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South Korea provides US$60 million in concessional loans for Tunisian land infrastructure development

South Korea's Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), which is responsible for implementing concessional loans, has agreed to provide US$60 million for a land information system construction project in Tunisia.

This project is part of EDCF’s commitment to enhance digital and green official development assistance (ODA), which are key aspects of South Korea’s New Deal Plan.

News article – FN Times (in Korean)

South Korean politicians discuss methods for improving global health assistance to support partner countries’ global pandemic response

Members of the national assembly of South Korea, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, organized a seminar on South Korea’s global health assistance strategy in the COVID-19 era.

Politicians from both ruling and opposition parties remarked on the necessity to strengthen global cooperation to respond to the global pandemic and for South Korea to strengthen its global partnerships and humanitarian assistance activities to support partner countries’ COVID-19 responses.

The seminar also brought together representatives of academia, the private sector company, and several government ministries, including the ministries of foreign affairs, health, and economy and finance. The Foreign Ministry representative commented on the need to increase strategic partnerships with global health initiatives while better preparing for future pandemics through the expansion of finance and stronger engagement with the Global Disease Eradication Fund (GDEF).

Currently, South Korea’s contributions to global health initiatives, including Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, come from the GDEF which is based on a levy on international flights.

News article – Akom News (in Korean)

UK development assistance budget cut to last for years as parliamentarians vote to lock in cut

The UK government, in a surprise decision, allowed UK Members of Parliament (MPs) to vote on the government’s decision to cut its ODA budget, after many months of the government rejecting the need for a parliamentary vote on the issue. On July 13, 2021, UK parliamentarians voted to accept the government’s proposal to cut the official development assistance (ODA) budget from 0.7% of the country's gross national income to 0.5%.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, who announced the cuts, offered parliamentarians two choices. The first was to override the government's decision and restore the ODA budget to 0.7% of national income by January 2022. The second was to support the government’s proposal to cut the ODA budget and agree that it will only be increased back to 0.7% when the national debt is falling and borrowing is no longer used for day-to-day spending. The government proposal won with a majority of 35 votes, with 25 Conservative MPs rebelling against the vote.

The government has noted that under its new criteria laid out in the parliamentary motion, the ODA budget could be back at 0.7% in a couple of years. However, Conservative rebel MPs argue that in reality, the new criteria would lock the UK out of spending 0.7% in the long term. Three former Prime Ministers from the Conservative Party condemned the decision, with John Major noted that it was a "stamp of little England, not global Britain".

News article - BBC news

News article - The Guardian

Canada announces 18 million additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine for COVAX, donation matching campaign to UNICEF Canada’s vaccination drive

On July 12, 2021, Canadian Minister of International Development Karina Gould, announced that Canada will donate an additional 18 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX). The Minister also announced that Canada will match, dollar for dollar, donations made by Canadians to UNICEF Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination fundraising campaign up to a maximum of CA$10 million (US$8 million). 

The 18 million doses will be administered through a newly-funded COVAX Dose Sharing mechanism. The UNICEF fund matching campaign, “Give a Vax” will run until September 6, 2021. A fully funded matching fund campaign would cover COVID-19 vaccination costs of approximately 4 million people worldwide. Funds raised will enable UNICEF to cover the cost to transport vaccines to countries in need, keep vaccines viable, and train health care workers to administer vaccines, among other costs. This announcement builds on the more than CA$2.5 billion (US$2.0 billion) that Canada has already committed to supporting the global response to COVID-19.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada 

News article - CBC

UK government supports new, industry-led Impact Investment Taskforce to harness global private finance for pandemic recovery

The UK government has given its support to a new industry-led Impact Investment Taskforce that seeks to expand private finance at the global level to ensure a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Impact investment is an approach through which investors seek both financial rewards and also positive environmental and social impacts from their investments.

The Taskforce, chaired by Nick Hurd—a Conservative Member of Parliament who was formerly the Minister for London—will develop a set of recommendations for Foreign and Development Ministers and the financial sector at the global level, and it will coordinate efforts at the G7, G20, and COP26 (the UN Climate Change Conference). The Taskforce will explore recommendations around the:  

  • Potential global standards for measuring the social and environmental impacts of financial investments; and
  • Type of financial instruments/tools that are best suited to raise capital for socially impactful investments in climate, health, or education.

