Displaying 61 - 80 of 7272

Australia to immediately send 2.5 million vaccine doses and COVID-19 supplies to Indonesia

Australia’s Foreign Minister, Marise Payne, has directed 2.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine be sent to assist Indonesia. An assistance package worth A$12 million (US$9 million) will also provide test kits, 1000 ventilators, and up to 700 oxygen concentrators.

Indonesia’s daily infection rate rose to a record level of 31,189 cases on July 6, 2021, with 728 deaths.

Australia’s support for Indonesia’s COVID-19 response now totals A$102 million (US$76 million), as well as a A$1.5 billion (US$1.1 billion) loan to support Indonesia’s economic situation and response to COVID-19.

Press release - Minister for Foreign Affairs

South Korean government proposes US$3.8 billion for 2022 ODA budget

The Committee for International Development and Cooperation (CIDC) of South Korea released its proposed official development assistance (ODA) budget for 2022, which amounted to KRW4.20 trillion (US$3.8 billion).

This is an increase of KRW458.0 billion (US$418 million) and 12% from 2021. The share of bilateral assistance is set at 82% and that of the grant is set at 62%. While South Korea prioritizes Asia, which is the target region of its major foreign policies (the New Southern Policy and the New Northern Policy), the share of bilateral assistance to Africa increased slightly from 19% to 20%.

Key priority sectors are in the order of health, transportation, and education. Both health ODA and humanitarian assistance increased by around 2% from 2021. South Korea will increase the amount of health ODA to the partner countries of its New Southern Policy, which are the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and India, by 1.5 times between 2020 and 2022.

Press release – Office of the Prime Minister (in Korean)

New Norwegian climate fund to invest US$1.2 billion in renewable projects in low-income countries

The Norwegian government announced that it would give NOK10.0 billion (US$1.2 billion) over a five-year period to a new climate fund, to invest in renewable energy in low-income countries with the aim of cutting greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the supply of sustainable energy.

Erna Solberg, the Norwegian Prime Minister, says the establishment of the new climate fund is a milestone in Norwegian development assistance history. Solberg argued that this type of fund is vital for addressing the climate crisis globally and especially for helping countries that have done the least to cause climate change but are feeling the impacts the most.

Allocating money to renewable investments in partner countries also contributes to targets set out in the Paris Agreement for climate action and sustainable development goals (SDGs). Solberg highlighted that the fund aims to ensure that all countries, including low-income countries, can be a part of the transition to a low-emission society. 

Dag-Inge Ulstein, the Minister of International Development, describes the climate fund as the beginning of a new kind of collaboration between public and private capital that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase climate financing, and provide returns on investments.  

The funds will be administered by the Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for low-income countries. The allocation of the total NOK10.0 billion (US$1.2 billion) will be NOK2.0 billion (US$241 million) per year for five years from the state budget and Norfund, starting in 2022. 

Press release – The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

South Korea unveils Green New Deal ODA strategy

The Committee for International Development and Cooperation (CIDC) of South Korea announced the Green New Deal official development assistance (ODA) strategy as part of its foreign assistance strategy. The main objective of the strategy is for South Korea to lead global climate change response and green recovery. Specifically, the strategy mentions the following three priorities:

  • Support partner countries’ green transition by increasing the share of green ODA above that of the OECD DAC (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee) average by 2025, supporting the establishment of a Green New Deal ecosystem fit for partner countries, and excavating flagship projects tailored to partner countries;
  • Support Green New Deal ODA by leading global discussions and initiatives on green ODA, enhancing South Korea’s leadership on the issue, increasing contributions to green-related international organizations including the Green Climate Fund and the Global Green Growth Institute, and expanding partnerships with UN agencies and multilateral development banks; and
  • Expand mutually prosperous partnerships with partner countries, enhancing synergies with other domestic and foreign policies, and increasing effectiveness by following up with old projects.

Press release – Office of the Prime Minister (in Korean)

Australia will provide up to 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Pacific and Timor-Leste

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Marise Payne, has announced that Australia will provide up to 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Timor-Leste and countries in the Pacific. The doses will be provided by the middle of 2022 and aim to help achieve comprehensive vaccine coverage of the Pacific.

These doses are in addition to the 500,000 doses that Australia has provided to partner governments in the region.

Payne stated that the Australian assistance built on Australian commitments to COVAX, the global vaccine initiative, and that Australia has also helped with equipment for vaccination programs in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Timor-Leste.

