The Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC), an umbrella organization representing Canada’s international development and humanitarian organizations, has voiced its disappointment with the new Budget 2019 put forward by the federal government. According to the CCIC, the budget does not contribute additional resources to achieve the targets of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. CCIC plans to launch an e-petition calling for a significant increase in official development assistance and asks all political parties to make development an election issue.
The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) hosts an event titled 'How can tax reforms create sustainable development?', centered on comprehensive reform of tax systems being carried out by the G20 countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). More than 150 countries are now involved in the reform, but critics says that reforms do not go far enough, claiming that only rich countries will benefit from the changes. Speakers include representatives from Norad, the OECD, think tanks, and academia.
Location: Oslo, Norway
The UK Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has visited Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Kenya in a whirlwind tour to make the case for new UK partnerships across Africa on development assistance, trade, and security.
In Kenya, Hunt listened to entrepreneurs pitching for new business ideas as part of a UK development assistance-funded program to help entrepreneurs scale up their businesses. In Ethiopia, he spoke at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Press Freedom Day celebrations in Addis Ababa and announced £16 million (US$20 million) in UK assistance to help Ethiopia run transparent, free, and fair elections.
In Nigeria, he attended inaugural meeting of the UK/Nigeria Economic Development Forum and in Ghana he approved a £26 million agreement (US$33 million) with British business Aqua Africa to reduce water poverty in the country. While in Senegal, the UK will fund a new £4 million (US$5 million) English-language program in French- and Portuguese-speaking countries across Africa.
In 2020, Germany will meet its commitment to spend €4 billion (US$4.5 billion) on international climate protection for the first time. The Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), whose budget formerly fell short of the €4 billion commitment, has now been authorized to utilize funds from the National Climate Fund worth €500 million (US$564 million) to reach the spending target. BMZ provides the majority of Germany’s financing for international climate protection (84% in 2017).
Development Minister Gerd Müller plans to focus on climate protection initiatives in Africa, specifically on greater support for start-ups who set up projects in the area of renewable energies, as well as the expansion of eco-energy for African villages. Müller is advocating for increasing funds for international climate protection in the coming EU budget, for instance through a separate EU climate fund for a technology transfer and global energy transmission.
Norway has sharply reduced its contribution towards rainforest protection in the Brazilian Amazon as a result of increased deforestation in the country in 2016. Norway's average contribution to Brazil to fight deforestation was US$115 million between 2009 to 2016; this year, it will give only US$43.5 million.
However, according to the Norwegian government, Brazil's provisional deforestation rates from October 2017 appear to be lower than in 2016. If these numbers are confirmed, Norway's contribution will be increased for next year.
The Partos Efficiency Lab, an initiative of Partos, the Dutch development NGO umbrella organization, organizes an event on assessing and improving efficiency in development organizations’ projects. The event examines the trajectory of projects from start to finish, and discusses various methods that can help to improve efficiency. A wide range of cases, from Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) to higher education, is examined.
Location: The Hague, The Netherlands
Canada will increase funding and resources towards women’s rights organizations and movements, elevating its support for gender equality at home and abroad.
The Canadian government will work with the Equality Fund to bring the granting, philanthropic and investment worlds together to form a single innovative platform in order to mobilize unprecedented resources for women’s rights organizations and movements in developing countries. The Equality Fund will shift how investment decisions are made for gender equality outcomes by providing resources directly to women’s rights organizations and by making investments that support gender equality.
So far the Equality Fund has raised CAD$100 million (US$77 million) to supplement the CAD$300 million (US$231 million) already pledged toward the cause by the Canadian government.
Norwegian Association for Development Research (NFU) and the VID Specialized University host a seminar titled: ‘The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Critical Role of Development Research’. The seminar combines panels and workshops, and the Norwegian Minister of Development, Nikolai Astrup, is confirmed as a speaker. The seminar highlights topics such as food, inequality, and religion, in reference to the SGDs and the need for research.
Location: Oslo, Norway
German NGO umbrella organization VENRO and the Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung (Forum for Environment and Development) host a joint event that aims to serve as an exchange platform for civil society organizations (CSOs) working toward the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030). The CSO exchange takes place under the headline 'New government – Old politics: when will the implementation of the Agenda 2030 in Germany move forward?' The event also aims to offer room for discussing opportunities for joint publicity and campaign activities.
Location: Berlin, Germany
Despite what has been reported in Swedish media, the Swedish government has not provided any additional funding to combat the COVID-19 outbreak in low-income countries. The funds invested to this point are derived from previous allocations to the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs.
It was reported that the Minister for International Development Cooperation, Peter Eriksson, had committed an additional SEK 140 million (US$15 million) of official development assistance (ODA) to combat COVID-19, which turned out to be incorrect.
The information was not corrected until more than a month later, until Yasmine Posio, the Left Party's development policy spokesperson, approached Minister Eriksson's staff, who in turn contacted Sveriges Radio and a correction to the online article was made.
The UK has outlined its preferences for a research agreement with the EU post-Brexit in ‘Collaboration on science and innovation: A Future Partnership Paper’. The paper lays out the UK’s case for continuing a strong research partnership with EU Member States. It seems to suggest that the UK and EU should negotiate detailed terms for an enhanced ‘associate country status’ in the context of the next EU Research Framework Program (FP9). The UK benefits significantly from EU research funding: from 2007-2013, the UK contributed about €5.4 billion to EU research and development in 2007-2013, while it received €8.8 billion.
To commemorate the International Day of the Girl, the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) hosted an event to highlight a recent 10-year impact evaluation of Plan International USA’s 'Burkinabe Response to Improve Girls’ Chances to Succeed' (BRIGHT), a girls’ education program in Burkina Faso. The independent evaluation showed that the government and local communities have successfully sustained the results of the program years after its conclusion, with notable improvements in school attendance and performance.