Displaying 141 - 160 of 7272

UK parliamentary committee explores how to maximize impact of government nutrition programs in partner countries

The UK All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Nutrition held a session exploring how the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) can improve the impact of its development assistance funded nutrition programs.

The Group heard from Tamsyn Barton, ICAI’s (Independent Commission for Aid Impact) Chief Commissioner, and Jonathan France, ICAI’s Team Leader, who discussed the findings of their recent review of UK nutrition programs which generally praised UK government leadership on nutrition. Barton recommended that for the UK government to get a better rating following the next review, it needed to:

  • Do a better job of aligning its nutrition work with other priorities at the country level and avoid working in silos (for example, converging social security, nutrition, and agricultural programs to achieve transformation across multiple sectors);
  • Improve its targeting of reaching vulnerable people to ensure equity; and
  • Improve coordination with other stakeholders, including the private sector, to improve coverage and impacts.

Barton noted that ICAI will be following up its review in 2022 to see whether the FCDO has adopted its recommendations.

News article - APPG for Nutrition

Canada pledges US$93 million in humanitarian assistance for Venezuelan refugees and migrants, mobilizes international donors to support

On June 17, 2021, Canada convened the International Donors’ Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants in collaboration with UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and the International Organization for Migration. The video conference garnered US$1.5 billion in funding from international donors—including CA$1.2 billion (US$954 million) in grants and CA$742 million (US$600 million) in loans—with a total pledge of CA$115 million (US$93 million) from Canada.

The pledges will support the international response to the second-largest displacement crisis in the world. Funding will be directed toward immediate humanitarian assistance, including shelter, nutrition, health, sanitation, and hygiene for those affected by the crisis. The pledges will also contribute to longer-term development assistance to improve access to quality education, support the integration of Venezuelan refugees and migrants, and strengthen public services in host countries.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Sweden pledges up to US$25 million for Asian Development Fund replenishment

On June 17, 2021, Sweden agreed to support the 12th replenishment of the Asian Development Bank’s Asian Development Fund (ADF) for supporting low-income countries between 2021 and 2024 with a maximum of SEK 211 million (US$25 million). The replenishment resulted in a total of US$4.0 billion in contributions, equivalent to a 7% increase compared to the previous round of replenishments.

“Poor people in Asia's populous low-income countries are being hit hard by increased poverty, inequality, and climate change – global challenges exacerbated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Per Olsson Fridh, Minister for International Development Cooperation. “Through ADF, we can effectively invest in sustainable, green, and inclusive economic development."

The ADF currently supports low-income countries in Asia in their efforts to manage effects of the COVID-19 crisis. Other priority areas include the climate emergency, gender equality, good governance, and conflict prevention, which are strategic areas that have been specifically promoted by Sweden.

Press release – Government Offices of Sweden (in Swedish)

Canada commits to developing third National Action Plan on women, peace, and security

On June 16, 2021, the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marc Garneau, issued a statement reaffirming Canada’s commitment to advance Canada’s agenda on women, peace, and security by evaluating Canada’s second and current National Action Plan and committing to developing a third National Action Plan for 2023 and beyond.

The statement came following a crucial meeting with Canadian and international leaders which assessed progress on the objectives of 'Gender Equality: A Foundation for Peace', Canada’s second National Action Plan (for 2017 to 2022) on the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution on Women, Peace, and Security. The meeting participants also discussed ways to strengthen Canadian leadership on international and domestic gender equality. To begin developing Canada’s third National Action Plan, the government has instructed its respective departments to initiate preparations now.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

South Korean experts suggest way forward for South Korea’s official development assistance in COVID-19 era

The Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), a South Korean think tank, organized a seminar on the role of South Korea in the COVID-19 era with South Korean experts, including those from KIEP, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the World Health Organization (WHO). Some of the suggestions made at the conference to help partner countries respond to the COVID-19 crisis and any other future pandemics include the following:

  • South Korea should support vaccine supply chains such as cold chains in partner countries since there have been instances of vaccines provided via COVAX, the global vaccine initiative, being discarded due to mismanagement of the temperature or not being provided within the expiration date;
  • South Korea should support supply infrastructure enhancement of its partner countries when donating vaccines; and
  • Global leaders should make additional investments for economic support for the infrastructural development of partner countries.

News article – Hankyoreh (in Korean)

NGO Plan International’s representative calls for feminism to be at heart of EU’s foreign policy

The Head of the EU Office and EU Representative of Plan International, Serap Altinisik, penned an op-ed in Euractiv calling on the EU to put feminism at the heart of its foreign policy.

