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EU announces US$634 million for food security in African, Caribbean, Pacific countries

On September 24, 2022, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced €600 million (US$634 million) for food security in African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. 

The funding will come from European Development Fund reserves that were de-committed from the 10th and 11th iterations of the fund. Assistance will support both providing urgent humanitarian aid and building sustainable and resilient food systems. The funding allocations include: 

  • West and Central Africa: €160.5 million (US$170 million);
  • East Africa and the Great Lakes: €146 million (US$154 million);
  • Southern Africa: €76.5 million (US$81 million);
  • Caribbean: €36.5 million (US$39 million);
  • Pacific: €10 million (US$11 million);
  • Investments in sustainable agriculture and agrifood-value chains at the continental and regional levels: €52.5 million (US$55 million); and
  • Macroeconomic support to African, Caribbean, and Pacific low-income countries through concessional loans via the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust: €100 million (US$106 million)

The European Commission will also work with the international community to enable trade and exports into Africa to help address food security on the continent.

Press release - European Commission

Canada donates US$55 million to address global malnutrition, US$57 million to UN agencies

Over the week of September 19 - 23, 2022, Canada donated CA$75 million (US$55 million) to support malnutrition and CA$78 million (US$57 million) in core funding to several UN agencies at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) High-Level Meetings.

At the Child Malnutrition Crisis: Pledging to Save Lives event hosted by the United States and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Minister Sajjan committed CA$75 million (US$55 million) in humanitarian funding to support the United States’ Call to Action on Acute Malnutrition. The funding includes CA$35 million (US$26 million) to support UNICEF’s work in treating severe, acute malnutrition and CA$40 million (US$29 million) to support nutrition programming through NGOs.

Throughout the week, Minister Sajjan met with several ministers, partners, and youth groups from around the world, pledged an additional CA$78 million (US$57 million) in core funding to several UN agencies, including the United Nations Development Programme, UNICEF, United Nations Population Fund, and United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

Lastly, alongside the Ford Foundation, the Equality Fund, and government donors, Canada celebrated the launch of the Alliance for Feminist Movements, a platform to improve funding for grassroots women’s organizations and to amplify the work feminist movements undertake globally.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Norway presents development priorities at UNGA

Over the week of September 19, 2022, Norway’s delegation to the 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 77) was led by Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt, Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of Climate and Environment Espen Barth Eide and representatives from the Parliament attended together with Støre.

In advance of the high-level week in New York, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented Norway`s main priorities for UNGA 77, including:

  1. Support for Norway’s efforts as an elected member of the UN Security Council and promote Norway’s broad priorities in the UN;
  2. Promoting binding international cooperation and respect for international law and safeguarding the multilateral system;
  3. Leading efforts to promote disarmament;
  4. Strengthening the UN’s capacity to prevent and resolve conflicts;
  5. Strengthening human rights and the international legal order;
  6. Strengthening the UN’s capacity to prevent and respond to humanitarian crises and promoting international cooperation on refugees and migrants; and
  7. Promoting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, with particular emphasis on climate and environmental issues, energy, food security, gender equality, health, the oceans, and reducing inequalities.

The Prime Minister and the rest of the Norwegian delegation were very active during UNGA 77. Norway`s participation can be summed up in the following activities:

Keynote speech during the General Assembly
During the General Assembly, the Prime Minister delivered Norway's keynote speech and emphasized that the Russian war in Ukraine is a direct violation of the UN Charter and the global legal order, and indicating that the responsibility for stopping the war lay with Russia.  At the same time, he pointed out the war's impact on existing global crises, such as high energy prices, food shortages, and development in low-income countries. Støre called for global unity to protect the multilateral system.

Meeting in the UN Security Council
Støre also participated in a separate meeting, led by France in the UN Security Council, on the war in Ukraine. Norway and other members of the council agreed that Russia's warfare is a violation of humanitarian law and human rights.

Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting
Anniken Huitfeldt, Minister of Foreign Affairs, chaired the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting during UNGA. The aim of the meeting was to mobilize support for the United Nations Organization for Palestine Refugees (UNWRA), which is facing severe challenges related to its budget.

