The Donor Tracker team wants to better understand its users' experience and to gather ideas about how we can make the Donor Tracker even more valuable to the global development community throughout the rest of 2020 and beyond. That's where we could use your help. We've put together a short survey to ask you directly about how you use the Donor Tracker, which content and features you find most useful, and the kinds of things you would like to see. Your responses will shape and inform new features that we bring to the website.
On September 11, 2020, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, spoke virtually at a United Nations (UN) meeting about the work of the 'Recovering Better for Sustainability' discussion group. This group, co-led by the UK, Rwanda, Fiji, and the EU, explores how countries can create more sustainable, healthier, and more inclusive societies and achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) despite the COVID-19 crisis. In his speech, Ahmad outlined the steps the UK has been taking to support lower-income countries to "build back better". These include:
- Supporting climate-resilient growth, protecting biodiversity, and promoting sustainable ways of living;
- Prioritizing the establishment of strong and resilient health systems, underpinned by universal health coverage; and
- Ensuring no one is left behind with a focus on ensuring girls and vulnerable children continue to learn, even when schools are closed, and are supported to safely get back to school.
Ahmad noted that the UK government will continue to push these priorities in its presidencies of the UN COP26 and G7 next year.
The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) of South Korea announced a plan to implement projects aimed at improving access to solar energy in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. According to its 'Green New Deal Official Development Assistance', KOICA will invest KRW22 billion (US$19 million) over five years (2020 to 2024). In addition to mitigating climate change, this project will contribute to reducing unequal access to electricity among vulnerable groups in partner countries, and will provide a mechanism of local income generation through solar energy production.
The cabinet of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has approved the new 'Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation', which aims to increase Spain’s public and private investments in research and development from the current 1.2% of the gross national income (GNI) to 2.1% of GNI by 2027.
The new strategy outlines six priority areas of intervention: health; culture, creativity, and inclusive society; human security, inequities, and migrations; digitalization, industry, space, and defense; climate change, energy, and mobility; and nutrition and the environment.
The UK Minister for International Environment, Lord Goldsmith, made a virtual visit to Bangladesh to emphasize the government’s ongoing commitment to providing international climate finance to the country, given its vulnerability to climate change. Because it is a delta country, floods and cyclones pose a risk to over 70% of Bangladesh's population.
During the virtual visit, Lord Goldsmith met with Bangladesh’s Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources to discuss renewable energy generation for the country. He also met with officials and researchers to encourage the integration of nature-based solutions to support adaptation and resilience to climate change in the country.
The UK is the third-largest bilateral donor to Bangladesh, providing more than £350 million (US$460 million) in development assistance since 2018. Funding from the UK has helped to deliver early warning systems for floods and cyclones, has supported the installation of solar irrigation pumps, and has provided emergency assistance to people recovering from floods.
The UK government is hosting the UN Climate Conference COP26 in November 2021 and the government of Bangladesh currently chairs the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), an international partnership of countries highly vulnerable to a warming planet.
The Italian Council of Ministries approved the new triennial guidelines document for 2019-2021. The document outlined Italy's cooperation priorities for the coming years; 75% of Italian cooperation resources will be focused on the priority areas given in the document. The remaining 25% will go toward other sectors and debt treatment operations.
The identified priorities are:
- Food security and nutrition;
- Health (including health system strengthening, the fight against pandemics, access to immunization, and noncommunicable diseases);
- Cultural cooperation and protection of cultural heritage;
- Migration (including strengthening and promoting the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, and facilitating orderly, safe, regular, and responsible migration and mobility of people);
- Protection of the environment (including management of natural resources, and the fight against climate change);
- Inclusive and sustainable growth;
- Fighting against all kind of discrimination;
- Supporting efforts to promote conflict resolution through peace processes; and
- Supporting the global partnership for sustainable development.
The document also identified the 22 priority countries for Italian cooperation, given by region:
- Africa: Egypt, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal, and Mozambique;
- Middle East: Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine;
- Balkans: Albania and Bosnia;
- Latin America: Cuba and El Salvador; and
- Asia: Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Pakistan.
The Government of Canada has announced a US$8 million (CA$10 million) five-year funding extension for the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health. This research organization, hosted by Canada's McMaster University, is focused on understanding and responding to "pressing global water challenges". Specifically, researchers are focused on preventing and managing water-borne diseases and meeting the anticipated 50% increase in demand for water by 2030.
Japan has prepared to launch a new initiative that will share information and enable dialogue between countries as well as non-state actors on realizing a sustainable and resilient recovery from COVID-19.
As part of the initiative, Japan has developed an online platform named 'Platform Redesign 2020' detailing information on policies and actions taken by national governments to further climate change and pandemic recovery simultaneously. Furthermore, Japan will host an Online Ministerial Meeting on September 3, 2020 where ministers and high-level officials from United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Parties will exchange their opinions and information on climate and other environmental measures in the context of COVID-19.
The Platform for Redesign is led by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, supported by UNFCC, and managed by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).
On November 12, 2020, during the 3rd-annual Paris Peace Forum, the Finance in Common Summit will take place, to stress the role of public development banks in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the summit, participants are expected to launch a coalition to support the emergence of a financial response to the COVID-19 crisis that takes into consideration sustainable development and climate change. The aim is to define a global strategy for the 450 public development banks operating at sub-national, national, regional, international, and multilateral levels, whose volume of activity represents about US$2 trillion annually, according to organizers.
The summit is intended to feed into the forthcoming COP26 Conference and the G20 Summit. It will gather the development bank community, heads of state, governments, representatives from the private sector, civil society, think tanks, and academia.