The Taskforce will meet for the first time in August 2021.

Press release - UK government

G20 Panel on Financing Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response calls on G20 to increase funding for global health by US$15.0 billion per year

The G20 High-Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (HLIP) presented its official report, 'A Global Deal for Our Pandemic Age', to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on July 9, 2021. The Panel called the G20 and international community for a public funding increase in global financing of at least US$15.0 billion per year over the next five years.

The report said that the additional US$15.0 billion per year should include US$10.0 billion annually to a Global Health Threats Fund, which should be established to support investments for pandemic preparedness and response, and US$5.0 billion per year to increase funding to existing global health international institutions, including the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as creating dedicated pandemic preparedness concessional financing windows in the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) and Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs).

The Panel also asked to create a new Global Health Threats Board, bringing together finance and health ministers as well as international organizations.

The Panel emphasized the importance of all nations prioritizing and sustaining domestic investments in pandemic preparedness over time.

The G20 will be taking into account the Panel’s recommendations in the lead-up to the G20 Joint Finance and Health Ministers’ Meeting hosted by Italy in October.

Report – G20

Press release G20

Oxfam releases new international report on food insecurity during COVID-19 pandemic, Oxfam Canada calls for government action

A new Oxfam report, ‘The Hunger Virus Multiplies’, says that as many as eleven people per minute are likely dying of hunger and malnutrition—more than the current global death rate of COVID-19 at around seven people each minute. With half a million people pushed into famine-like conditions since the pandemic started, Oxfam Canada called for more government action to address the crisis.

The report found that 155 million people around the world are now living with crisis levels of food insecurity or worse, which is 20 million more than last year. Oxfam highlighted the impact of economic shock worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, which included mass unemployment and severe disruptions in food production, as well as the worsening climate crisis, as key factors influencing the spike of those facing food insecurity. 

Oxfam Canada called on Canada and other donor countries to immediately and fully fund the UN’s humanitarian appeal to address this crisis. Oxfam Canada also highlighted the urgent need to break vaccine monopolies and have a 'people's vaccine' (as referred to by the People's Vaccine Alliance, a coalition fighting for global vaccine access), as well as build fairer and more sustainable food systems and support social protection programs. 

Report - Oxfam Canada

South Korean government proposes US$3.8 billion for 2022 ODA budget

The Committee for International Development and Cooperation (CIDC) of South Korea released its proposed official development assistance (ODA) budget for 2022, which amounted to KRW4.20 trillion (US$3.8 billion).

This is an increase of KRW458.0 billion (US$418 million) and 12% from 2021. The share of bilateral assistance is set at 82% and that of the grant is set at 62%. While South Korea prioritizes Asia, which is the target region of its major foreign policies (the New Southern Policy and the New Northern Policy), the share of bilateral assistance to Africa increased slightly from 19% to 20%.

Key priority sectors are in the order of health, transportation, and education. Both health ODA and humanitarian assistance increased by around 2% from 2021. South Korea will increase the amount of health ODA to the partner countries of its New Southern Policy, which are the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and India, by 1.5 times between 2020 and 2022.

Press release – Office of the Prime Minister (in Korean)

South Korea unveils Green New Deal ODA strategy

The Committee for International Development and Cooperation (CIDC) of South Korea announced the Green New Deal official development assistance (ODA) strategy as part of its foreign assistance strategy. The main objective of the strategy is for South Korea to lead global climate change response and green recovery. Specifically, the strategy mentions the following three priorities:

  • Support partner countries’ green transition by increasing the share of green ODA above that of the OECD DAC (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee) average by 2025, supporting the establishment of a Green New Deal ecosystem fit for partner countries, and excavating flagship projects tailored to partner countries;
  • Support Green New Deal ODA by leading global discussions and initiatives on green ODA, enhancing South Korea’s leadership on the issue, increasing contributions to green-related international organizations including the Green Climate Fund and the Global Green Growth Institute, and expanding partnerships with UN agencies and multilateral development banks; and
  • Expand mutually prosperous partnerships with partner countries, enhancing synergies with other domestic and foreign policies, and increasing effectiveness by following up with old projects.

