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Finance in Common Summit mobilizes 500 development banks to address climate change, promotes sustainable development

Following the inaugural Finance in Common Summit (FiCS), held in 2020 during the Paris Peace Forum, more than 500 public development banks will meet for a second time from October 19-20, 2021, to address climate change and sustainable development action.

FiCS, held under the leadership of the Italian G20 presidency, will be hosted by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), the Italian National Promotional Institution and Financial Institution for Development Cooperation, in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Finance in Common Coalition.

The event will take place in Rome via face-to-face and digital formats.

Speakers include: the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guteres; the Secretary General of the OECD, Mathias Cormann; the President of the European Investment Bank, Wermer Hoyer; the managing director of development policy and partnerships of the World Bank, Mari Pangestu; and many others.

Website - Finance in Common

G20 leaders commit to ensuring humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan

At the G20 extraordinary meeting on Afghanistan, the G20 head of states committed to supporting humanitarian assistance in the country, focusing primarily on vulnerable groups, such as women, children, and people with disabilities.

The G20 leaders called upon leaders to find solutions to maintain essential services; in particular, they desire for strengthened education and health sectors. Furthermore, the leaders flagged the importance of a functioning payment system and overall financial stability in the region. The G20 leaders committed to cooperate with international organizations, international financial institutions, including multilateral development banks, and humanitarian actors in the field. The G20 countries invite the World Bank to explore possible ways to redirect support to international agencies for humanitarian efforts.

Finally, the G20 leaders emphasize the importance of ensuring a rapid vaccination campaign and fully administering previously donated vaccines via COVAX and stand ready to provide more.

Chair summary - G20 website

Failure to to uphold US$100.0 billion climate finance agreement will lead to deteriorating trust between development partners, UK warns

A new UK parliament report acknowledged that the UK is unlikely to meet one of its key goals for its Presidency of the COP26 international climate conference - confirming high-income countries' commitment to providing $100.0 billion in climate finance for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The report notes that the failure to achieve this goal will damage the level of trust between negotiating parties, making it harder to make progress on key UK goals for the upcoming COP26.

The UK government set out four key goals for its Presidency of COP26:

  • Have all participating countries submit more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), that commit to further cuts in carbon emissions by 2030;
  • Have all countries commit to reaching net-zero emissions as soon as possible;
  • Ensure that high-income countries honor their commitment to providing US$100.0 billion dollars a year in climate finance for LMICs and climate-vunlerable countries; and,
  • Agree on a package that furthers the Paris Agreement.

Progress is observable for most goals, but the UK parliament acknowledged that the government is likely to miss its goal of having all high-income countries honor their commitment to provide US$100.0 billion dollars per year in climate finance for LMICs.

The original commitment to provide US$100.0 billion in climate finance to LMICs was made by high-income countries in 2009 and has been reiterated at key meetings following its initial proposal and ratification. While final figures will not be available on climate finance until 2022, it is generally accepted that the 2020 goal has not been met. The most recent figures available are dated to 2019 and show that only US$79.6 billion has been raised in climate finance so far. The UK has committed to increasing its commitments to £11.6 billion (US$15.6 billion) in the next four years, and recent pledges by the US, Germany, and Canada mean that total pledges may currently hover around US$10.0 billion short of the target.

The report is clear that this shortcoming will have a negative impact on the level of trust between countries and is likely to make it difficult to make ambitious progress on other key UK goals at COP26. LMICs are being asked to cut their own future emissions while being most-vulnerable to climate change as a result of high-income countries’ historic emissions.

The report also highlights tensions in the type of financing that high-income countries are providing to LMICs as climate finance. Target countries have indicated a clear preference for climate finance to be provided in the form of grants, not loans. However, most public climate finance to date has been provided as loans. In 2019, around 79% of the US$79.6 billion in climate finance provided to LMICs was from governments, and loans comprised 71% of this funding. The UK, to its credit, has provided most of its climate finance as grants. 87% of UK climate finance between 2014 and 2021 was delivered as grants, totalling £4.9 billion (US$6.6 billion).