This high-level meeting is an initiative of the World Federation of Development Finance Institutions (WFDFI) and the International Development Finance Club (IDFC), organized under the high patronage of French President, Emmanuel Macron, with the support of UN Secretary-General, António Guterres.
In recognition of Earth Overshoot Day, German Development Minister Gerd Müller has called for a radical rethinking of the global economy to protect the environment and humankind. Earth Overshoot Day marks the date annually when humanity’s resource consumption for the year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.
While this year’s Earth Overshoot Day is later than the previous years due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Minister Müller emphasized that COVID-19 should be a wake-up call for the world. Against the backdrop of the global devastation brought on by the pandemic, and given the advancing climate crisis, he called for setting the course for climate-neutral development, such as an ambitious innovation and investment package for the expansion of renewable energies across the African continent and in India, among other regions.
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.
South Korea's Minister of Unification Lee In-young has emphasized the need to establish a common vision to protect the lives of both South and North Koreans and identified three key areas of cooperation.
Speaking at an event on August 21, 2020 commemorating 75 years since the liberation of the Korean peninsula from Japanese colonial rule, Minister Lee highlighted that the ministry will establish a detailed cooperation plan on health and medicine, disease control and prevention, and climate change, the three areas of cooperation that were agreed by both Koreas. Since his appointment, Minister Lee has been vocal about enhancing inter-Korean cooperation.
The UK government has announced its interim leadership team for the forthcoming Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). FCDO will formally open on September 1, 2020, following the UK government’s decision to merge its Department for International Development (DFID) with its Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The announcement comes after the recent appointment of Sir Philip Barton as the permanent secretary to the FCDO, the highest-level civil servant in the new department.
The team is comprised of five directors-general, appointed on an interim basis of five months only to help manage the transition. The team also includes one political director, appointed on a permanent basis. Each Director-General leads on a specific geographic area and a set of thematic areas.
- Juliet Chua will be the new director-general of finance and corporate performance. This was a post she held in DFID.
- Tim Barrow will be the new political director. He is currently UK ambassador to the EU.
- Tom Drew will be the director-general of Middle-East and North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. He is currently director-general of consular and security at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. He will also be responsible for humanitarian and crisis management, as well as defense, migration, and national security.
- Moazzam Malik will be the director-general for Africa. He is currently director-general of country Programs in DFID. He will also be responsible for conflict and stabilization, human rights and good governance, and the UK’s development finance institution, the CDC Group.
- Vijay Rangarajan will be the director-general for the Americas and overseas territories. He is currently ambassador to Brazil. He will also be responsible for climate change, health, education, and gender.
- Jenny Bates will be the director-general of the Indo-Pacific region. She is currently the director-general for Europe at the FCO.
- Kumar Iyer will be the director-general of delivery. He is currently director-general of the prime minister's COVID-19 task force.
Some commentators have pointed to the dominance of FCO former staff in the management structure as a sign that development will be deprioritized within the new organization in favor of foreign policy.
Japan has dispatched two emergency relief teams to Mauritius, where the shipwreck of a Japanese-operated freighter has led to the leakage of tons of oil into the sea.
Japan's efforts are in response to a call for assistance following the crash of the MV Wakashio off the coast of the island nation in late July. The two teams, dispatched by the Government of Japan on August 10 and August 19 respectively, will help recover the heavy oil spilled and prevent further spillage. Furthermore, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment has now gotten involved by sending two experts from the National Institute for Environmental Studies.
Join the Donor Tracker this Thursday, August 6, 2020, from 16:00-17:00 (CEST), for a webinar addressing the pressing need for international climate finance in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
In 2015, the latest in a series of global climate change agreements was signed in Paris. The Paris Agreement includes a pledge made by donor countries to mobilize US$100 billion a year by 2020 for climate action in LMICs. This upcoming Donor Tracker webinar will examine the role that ODA can and should play in funding for climate action, including the US$100 billion target. It will include an overview of trends in ODA-related climate funding and policies by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) donors.
This webinar, and our recently published report on climate finance and ODA, complements the recent addition of ‘Climate’ as a sector of analysis across the Donor Tracker Donor Profiles. Climate was added this year in recognition of the importance of climate action to the future of global development efforts.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) are channeling €300 million (US$344 million) to sub-Saharan African countries to support recovery and resilience efforts in their COVID-19 responses.
The package includes a reallocation of €200 million (US$229 million) toward sectors most impacted by the pandemic, as well as an additional €100 million (US$115 million) of new funds. The funds will go toward working capital for businesses to keep jobs and maintain imports. At least a quarter of the funds will be dedicated to climate action, some will help enable cross-border trade of medical supplies and equipment, and some will target businesses owned or managed by women.
Press release - EIB
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.
Bangladesh has signed a loan from Japan to construct a 718-megawatt combined-cycle gas-fired power plant in Meghnaghat near Dhaka through the Lead Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP).
The funds include an Asian Development Bank loan of US$100 million and LEAP financing of US$100 million. The project is co-financed by the Japan Bank International Cooperation (JBIC), as well as four commercial banks, and is insured by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI).
The project is expected to increase Bangladesh's power generation capacity by 4%, which will help reduce energy imports and decrease dependency on costly and unsustainable fuel sources, contributing to sustainable industrial and economic growth.
The LEAP Fund targets high-quality private infrastructure projects in the Asia-Oceania region, and JICA approved US$1.5 billion investment in private sector investment financing for the LEAP Fund. Such areas of investment include reducing greenhouse gases, energy efficiency, and the provision of medical devices.
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.