Altinisik said the EU is still “rightfully seen as a global gender equality champion”, especially in light of the European Commission’s recently released ambitious Gender Action Plan for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in its external action. However, the EU faces opposition internally from some member states such as Hungary and Poland. 

To be a “global feminist champion”, Altinisik recommended that the EU should mainstream an “intersectional and gender transformative approach” across its policies and directorates.

Op-Ed - Euractiv

European Commission proposes new actions on pandemic preparedness and response in paper on COVID-19 lessons learned

The European Commission published a ‘Communication on COVID-19 Lessons Learned’ that included proposals for actions on pandemic preparedness and response, to apply lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic so far.

The Communication emphasized the need for a global approach, proposing that the EU should continue to lead the global response through COVAX (the global vaccine initiative), vaccine sharing, and export openness, in addition to strengthening the global health security architecture, such as through the World Health Organization.

Other proposed actions included: 

  • Setting up a global surveillance system;
  • Appointing a European Chief Epidemiologist;
  • Operationalizing a new Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) by early 2022;
  • Creating a large-scale EU platform for clinical trials; and
  • Strengthening member states’ health systems.

Policy paper - European Commission

FinDev Canada releases 2020 annual report, supporting low-income countries with COVID-19 response, women’s economic empowerment, climate crisis

FinDev Canada, a Canadian financial institution that supports private sector growth in low-income countries' markets, released its 2020 annual report on June 15, 2021, titled 'Supporting sustainable and inclusive economic growth during a global pandemic'.

The report highlighted that despite disruptions to the organization’s development work in 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis, FinDev Canada ended 2020 with a clear vision of how to best fulfill its mission of supporting emerging markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The report introduced FinDev Canada’s 2021 vision, which focused on maintaining its commitment in three spheres: women’s economic empowerment, market development, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

The report also emphasized its commitment to partnering with the 2x Challenge to advance gender equality, founded by the Development Finance Institute at the 2018 G7 Summit in Canada, which recently announced that it would raise US$15.0 billion for a global investment "with a gender lens", up from its original US$3.0 billion targets.

Report - FinDev Canada

Japan highlights importance of strengthening supply chains, creating high-quality infrastructure, and protecting human security at Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum

Hiroshi Kajiyama (Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry) and Eiichiro Washio (Japan's State Minister for Foreign Affairs) participated in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

Washio highlighted the importance of strengthening supply chains, especially that of the COVID-19 vaccine, to help halt the spread of the virus. He also indicated that high-quality infrastructure is key to economic recovery and that Japan will implement infrastructural projects such as contributing to smart cities. Washio also emphasized the need for international cooperation in promoting human security.

Washio indicated that Japan will increase outreach on the World Trade Organization’s Trade and Health Initiative, advance negotiations with e-commerce companies, and work to formulate proposals to resolve conflict issues.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Japanese)

USAID Administrator travels to Northern Triangle to address governance, economic, security challenges

In a visit to the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—known as the Northern Triangle—the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power, spoke bluntly about the fragility of democracy.

In remarks filled with symbolism during her stay in El Salvador, Power spoke to the need to strengthen democracy. The US had previously announced that, due to concerns regarding corruption and anti-democratic actions of government leaders, US assistance would be steered away from government institutions in El Salvador and instead would go directly to civil society. Speaking on the campus of Central American University—which is led by an outspoken critic of El Salvador's government—Power was clearly critical of the government's efforts to undermine democracy.

Power stated, "If corruption is allowed to run rampant, if judicial independence is not respected, if anticorruption institutions are dismantled as we have seen too often in Honduras, Guatemala and here in El Salvador, then local governments will end up stymying the aspirations and the potential of their own people.”

Power also visited Honduras and Guatemala, in part to address what the Biden administration has called the "root causes" of migration to the US, including governance as well as economic and security challenges.

News article - AP News

Press release - USAID

Annual report says collective EU was biggest global ODA provider in 2020

The Council of the EU’s 11th annual report to the European Council on EU development assistance targets showed that the EU institutions (EUI) and the EU member states were collectively the biggest global official development assistance (ODA) provider, having provided 46% of total ODA.

The EU's collective ODA reached €66.8 billion (US$79.9 billion) in 2020, or 0.5% of the EU’s gross national income (GNI), which is up from €57.9 billion (US$69.3 billion) in 2019 (excluding the UK), or 0.41% of GNI. However, ODA to lowest-income countries decreased to 0.1% of GNI, which falls short of the EU’s 0.15-0.2% target.

