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Donor Tracker seeks feedback on how to better serve advocacy community

The Donor Tracker team wants to better understand its users' experience and to gather ideas about how we can make the Donor Tracker even more valuable to the global development community throughout the rest of 2020 and beyond. That's where we could use your help. We've put together a short survey to ask you directly about how you use the Donor Tracker, which content and features you find most useful, and the kinds of things you would like to see. Your responses will shape and inform new features that we bring to the website.

Survey - Donor Tracker

Twitter - Donor Tracker

South Korea announces climate change mitigation projects in Indonesia and Timor-Leste

The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) of South Korea announced a plan to implement projects aimed at improving access to solar energy in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. According to its 'Green New Deal Official Development Assistance', KOICA will invest KRW22 billion (US$19 million) over five years (2020 to 2024). In addition to mitigating climate change, this project will contribute to reducing unequal access to electricity among vulnerable groups in partner countries, and will provide a mechanism of local income generation through solar energy production.

Press release – KOICA (in Korean)

South Korea joins ACT-Accelerator as Facilitation Council member

South Korea's Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) announced that the government has joined the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator as a Facilitation Council member. South Korea is one of the eight countries — US, China, India, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, and Mexico — in the 'market leader group'.

Following their first meeting on September 10, the ACT-Accelerator Facilitation Council issued a statement committing to:

  • Providing continued political leadership to promote international support for the ACT-Accelerator;
  • Advocating on behalf of ACT-Accelerator to help secure the financial resources necessary to maximize impact; and
  • Fulfilling the commitment of leaving no one behind.

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

South Korea and Association of Southeast Asian Nations announce action plan for 2021-2025

The South Korean government and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) announced the plan of action for 2021-2025 to implement the joint vision statement for peace, prosperity, and partnership that was adopted in 2010. The action plan covers five types of cooperation: 1) political and security, 2) economic, 3) socio-cultural, 4) cross-sectoral, and 5) sustainable development.

For cooperation on health, the two parties will strengthen efforts on universal health coverage, cooperate in public health emergency response, exchange information and expertise, and explore cooperation to address emerging health challenges.

Press release – ASEAN

Dutch Parliament to launch talks with manufacturer Philips regarding ventilators for Netherlands, low-income countries

On September 2, 2020, the Dutch Parliament voted to engage with Dutch medical electronics giant Philips to address ventilator shortages in the Netherlands and to examine how these devices could be made available in low-income countries.

Philips has a surplus of almost 30,000 ventilators due to the premature termination of a contract with the United States. Jesse Klaver, leader of the Dutch green-left party (Groen Links) and one of the members of parliament who proposed the motion said during the debate that the COVID1- crisis "called for global solidarity and if there are additional ventilators the company could give them away to developing countries in need.”

News article – Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch)

Press release – Parliament of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

Dutch COVID-19 special envoy to resign

The former CEO of chemical company DSM, Feike Sijbesma, will conclude his work as COVID-19 special envoy for the Dutch government at the end of September 2020. During his time as COVID-19 special envoy, he mapped the developments of possible COVID-19 vaccines and worked to obtain sufficient test capacity.

News article – nu.nl (in Dutch)

Dutch Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation parliamentary committee approves formation of Dutch-African trade apparati

On September 3, 2020, the Dutch Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation approved the creation of a task force to promote trade and economic development between the Netherlands and continental Africa and the formation of a public-private 'Africa coalition'.

The state of affairs regarding global climate diplomacy, the global approach to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the outcome of the Global Vaccine Summit were also discussed at the meeting. The committee also gave clearance for the formation of Invest International, a new Dutch development institution.

Press release – Dutch Government

Paul Huijts named as new Secretary-General of Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands appointed Paul Huijts as its new Secretary-General.  He has been both the Secretary-General of the Ministry of General Affairs since 2014 and the Director-General Public Health at the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare, and Sport. The Secretary-General is the highest official of the Ministry and is the first official point of contact for the Minister.

Press release – Dutch Government (in Dutch)

Germany joins ACT-Accelerator’s COVAX Facility

According to an announcement made by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Gheybreyesus at a press conference in Geneva on Monday, August 31, Germany has submitted an expression of interest to join the COVAX Facility. The COVAX Facility represents the vaccines pillar of the ACT-Accelerator. It aims to procure two billion potential COVID-19 vaccine doses for all countries in the world by the end of 2021.   

News article – Reuters

EU member states join COVAX, contribute US$459 million

On August 31, 2020, the European Commission (EC) announced that the EU and its member states, including the Netherlands, have joined COVAX. The EU has contributed US$459 million to the coalition.

Launched in April of 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO), COVAX's goal is to ensure equal access to vaccines in all countries of all income levels. Once a vaccine is approved, each country will receive a share based on its population. COVAX is in negotiations with nine vaccine producers and aims to secure 2 billion vaccines by the end of 2021.

News article – NRC (in Dutch)

Press release – Gavi

Germany aims to contribute to global COVID-19 vaccine supply, says German Minister

The German Minister of Education and Research, Anja Karliczek, has announced Germany’s support for three biotech companies in building up production capacities for an eventual COVID-19 vaccine. According to Karliczek, Germany aims to contribute to vaccine manufacturing for Europe and the world. It understands its obligation to produce vaccine doses beyond Germany’s national demand. 

Press release – BMBF (in German)

Netherlands' 2021-2025 development policy framework prioritizes support to people with disabilities in low-income countries

The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, updated parliament on the international commitment of the Netherlands to support people with disabilities in low-income countries as part of the ‘leave no one behind’ agenda. People with disabilities are not a separate target group of Dutch international cooperation policy, but the Netherlands contributes to Education Cannot Wait (ECW) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), both of which prioritize reaching marginalized groups, such as children with disabilities.