Meeting about the situation in Sahel 
Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of International Development attended a high-level meeting on the situation in Sahel, led by the UN Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the African Union. The purpose of the meeting was to launch a high-level panel for security, development and good governance in Sahel.

The High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People
More than 100 countries committed to protecting at least 30 percent of the earth's land and seas by 2030. Espen Barth Eide, Minister for Climate and Environment attended the first steering committee meeting of the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People. This is an intergovernmental group championing a global deal for nature and people that can halt the accelerating loss of species, and protect vital ecosystems that are the source of our economic security.

Article - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian)

Spain's Sánchez shares pledges, development priorities at UNGA

On September 22, 2022, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez addressed a statement to the plenary session of the 77th General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) outlining Spain's development priorities of global health, food security, climate change, education, and gender equality.

Sánchez reiterated his commitment to increasing Spain’s official development assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of its gross national income by 2030, as underlined in the development cooperation bill that will be approved by the end of 2022.

He also provided updates on Spanish development finance and strategic priorities. Key takeaways included:

  • Sánchez's announcement that Spain would disburse up to €237 million (US$235 million) from 2023 - 2026 to foster global health initiatives, including a €130 million (US$129 million) pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) and other instruments related to pandemic preparedness and global health R&D;
  • A €237 million (US$235 million) pledge aimed at addressing the current food crisis caused by the Ukrainian war;
  • An agreement between Spain and Senegal to promote the creation of an International Alliance for Resilience for Drought, an initiative that will be presented at the UN Climate Change Conference COP 2022 to be held in Egypt in November;
  • The establishment of the UN's GIGA Technology Center for digital education in Barcelona; and
  • A statement that Spain will contribute €100 million (US$99 million) over 2023 - 2026 to different organizations, including UN Women, that work on gender equality and particularly on sexual rights and reproductive health programs.

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

 

US pledges additional US$2.9 billion at Global Food Security Summit

At the United Nations Global Food Security Summit on September 21, 2022, the United States pledged an additional US$2.9 billion in assistance for global food security.

The Summit, co-hosted by the US, Germany, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Colombia, was convened as a side event during the UN General Assembly. The largest part of the pledge was US$2 billion in humanitarian aid, including food and nutrition assistance, health care, safe drinking water, and other relief to protect vulnerable populations. The package included additional measures, including 1) US$140 million in development assistance to help smallholder farmers, 2) US$220 million to feed school children in Africa and East Asia, though specific partner countries were not mentioned, and 3) US$178 million for other development priorities related to climate, trade, and the root causes of immigration.

This latest pledge is in addition to the US$6.9 billion already committed by the US in 2022 to global food security.

Press release - The White House

News report - CNN

 

Spain's Sánchez pledges US$250 million for global food security

At the Global Food Security Summit held on September 20th, 2022, in the margins of the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez pledged €237 million (US$250 million) to combat food insecurity.

From this amount, €152 million (US$160 million) will be disbursed by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) as grants to multilateral organizations and bilateral programs, and €85 million (US$90 million) will be disbursed as loans by the Spanish Development Promotion Fund (FONPRODE).

The Global Food Security Summit, an initiative co-led by Spain and other donors such as the US and the EU, aimed to respond to the food security crisis resulting from the war in Ukraine. The summit was co-chaired by Sánchez, US State Secretary Anthony Blinken, President of the European Council Charles Michel, and the President of the African Union (AU) Macky Sall. A total of 18 heads of state or government participated in the event and endorsed a final declaration underscoring the need to act with sustained urgency to respond to the current humanitarian crisis as well as to build more resilient agriculture and food systems.

Press release – La Moncloa (in Spanish)

Italy and Caribbean Development Bank sign US$53 million agreement to support sustainable development

On September 19, 2022, during the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Italy and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) reached an agreement to provide US$50 million in ODA credits to support sustainable development projects in Caribbean countries.

Specifically, the 'Programme supporting sustainable development projects in Caribbean Community countries' will provide US$50 million in ODA credits and a US$3 million donation from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) to Caribbean Community partner countries including Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.

The resources will be allocated by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and will support a wide range of development projects dealing with climate change and infrastructure in the following sectors: agriculture, energy, management of coastal zones and water resources, transport, social housing, and healthcare.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Spain's Sánchez discusses Ukraine, food security at UNGA

On September 19, 2022, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez met with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to discuss several topics concerning international relations such as the Ukrainian conflict and the global food security crisis.