Report – UK Parliament


Italy's Draghi calls on leaders to raise US$100.0 billion for climate climate crisis

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi attended Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition, the COP26 pre-conference in Milan for youth advocates fighting for climate action. 

The UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, will take place in Glasgow, Scotland from October 31 - November 12, 2021.

In his final speech, Draghi called for a pledge of US$100.0 billion for low- and lower-middle-income countries and climate-vulnerable nations, specifying the need for grants rather than loans to address the ongoing climate crisis. 

Video transcript - Italian Government Website 

South Korea commits US$9 million in climate-centered ODA

South Korea's Ministry of Environment (MOE) will participate in the Fourth Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific, where it will announce South Korea’s official development assistance (ODA) contributions to international organizations on climate.

South Korea will establish and provide US$5 million to the Green New Deal Fund Trust Fund of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and contribute US$4 million to the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals (P4G). South Korea hosted the 2021 P4G Summit in May.

Press release – Ministry of Environment (in Korean)

New UNICEF global innovation hub in Sweden announced

UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recently agreed to establish its new headquarters for innovation in Stockholm, Sweden.

In cooperation with Swedish businesses, academia, and civil society organizations, the center, which will employ approximately 100 people, is expected to contribute to innovative solutions promoting children’s rights and wellbeing. The center will collaborate with smaller UNICEF thematic innovation hubs in regional offices.

UNICEF is expected to benefit from Sweden’s position as an innovative development partner as well as the country’s reputable private sector innovation ecosystem.

Press release – Government Offices of Sweden (in Swedish)

Canadian Foreign Minister highlights development assistance shortcomings at UNGA, calls on partners for action

In an address to the 76th United Nations General Assembly, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marc Garneau, emphasized the urgent need to work together to combat the world’s most pressing challenges, which include: increasing climate finance, addressing inequalities, and supporting refugees and humanitarian efforts. 

Garneau highlighted Canada’s recent commitment to double its climate finance contribution to CA$5.3 billion (US$4.2 billion) over the next five years. However, Garneau also noted that more must be done and that governments should act together to foster climate action. 

Additionally, Garneau argued that Canada and its global partners must scale up production and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Garneau called for global solidarity in advancing vaccine access and in addressing rising debt levels and liquidity challenges facing LMICs. 

Concerning refugee and humanitarian crises, Garneau announced that Canada will double its commitment to supporting refugees; he specifically committed to welcoming 40,000 Afghan refugees, an increase from Canada's previous commitment of 20,000. However, Garneau also argued that humanitarian efforts by Canada and its partners should not overshadow assistance in combating the root causes of crises.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

News article - New York Times

Spainish PM Sánchez supports global health initiatives and new Financial Intermediary Fund at UNGA

On September 22, 2021, at the 76th United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) plenary session, Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, addressed the importance of strengthening multilateralism and advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in order to tackle world’s existing inequities.

PM Sánchez, who primarily spoke on the COVID-19 pandemic, called for a new global health treaty for pandemic preparedness and for making sure the most vulnerable populations have equal access to COVID-19 vaccines. 

PM Sánchez additionally announced the following commitments:

  • €2 million (US$2.35 million) for Unitaidthe Access for Covid-19 Tools Accelerator’s (ACT-A) therapeutic pillar;
  • An additional 7.5 million COVID-29 vaccine donation to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, bringing Spain's total to 30 million donated doses; and
  • €30 million (US$35 million) for the climate Adaptation Fund to be disbursed in 2022, as part of Spain’s pledge for the COP26 climate talks, which will take place in Glasgow in November 2021. 

Sánchez also advocated for the creation of a new financial tool under the International Monetary Fund to support the most vulnerable countries in the post-pandemic recovery.

Press release – la Moncloa (in Spanish)

UK Prime Minister calls on high-income countries to uphold US$100 billion climate finance commitment

UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, used his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 20, 2021, to convey frustration over high-income nations' failure to adhere to their US$100 billion climate finance commitment to assist low-income and climate-vulnerable nations. 

The original commitment to climate finance was established in 2009 at the UN COP16 and full delivery of the funds was intended by 2020.  

The UK holds the Presidency of the UN COP26, which will be held in November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. With its presidency, the UK is keen to fulfill the funding promise, but lacks support from other high-income nations.

