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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


Norway's Tvinnereim speaks at Transforming Education Summit

On September 17, 2022, Norwegian Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, spoke at the 'Mechanisms for Capacity Building, Policy Support and International Collaboration' roundtable at the Transforming Education Summit.

In her statement, Tvinnereim highlighted the role of education in achieving gender equality, poverty reduction, and climate adaptation, and called for more ambitious planning and commitment to reverse the learning deficits caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Tvinnereim named four priorities for policy makers, namely:

  1. Ensuring that all children, especially girls, have access to quality education;
  2. Increasing the resilience of schools to increasingly frequent extreme weather events, which disrupt the education of millions of children every year;
  3. Strengthening the humanitarian-development nexus and coordination of short-term humanitarian assistance and long-term development efforts; and
  4. Full implementation of the Safe Schools Declaration and UN Security Council resolution 2601.

Norway will be a co-convener of the Education Cannot Wait’s High-level Financing Conference in February 2023.

Speech - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

News article - UN Association of Norway (in Norwegian)

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)

Germany to contribute up to US$1 billion additionally for global food security in 2022

On September 3, 2022, the German government earmarked up to €1.0 billion (US$1.0 billion) for global food security in response to rising global energy prices and disruptions in food supply caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This development was part of an agreement on a third financial relief package with an overall volume of €65.0 billion (US$68.7 billion), mostly dedicated to domestic issues.

The additional €1.0 billion (US$1.0 billion) must be spent in 2022 and will be funded through surpluses in the 2022 federal budget. Therefore, the exact amount of the contributions cannot be specified at this point.

Report – German Federal Government (in German)

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)

Norwegian Research Council announces US$15 million for projects on food security, global health

The Norwegian Research Council announced that it will dedicate NOK148 million (US$15 million) to 14 research projects on international relations, the Arctics, global health, and food security. 

Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, the Norwegian Minister of International Development, said that the projects will generate vital knowledge for future Norwegian foreign and development policy. In addition, she highlighted that the government prioritizes research within international development, especially in light of current compounding crises; current and unfolding challenges like the climate crisis, uncertainty around global food security, the Russian war in Ukraine and high energy prices were all of concern to the minister. 

According to Tvinnereim, Norway has a responsibility to contribute knowledge and research to global challenges, especially considering its role as a major international development funder.

Of the 14 research projects, seven will focus on global health, and Norwegian research institutions will collaborate closely with local partners. The aim of some of these projects will include developing new methods to diagnose and treat preeclampsia and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs); they will also test alternative models for providing psychological assistance to LGBTQ+ communities in low-income countries.

Two projects will also focus on global food security and will be conducted in collaboration with local partners in Africa. One of the projects will test methods to improve food security in 'Sub-Saharan Africa' (SSA; meaning the countries of Eastern, Western, Central, and Southern Africa, as designated by the African Union) by strengthening access to agricultural resources and innovations for small-scale food producers. The second project will look at technological and cultural obstacles to implementing alternative fertilizers.

Press release – the Norwegian Research Council (in Norwegian)

News article – Khrono (in Norwegian)

Japan contributes US$20 million to food security efforts

The Japanese government announced contributions totalling US$20 million to bolster food security in Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, the Philippines, and Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip during the week of August 29, 2022.

The package included:

  • US$2 million through the World Food Programme (WFP) to Sri Lanka;
  • US$5 million through WFP for life-saving food assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sudan;
  • US$6 million through WFP for food rations for people in urgent need of food assistance in Syria;
  • US$6 million through WFP for farmers and fisherfolk in the Philippines; and
  • US$2 million through United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for essential in-kind food assistance to over one million Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip.

The donations are part of Japan’s July 2022 commitment to providing US$200 million for improving food security in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent food shortages.

Press release – World Food Programme 

Press release – World Food Programme

Press release – World Food Programme

Press release – World Food Programme  

Press release – United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

UK outlines specifics on funding uses for US$295 million in humanitarian assistance for Ukraine

The UK released a new report highlighting where its £220 million (US$295 million) in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine is going. The report highlights that 6.6 million people are displaced inside Ukraine, and 5.8 million people are registered as refugees across Europe, making it one of the fastest-growing refugee crises since World War II.

UK funding, which includes £145 million (US$194 million) for the UN and Red Cross Agencies and an additional £25 million (US$34 million) in matched funding to the Disasters Emergency Committee Appeal (DEC), is focused on supporting the most vulnerable, including women, children, the elderly, and disabled. The UK has three core objectives:

  • Providing assistance in Ukraine and to people seeking refuge in the region;
  • Working with others to deliver a well-coordinated and well-funded response; and
  • Advocating for respect for International Humanitarian Law (IHL)

Report – UK Government

UK unlikely to meet fiscal tests to return to 0.7% ODA/GNI due to inflation

The UK’s Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), an independent research institute, issued a new briefing note on the outlook for UK public finances over the coming years; the note suggests that the UK’s fiscal tests to return to 0.7% ODA/GNI will likely not be satisfied by FY2023/24 as anticipated by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in April 2022. The two fiscal tests set by the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, were that the country is not borrowing for day-to-day spending and that the ratio of underlying debt to GDP is falling.