Inclusion is central to the development of the new policy framework ‘Strengthening Civil Society’ from 2021 to 2025 and the corresponding country projects reflect that. The Dutch embassy in Bangladesh will fund the development organization Building Resources Across Communities (BRAC) to provide people with disabilities greater access to sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Dutch funding will also support the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSCC) to improve sanitation and hygiene for people with disabilities in 13 countries in Africa and Asia. 

Press release – Dutch Government (in Dutch)

Australian university launches Pacific Islands COVID-19 assistance tracker

Griffith University in Queensland, Australia has launched a tracker of COVID-19 assistance to the Pacific Islands. The tool tracks spending including concessional finance, debt forgiveness, in-kind donations, and grant funding.

Details are provided through a clickable map of donations by country. All assistance is shown in US dollars and includes where the funding was reported.

COVID-19 Aid to the Pacific Tracker -  Griffith University

EU’s 'external action' budget is insufficient, say German Development Minister and leader of European People's Party

In a joint open editorial published in the German newspaper “Handelsblatt”, German Development Minister Gerd Müller and the Leader of the European People's Party in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, called on the EU to increase the budget for the EU’s ‘external action` in the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027. They also suggested abandoning the unanimity rule to ensure the EU’s ability to act in its foreign and development policy. 

Pointing to persisting wars as well as global challenges such as climate change, food insecurity, and the COVID-19 pandemic, they outlined the need for a united Europe willing to take geopolitical responsibility in a turbulent world. However, with less than 10% of the budget currently earmarked for its external action, Europe denies itself the ability to act, they stated.

Müller and Weber further highlighted the importance of funding for an effective Africa strategy to enable the continent to become economically self-sustaining. To this end, new instruments such as a European Investment and Development Bank would be necessary, they said.

News article – Handelsblatt (in German)

Pacific Islands face threat of major instability and hunger, says Pacific Islands Forum Secretary-General

Dame Meg Taylor, head of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, has warned that Pacific regional economies face a prolonged challenge that would aggravate existing nutrition, healthcare, and state fragility issues. Taylor was speaking prior to a virtual meeting of Forum economic ministers.

The ANU Development Policy Centre reported that per capita income in the Pacific has barely risen since 1980 and that poor health systems and unemployment levels have made the region particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Of the 20 top assistance-dependent countries in the world, one is Timor Leste and another nine are located in the South Pacific. The Centre has therefore established a Pacific COVID Economic Database to enable monitoring of economic policy across the Pacific countries.

News article - The Guardian Australia

Development Policy Centre Blog - Australian National University

Donor Tracker to host webinar on climate finance and role of ODA

Join the Donor Tracker this Thursday, August 6, 2020, from 16:00-17:00 (CEST), for a webinar addressing the pressing need for international climate finance in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

In 2015, the latest in a series of global climate change agreements was signed in Paris. The Paris Agreement includes a pledge made by donor countries to mobilize US$100 billion a year by 2020 for climate action in LMICs. This upcoming Donor Tracker webinar will examine the role that ODA can and should play in funding for climate action, including the US$100 billion target. It will include an overview of trends in ODA-related climate funding and policies by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) donors.

This webinar, and our recently published report on climate finance and ODA, complements the recent addition of ‘Climate’ as a sector of analysis across the Donor Tracker Donor Profiles. Climate was added this year in recognition of the importance of climate action to the future of global development efforts.

Registration - Zoom

Thirty-five countries support Italian-led COVID-19 Food Coalition

Thirty-five countries, including Argentina, Egypt, the Netherlands, Nigeria, and the United States joined the COVID-19 Food Coalition, an initiative launched in June by the Italian government and lead by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).

The alliance is a multi-stakeholder platform focusing on mobilizing political, financial, and technical assistance to support the medium- and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food systems and agriculture.

Article - Onuitalia website (English)

African Union to receive 1.4 million COVID-19 tests from German Development Ministry

As part of its Emergency COVID-19 Support Program, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) will provide a total of 1.4 million COVID-19 tests to the African Union to support it in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pointing to the 20,000 new infections currently reported every day on the African continent - twice as much as last month's rate – German Development Minister Gerd Müller underscored Germany’s solidarity with its partners and the importance of a global response to beat COVID-19.  

The first batch of test kits was handed over to the African Union by the BMZ’s Epidemic Preparedness Team on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

Press release - BMZ

Report from Norwegian development agency raises spectre of post-pandemic cuts to global ODA

The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) published a report, entitled 'Development assistance in the aftermath of the corona pandemic', in which Norad experts outline the current situation and highlight their concerns.

Documenting increased inequality, food shortages, and violence against women and children, the report indicates that the COVID-19 crisis has led to greater challenges for the very poor. Furthermore, it suggests that the pandemic has increased opportunities for corruption in many countries. Despite these increased development challenges, Norad director, Bård Vegar Solhjell, fears that many rich countries will cut development assistance as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. 

News article – Bistandsaktuelt

Donor Tracker to host webinar on gender equality and donor finance for women's economic empowerment

Join Donor Tracker this Friday, July 24 from 15:00-16:00 (CEST) for a webinar exploring donor financing for women’s economic empowerment, featuring analysis from the Donor Tracker team and our partner, the ONE Campaign.

Gender equality, including women's financial inclusion and economic empowerment, has gained increasing attention from the international donor community in recent years; but to what extent can donors' rhetorical commitment to the issue be seen reflected in data on donors' financing for women's economic empowerment? In this Donor Tracker webinar, Kalila Jaeger and Isabela Vera from the Donor Tracker and Ebba Henningsson from ONE will guide participants through an introduction to the OECD’s gender equality policy marker, discuss the current state of donor finance for gender-related development programming, and explore trends in donor countries' spending on economic empowerment initiatives for women.

Registration - Zoom