Displaying 21 - 40 of 8105

FCDO international development strategy remains unpublished, internal budget allocations delayed

Devex recently reported that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has not yet finalized internal allocations for its budget for FY2022/23. 

The overall budget envelope for the FCDO was set by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his 2021 Comprehensive Spending Review at £11.1 billion (US$14.3 billion) for FY2022/23 (for both ODA and non-ODA spending). Normally, funding allocations to core thematic and geographic departments within the FCDO are decided by April the latest. However, Devex noted that the FCDO is struggling to finalize these internal allocations.

Part of the reason for the delay could be the failure of the FCDO to finalize its policy priorities, particularly in international development. The UK’s long-awaited International Development Strategy, which has been drawn up by the FCDO, was initially scheduled for release last year but remains unpublished. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in March was cited as the latest reason for the delay, as Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, set about re-writing the strategy in light of the geopolitical shift.

Devex noted that there are concerns that following the recent UK local elections on May 5, 2022, Prime Minister Boris Johnson may reshuffle the cabinet reshuffle, potentially causing further delays in the strategy's publication.

The UK NGO community has called for the publication of the International Development Strategy as soon as possible, especially in light of the currently reduced ODA budget and the need for transparency and clarity over the UK’s priorities moving forward.

News article – DEVEX

US Senate confirms new PEPFAR head

The United States Senate confirmed the appointment of Dr. John Nkengasong to be the next US Global AIDS Coordinator.  He will lead the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  Currently, Dr. Nkengasong serves as the director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

This is the first time that PEPFAR has a confirmed leader since Dr. Deborah Birx stepped down in 2020, a gap that has frustrated AIDS experts. PEPFAR's budget is US$6 billion annually, and the lack of permanent leadership came at a time when the COVID-19 crisis had a devastating impact on the HIV pandemic.

Dr. Nkengasong is a virologist from Cameroon and will be the first African-born person to lead PEPFAR. He was nominated by US President Biden to the post in September of 2021.

News report - Devex

EIB launches new joint initiative with EU national banks to offer US$2.2 billion in financial support for Ukrainian refugees

The European Investment Bank (EIB) launched a new €2 billion (US$2.2 billion) initiative, Quick Response — Care for Ukrainian Refugees in Europe, with five national banks in the European Association of Long-Term Investors (ELTI).

The initiative will provide financing in 2022 to support Ukrainian refugees hosted in EU member states, including to help provide housing, education, healthcare, and infrastructure.

The ELTI is an association of 31 public national promotional banks and financial institutions in Europe. 

Press release - EIB

African and European Civil Society Days address AU-EU relationship, CSO participation

Coordination SUD, the French national NGO platform, along with CONCORD and FORUS International organized the African and European Civil Society Days (Journées Sociétés Civiles Africaines et Européennes) from May 6 - 7, 2022, .

This event which took place under the French Presidency of the EU Council's umbrella, and in the follow-up to the sixth African and European Heads of State Summit, gathered 150 representatives from civil society, the agricultural sector, the feminist community, youth and human rights organizations, decision-makers, and academics from the two continents. 

The meetings sought to renew the partnership between the African Union and the European Union in order to refine the role of CSOs.

Press release - Coordination SUD (in French)

Japan reaffirms support for SDGs at 7th Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation

Japan reaffirmed its commitment to strengthening international partnerships to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 at the 7th Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for SDGs.

Japan has been involved in galvanizing science and technology to tackle problems in low- and middle- income countries as part of the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) since 2008. SATREPS combines research funding and ODA to develop solutions for local and global communities. Many of these efforts have focused on reducing the impact of climate change.

Japan is also a strong supporter of the Global Pilot Programme on STI4SDGs Roadmaps and called on UN member states to align their national action plans with the initiative. 

Press release – Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations

Japan signs US$439 million loan agreement with Thailand to support COVID-19 response

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a ¥50 billion (US$439 million) loan agreement with Thailand as part of its COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan program.

The loan will be used to strengthen the healthcare system as Thailand addresses the COVID-19 crisis and will help support vulnerable populations who have been affected by the pandemic. 

Japan also announced a ¥500 million (US$4.4 million) grant to equip Suvarnabhumi International Airport, four border quarantine stations, and hospitals with resources to support quarantine, border control, and diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases.

