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The Italian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Emanuela del Re, met with the Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP), David Beasley. In their meeting, Del Re expressed appreciation for WFP's work and confirmed Italy's strong support.
Del Re also announced that Italy plans to increase the contribution to WFP for 2020, in particular for the programs run in Italy's priority areas such as Libya and the African Sahel region.
Japan will provide US$4 million (¥500 million) to improve food security and $1 million (¥100 million) to strengthen the healthcare system of the Republic of Niger.
According to a Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release, approximately 80% of people in Niger make a living from agriculture. However, the worsening security situation has increased the number of internally displaced persons, obstructing farming. As a result, the Republic of Niger has designated 27% of agricultural areas as at risk for shortages. In cooperation with the US, Japan will provide food assistance to improve the food security.
On March 19th, the first case of COVID-19 was detected in Niger. Although the government is trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Japanese government sees the lack of medical equipment as hindering the response. Therefore, Japan will help strengthen Niger’s healthcare system by providing equipment such as ambulances and patient monitors.
South Korea's Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) announced that it has been granted US$5 million by the Green Climate Fund to implement an agrophotovoltaic program in Fiji which combines solar power generation with advanced agricultural techniques.
According to KOICA, the total budget of the program is US$20 million with KOICA investing US$8 million and the Fiji Development Bank providing US$1 million to the project. The project will reportedly help Fiji combat climate change and switch to renewable power sources by 2035.
According to a new report from the UK government, its international climate finance interventions over the last nine years have helped reduce 30 million tons of greenhouse gases around the world: the equivalent of taking 7 million cars off the road for a year. The UK has ringfenced £9.2 billion (US$11.7 billion) of its official development assistance (ODA) budget (between 2011-12 and 2020-21)) for international climate finance interventions. These interventions support low-income countries to adapt to and mitigate climate change.
In addition to reducing greenhouse gases, UK international climate finance interventions have helped to:
- Improve access to clean energy for 33 million people, including off-grid renewable energy sources, solar lanterns, and clean cookstoves;
- Provide 2,000MW of clean energy capacity in low-income countries;
- Enable 66 million people to adapt to the impact of climate change, for example by providing training on how to grow climate-resilient crops; and
- Leverage an additional £4.1 billion (US$5.2 billion) in public funding and an additional £2.2 billion (US$2.8 billion) of private finance to fight climate change.
The volume of UK international climate finance has doubled since 2011-12 and the UK government has committed to doubling it again to least £11.6 billion (US$14.7 billion) between 2021-22 and 2025-26. Funding is managed by the UK's former Department for International Development, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs.
Japan will provide US$2 million (¥250 million) in food assistance to Cape Verde
According to a Japanese Government press release, about 10% of the total land in Cape Verde is cultivated, and the country imports about 85% of grains. Since the drought in 2016, approximately 37% of the population is facing food shortages. These funds will be used to provide food assistance and improve the country's overall food situation.
The French Development Agency (AFD) released the summary of its annual report synthesizing the 2019 activities led by the AFD group (which includes its private sector instrument, Proparco, and its technical expertise agency, Expertise France.
In total, the AFD group mobilized €14.1 billion (US$16.1 billion) in 2019, supporting 115 countries in their development efforts, a 70% increase since 2015 according to the report. Of this amount, €2.5 billion (US$3.0 billion) were allocated as grants. The annual report indicates 1,072 new projects were initiated this year.
The French development agency mobilized €477 million (US$547 million) for global health projects, €621 million (US$712 million) for agriculture and nutrition, US$1.4 billion (€1.2 billion) for water and sanitation, and €877 million (US$1.0 billion) for education and professional training.
In 2019, €740 million (US$849 million) was committed to projects with gender equality as a principal objective. 49% of AFD overall projects integrated gender as one of several goals.
The African continent received 50% of the total volume of AFD's financial support throughout the year, of which €1 billion (US$1.2 billion) was allocated to the Sahel region.
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.
South Korea's Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF) announced that it will provide US$5 million to support digital infrastructure and green growth projects in the context of COVID-19 in six partner countries. Supported partner countries include Vietnam, Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Colombia, Haiti, and Uganda.
The funding will come from the Korea World Bank Group Partnership Facility and the Korea-International Finance Corporation (IFC) Partnership Program. MOEF plans to continue to fund new digital new deal ODA projects that utilize information and communication technology as well as green technology projects.
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.
On July 21, 2020, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (MAEUEC) released the 'Spanish Cooperation Joint Strategy to Fight COVID-19' including an official development assistance (ODA) budget of €1.7 billion (US$1.9 billion) to be spent in the period 2020-2021.
