$400 million (US$300 million) in development assistance funding for this year at the 'High-Level event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID‑19 and Beyond'.

Canada's funding will be used to support organizations on the ground responding to the impacts of COVID-19 in low-income countries. Specifically, funding will support the economic recovery of low-income countries and respond to the humanitarian and development challenges within these partner countries.

The ultimate goal of this funding is to maintain the development gains made in the last decade and to ensure that the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are supported.

Press release - Prime Minister of Canada

At opening of Canada's new parliamentary session, remarks imply interest in increasing development assistance

The Canadian International Development Platform (CIDP) offered an analysis of the recent 'Speech from the Throne' given at the opening of Canada's new parliamentary session and its potential implications for Canada's development spending.

CIDP argued that Canada's development sector must push the government to act on its verbal commitment to a sustainable, transparent, and accountable increase in development spending.

CIDP found that the speech offered a meaningful opportunity to build support for development. Their analysis of the past five opening speeches indicated that this is the first time that an explicit reference to increasing international development spending was made.

Analysis - CIDP

Canada nominates former Minister of Finance for OECD Secretary-General

Canada has nominated former minister of finance Bill Morneau as Secretary-General for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The OECD, a member-run organization, is seeking a leader who "recognizes the importance of all member states’ views, has the capacity to build consensus, and understands the intricacies of government policy-making."

Canada is confident that Morneau’s experience as Finance Minister in 2015-2020, as well as his previous leadership roles in the philanthropic and private sector, have prepared him for this role. 

In the coming months, Morneau will meet with key officials from OECD member states to discuss his key priorities of economic recovery in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, digital regulation and taxation, climate issues, and gender equality. 

The OECD will appoint a new Secretary-General by March 1, 2021. This Secretary-General will commence their five-year term on June 1, 2021.

News release - Global Affairs Canada

Friends of COVAX Facility issue joint statement calling for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine

Member countries of the Friends of the COVAX Facility (FOF) issued a joint statement that called for equitable, fair, and affordable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for all.

The COVAX Facility has made it a goal to deliver two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by 2021 and is managing the largest, most diverse vaccine portfolio. Members of FOF will also support other global health initiatives including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the World Health Organization (WHO); and the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to operationalize the facility.

Stressing the importance of collective and bold efforts to end the global pandemic, FOF concluded by calling for other countries to join the global work towards vaccine multilateralism.

Press release – European Union