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Global Fund's seventh replenishment mobilizes US$14.25 billion

Donors gathered in New York from September 18-21, 2022 for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria's (Global Fund) seventh replenishment conference. The funding period will support the Global Fund's operations with US$14.25 billion over 2023-2025. 

Key donors made the following commitments: 

Australia: A$266 million (US$178 million)

Canada: CA$1.2 billion (US$904 million)

European Commission: €715 million (US$710 million)

France: €1.6 billion (US$1.6 billion)

Germany: €1.3 billion (US$1.3 billion)

Japan: US$1.1 billion

South Korea: US$100 million 

Netherlands: €180 million (US$179 million)

Norway: NOK2 billion (US$193 million)

Spain: €130 million (US$129 million)

Sweden: SEK3 billion (US$275 million)

United States: US$6 billion

Notably absent donors included the United Kingdom and Italy. A caretaker government currently runs Italy; elections will be hosted on September 25, 2022, and a new commitment is likely once a new government has formed. Amidst political upheaval, with the fresh appointment of Prime Minister Liz Truss, the death of Queen Elizabeth II and subsequent succession of King Charles III, and a 0.5% ODA/GNI budget cap which has reduced UK development assistance, uncertainty remains regarding UK funding levels for a potential commitment. Critics noted that some low-income countries eligible to receive UK ODA made pledges at the replenishment, while the UK, a top historical funder, did not.

Other countries, philanthropic actors, and private sector stakeholders also made commitments.  

Report - Global Fund

News article - Devex 

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

USAID Administrator announces 'sub-Saharan' local development initiative

On September 19, 2022, during a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) event hosted by Peace Direct,  Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Samatha Power announced a new locally-led development initiative for sub-Saharan Africa (meaning the regions of Eastern, Western, Central, and Southern Africa, as designated by the African Union), though information on specific partner countries was not provided.

This initiative will be modeled after the Centroamerica Locale Initiative, a US$300 million initiative launched by the Biden Administration in 2021 to address increasing immigration from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador through the use of development assistance. The initiative pilots the use of direct funding to the region to build capacity and relationships with local organizations.  

Powers did not provide details on either funding or timeframes for the new initiative but said that more information is forthcoming.

News report - Devex

Sweden's right-wing shift creates uncertainty around 1% ODA/GNI commitment

The right-wing bloc won Sweden’s general elections on September 11, 2022 narrowly defeating Social Democratic Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson’s progressive center-left coalition by three seats.

Negotiations are underway to form a center-right government headed by the Moderate Party, in coalition with the Sweden Democrats, Liberals, and Christian Democrats. The Sweden Democrats are also poised to hold greater sway in shaping the future of Swedish politics, given the party’s popularity during the elections.

Since 1975, the Swedish government has exceeded the UN’s 0.7% ODA/GNI target with a commitment to spending at least 1% of its GNI on ODA. While foreign affairs and development policy only featured tangentially in the election campaign, the election outcome could have a major impact on Sweden’s future ODA priorities and budgets.

The two largest parties in the right-wing bloc – the Sweden Democrats and Moderates - both challenged Sweden’s 1% ODA/GNI commitment, proposing cuts in ODA to 0.7% of GNI while promising a more nationalist approach to international cooperation.

While the 1% target retains strong support from the Social Democrats, the Green, Centre, Liberal, Christian Democratic, and Left parties, the strong combined showing of the Sweden Democrats and Moderates casts doubt on the target's future.

News article - CNBC

Think tank calls for new Australian development finance institution

On September 19, 2022, the Sydney-based Lowy Institute put forward the case for an Australian development finance institution (DFI) in response to the Australian government's announcement of a Development Finance Review.

The Lowy Institute outlined five reasons for the establishment of an Australian DFI, namely that a DFI would:

  • Allow Australia to increase overseas development finance by mobilizing resources from the private sector;
  • Provide guarantees and loans at a greater scale than Australia’s normal ODA grant financing;
  • Improve development effectiveness in assisting emerging economies, particularly where projects could expect financial returns;
  • Increase domestic support for ODA spending, partly because it might return a financial profit; and
  • Signal Australia's intent to become a more substantial partner while extending its regional influence.

Report – The Lowy Institute

Australia hosts UN conference on regional disaster risk reduction

In partnership with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Australia will host the 2022 Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction from September 19 - 22, 2022.

Australian Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said the four-day event would involve the private sector, local communities, academia, civil society, and governments to discuss building disaster resistance and mitigating the effect of future disasters. The minister highlighted the necessity of efforts to increase resilience to climate hazards, citing the frequency of disasters in the Asia-Pacific region.