Sánchez and Guterres discussed the need to strengthen multilateral institutions to effectively manage global challenges. In addition to discussion about the new Giga Technology Center that will be opened in Barcelona, Sánchez and Guterres spoke on food shortages caused by the war in Ukraine ahead of the Global Food Security Summit, a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) side event, which will be co-hosted by Spain, US, EU, and the African Union (AU) on September 20, 2022, in New York.

Press release – la Moncloa (in Spanish)

MEPs urge EU to strengthen support for global climate adaptation

Ahead of the September 2022 UN General Assembly (UNGA), Members of European Parliament (MEPs) passed a non-binding resolution calling for the EU to increase its efforts to fight climate change, with a focus on global climate adaptation financing goals.

MEPs noted the disproportionate impact of droughts and floods on individuals living in lower-income countries, particularly Indigenous and low-income communities. Motivated by extreme weather events on the European continent leading up to 2022, MEPs called on the EU to increase funding for climate mitigation and adaptation efforts worldwide. The resolution likewise urged the EU to strengthen its commitment to shoring up global resilience through reducing vulnerability to climate change and supporting disaster risk reduction projects.

Resolution - European Parliament

Norway allocates US$4 million to seed diversity fund

On September 16, 2022, Norway announced it will allocate NOK40 million (US$4 million) to the Benefit-sharing Fund, which was established by the International Treaty’s Governing Body and managed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 

The funding from Norway will especially target projects strengthening farmers' access to a variety of crops and the development of robust and nutritious crops. The donation was announced in the leadup to the meeting of International Plant Treaty Members in India from September 19 - 24, 2022.

The Norwegian Minister of International Development, Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, said that the cultivation of nutritious crops such as millet, chickpeas, and sorghum will be important in shoring up global food production in the face of climate change. Tvinnereim also noted the importance of cultivating varieties of corn, that are adapted to local conditions. 

The Benefit-sharing Fund is part of the international collaboration to manage the diversity of the world's cultivated plants. Norwegian Minister of Food and Agriculture Sandra Borch said the increased Norwegian support will give new energy to international cooperation efforts to preserve seed diversity. The funding will also help develop local value chains by empowering farmers to make informed decisions on the varieties of crops they grow.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian)

Japan provides US$6 million of food security package to Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Palestine

On September 8 - 9, 2022, the Japanese government contributed an additional US$6 million to Guinea-Bissau, Niger, and Palestine as part of its US$200 million pledge in response to global food insecurity.

The package included two donations of US$1 million through the World Food Programme (WFP) to Guinea-Bissau and Palestine, and a US$3 million bilateral grant to improve food security in Niger. Each country is facing serious food crises that have been exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese) 

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese) 

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (in Japanese)

ADB and Japan provide US$203 million in assistance for Sri Lanka

On September 9, 2022, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) authorized a US$200 million emergency assistance loan alongside a US$3 million grant from the Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific (JFPR).

The funds will be used to secure food for the poor and vulnerable, especially women and children.

The ongoing economic instability in Sri Lanka has had a serious impact on food security. The loan will not only help vulnerable populations but will also support farmers to promote agricultural production. The ADB will also address immediate needs by providing emergency medical supplies, materials for water treatment, and working capital for small and medium-sized businesses. The funds will also be used to provide pregnant and lactating women with cash transfers. The donation from JFPR will be used to provide basic needs for women and children, as well as to promote technologies for precision agriculture.

Press release – Asian Development Bank

Netherlands provides additional US$4 million for Pakistan flood victims

On September 8, 2022, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted that it has contributed an additional €4 million (US$4 million) in relief assistance for the victims of severe flooding in Pakistan through the Dutch Relief Alliance and the Red Cross.

CSOs have also expressed concern for the situation, given its magnitude and the Pakistani government's ongoing ban on relief from international non-governmental organizations (INGOs).