News article – NNA Asia (in Japanese)

Press release – Japan International Cooperation Agency 

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan 

Climate Action Network calls on UK to increase quantity, quality of climate finance for adaptation

The UK Climate Action Network (CAN-UK) and BOND, the UK network for international development NGOs, issued a new report in response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth assessment report.

The report focused on adaptation, loss & damage (L&D) financing, investment, and ecosystem preservation and called upon the UK to use its COP26 Presidency in 2022 to:

  1. Increase the quality and quantity of climate finance for adaptation: The report calls for the UK, as COP26 President in 2022, to work with other countries to ensure the delivery of the original US$100 billion climate finance commitment and to start work on a new collective quantifiable climate finance goal to replace the US$100 billion in 2025. The report urges the UK, when setting the future finance goal, to move away from top-down donor-led negotiation processes and to instead ensure any new agreement is based on science, needs, and justice;
  2. Broker an agreement on L&D finance by COP27: The report calls for the UK to utilize its Presidency this year to prioritize an agreement for a new, and well-resourced, finance facility for loss & damage;
  3. Drive forward the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) with concrete actions: The report calls upon the UK to set out a clear unambiguous goal for GGA and to set milestones for assessing progress towards this goal in 2022 and 2023;
  4. Embed locally-led, inclusive, and rights-based adaptation into climate action: The report calls on the UK to set an example and ensure that UK International Climate Finance is spent on inclusive and locally-led adaptation. The report also calls for the Principles for Locally Led Adaptation, which have been endorsed by Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), to be mainstreamed across all UK ICF programming;
  5. Increase investment in high-quality ecosystem-based adaptation: The report urges the UK to increase the role of nature in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and Adaptation Communication this year;
  6. Integrate and promote early warning and early action:  The report calls for the UK to ensure it has integrated climate change adaptation across all development and humanitarian programming and provides long-term finance to enable this to happen. It also notes that the forthcoming Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in May 2022 provides an opportunity for the UK to advocate for international financial institutions and partner countries to do the same;
  7. Transform agricultural investment to support sustainable practices: The report calls for the UK to use mechanisms identified within the Just Rural Transition Policy Action Agenda to ensure policies that support sustainable agriculture and calls for the UK to ensure that the FCDO’s agriculture strategy and programming support agroecology approaches.

Report – CAN-UK /BOND Adaptation and Vulnerability Report

EU increases support for displaced Ukrainians with US$216 million in assistance

The European Commission announced an additional €200 million (US$216 million) in assistance for displaced people in Ukraine at the International Donors’ Conference for Ukraine co-hosted by Poland and Sweden.

The EU has already provided €4 billion (US$4.3 billion) in macro-financial assistance for Ukraine and humanitarian assistance to EU member states hosting refugees from Ukraine.

Press release - European Commission

Factsheet - European Commission

Japan’s Kishida commits to post-COVID-19 recovery, tackling climate change

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida spoke in London about the need for a new form of capitalism and his government’s plan to address global issues. In his speech, Kishida reconfirmed Japan’s commitment to post-pandemic recovery in Asia and beyond and to tackling climate change.

Prior to visiting London, Kishida was in Vietnam and Thailand where he announced loans and grant assistance for strengthening healthcare systems and climate change countermeasures. He also reiterated Japan’s commitment to energy diversification and introducing renewable energy. 

News article – Nikkei Asia

Speeches and Statements - Government of Japan

Spanish think tank holds conference pandemic preparedness and response conference

On May 5 and 6, 2022, the global health think tank and research institution Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) organized a conference aimed at discussing global preparation to respond to future environmental and public health crises.

Bringing together researchers, health professionals, practitioners, and decision-makers in the two-day workshop held in Barcelona and Madrid, Spain, ISGlobal conducted technical discussions to exchange varying points of view and amalgamate lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic; participants shared ideas geared toward advancing preparedness, response, recovery, and resilience to future pandemics.  

The workshop concluded with a high-level roundtable that gathered different institutions like the Spanish ministries of Health and Science, the European Commission, the World Health Organization, the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, and the African Centre for Disease Control.