EU member states collectively had a nominal 15% increase "through a Team Europe approach" in COVID-19 response, which mobilized €40.5 billion (US$48.4 billion, as of January 2021) to help partner countries in response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

Report - Council of the EU

Reform partnership between Germany and Togo ratified to contribute to economic recovery

After the signing of a declaration of intent to conclude a reform partnership by German Development Minister Gerd Müller and Togolese Foreign Minister Robert Dussey on March 18, 2021, Müller visited Togo on June 14 and ratified the partnership between the two countries together with Dussey and Togolese President Fauré Gnassingbé.

Germany seeks to support Togo with the sustainable development of its industry, expansion of its vocational education system, good governance, investments in renewable energy sources, and strengthening of its health care system. Prerequisites for the reform partnership are Togo’s compliance with democratic principles and human rights, contributions of the Togolese government to the financing of the educational system, political and administrative reforms, and the implementation of an anti-corruption strategy.

Müller praised Togo as a “lighthouse” in the West African region due to its economic reforms and sustainable budgetary policy which improved the economic conditions in Togo. Especially with more than 60% of all jobs in Togo threatened by the COVID-19 crisis, the reform partnership aims to contribute to economic uplift, secure jobs, and good trade relations, which are needed for an economic recovery, said Müller.

Apart from Togo, Germany has concluded further reform partnerships with Tunisia, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Morocco, and Senegal since 2017.

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

South Korea’s efforts to enhance partner countries’ access to COVID-19 vaccines will include North Korea, says South Korean President

South Korea's President Jae-in Moon commented on June 14, 2021, that South Korea’s efforts to become a global vaccine production hub for COVID-19 and thereby increasing partner countries’ access to COVID-19 vaccines will also include North Korea.

Should North Korea agree, the South Korean government is willing to cooperate on the matter, which is also supported by the US and its humanitarian assistance support to North Korea.

News article – Hankyoreh (in Korean)

Spain calls upon EU to strengthen COVID-19 response in middle-income countries

On June 14, 2021, during an informal meeting of EU development ministries, the Spanish State Secretary for International Cooperation, Ángeles Moreno, underlined the need for providing middle-income countries with technical and financial assistance in order to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.

Ángeles Moreno proposed to create a new fiduciary fund at the International Monetary Fund to ensure that middle-income countries, particularly those in the Latin American and the Caribbean region, can have access to international funding to respond to COVID-19. Moreno also underlined the importance of continuing to promote human development as a key instrument to foster nutrition, health, and education worldwide.

Press release – Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (in Spanish)

With G7 in mind, UK announces US$577 million to global education, US$161 million for climate emergencies, launches new Centre for Pandemic Preparedness

The UK government made a flurry of development assistance funding and policy announcements last week, taking advantage of the fact that it was hosting the G7 Leaders’ Summit.

On education, the government announced that it will provide £430 million (US$577 million) to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) over the next five years. The UK government has also confirmed that this funding will come on top of the FCDO’s (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) £400 million (US$537 million) committed bilaterally for girls’ education between 2021-2022. The British and Kenyan governments will co-host the Global Education Summit in July 2021 and the GPE is hoping to raise £3.7 billion (US$5.0 billion) over the next five years to fund its work on ensuring access to education in 90 countries.

On climate, the UK government has committed to ensuring all its bilateral development assistance does no harm to nature in response to the Dasgupta Review recommendations, to deliver a "nature positive future". The Dasgupta Review on 'The Economics of Biodiversity', which was published in early 2021, acknowledges nature and biodiversity underpin and sustain economic growth and well-being. The UK also announced £120 million (US$161 million) in new funding to enable more rapid responses to vulnerable people in the face of extreme weather and climate-linked disasters, via pre-arranged financing schemes. The package of support was announced in coordination with Germany and the US.

On global health, the UK also announced the launch of a new Centre for Pandemic Preparedness (CPP) as part of its drive for global health security leadership. The CPP will provide genomic surveillance of human and animal infections in collaboration with other partners, that can be shared globally. The UK and US also announced a new global health partnership between the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the US National Center for Epidemic Forecasting and Outbreak Analysis, run by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

News article - Devex

Press release - UK government (Climate Emergency Funding)

Press release - UK government (Nature Positive ODA)

Press release - UK government (Partnership)

Canada’s new climate finance pledge is positive, but lack of clarity on addressing overall climate inequalities is concerning, says Oxfam Canada

Oxfam Canada welcomed Canada’s new international climate finance pledge of CA$5.3 billion (US$4.2 billion) over five years, announced at the G7 Summit on June 13, 2021. While Canada has also increased its grant-based financing from 30% to 40%, Oxfam Canada expressed concern about Canada continuing to deliver the majority of its climate finance in the form of loans. 