Johnson highlighted in his speech that high-income nations are causing detrimental climate change damage and low-income and climate-vulnerable nations suffer the consequences. He reiterated that while some progress has been made to mitigate climate crisis impacts globally, unfulfilled promises of funding and policy change indicate the need for far more action. 

The UK government provided £5.8 billion (US$ 8.0 billion) in official development assistance (ODA) to International Climate Finance for low-income countries between 2015 and 2021 and has committed to doubling funding to £11.6 billion (US$16.0 billion) between 2021-2025.

Press release – UK government

Former UK Prime Minister appointed WHO Ambassador for Global Health Financing

Former Prime Minister of the UK, Gordon Brown, was appointed as the World Health Organization's (WHO) Ambassador for Global Health Financing. The role will entail strengthening support for long-term global health financing, particularly from G20 and G7 countries.

Brown is widely praised for his management of the 2008 global financial crisis and his stewardship at the 2009 London G20 summit. The announcement was made by the WHO on September 20, 2021.

News article -  WHO

G20 Agriculture Ministers sign Florence Sustainability Charter to improve food security

The G20 Ministers of Agriculture met in Florence, Italy on September 17-18, 2021, and approved the Florence Sustainability Charter to address food security in the three-dimensional sustainability framework: economic, social, and environmental.

Furthermore, the Ministers reaffirmed their intent to reach zero hunger, which has been severely threatened by ramifications from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Charter will strengthen cooperation between G20 members and low-income countries on food and agriculture; the agreement allows nations to share knowledge and establish internal production capacities best suited to local environments, contributing to the resilience and further recovery of agriculture in rural communities.

Florence Sustainability Charter - G20

South Korea increases ODA by more than US$200 million in the Philippines for COVID-19 crisis response

South Korea's Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF) increased its official development assistance (ODA) in the Philippines, allocating an additional US$200 million concessional loan and US$2.5 million in grant assistance to enhance the Philippines' COVID-19 response.

South Korea also raised the concessional loan limit to US$3 billion for 2022-2026. The two countries additionally discussed large-scale infrastructure investments as well as digital and green new deal ODA projects for 2022-2026. One proposed project includes funding climate mitigation responses in the Pampanga province of the Philippines.

News article – Money Today News (in Korean)

President of South Korea’s international health agency recommends future steps for ODA in reponse to COVID-19 crisis

President Moojin Choo of the Korea Foundation for International Healthcare (KOFIH) provided recommendations for South Korea’s official development assistance (ODA) in response to changing global health needs due to the COVID-19 crisis.

KOFIH, which is an agency affiliated with South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare, implements ODA projects in the health sectors of partner countries.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Choo recommended that global health development funding aim to strengthen the basic health and medical systems of partner countries. In addition, Choo indicated that South Korea’s support should be aligned with the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as partner countries’ national development strategies.

More capacity-building funding and investments were also recommended by health and medical ODA experts. Lastly, the president recommended stronger public support and understanding for international cooperation concerning global health security.

News article – Medical News (in Korean)

NGOs call for UK government to postpone COP26 as fears grow that low-income countries may struggle to participate

More than 1,500 civil society organizations from 130 countries have collectively called for the UK government to postpone the UN COP26 climate talks.

COP26 will be held in Glasgow, Scotland in November of 2021 with the UK hosting the event and holding the Presidency. The groups, which are members of the Climate Action Network, made the public demand based on growing fears that participants from low-income and climate-vulnerable nations will struggle to attend the in-person event due to the high cost of the UK's COVID-19 travel requirements.  

In response to the statement by the Climate Action Network, the UK government noted that all delegates who have not been able to get a vaccine will receive the jab this week. The UK government also announced that it would provide funding to all participants (including media and observers attending) that will require a ten-day quarantine under the UK’s COVID-19 travel requirements.

The UK government has labeled some countries as ‘red list’ countries, many of which are low-income and climate-vulnerable countries. Travelers from these countries are required to quarantine in a hotel. The government will provide funding to cover the costs of a hotel for all participants traveling from red-list nations. 