A recent article estimated that flooding in Pakistan since June 2022 has affected the lives of 33 million people, with deaths totaling over 1,200. NGOs in Pakistan have experienced difficulty accessing affected populations and locations, citing the near-total flooding of the Sindh province as an example. Likewise, the flooding's impact on agriculture, including damage to Pakistan's second-largest granary and delays to the cotton harvest, have caused extensive consequences for individuals and the export sector.

In addition to the issue's magnitude, most INGOs, including those in the Netherlands, remain unable to offer relief in Pakistan. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif has refused to lift an ongoing ban on INGOs, instead asking high-income countries to donate to his ‘Prime Minister Flood Fund’. Some Pakistani voices have expressed concern over this strategy, noting history has shown that such donated funds rarely reach victims, instead lining corrupt leaders’ pockets. The Pakistani government likewise refused to accept support from the Indian government, citing a tense bilateral relationship.

While Dutch relief organizations have attempted to support local partners in Pakistan, increasing gas prices in the Netherlands are expected to decrease donations from individuals. Moreover, the ongoing nature of the disaster promises further destruction, as rain showers are predicted to overflow a sweet water lake outside of Karachi, which may cause a tsunami to hit the historical town of Sehwan.

Tweet – Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

News article – Nederlands Dagblad (in Dutch)

News article – Nikkei Asia

EIB addresses concerns about funding diversions resulting from focus on Ukraine

As the European Investment Bank (EIB) grows its support for reconstruction in Ukraine, low-income countries have raised questions about the bank’s ability to honor its global commitments in other geographies.

On September 6, 2022, the head of the new EIB Global branch Markus Berndt disputed the notion that the EIB will step back from its other commitments, citing ongoing investment in projects to increase vaccine manufacturing capacity in Africa, though no specific partner countries were mentioned.

Concerns about potential funding diversions reflect the hard-felt impacts of the war in Ukraine on low-income countries, particularly in food security and energy. Efforts to quell these concerns are apparent in the EIB board's June 2022 approval of €6 billion (US$6.3 billion) for ramping up the bank’s investments in these areas. 

In a separate statement, EIB President Werner Hoyer noted the need to justify the scale of the bank’s financing for Ukraine to low-income countries to mitigate perceptions that these crises are caused by North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) sanctions, rather than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

News article - Devex

Archi appointed Italian UN Permanent Representative in Rome

Bruno Archi was appointed as the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in Rome on September 5, 2022.

Italy's Permanent Representative to the UN Rome hub leads negotiations with and within the UN food security organizations such as Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP). Furthermore, the Permanent Representative works closely with Bioversity International (BI) and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) based in Rome.

In addition, Archi will represent Italy at the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Brindisi, which works closely with food security UN agencies in Rome.

Archi has served as Diplomatic Adviser in the Prime Minister's Office and Special Representative for Balkan Reconstruction. In addition, he was a Member of Parliament from 2013 - 2018 and Deputy Foreign Minister during Enrico Letta's government from 2013 - 2014.

Twitter – Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Japan signs agreement with ADB to bolster regional food security

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries signed a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on September 6, 2022, aiming to strengthen sustainable and resilient agri-food systems in the Asia Pacific region.

The food system in the Asia Pacific region has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and these complications have been exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The partnership between Japan and the ADB intends to shore up efforts to ensure sustainable, resilient food systems to guarantee food security in the region. Accordingly, the ADB will work with Japan to strengthen climate-smart agriculture and food security by engaging with stakeholders at each stage of the food supply chain.  

Press release – Asian Development Bank

Italian CSOs urge government to finalize common agricultural policy strategic plan

On September 5, 2022, 17 Italian CSOs issued a joint statement asking the Italian government to revive and conclude discussions regarding the country's Strategic Plan on the common agricultural policy (CAP).

The EU's CAP program is designed to strengthen the relationship between agriculture and society with a strong focus on farmers. In 2021, the EU decided to reform the CAP; countries will implement new strategic plans on January 1, 2023. 

While seven European countries (Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, and Spain) have already received approval from the European Commission, the Italian Ministry of Agriculture has not submitted its revised plan.

In the statement, the CSOs asked the government to share its revised plan. The CSOs additionally called upon the government to address the European Commission's 40 pages of feedback through collaboration with all relevant CSOs at both the national and local levels, a crucial step to ensuring Italy’s agricultural strategy aligns with broader environmental goals set in the EU’s Green Deal, Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, and Farm to Fork Strategy.