According to this new strategic plan, the MAUEC will support middle- and low-income partner countries in the global response to and recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Priority interventions outlined at this plan include:
- Strengthening public health systems and guaranteeing universal access to essential health goods such as vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics for COVID-19;
- Supporting the most vulnerable populations, with a special focus on nutrition, water and sanitation, education, and gender equality; and
- Fostering socio-economic recovery in partner countries that are disproportionally affected by the crisis.
In addition, the strategy names gender, the environment, and not leaving anyone behind as cross-cutting priorities.
On July 21, 2020, the Spanish government’s cabinet (‘Consejo de Ministros’) approved several contributions to multilateral instruments and partner countries under the new €1.7 billion (US$1.9 billion) development plan, designed to address the COVID-19 crisis internationally.
These disbursements, which will be channeled as grants and loans by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and the Spanish Development Promotion Fund (FONPRODE), include:
- €33 million (US$37 million) in grants to multilateral organizations such as the World Health Organization, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Program, UN Women, UNICEF, and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
- €85 million (US$96 million) in loans to Honduras, Peru, Colombia, Mali, and Senegal (some of this funding will be disbursed in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank).
The European Commission will provide €65 million (US$73 million) in humanitarian assistance to countries in Southern Africa to support their COVID-19 response measures. The funding will target food assistance, disaster preparedness projects, and support for children’s education, alongside COVID-19 prevention, preparedness, and healthcare. Funding from this assistance package will go for humanitarian projects in Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Press release - European Commission
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Norwegian Church Aid have signed an agreement to strengthen farmers and agricultural innovation in Malawi. Among the partners are the Development Fund, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), and several Malawian partners.
The project aims to invest in farmers in Malawi, to contribute to innovation in the agricultural sector and to strengthen the country’s local food system. The farmers will receive training on growing vegetables, increasing their yield, and accessing the market. Norway has committed for a four-year period and will start with a contribution of US$7 million (NOK70 million), but the intention is to provide similar support annually for the rest of the period.
News article – Bistandsaktuelt (in Norwegian)
Australia's Foreign Minister, Marie Payne, announced that Australia will provide A$10 million (US$7 million) to support research on zoonotic diseases in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. This funding will focus on extrapulmonary tuberculosis in Papua New Guinea, zoonotic malaria in Indonesia, antimicrobial resistance in the Pacific, and highly pathogenic avian influenza in the Mekong countries.
Funding for this three-year program will go to the Research for One Health Systems Strengthening Program led by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
Researchers from the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, NASA, and Stanford University have published a report card on the world's methane budget. Atmospheric concentrations of methane are now more than two-and-a-half times higher than pre-industrial levels. Australian emissions, in particular, have been rising as a result of the country's expanding natural gas industry, however, its agricultural emissions are falling.
The researchers suggest that Europan countries' approaches to agriculture and waste management from livestock, landfill, and manure, serve as a model of more emissions friendly strategies.
On July 14, 2020, the Spanish Council of Ministers approved 2020's annual ‘Progress Report of the 2030 Agenda’.
Drafted by the Ministry of Social Affairs, the report gives an overview of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Spain, outlining several measures adopted by the Spanish government at the domestic level, such as the launch of a new bill law on Climate Change and Energy Transition, but also internationally, which are mostly related to the COVID-19 pandemic response.
The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that it will provide US$4 million in humanitarian assistance to tackle food insecurity in its partner countries across the Asian and African region through the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
According to FAO, over 25 million people in East Africa alone are facing a food crisis with 11 million people among them directly affected by desert locusts. The current support is in addition to the US$0.2 million provided to Pakistan in March 2020 for desert locust response.
An analysis of Australia's current policy trends suggests that by 2025, Australia's main ODA recipients will be countries in the Pacific, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Australia's sectoral focus will likely center on health, education, and agriculture. Although there will be a continuing tension between pursuing short-term investments and longer-term country partnership programs, the analysis suggests that there will be an expansion of the use of local partners in Australian development programs.
The authors of this paper suggest that to effectively execute its development vision, Australia will need more senior staff in-country and a greater number of specialists and policy-oriented senior staff overall.
The Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment has allocated NOK530 million (US$52 million) for payments to Indonesia for demonstrating strong results in a domestic carbon emissions reduction program that seeks to mitigate deforestation, forest degradation, and peatland conversion. The program is part of a partnership from 2010 between Indonesia and Norway, which consists of results-based payments of a total of NOK6.0 billion (US$595 million).
The partnership aims to protect the third largest rainforest in the world, located in Indonesia. Verification from an independent third party shows that the country successfully reduced emissions measuring approximately 17 million tons of CO2, in the period of 2016-2017. This is equivalent to one-third of all annual emissions from Norway.
Indonesia is still working on finishing the establishment of the government’s Environment Fund which is to function as Indonesia’s official channel for receiving results-based payments. Indonesia and Norway are in talks to continue the collaboration from 2020 more extensively into the Paris agreement period.
Press release – Norwegian Government