Press release - Minister for Foreign Affairs

UK government publishes new 10-year vision for life sciences supported by US$1.3 billion of investments

The UK government has announced a new 10-year strategy for the UK’s life sciences sector, a sector which has "been integral to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic", including vaccination development, therapeutics, and diagnostics. The strategy aims to place the UK at the forefront of solving some of the world’s largest health challenges facing the UK and the world. The vision focuses on using innovation and technology to support prevention, diagnostics, and treatments in seven key areas:

  • Treating dementia;
  • Enabling early diagnosis and treatments of cancer;
  • Discovering, developing, and manufacturing vaccines;
  • Treating and preventing cardiovascular diseases;
  • Reducing mortality and morbidity from respiratory disease in the UK and globally;
  • Exploring underlying biology of aging; and
  • Increasing understanding of and addressing mental health.

The new vision will be accompanied by a new Life Sciences Investment Programme which will be backed by £200 million (US$268 million) from the government, delivered via the British Patient Capital, a part of the government-owned British Business Bank. The UK government's investment is intended to leverage further private sector resources and British Patient Capital has already agreed to a collaboration with the United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) Mubadala Investment Company, which will provide a further £800 million (US$1.0 billion).

The government’s Life Sciences Investment Programme will be supported by a scientific advisory panel, chaired by Professor Sir John Bell.

Press release - UK government

Report - UK government

Germany's Merkel open for cooperation with China on development projects in African continent

After a virtual conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron on July 6, 2021, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she sees a willingness of China to cooperate in tri- or multilateral projects on the development of the African continent.

Merkel emphasized the need to address differences in respective standards and approaches in development cooperation in order to work together with African countries in a coordinated and effective way. According to Merkel, Xi proposed a common platform with Germany, France, and other countries on the development of the African continent for this purpose.

Merkel also pointed to the initiative Compact with Africa as a good starting point for China to become engaged with other G20 countries. The initiative was started under the German G20 presidency in 2017 and aims to improve conditions for trade with and investments in African countries.

News article – Handelsblatt (in German)

German ministries initiate international alliance against health risks in wildlife trade to prevent zoonotic diseases and pandemics

On World Zoonoses Day on July 6, 2021, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), in cooperation with international partners and NGOs, launched a new international alliance against health risks in the wildlife trade to help prevent zoonoses (diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans).

Around 50 organizations from different sectors such as human and animal health, agriculture, and nature conservation cooperate currently under the initiative. Amongst them are governments, UN organizations, scientific institutes, and NGOs, including the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

German Development Minister Gerd Müller pointed to the importance of the fight against illegal wildlife trade to prevent the transmission of zoonotic viruses and fight zoonotic diseases with pandemic potential. He also emphasized Germany’s funding efforts in the fight against illegal wildlife trade and the protection of biodiversity. According to Müller, these topics are priorities for the German development cooperation, addressed under the ministry’s 'One Health' initiative area, which takes into account the shared health of people, animals, and the environment.

Press release – BMZ (in German)

Press release – BMU (in German)

Sydney Global Health Security Conference in 2022 relocated to Singapore

The uncertainty about whether the Australian borders will reopen by the middle of 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the Sydney Global Health Security Conference (GHS) 2022 being relocated.

The conference will now be held on June 28-July 1, 2022, at the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre in Singapore. This move will allow holding a face-to-face conference and should enable a wider range of participants to attend, according to the organizing committee.

Report - GHS Conference

Japan provides US$4 million for COVID-19 response in Maldives

The Japan International Cooperation Agency provided ¥401 million (US$4 million) for the COVID-19 response in the Maldives.

The funds aim to ensure rapid and fair access to COVID-19 vaccinations by providing medical and cold chain equipment, which is used to keep the vaccines at the temperature they need to be.

Press release – Japan International Cooperation Agency

Japan will provide US$10 million for COVID-19 response and human resource development in Philippines

Japan announced that it will provide ¥687 million (US$7 million) to the COVID-19 response in the Philippines and ¥329 million (US$3 million) to increase the administrative capacity of Philippine government agencies and ministries in the development field.

The COVID-19 response funds will be used to strengthen the COVID-19 vaccine cold chain and facilitate the COVAX Facility’s efforts to ensure rapid and fair access to vaccinations.

As part of efforts to increase administrative capacity, Japan will also accept 22 young students from the Philippine government into graduate schools in Japan, to contribute to their engagement of development issues and promote relations between Japan and the Philippines.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Japanese)

Japan’s climate resilience project for Maldives approved by Green Climate Fund

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Green Climate Fund approved the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) 'Building Climate Resilient and Safer Islands in the Maldives' project.

Many of the 1,200 islands that comprise the Maldives lie about one to two meters above sea level and have been affected by coastal erosion and rising sea levels due to climate change. JICA will support the development of a national policy on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), which will be the basis of community-led coastal protection plans for five islands. The project will also help establish an early warning and monitoring system of waves, sea level, coral reefs, and land use.

Press release – Japan International Cooperation Agency

South Korea and Global Green Growth Institute partner up for climate response in Uzbekistan

Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) have partnered up to support response to the climate emergency in the Aral Sea region of Uzbekistan.