News article – BOND

G20 Health Ministers commit to vaccinating at least 40% of global population by end of 2021

The G20 Health Ministers met in Rome on September 5-6, 2021, and committed to vaccinating at least 40% of the global population by the year's end.

The Health Ministers' final declaration focuses on the fight against COVID-19 (particularly, the support of global access to vaccination) and the importance of preventing future pandemics, emphasizing the role of the One Health approach that includes animal and planetary health.

Final declaration - G20

Nigeria, Kenya, Niger to receive first of Canadian-donated COVID-19 doses through COVAX

The Canadian government pledged to provide Nigeria, Kenya, and Niger with more than 1 million COVID-19 doses through the COVAX initiative.

Nigeria will receive 801,600 doses, Kenya 459,300, and Niger 100,800.

Canada’s contribution comes as part of a recent pledge of over 40 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the COVAX initiative. Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, recognized Canada for its strong commitment to global public health. Canada has pledged over CA$500 million (US$399 million) to the COVAX Advanced Market Commitment (AMC), CA$1.3 billion (US$1.0 billion) to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, and 40 million vaccine doses to COVAX. 

News article - Gavi

South Korea invests US$7 million in elimination of gender-based violence in Bolivia and Peru

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) announced that it will invest US$7 million and US$6 million in Bolivia and Peru, respectively, to help achieve gender equality in the two countries by addressing gender-based violence.

KOICA will cooperate with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to enhance the sexual and reproductive health and rights of female adolescents in Bolivia through 2025. In Peru, KOICA will partner with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for capacity building of the legal system.

Press release – Korea International Cooperation Agency (in Korean)

South Korean foreign ministry proposes 17% ODA budget increase for 2022

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of South Korea announced its budget proposal for 2022, which includes an official development assistance (ODA) budget increase of 17.3%, reaching KRW1.1 billion (US$1 million).

The decision stems from the increased need for global support to fight the COVID-19 crisis. MOFA also requested a KRW62.4 billion (US$57 million) budget increase for the Global Disease Eradication Fund to fulfill its commitment of providing US$100 million to COVAX Advance Market Commitments (AMC) for 2022.

The final budget for 2022 will be confirmed in December 2021 upon approval by the National Parliament.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)

G7 leaders support UN-led international humanitarian response in Afghanistan, call on Taliban government to uphold international human rights

The UK, as President of the G7 in 2021, hosted a virtual leaders’ meeting of the G7 on August 24 to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan. 

The leaders, delivering a statement from the meeting, called for a cessation of all violence, and agreed to support an UN-led international humanitarian response. The G7 leaders also called upon the new Taliban-led government to uphold international human rights particularly for women and girls and uphold international humanitarian law.

The UN has estimated that 18 million people are now in need of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan following the collapse of the government and the Taliban takeover, as US and UK troops withdrew from the country. The UN has also warned that the violence in Afghanistan must stop, noting that if current trends continue, Afghanistan could record the highest-ever number of documented civilian casualties, since the UN’s began collecting annual data on these figures.  

The UK has agreed to increase its official development assistance (ODA) to Afghanistan to £286 million (US$384 million) and has committed to receiving 20,000 Afghan refugees over the next five years. It also has an Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) which was launched on April 1, 2021 and will remain in place until November 2022, that offers any current or former locally employed staff working for the UK government in Afghanistan (that is assessed to be under serious threat to life) to be offered relocation to the UK.

G7 Leaders' statement - G7

News article - BOND

South Korean national research institute makes recommendations for Afghanistan assistance following US withdrawal

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), a South Korean national research institute, published a report with recommendations for the South Korean government in supporting Afghanistan after the US withdrawal from the country.

Operating on the assumption that South Korea will halt its official development assistance (ODA) program to Afghanistan, KIEP recommended that the Korean government:

  • Continuously monitor Afghanistan and its neighboring countries’ situation and develop a new foreign strategy;
  • Strengthen communication and cooperation with international organizations to resume ODA to Afghanistan since South Korea has a large share of grants channeled through international organizations; and
  • Establish its position on Afghanistan refugees and develop a relevant strategy.

News article – Financial News (in Korean)