The IFS’s briefing note is based on the Bank of England’s August 2022 forecasts which show higher and more persistent inflation than anticipated by the OBR. The report, which provides a set of scenarios for government spending and revenue, shows that higher inflation combined with higher interest rates, will push up public spending and that while revenues will also be pushed up by higher inflation, they will likely be moderated by weaker growth in real-terms earnings and household spending. As a result, the note shows that borrowing could be about £16 billion (US$22 billion) higher than forecasted in 2022 and £23 billion (US$ 40 billion) higher in 2023.

Briefing Note - Institute for Fiscal Studies

Twitter – Richard Watts

UK parliament report calls on government for clear strategy to tackle global food security issues

The UK parliament’s International Development Committee published a new report on food security, which called on the government to publish a comprehensive strategy for addressing the global food crisis; the authors of the report envisioned specific increases in funding for humanitarian assistance and sustainable agriculture to address immediate and future-oriented concerns. The report also called on the government to support the newly established Global Alliance on Food Security (GAFS).

The report highlighted that the number of severely food insecure people has doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic began, from 135 million in 2019 to 276 million in summer 2022; this number is likely to increase by the end of 2022 due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting impact on food production and distribution. The report notes that rising inflation, the war in Ukraine, and increasingly intense and frequent extreme weather events are all negatively impacting food security.

The report acknowledges that food security is a priority for the UK, which commits to tackling the drivers of food insecurity and supporting sustainable agriculture and food systems in its recently released international development strategy.

At the bilateral level, the report notes that the UK government spent £198 million (US$266 million) on food assistance between 2021-2022, and it recently announced £18 million (US$24 million) for the FCDO’s 'Green Growth Centre of Expertise,' which will help to improve food production in countries including Kenya, Ghana, and Rwanda. The government also announced £133 million (US$179 million) for research and development (R&D) to help produce drought-resistant crop varieties.

At the multilateral level, the UK and other countries launched the new Global Alliance for Food Security (GAFS) on May 14, 2022; the UK has committed to providing funding to World Food Programme (WFP) and to other UN organizations including the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

However, the report calls for a clear strategy and for larger amounts of both humanitarian and agricultural funding to help address the compounding crises.

Report – UK Parliament Food Insecurity Report

FCDO Annual Report fails to outline future ODA budgets, reflects trend to prioritize economic growth

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) 'Annual Report', released in August 2022, contained no forward-looking ODA budget outline for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022/23 against key geographies and key departments - a stark omission; the report usually contains this information. The UK’s international development NGO network, BOND, criticized the omission as a blow to transparency. The FCDO stated that it will release its projected ODA budget sometime in the fall.

The report does, however, provide some insight into ODA spending across FCDO departments between FY2020/21 and FY2021/22 when the UK reduced its ODA/GNI ratio from 0.7% to 0.5%.

Health: FCDO’s health program, which includes the 'Global Health Funds' department, had a marginally higher budget, moving from £1.15 billion (US$1.5 billion) in FY2020/21 to £1.19 billion (US$1.6 billion) in FY2021/22. However, two additional areas were counted under this programmatic area in the latest 'Annual Report': the 'Health Directorate Central' and 'Vaccines, Therapeutics and Diagnostics' work. If these two additional spending items are excluded, health spending fell by 14%, from £1.15 billion (US$1.5 billion) in FY2020/21 to £993 million (US$1.3 billion) in FY2021/22.

Education and Gender: 'Education, Gender and Equality' program funding fell by 43%, moving from £308 million (US$414 million) in FY2020/21 to £174 million (US$234 million) in FY2021/22. Specific spending items were different between evaluated years due to organizational department changes, so it is difficult to determine cut locations at this stage. However, this thematic area performed better than anticipated, as it had a projected budget of just £124 million (US$167 million) for FY2021/22 in 2021.

Climate: 'Energy, Climate and Environment' program funding fell by 39%, from £330 million (US$443 million) in FY2020/21 to £201 million (US$270 million) between FY2021/22, with the largest drop in funding to the International Climate Change and Green Growth Department; this drop was anticipated in the projected budget.

Economy: 'Economic Cooperation & Growth' was the biggest winner with allocated funding growing almost five-fold, from £61.4 million (US$83 million) in FY2020/21 to £336 million (US$451 million) in FY2021/22.  This reflects the changing priorities of the UK government toward increasing economic growth and shifting away from traditional development programs.

News article – BOND

Report – FCDO

Norad to encourage private sector investments in low-income countries

Norad, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, proposed several instruments for mixed financing in which development funding would de-risk private investments to increase overall funding; results were published in a recent report entitled “How to reach the SDGs through mobilizing private investments in developing countries through development funding?” 