News article – The Mandarin

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

Japan provides US$10 million for vaccine data management systems in 7 African countries

On September 16, 2022, Japan signed a letter pledging ¥1.4 billion (US$10 million) to the Digital Health Systems Support Program to Combat Infectious Diseases in Africa UNICEF Partnership.

In the past year, reflections on the challenges faced at COVID-19 vaccination sites in Africa have emphasized the necessity of vaccination status follow-up and the implementation of a system that can manage vaccine-related data.

As a result of the new pledge, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will provide an immunization management system to respond to public health threats in seven African countries; Tunisia, Uganda, Congo, DRC, Benin, Malawi, and South Sudan. It is expected that the plan will contribute to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the revitalization of socioeconomic activities.

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

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)

Italian NGO network publishes development priorities ahead of September elections

CINI, a network of seven international NGOs based in Italy, issued a joint statement on September 14, 2022, urging the political parties to prioritize the following development cooperation objectives ahead of the September 25, 2022, election:

  1. Increasing the resources allocated to Italy’s development cooperation, meeting the international 0.7% GNI/ODA target by 2030, reaching 0.5% by 2027, and prioritizing support to low- and middle-income countries while finding alternative funding sources for migration and asylum policies;
  2. Boosting the quality of Italy’s development cooperation through better planning, monitoring, and policy coherence;
  3. Mainstreaming gender equality across Italy’s humanitarian and development cooperation efforts, and further integrating gender equity into Italy’s foreign policy;
  4. Investing in preventive mechanisms and tools to build local capacity for countering future crises through investment in health systems, education programs, and social protection of the most vulnerable groups;
  5. Promoting a new external migration policy based on human rights protection and removing funding for repatriation programs from the budget, which received US$10 million in 2022; and 
  6. Supporting the fight against climate change through equitable ecological transitions domestically and abroad that reduce inequalities and actively engage young people. 

Report - CINI (in Italian)

Von der Leyen's State of the Union speech largely omits global development

The war in Ukraine and Europe’s energy crisis dominated European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen’s State of the Union speech on September 14, 2022, with few mentions of global development beyond references to the EU’s Global Gateway investments in vaccine manufacturing in Africa. 

Von der Leyen briefly touched on what she characterized as the EU’s successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including securing 4 billion vaccine doses for Europeans and the rest of the world. She also mentioned the need for EU cooperation with other countries on global challenges like climate change and digitalization. Von der Leyen cited the success of similar efforts in global health, such as the Global Gateway investment initiative, which she announced in the 2021 State of the Union speech. She noted the initiative's capacity building in mRNA vaccine manufacturing in Rwanda and Senegal.

The speech contained far fewer policy announcements than the 2021 iteration, with the surprising omission of many issues, such as the global food security crisis, which von der Leyen only addressed in response to questions from the Members of the European Parliament following the speech.

Speech - European Commission

News article - Euractiv

News article - Politico

Canadian CSOs urge government to contribute US$904 million to Global Fund replenishment

After months of advocacy, a coalition of 14 civil society organizations (CSOs) is calling on Canada to pledge CA$1.2 billion (US$904 million) at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria's (Global Fund) replenishment conference in New York City during the week of September 19, 2022. 

Since May 2022, the coalition has called on the federal government to contribute more to support the Global Fund. As the Global Fund now seeks to recover from setbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund released its investment case calling on donors to collectively contribute US$18 billion - the minimum investment needed to save an estimated 20 million more lives. Among G7 nations, the US, Germany, and Japan have announced their support, committing to increase their pledges by 30% from the previous funding cycle. However, the Canadian government has not announced further support, drawing criticism from several CSOs.

Op-ed - Cooperation Canada

South Korea and United States sign MOU on development cooperation

On September 14, 2022, the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on development cooperation.

Won Do-yeon, Director General of the Development Cooperation Bureau at MOFA, and Michele Sumilas, Assistant to the Administrator of the Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning (PPL) at USAID participated in a bilateral development policy dialogue, with the MOU laying the groundwork for further cooperation between the two countries. 

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)

News article – Korea (in Korean)

ONE calls on France to increase Global Fund commitment by 30%

On September 7, 2022, ahead of the seventh replenishment of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), ONE France called on President Emmanuel Macron to increase France's financial commitment by 30% for the next three years (2023-2025).

ONE stressed the necessity of government action in a video on social networks. The short film highlighted the Global Fund's goal to save 20 million lives with funds from the upcoming replenishment.