The Ministry of Agriculture promised that the new Strategic Plan will be submitted to the European Commission by the end of September 2022. 

Press release  Cambiamo Agricoltura (in Italian)

EIB to triple global climate adaptation finance by 2025, focus on African countries

European Investment Bank (EIB) President Werner Hoyer spoke about the bank’s plans to partner with African countries and triple its climate adaptation finance by 2025 during the Africa Adaptation Summit in Rotterdam on September 5, 2022; the move equates to investing around US$25 billion in countries in Africa by 2025. 

The summit, organized by the Global Center for Adaptation (GCA), convened UN, government, and business leaders for the first global summit of its kind.

In his opening remarks, Hoyer discussed the EIB’s plans to invest in climate adaptation projects across the African continent as a part of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP). The program, created by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and GCA, aims to scale up climate adaptation finance in Africa by US$25 billion by 2025. 

The EIB’s Climate Adaptation Plan enables it to scale up investments and take on more risk while focusing on countries most vulnerable to climate change.

Press release - EIB

Speech - EIB

Netherlands considers EU proposal to alter farm data reporting requirements

In June 2022, the European Commission submitted a proposal to expand EU Member States’ obligation to provide information about farm sustainability indicators. The Netherlands generally supports the proposal, though there are some concerns around proposal elements, such as introducing a farm ID, special surveys, legally requiring farms to provide the requested information, and requiring the EU Member States to give financial compensation to agricultural companies.

Since 1965, all EU Member States are legally required to collect, verify, and submit economic and accounting data about agricultural holdings. Each year, information from more than 80,000 farms across the EU is entered into the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN). Recently, the European Commission proposed to convert the FADN into a Farm Sustainability Data Network (IDL). The amendment aims to provide environmental and social data on farms in addition to economic and accounting data. The proposal is estimated to enter into force in 2025.

The Dutch Interministerial Working Group for the Assessment of New Commission Proposals (BNC) expressed support for the aim of the amendment. In its technical sheet, the BNC recognized the importance of 'relevant and reliable data and accompanying sustainability and social policies.' At the same time, the working group expressed concerns about some of the accompanying changes outlined in the proposal.

First, it questioned the feasibility of introducing unique ‘farm IDs’ to enable links with other integrated agricultural statistics and information systems used by other member states. It also noted a lack of concrete outcomes regarding how proposed links will improve policymaking and evaluation, and guarantee participating companies’ privacy.

The working group believed existing regulations and opportunities for ad-hoc and periodic data collection in the European agricultural sector are sufficient, and expressed concerns that proposed 'special surveys' would increase administrative burdens. Similarly, the Netherlands questioned the necessity of a provision requiring farms to provide information, as most provide sufficient data voluntarily.

Finally, the working group expressed doubts about the proposal’s suggestion for member states to offer financial compensation for farmers’ participation, citing differences in member state data collection methods as grounds for different criteria for compensation.

The Netherlands remained open to the proposed legal requirements, however, if other member states find them important.

Article – AgriHolland (in Dutch)

Report – Dutch Interministerial Working Group (in Dutch)

Sweden approves additional US$50 million in development assistance for Ukraine

Sweden announced a new development assistance package of US$100 million for Ukraine on September 29, 2022. The package includes military assistance worth SEK500 million (US$50 million) and SEK500 million (US$50 million) for reconstruction efforts.

Non-military funds will be used for the reconstruction of Ukraine, focusing on the sustainable management of destroyed infrastructure and humanitarian procurements. In addition, Sweden will assist with the delivery of Ukrainian wheat to countries most at risk of widespread starvation. As part of these efforts, Sweden will cover the costs for at least 30,000 tons of wheat to be transported by sea from Ukraine.

Sweden will also be responsible for coordinating waste management and recycling during reconstruction – a request made by President Zelenskyy when Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson visited Kyiv in July 2022.

Since Russia’s full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022, Swedish support to Ukraine has more than doubled through a number of decisions amounting to an additional SEK5.2 billion (US$519 million) thus far for military, humanitarian, and reconstruction support, in addition to financial guarantees and civilian operations.

Press Release - Government of Sweden (in Swedish)