KOICA will provide US$6 million for a community-based green reconstruction in the country, which will be implemented between 2021 and 2024. The project will include actions to improve access to financial services for local businesses and farmers and develop climate adaptation agri-business models for local businesses.

Press release – KOICA (in Korean)

At Generation Equality Forum, UK government commits to financing US$91 million for Violence Against Women and Girls Prevention program

At the Paris-held Generation Equality Forum, the UN Women-convened summit to accelerate gender equality investment, the UK government committed to providing £68 million (US$91 million) to support its seven-year Violence Against Women and Girls Prevention program. The program, which builds on earlier initiatives, will support innovation and scale up proven methods to prevent violence.

The UK is a leading member of the Gender-Based Violence Action Coalition along with Kenya, Iceland, Uruguay, UN Women, the EU, and the Ford Foundation. The Coalition is committed to supporting evidence-based policies and financing women’s organizations to:

  • Ensure that 550 million more women and girls live in countries with laws that prohibit all forms of gender-based violence (GBV) against women by 2026;
  • Increase by 50% the number of countries that include one or more prevention strategies in their national policies by 2026;
  • Ensure that more women and girls will live in countries with multi-sectoral action plans against GBV which include the provision of police, justice, health, and social sector services by 2026; and
  • Improve and increase international funding by 50% to women’s rights organizations, activists, and movements, including those working to address GBV of all kinds against women and girls by 2026.

On the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Dominic Raab, committed as a leader of the Action Coalition to "tackle the root causes of violence, including using education to stop violence before it starts." Raab said that the UK will continue its work on "preventing sexual violence in conflict, supporting survivors, and holding perpetrators to account."

The UK government also took the opportunity to use the Generation Equality Forum to remind member states to provide ambitious commitments to girls' education, ahead of the Global Education Summit on July 28-29, 2021, in the UK.

Twitter - UN Women

Twitter - Emily Esplen, Gender Advisor at FCDO

Twitter - Wendy Morton MP, Minister for Foreign, Common, and Development Office UK 

At Generation Equality Forum, EU pledges US$4.9 billion to women’s and girls’ empowerment, commits to proposing new legislation to combat gender-based violence by end of year

At the Paris-held Generation Equality Forum, the UN Women-convened summit to accelerate gender equality investment, the EU committed to providing at least €4.0 billion (US$4.9 billion) in its 2021-2027 long-term budget to be explicitly dedicated to women’s and girls’ empowerment. The EU also pledged to propose new legislation by the end of 2021 to combat gender-based violence and hate crimes against LGBTQI+ people, as well as adding all forms of hate crimes to the list of crimes in the EU treaties. 

The European Commission was a leader of Action Coalition 1 on Gender-Based Violence along with Iceland, Kenya, the UK, Uruguay, UN Women, the World Health Organization, the Ford Foundation, European Women’s Lobby, and civil society and private sector organizations. 

In November of 2020, the European Commission published the EU’s new Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in External Action 2021–2025 (GAP III), which featured plans to have one gender-focused project per partner country and a target of 85% of all new external relations actions to contribute to gender equality and women's empowerment by 2025. GAP III’s key thematic areas of engagement included ending gender-based violence; sexual and reproductive health and rights; economic and social rights and empowerment; equal participation and leadership; women, peace and security; and green and digital transformations. 

Video of speech - European Commission

UK and Germany announce joint declaration to work together to promote global security, democracy, health, education, gender equality, and fight climate emergency

The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Dominic Raab, and the German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas, announced a joint declaration setting out a series of global issues where the two countries will work together.

The declaration identified rules-based international order, security, and defense as key areas for close cooperation. The document also included other development issues as important to work together on, including global health and education, gender equality, the climate crisis, and conflict prevention and stabilization.

On global health, the declaration states that the UK and Germany will work together to strengthen multilateral approaches in response to and to prevent future global health crises, with a focus on the World Health Organization. The two countries will also work to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. The countries are committed to adopting a 'One Health' approach, which takes into account human, animal, and environmental health and recognizes the need for more resilient health systems.  

On conflict prevention and stabilization and peace-building, the UK and Germany announced the establishment of a new 'UK-Germany Stabilisation Partnership', and the declaration shows shared regions/countries of interest to carry out stabilization efforts, including within Africa such as in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel.

The two countries noted a shared sense of urgency in addressing the climate emergency, environmental degradation, and biodiversity loss and agreed ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), to be held in November 2021, to align their ask of other countries to increase their impact and, where appropriate, undertake joint advocacy.  

The declaration also notes that there will be an annual German-UK Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue that will cover all matters of foreign policy and international affairs and lead cooperation and coordination.