Press release - ISGlobal

South Korea and United Kingdom sign MOU on preparing for future pandemics

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) and United Kingdom’s Health Security Agency signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate with each other in preparing for future pandemics.

The two countries will cooperate in monitoring infectious diseases, risk assessment, responding to biological terrorism, and sharing pathogen information. They will also organize an annual high-level policy dialogue and expert meetings in addition to conducting research projects. Two commissioners from the two countries stressed that this future-oriented cooperation would help to solidify the health and security agenda and prepare for future pandemics.

News article – Maeil business (in Korean)

Canada's 2020-2021 international assistance focused on gender equality, global health, says report

Canada recently published its annual report on international assistance for 2020-2021, which provides an overview of Canada's global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a summary of Canada’s work to advance the priorities set out in the Feminist International Assistance Policy and the 2030 Agenda, and Canada's commitment to global partnerships.

Key highlights of Canada’s international assistance in 2020-2021 included:

  • Canada’s leadership role in the ACT-Accelerator and the COVAX Facility, committing CA$1.3 billion (US$1.0 billion) to support access to COVID-19 tests and vaccines;
  • Providing close to CA$1.2 billion (US$930 million) to meet the humanitarian needs of approximately 115 million people; and 
  • Supporting the empowerment of women and girls through CA$375 million (US$290 million) in development assistance specifically to advance gender equality around the world.

The report highlighted that Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Tanzania, and Mali were the top 5 recipients of Canada’s international assistance in 2020-2021. It also found that global health and nutrition, and climate and environment were the top-funded action areas of the Feminist International Assistance Policy.

Report - Global Affairs Canada

Australia disburses over 50% of bilateral COVID-19 vaccines to Indo-Pacific region

Australia has bilaterally delivered more than 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to countries in the Indo-Pacific region - over half of Australia's 60 million dose commitment.

The majority of doses were supplied to Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, and the Philippines.

Separately,  Australia committed an additional A$85 million (US$61 million) to the COVAX Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) on  April 1, 2022. Australia’s total commitment to the COVAX AMC is now A$215 million (US$158 million).

The Australian Government also committed A$100 million (US$72 million) to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI). This pledge represents a more than 5-fold increase over Australia’s previous commitment to CEPI. Half of the CEPI funding came from the Australian ODA budget and the other half from Australia’s Health Department.

Report - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Press release – Minister for Foreign Affairs

Spain's Cancela addresses 0.7% ODA/GNI target, other development priorities with parliament

On April 26 and May 3, 2022, the Spanish State Secretary for International Cooperation (SECI) Pilar Cancela attended two consecutive parliamentary hearings at the development committees of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate, Spain's bicameral parliament.

Cancela took advantage of both hearings to emphasize the current government’s strong engagement with global health and development that has made Spain the world’s seventh-largest donor of COVID-19 vaccines.

Cancela presented the new sustainable development bill, which will be discussed in parliament in the upcoming months. She also addressed the intended plan to increase Spain’s ODA to 0.7% of GNI by 2030 and to modernize Spanish development architecture. She summarized the main findings from the ‘Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2018-2021’; the new Master Plan for the 2022-2025 period will be released soon.

Press release – MAEC (in Spanish)

Press release – MAEC (in Spanish)

South Korean agencies hold major Council to discuss feasibility, consistency of grant projects in 2023

South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) hosted the 'Grant Assistance Institutions Council, 2022', which discussed the upcoming year's grant projects.

30 relevant grant agencies, including government ministries and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), attended the Council to examine the feasibility of grant projects, consistency with major foreign policies, and the possibility of duplication and linkage.

The grant project candidates reported this year totaled US$2.71 billion (KRW2.65 trillion) - a 13.9% increase compared to the last year. This increase reflects the South Korean government’s strong commitment to supporting social and economic recovery and sustainable development within the international community during the COVID-19 era, during which it has been difficult to plan and pursue projects.  

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)

News article – Yonhap News (in Korean)

UK parliament urges government to prioritize women and girls in reduced ODA budget in Pakistan

The UK parliamentary committee on international development has called upon the UK government to use its reduced country ODA budget for Pakistan to focus on assisting marginalized groups like women and girls and, religious minorities.