The increase US$390 million increase for the Global Fund cycle would result in a total donation of US$1.7 billion.

Twitter - ONE France

Team Europe delivered US$50.4 billion to support partner countries’ COVID-19 pandemic response through 2021

The European Commission announced on September 13, 2022, that Team Europe had delivered €47.7 billion (US$50.4 billion), or 88% of its commitment to provide €53.7 billion (US$56.7 billion) by the end of 2021, to support EU partner countries with COVID-19 response. 

Funding amounts were calculated as of December 31, 2021. Included in this funding, the European Commission provided €16.6 billion (US$17.5 billion) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) provided €12 billion (US$12.7 billion), for a total contribution of €28.7 billion (US$30.3 billion) from the EU Institutions.

Team Europe, which is composed of the EU Institutions, EU member states, and European financial institutions, mobilized global COVID-19 response funding to provide support for the emergency response to humanitarian needs; strengthening health, water, and sanitation systems; and mitigating the social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Press release - European Commission

Factsheet - European Commission

Canada promises extra US$36 million for flood recovery, polio eradication in Pakistan

On September 13, 2022, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new funding to support flood response and polio eradication in Pakistan, totaling CA$48 million (US$36 million). 

Canada will allocate an additional CA$25 million (US$19 million) to respond to the flooding in Pakistan, in addition to a campaign to match donations up to a maximum of CA$3 million (US$2 million).

This funding announcement is in addition to Canada’s announcement on August 29, 2022, of CA$5 million (US$4 million) in disaster recovery assistance. In total, Canada has now provided CA$33 million (US$25 million) in assistance towards the flood response and longer-term recovery in Pakistan.

Canada’s Minister of International Development, Harjit Sajjan, also announced support of CA$20 million (US$15 million) to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), via the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), to support polio eradication in Pakistan. The contribution is part of Canada’s ongoing CA$190 million (US$143 million) commitment to the GPEI.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

News article - CBC

Ukrainian CSOs call for 30% increase in EU support to Global Fund

Ukrainian CSOs organized a flash mob in front of the European Commission’s headquarters, to draw attention to an open letter calling for the EU to increase its commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) by 30% for the fund’s seventh replenishment for 2024-2026. 

The letter, signed by more than 100 Ukrainian and international CSOs, highlighted the Global Fund's support for Ukraine to address its high HIV and tuberculosis (TB) disease burden. It also expressed the organizations’ solidarity with those around the world suffering from the impacts of these diseases. 

The Commission’s commitment to the Global Fund’s previous replenishment for 2021-2023 was €550 million (US$581 million). It also committed €150 million (US$158 million) in May 2022 to the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response Mechanism. The Commission is the Global Fund’s seventh-largest public donor. 

Letter - Ukrainian Civil Society Organizations

Press release - European Commission

Norway promises seed funding for World Bank's pandemic preparedness FIF

On September 12, 2022, Norway committed to providing seed funding for the Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response (PPR).

FIF is an ongoing project by the World Bank, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other international and regional organizations. The first governing board meeting was held on September 8-9, 2022. The new initiative's aim is to mitigate the risk and consequences of a new pandemic.

According to Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of International Development, Norway will provide seed funding for the new financing mechanism to improve global health preparedness. The program's priorities are improving prevention, detection, and response capacities for countries experiencing new outbreaks of infectious diseases. The initiative has a special focus on countries with weak health systems, in addition to strengthening global and regional cooperation. 

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

Norad recommends 20% budget allocation for cash transfers

On September 11, 2022, Bård Vegard Solhjell, Director General at the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), recommended a considerable increase in the proportion of cash transfers to 20% of Norway's ODA budget, up from its current 2%.

Solhjell said that Norad`s recommendation to the Ministry of International Development would be implemented gradually, allowing Norway to test and slowly increase the prominence of cash transfers over time.

Over the past decade, Norad has conducted several studies on the long-term effects of direct transfers to poor households in India, finding positive outcomes related to food security, consumption, health, and income. One key finding also suggests that the additional income from cash transfers increases recipients' mobility, helping individuals secure employment that offers stable income.

However, the drastic proposed increase in cash transfers could reduce funding for other priorities. Solhjell declined to comment on the exact reallocations, saying the responsibility rested with Parliament and the government. As it is, much of Norway`s international development funding could be deployed as transfers, allowing Norway to retain the same thematic priorities while utilizing cash transfers as a mechanism. 

Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister of International Development supported Solhjell`s recommendation to use cash transfers, citing the potential for positive externalities in food markets and production caused by low-income consumer spending.

News article - Dagens Næringsliv (in Norwegian)