Press release - UK government

Generation Equality Forum concludes with major financial and political commitments for gender equality

The Generation Equality Forum (GEF), the UN Women-convened summit to accelerate gender equality investment, kicked off in Mexico City on March 29-31, 2021, and culminated in Paris on June 30-July 2. The Forum brought together high-level stakeholders including heads of government, corporations, and NGOs to accelerate major financial and political commitments to achieving gender equality by 2026. 

Country donors announced the following commitments:

  • Canada committed CA$180 million (US$146 million) to address the root causes of gender inequality around the world, including unpaid and paid care work in low- and middle-income countries. Canada also announced that it will commit CA$100 million (US$81 million) in new funding for stand-alone international assistance directed to inequality in unpaid and paid care work;
  • The EU committed at least €4.0 billion (US$4.9 billion) in the EU’s 2021-2027 long-term budget to be specifically dedicated to women’s and girls’ rights and empowerment. The EU also pledged to propose new legislation by the end of 2021 to combat violence against women and hate crimes against LGBTQI+ people, as well as adding all forms of hate crimes to the list of crimes in the EU treaties;
  • France committed an additional €100 million (US$122 million) in this sector for the next five years. It also announced that €250 million (US$304 million) will be mobilized by the French Development Agency (AFD) through the bilateral channel for sexual reproductive and health rights (SRHR);
  • Germany increased its commitment to women's economic empowerment initiatives by €140 million (US$166 million), bringing Germany's total commitment to the GEF to US$285 million (€240 million). US$30 million (€25 million) of that will go to the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative;
  • The Netherlands pledged US$620 million to feminist organizations and movements, including supporting the Action Coalition on economic justice, the Action Coalition on bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the Action Coalition on climate justice;
  • Sweden pledged to support the implementation of the Common Agenda for Comprehensive Abortion Care and increase resources and support for existing funding mechanisms through the Action Coalition on feminist movements and leadership;
  • The UK recommitted to providing £68 million (US$91 million) to support its seven-year-long Violence Against Women and Girls Prevention program; and
  • The US pledged US$175 million to support programs against gender-based violence and to mobilize US$12.0 billion through 2025 in investments by the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) in businesses that advance gender equity in emerging markets through the 2X Women's Initiative.

Newsletter - Donor Tracker

News article - Forbes

News article - UN News

Japan highlights strengthening cooperation and addresses COVID-19 in Pacific Islander Countries during ninth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, along with leaders from 18 other countries, participated in the ninth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting, where Suga announced Japan’s Pacific Bond (KIZUNA) Policy, which will bolster Japan’s 'All Japan' approach and strengthen cooperation between Japan and Pacific Island countries.

Suga also noted that Japan will provide about 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Pacific Forum Island Countries (FICs) by the end of the year through the COVAX Facility, the global vaccine initiative. Japan will also take infection control measures to host a safe and secure Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Japanese)

At Generation Equality Forum, France pledges US$122 million to sexual and reproductive health and rights

At the Paris-held Generation Equality Forum, the UN Women-convened summit to accelerate gender equality investment, France committed €100 million (US$122 million) in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for the next five years, including:

  • €90 million (US$109 million) for United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) supplies;
  • €5 million (US$6 million) for Shaping Equitable Market Access for Reproductive Health (SEMA) coordinated by 'Amref Health Africa'; and
  • €5 million (US$6 million) for the Global Partnership Forum on Comprehensive Sexuality Education, an initiative co-led by UNFPA and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

France also announced that €250 million (US$304 million) will be mobilized by the French Development Agency through the bilateral channel for SRHR, and the French Muskoka Fund, supporting maternal and child health in West Africa, will be given €50 million (US$61 million) from 2022-2026.

These commitments came in addition to France's pledge to the Global Partnership for Education totaling €333 million (US$450 million), half of which will support access to education for girls and equality in education.

France was co-host of the Forum along with Mexico, as well as a leader of the Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.

Press release - French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in French)

At Generation Equality Forum, Netherlands pledges US$620 million to feminist organizations and movements

At the Paris-held Generation Equality Forum, the UN Women-convened summit to accelerate gender equality investment, the Netherlands pledged US$620 million to feminist organizations and gender equality movements.

The Netherlands was a leader of the Action Coalition on Feminist Movements and Leadership, but also made commitments to support other Action Coalitions such as:

  • Supporting for the Action Coalition on Economic Justice by improving access to finance for women-owned businesses in Africa in cooperation with the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and other development financial institutions;
  • Realizing universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), quality care and services, information, and education for the Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy and SRHR; and
  • Contributing to sustainable forest management, strengthening livelihoods in forested landscapes, and reducing CO2 emissions by halting deforestation while ensuring women are at least 50% of the recipients of these projects for the Action Coalition on Climate Justice.

The Netherlands also signed the Compact on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action (WPS-HA Compact), a movement for action on women and security, and gender equality in humanitarian action.

Twitter – NL Women’s Rights