Press release – Office of the Prime Minister (in Korean)

South Korea and Global Green Growth Institute partner up for climate response in Uzbekistan

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) have partnered up to support response to the climate emergency in the Aral Sea region of Uzbekistan.

KOICA will provide US$6 million for a community-based green reconstruction in the country, which will be implemented between 2021 and 2024. The project will include actions to improve access to financial services for local businesses and farmers and develop climate adaptation agri-business models for local businesses.

Press release – KOICA (in Korean)

At Generation Equality Forum, UK government commits to financing US$91 million for Violence Against Women and Girls Prevention program

At the Paris-held Generation Equality Forum, the UN Women-convened summit to accelerate gender equality investment, the UK government committed to providing £68 million (US$91 million) to support its seven-year Violence Against Women and Girls Prevention program. The program, which builds on earlier initiatives, will support innovation and scale up proven methods to prevent violence.

The UK is a leading member of the Gender-Based Violence Action Coalition along with Kenya, Iceland, Uruguay, UN Women, the EU, and the Ford Foundation. The Coalition is committed to supporting evidence-based policies and financing women’s organizations to:

  • Ensure that 550 million more women and girls live in countries with laws that prohibit all forms of gender-based violence (GBV) against women by 2026;
  • Increase by 50% the number of countries that include one or more prevention strategies in their national policies by 2026;
  • Ensure that more women and girls will live in countries with multi-sectoral action plans against GBV which include the provision of police, justice, health, and social sector services by 2026; and
  • Improve and increase international funding by 50% to women’s rights organizations, activists, and movements, including those working to address GBV of all kinds against women and girls by 2026.

On the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Dominic Raab, committed as a leader of the Action Coalition to "tackle the root causes of violence, including using education to stop violence before it starts." Raab said that the UK will continue its work on "preventing sexual violence in conflict, supporting survivors, and holding perpetrators to account."

The UK government also took the opportunity to use the Generation Equality Forum to remind member states to provide ambitious commitments to girls' education, ahead of the Global Education Summit on July 28-29, 2021, in the UK.

Twitter - UN Women

Twitter - Emily Esplen, Gender Advisor at FCDO

Twitter - Wendy Morton MP, Minister for Foreign, Common, and Development Office UK 

Generation Equality Forum concludes with major financial and political commitments for gender equality

The Generation Equality Forum (GEF), the UN Women-convened summit to accelerate gender equality investment, kicked off in Mexico City on March 29-31, 2021, and culminated in Paris on June 30-July 2. The Forum brought together high-level stakeholders including heads of government, corporations, and NGOs to accelerate major financial and political commitments to achieving gender equality by 2026. 

Country donors announced the following commitments:

  • Canada committed CA$180 million (US$146 million) to address the root causes of gender inequality around the world, including unpaid and paid care work in low- and middle-income countries. Canada also announced that it will commit CA$100 million (US$81 million) in new funding for stand-alone international assistance directed to inequality in unpaid and paid care work;
  • The EU committed at least €4.0 billion (US$4.9 billion) in the EU’s 2021-2027 long-term budget to be specifically dedicated to women’s and girls’ rights and empowerment. The EU also pledged to propose new legislation by the end of 2021 to combat violence against women and hate crimes against LGBTQI+ people, as well as adding all forms of hate crimes to the list of crimes in the EU treaties;
  • France committed an additional €100 million (US$122 million) in this sector for the next five years. It also announced that €250 million (US$304 million) will be mobilized by the French Development Agency (AFD) through the bilateral channel for sexual reproductive and health rights (SRHR);
  • Germany increased its commitment to women's economic empowerment initiatives by €140 million (US$166 million), bringing Germany's total commitment to the GEF to US$285 million (€240 million). US$30 million (€25 million) of that will go to the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative;
  • The Netherlands pledged US$620 million to feminist organizations and movements, including supporting the Action Coalition on economic justice, the Action Coalition on bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the Action Coalition on climate justice;
  • Sweden pledged to support the implementation of the Common Agenda for Comprehensive Abortion Care and increase resources and support for existing funding mechanisms through the Action Coalition on feminist movements and leadership;
  • The UK recommitted to providing £68 million (US$91 million) to support its seven-year-long Violence Against Women and Girls Prevention program; and
  • The US pledged US$175 million to support programs against gender-based violence and to mobilize US$12.0 billion through 2025 in investments by the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) in businesses that advance gender equity in emerging markets through the 2X Women's Initiative.