Loans pose a challenge for low-income countries that are facing spiraling debt due to the COVID-19 crisis, while grants are critical to enabling climate action. Oxfam Canada also highlighted that it is unclear whether Canada will target the increased grants toward adaptation, or how this support can reach at-risk groups in low-income countries to respond and adapt to climate change. 

As Canada is one of the world’s top ten emitters, Oxfam called on the country to ensure its climate finance reaches the most vulnerable populations who disproportionately bear the impacts of the climate crisis. To make real progress in addressing and adapting to the climate emergency, Canada must focus more on setting clear targets on adaptation funding, directing funding to initiatives that address gender inequalities, improving the accessibility of financing for localized efforts, and strengthening communities’ climate resilience.

Director of the Climate Action Network, Catherine Pettengell, commented that the G7 leaders failed to agree on concrete climate finance commitments. COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, was originally scheduled for November 2020, but due to the pandemic, it will take place in November 2021.

Op-ed - Oxfam Canada

News article - Reuters

At G7 Summit, Canada announces new support to low-income countries for COVID-19 vaccines, climate finance, and education

At the 47th G7 Summit from June 11-13, 2021, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new financial and resource support to address inequitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, respond to the climate emergency, and support education in low-income countries.  

The resource and financial pledges included:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Sharing: Canada pledged 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to be shared as part of the G7 leaders’ new collective commitment to sharing more than two billion doses to the global vaccine effort. Canada is also donating 13 million doses of the vaccine through COVAX, the global vaccine initiative. The vaccine sharing is in addition to Canada’s previous contributions of CA$2.5 billion (US$2.0 billion) in international assistance to the COVID-19 crisis and CA$1.3 billion (US$1.0 billion) contribution to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A). 
  • International Climate Finance: Canada pledged a doubling of Canada’s previous international climate finance to CA$5.3 billion (US$4.2 billion) over five years—up from CA$2.7 billion (US$2.1 billion) over five years in 2015—which includes increased support for adaptation and biodiversity to support low-income countries in cutting pollution and building climate resilience. Canada also increased its grant contribution of climate financing from 30% to 40%. These new commitments are a result of the G7 leaders’ collective commitment to increase their 2030 targets to cut the G7’s collective emissions by around half compared to 2010.
  • Support for Global Partnership for Education: Canada pledged CA$300 million (US$240 million) over five years to the Global Partnership for Education. This funding will specifically support girls’ education and help strengthen education systems in low-income countries. 

Press release - Prime Minister of Canada

Press release - Prime Minister of Canada

France pledges to share 60 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, supports temporary waiver of intellectual property rights

During the G7 Summit hosted by the UK Presidency on June 11-13, 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron made a statement indicating that France:

  • Pledges to double its previous commitments and will share 60 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, 5% of which will go to the African Union, with the aim to vaccinate 40% of the world population by the end of 2021;
  • Supports the temporary waiver of intellectual property rights and the elimination of export bans to increase technology transfers and vaccines production;
  • Calls on pharmaceutical companies to share 10% of manufactured doses, as well as to be transparent about the prices applied to COVAX, the global vaccine initiative; and
  • Supports the reform of the World Health Organization to support an early warning system to prevent future pandemics and invest in research and health system strengthening.

Transcript - French Presidency (in French)

South Korean President Moon commits US$200 million to COVAX Advance Market Commitment

South Korea's President Jae-in Moon announced that South Korea would contribute US$200 million at the G7 Summit on June 12, 2021, to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for 2021-2022 to enhance partner countries’ access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Of the US$200 million, South Korean government will provide US$100 million in grant assistance in 2021 and an additional US$100 million in cash or material form in 2022.

In 2020, South Korea pledged US$10 million to COVAX AMC.

News article – KBS World

G7 leaders agree to provide one billion vaccine doses to low-income countries; critics say this is far from enough

The leaders attending the UK-hosted G7 Summit on June 11-13, 2021, agreed to provide one billion vaccine doses to low-income countries, with the UK committing to provide 100 million.

The communique commits to sharing at least 870 million doses directly over the next year, but it is not clear whether this is related to surplus doses only.

While the move is welcome, it has been widely criticized by civil society groups and UK opposition parties as falling far short of the mark, as the World Health Organization has estimated that 11 billion doses are needed to end the pandemic. Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, from the UK Labour Party, stated that the Summit was an "unforgivable moral failure". 

News article - Devex