There is a US$2.5 trillion uncovered funding gap in current efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially in low- and middle-income countries, according to statistics from the UN. New calculations indicate that this gap has increased by more than US$700 billion during the COVID-19 pandemic. Norad intends to mobilize private sector support to close some of the existing gap.

During Arendalsuka, the largest political festival in Norway, Director-General of Norad Bård Vegard Solhjell expressed that he wanted to challenge the private sector to think differently about investments in low-income countries. He argued that many people have an "old-fashioned" view of the African continent and that the continent is experiencing high growth and several functioning markets. Solhjell also pointed out that energy use on the continent will likely double by 2024. As such, it is likely that countries in Africa will represent the largest market for several Norwegian companies in a few decades. 

News article – E24 (in Norwegian)

Panel - Arendalsuka 

Norad funds private sector green hydrogen projects in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, South Africa

Norad, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, announced that it will provide NOK85 million (US$9 million) in funding to the Norwegian company, Scatec, to develop green hydrogen projects in countries in Africa. Scatec is a leading renewable energy solutions provider, aiming to accelerate access to reliable and affordable clean energy in low- and middle- income countries.

This is the first time Norad will allocate funding to a project targeting green hydrogen. Bård Vegard Solhjell, Norad's Director-General, argues that green hydrogen could be a game changer to achieve climate goals. In addition, green hydrogen will be an important contributor to increased food security in countries in Africa.

Interest in green hydrogen has grown exponentially in a short amount of time. Scatec will receive NOK85 million (US$9 million) in Norad funding to develop hydrogen projects in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, and South Africa.

Press release - Norad (in Norwegian)

Japan continues food assistance funding with US$11 million

Japan is continuing to fund food assistance, as it promised at the G7 leader's summit in June 2022, with an additional ¥1.5 billion (US$11 million) contribution; the additional funding was divided between five countries:

  • ¥400 million (US$3 million) to South Sudan through the World Food Programme (WFP);
  • ¥350 million (US$3 million) to Togo;
  • ¥300 million (US$2 million) to Mozambique through the WFP;
  • ¥250 million (US$2 million) to Lesotho through the WFP; and
  • ¥200 million (US$2 million) to Sierra Leone through the WFP.

Earlier this year, Japan committed to providing US$200 million to countries affected by the ongoing food crisis that has been exasperated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Funds will be used to strengthen food security and assist with the response to concurrent issues.

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)

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

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

Italy strengthens UNICEF support in Djibouti

Italy allocated US$1 million to support UNICEF’s activities in Djibouti. The donation will be funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and will be carried out in the next 24 months to prevent violence against children and facilitate access to basic services for the most vulnerable households.

Italy will also support UNICEF and the government in Djibouti to decentralize its judiciary system and provide stronger protection for other fragile groups within the population such as migrants, internally displaced persons, and child victims of various forms of exploitation. 

News article - Italian Agency for Development Cooperation

Australian NGOs call for US$105 million increase in ODA for humanitarian crises

The Help Fight Famine Alliance asked the Australian government to increase ODA by A$150 million (US$105 million) before the revised national budget for 2022/23 is delivered on October 25, 2022.

The urgent package would assist humanitarian crises in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, and the 'Horn of Africa'. The Alliance said the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and severe weather have created a situation that could kill more people than COVID-19 through hunger.

The Alliance is comprised of 23 Australian development NGOs, including the Australian Council for International Development, Save the Children, and Micah.

News article - News.com

Committee recommends reducing Norwegian development spending channels to improve oversight

A survey conducted by the Fridtjof Nansen Institute and Deloitte, on behalf of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD), resulted in a discussion about how Norwegian international development funding is managed. 

The survey performed an area review of the Norwegian Foreign Service and found potential for streamlined and improved efficiency in development policy funding. 

The committee was critical of the disparate and high number of government parties managing development funding, including the UD, other ministries, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), and 46 different foreign missions.

Within the UD, 35 units cover international development funding, involving 800 case workers and 170 managers in the decision-making process. The committee argues that the large number of units, both in Norway and internationally, leads to fragmented management and the lack of a holistic approach to development funding. 

In addition, the survey notes that funding is also allocated to a variety of multilateral organizations, Norwegian NGOs, local NGOs, government entities in recipient countries, and private actors, making oversight difficult.

The committee argues that Norwegian international development funding can be strengthened by:  

  • Consolidating responsibility for development policy into one department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  • Clearly prioritizing what needs to be achieved in development spending oversight;
  • Assessing which channels are most effective for achieving these goals;
  • Significantly reducing the number of entities managing Norwegian development funding; and
  • Reducing the number of recipient countries for Norwegian development funding, but ensuring the appropriate allocations of emergency humanitarian assistance, as needed.

News article – Aftenposten (in Norwegian)