The committee, which published a new report on UK ODA to Pakistan, highlighted that between 2015 - 2019, Pakistan was the single largest recipient of bilateral UK ODA. However, in 2020 it dropped to seventh place with an annual UK ODA budget of £200 million (US$268 million). The report illustrated how the UK via past programming had a positive impact on helping women and girls and religious minorities via its education and economic empowerment programs; but, progress made by these projects has been put in jeopardy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and cuts to the UK ODA budget. The report urged the UK government to use its smaller ODA budget to protect the gains made in these programs, focusing on girls’ education and women’s economic empowerment in hard-to-reach communities and by supporting other programs like nutrition and sexual and reproductive health which indirectly support these goals.

The report also called upon the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to continue to support the work of Pakistan’s National Commission on the Status of Women and its National Commission on Human Rights.

In order to improve the effectiveness of UK ODA in Pakistan, the report ultimately urges the UK to communicate its policy objectives clearly to its partners via its Integrated Delivery Plan.

Report – UK Parliament

Stakeholders call for AU-EU Innovation Agenda to make African R&I ecosystem as strong as Europe’s

Stakeholders participating in a roundtable hosted by the publication Science|Business called for the new African Union (AU)-EU Innovation Agenda to strengthen the African research and innovation (R&I) ecosystem until it is on a level playing field with Europe’s and suggested that EU-AU research cooperation should be driven by opportunity, not foreign assistance. 

Participants suggested during the March 29, 2022, meeting in Brussels that the EU should provide funding for researchers at the PhD level and above in AU countries and improve research infrastructures. A joint study exchange program for PhD students across Europe and Africa could enable knowledge exchange and create a research network. Creating a database of African research could facilitate data sharing between European and African research teams as well.

The AU-EU Innovation Agenda will target cooperation around health, the green transition, and enhancing R&I capacities. Public consultation on the agenda is open until May 13, 2022.

News article - Science|Business

European Commission proposes actions for COVID-19 pandemic evolution

The European Commission (EC) published a set of proposed actions for managing the current phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing for the next one, which included a call for the EU to work to improve global solidarity and governance of pandemic preparedness and response.

On the global dimension, the EC’s communication highlighted the EU’s support for COVAX, the Team Europe Initiative to build health technology manufacturing capacity in Africa, and the EU’s advocacy for a new pandemic treaty. The EC proposed that the EU continue its global leadership role in the response to COVID-19, continue supporting its partners’ response in the EU Neighborhood, and invest €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) in health systems strengthening and at least €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) in local manufacturing of health products in Africa. 

Press release - European Commission

Policy paper - European Commission

EU steps up support on food security to drought-affected Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, including US$255 million in development funding

The EU and its member states are providing a total package of €633 million (US$698 million) in Team Europe support to address food security in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia, including €231 million (US$255 million) in development funding from the European Commission (EC).

The Team Europe package was announced at a high-level roundtable in Geneva co-hosted by the EC and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. It includes €348 million (US$384 million) overall from the EC and €285 million (US$314 million) from EU member states. The EC’s contribution includes funding for humanitarian assistance, conflict management, and €231 million (US$255 million) in development funding to tackle the root causes of food insecurity.

Food security in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia is threatened by climate-induced drought and conflict in the region, which is exacerbated by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian war in Ukraine.

Press release - European Commission

India and Germany strengthen development cooperation with 3 new agreements

During the sixth intergovernmental consultations between India and Germany on May 2, 2022, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Svenja Schulze, signed three declarations for collaboration in climate, energy, and agriculture.

Building on cooperation for solar technology that has been in place since 2015, India and Germany signed another partnership to build up renewable energies in India. Between 2020 and 2025, €1.0 billion (US$1.1 billion) will be contributed to the partnership.

Additionally, the two countries made an agreement on triangular development cooperation with third countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The collaborations will focus on technical cooperation in climate protection and sustainability.

The third initiative focuses on agroecological agriculture and sustainable resource management. Funding of up to €300 million (US$331 million) will be made available for the initiative by 2025, according to the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

In addition, Modi and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz signed a 'Green and Sustainable Development Partnership', a joint declaration of intent to cooperate on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate action.

Press release – Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (in German)

Joint Statement – 6th German-Indian Inter-Governmental Consultations