Newsletter - Donor Tracker

News article - Forbes

News article - UN News

South Korea’s grant assistance agency partners with UN agencies to support COVID-19 response for children in Indonesia

South Korea's Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) announced that it will partner with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to improve children’s health in Indonesia during COVID-19 and will provide US$2 million for project implementation.

KOICA appointed eight countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America (including Indonesia, Vietnam, Colombia, and Ethiopia) as the target countries of its COVID-19 response support program. Indonesia is a key partner of South Korea’s New Southern Policy and is a priority partner country for South Korea’s official development assistance (ODA) for 2021-2025.

Press release – KOICA (in Korean)

At Generation Equality Forum, Canada pledges US$146 million to address global inequality in care work, commits to Global Alliances for gender equality

At the Paris-held Generation Equality Forum (GEF), the UN Women-convened summit to accelerate gender equality investment, Canada committed CA$180 million (US$146 million) to address root causes of gender inequality around the world, including unpaid and paid care work in low- and middle-income countries, and affirmed its commitment to two Global Alliances for gender equality. These commitments came in addition to Canada’s contribution of CA$300 million (US$243 million) to the Equality Fund made at the GEF Mexico City kickoff event on March 31, 2021. 

As part of this CA$180 million (US$146 million) in funding, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would be contributing CA$80 million (US$65 million) for women and girls through GEF Action Coalitions. This includes Canada’s role in co-creating the Global Alliance for Sustainable Feminist Movements, which is being co-developed by Canada, the Netherlands, the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, Philanthropy Advancing Women’s Human Rights, the Global Fund for Women, the Association for Women’s Rights in Development and the 'Count Me In! Consortium', the Equality Fund, and Prospera. The Alliance will focus on improving financial and political support for women’s rights and feminist organizations. Canada also announced that it will join the Global Alliance for Care, which was created by Mexico's National Institute for Women and UN Women and will address the burden of care that hinders women’s economic participation and opportunities. 

A further CA$100 million (US$81 million) will be committed in new funding for stand-alone international assistance directed to inequality in unpaid and paid care work, geared to help increase women’s ability to participate in economic, educational, and public life. This funding marked the first-ever targeted global investment in the care economy by a donor government.

Canada’s new commitments at the GEF are consistent with its feminist policy on an international scale, represented through Canada’s 2017 Feminist International Assistance Policy. During the Forum, Trudeau also highlighted action taken at home towards gender equality, including Canada’s historic CA$30.0 billion (US$24.2 billion) commitment in the 2021 federal budget to build a nationwide early learning and child care system, which will help to remove barriers to women’s full participation in Canada’s workforce and economy. Through Budget 2021, Canada also made several investments to advance gender equality, including over CA$600 million (US$486 million) to advance a new National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, and CA$2.2 billion (US$1.8 billion) to implement a National Action Plan to end violence against Indigenous women and girls. 

Press release - Prime Minister of Canada

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Op-ed - Cooperation Canada

Generation Equality Forum for gender equality kicks off in Paris

Between June 30-July 2, 2021, Paris will host the final segment of the Generation Equality Forum, an international gathering co-hosted by France and Mexico and backed by UN Women, mobilizing governments, international organizations, foundations, companies, civil society organizations, and youth movements to tackle gender inequality.

The Forum this year is taking place 26 years after the Beijing Conference on women and it is organized around the following six Action Coalitions, or partnerships based on thematic focuses:

  1. Gender-based violence;
  2. Economic justice and rights;
  3. Bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR);
  4. Feminist action for climate justice;
  5. Technology and innovation for gender equality; and
  6. Feminist movements and leadership.

In addition, a 'Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action' will work to drive action and resources toward these themes.

Each Action Coalition will adopt a targeted set of concrete actions for 2021-2026 to have positive impacts on gender equality and girls’ and women’s human rights, including through financial commitments.

The results of these Action Coalitions will be summarized through a 'Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality', including commitments made by Action Coalition leaders and Commitment Makers.

Registration is open until the end of the Forum.

Program agenda - Generation Equality Forum

G20 foreign affairs and development ministers sign declaration on food security, call for partners to join Italy's Food Coalition

The G20 foreign affairs and development ministers met in Matera, Italy on June 29, 2021, to discuss the fight against COVID-19, speeding up the recovery of the global economy, the global climate change emergency, and food shortages in countries in Africa. The meeting culminated in the 'Matera Declaration on food security, nutrition and food systems. A call to action in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond'.

The signatories of this Matera declaration "agree to deliver on food security priorities by enhancing efforts in ensuring safe and adequate nutrition for all, ending all forms of malnutrition, preserving agrobiodiversity, as well as relying on science, innovation, advanced business practices and responsible behaviour complementing traditional knowledge, local food culture and best practices to achieve" the targets of the second sustainable development goal (SDG 2), 'Zero Hunger'.

The meeting renewed calls for partners to join the Food Coalition launched by Italy in partnership with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The Food Coalition is a multistakeholder platform that aims to reduce the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security.

Development Ministers Meeting Communiqué - G20

Press release - FAO

South Korea pledges US$7 million to UN agencies to achieve SDG 5 on gender equality in Egypt

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) announced that it will provide US$4 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and US$3 million to UN Women by 2024 to help Egypt achieve the fifth UN sustainable development goal (SDG 5) on gender equality.

KOICA will support efforts to prevent gender-based violence, the UNFPA's gender equality response project, and UN Women's women’s economic empowerment project.

Egypt was newly selected as a priority partner country for South Korea’s official development assistance (ODA) for 2021-2025.

News article – Money S (in Korean)

South Korea’s grant agency commits US$13 million for agricultural development in Vietnam

South Korea's Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) announced that it will invest US$13 million by 2030 for human resource development in Vietnam's livestock industry, in partnership with the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

This investment will support the Vietnamese government’s goal of increasing the share of livestock in the agricultural sector to 40% by 2030.

News article – Yonhap News (in Korean)

South Korean experts suggest way forward for South Korea’s official development assistance in COVID-19 era

The Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), a South Korean think tank, organized a seminar on the role of South Korea in the COVID-19 era with South Korean experts, including those from KIEP, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the World Health Organization (WHO). Some of the suggestions made at the conference to help partner countries respond to the COVID-19 crisis and any other future pandemics include the following:

  • South Korea should support vaccine supply chains such as cold chains in partner countries since there have been instances of vaccines provided via COVAX, the global vaccine initiative, being discarded due to mismanagement of the temperature or not being provided within the expiration date;
  • South Korea should support supply infrastructure enhancement of its partner countries when donating vaccines; and
  • Global leaders should make additional investments for economic support for the infrastructural development of partner countries.

News article – Hankyoreh (in Korean)

FinDev Canada releases 2020 annual report, supporting low-income countries with COVID-19 response, women’s economic empowerment, climate crisis

FinDev Canada, a Canadian financial institution that supports private sector growth in low-income countries' markets, released its 2020 annual report on June 15, 2021, titled 'Supporting sustainable and inclusive economic growth during a global pandemic'.

The report highlighted that despite disruptions to the organization’s development work in 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis, FinDev Canada ended 2020 with a clear vision of how to best fulfill its mission of supporting emerging markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The report introduced FinDev Canada’s 2021 vision, which focused on maintaining its commitment in three spheres: women’s economic empowerment, market development, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

The report also emphasized its commitment to partnering with the 2x Challenge to advance gender equality, founded by the Development Finance Institute at the 2018 G7 Summit in Canada, which recently announced that it would raise US$15.0 billion for a global investment "with a gender lens", up from its original US$3.0 billion targets.

Report - FinDev Canada