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Netherlands announces US$3 million for Ukrainian war crime victims

Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs Wopke Hoekstra pledged €3 million (US$3 million) for justice and support for Ukrainian victims on July 14, 2022, at the Ukraine Accountability Conference in The Hague. US$1 million will go to the International Criminal Court (ICC), US$1 million will go to the UN Human Rights field office in Ukraine, and US$1 million will go to psychosocial support for victims of sexual violence.

The Ukraine Accountability Conference was hosted by the Netherlands, the ICC, and the European Commission. Its objective was to strengthen and coordinate existing initiatives for Ukraine around truth-finding and justice. Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, and President Volodymyr Zelensky joined the conference digitally.

In his speech, Hoekstra noted the necessity of swift and close collaboration of the ICC and participating countries in the joint investigation of potential war crimes in Ukraine. Hoekstra also highlighted the need for an overarching accountability strategy to establish the truth and ensure justice. The night before the conference in a radio interview, Hoekstra acknowledged it will be a long and tough process to bring the ultimate culprits to justice and to the ICC.

The Dutch financial pledge was paired with a commitment to step up cooperation with the ICC and support for the Ukrainian Prosecutor General. The Netherlands was also a signatory of the political declaration from the conference together with 44 other countries.

Speech – Dutch Government

Article and radio interview – NPO Radio 1 (in Dutch)

Political declaration – Dutch Government

Netherlands doubles Blue Deal funding to US$11 million annually for clean, sufficient water

On July 14, 2022, at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, Dutch Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher announced that the government and Dutch Water Authorities will increase their joint contribution to the Blue Deal to US$11 million per year over 2023-2030. The Blue Deal was established to provide 20 million people globally with sufficient access to clean and safe water.

In a speech, Minister Schreinemacher emphasized the scientific link between water and climate, noting that “90% of all disasters are water-related, which is why climate action is water action.” Schreinemacher called on other countries to work more and faster to ensure clean water and sanitation globally. Dutch Water Authorities board member Luzette Kroon underscored that climate change has led to more floods, droughts, and a lack of clean water globally, increasing the demand for water management expertise.

The Blue Deal was founded in 2018 by the 21 Dutch Water Authorities, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. The international program has comprised 17 long-term partnerships in 15 countries. It has promoted knowledge-sharing between partners to help achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 on water and sanitation. It has also created opportunities for Dutch and local businesses. The second phase of the program will run from 2023-2030.

The doubling of the financial contribution to the Blue Deal was the first Dutch commitment to the Water Action Agenda. It is also seen as a prelude to the UN Water Conference in March 2023, which the Netherlands will host with Tajikistan.

Article – Dutch Water Authorities (in Dutch)

MEPs say EU should lead global effort to reach SDGs

The EU should be a “driving force” behind global action toward reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), argued Members of European Parliament (MEPs) Tomas Tobé, chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Development, and Jessica Polfjärd, European People’s Party vice-coordinator on the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, in a recent opinion article. 

Given faltering global progress on the SDGs, the MEPs argued the EU should step up its role through a clear EU implementation and governance strategy, progressing SDG 17 on partnerships for implementing the SDGs, and improving EU development policy to strengthen trade ties, increase investment, and create jobs.

They highlight this year’s High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development from July 5-15, 2021, as a critical opportunity to build renewed momentum for achieving the SDGs.

Op-ed - Euractiv

Council of the EU upholds proposed 2% external action cut in 2023 EU budget

The Council of the EU’s position on the European Commission’s budget proposal for 2023 included no cuts to the proposed level of external action funding of €16.8 billion (US$17.8 billion) for Heading 6 “Neighbourhood and the World”.

The proposed level of funding would represent a 2% decrease from the EU 2022 budget, which allocated €17.2 billion (US$18.2 billion) to Heading 6.

The Council will formally adopt its position on September 6, 2022, to provide the mandate for the Czech EU presidency to negotiate the 2023 EU budget with the European Parliament. 

Press release - Council of the EU

Netherlands recommits to Global Fund before replenishment

In a letter to the House of Representatives, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher reaffirmed government support for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund). The exact contribution will be announced during the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment in September 2022.

The Global Fund recently prepared an investment case to give donors insight into the Global Fund’s activities and priorities from now until 2026, and what amount is needed to execute them. The case underlined the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ending HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria. In 2020, the diversion of resources and disrupted services led to a fall in HIV testing by 22% and prevention services by 11%. These factors also reduced medical treatment for tuberculosis by 18% and contributed to a 12% increase in malaria deaths. The Global Fund estimated that it needs at least US$18 billion to get the world back on track to end these three pandemics by 2030 and build resilient and sustainable health systems.

The Netherlands has contributed to the Global Fund since it was founded in 2002. It is currently the 10th largest donor, with a US$168 million contribution over the 2020-2022 period. In her letter, Minister Schreinemacher announced the Netherlands will continue its financial support for the Global Fund. The government has not yet determined the exact amount, but will announce this during the replenishment in September.

Letter - Dutch government (in Dutch) 

Investment case – Global Fund

Publish What You Fund releases 2022 Aid Transparency Index

Publish What You Fund released its 2022 Aid Transparency Index, which measures the transparency of key bilateral and multilateral international development organizations. Overall, the project found that donors maintained transparency near pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels; 31 of the 50 evaluated organizations scored in the ‘good’ or ‘very good’ categories, meaning they consistently publish high-quality data on development assistance disbursements. 50 donors were evaluated out of 100 points and ranked accordingly.  

Australia: The index showed that Australia's ODA transparency has continued to deteriorate. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) ranked 41 of the 50 donor organizations, a continuance of their declining trend. The agency remained in the ‘fair’ category but lost 10 points on the transparency index. DFAT was 34 of 47 in 2020 and 23 of 45 in 2018. This decline in transparency occurred under the previous Australian government. The recently elected Labor government has committed to improving accountability and transparency in the development sector. 

Canada: Global Affairs Canada (GAC) dropped from the ‘very good’ category in 2020 to ‘good’ in 2022, losing nearly 10 points in Publish What You Fund’s ranking system and ranking 17th overall in 2022, showing a concerning decrease in transparency amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.  

EU: The report evaluated the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), European Investment Bank (EIB), Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR), and the Directorate-General for International Partnerships (INTPA; formerly DEVCO).  

The European Commission’s (EC) ECHO scored ‘good’ overall and ranked 13th among evaluated donors, improving by nearly nine points compared to the 2020 index. The EC’s INTPA scored 15th among evaluated donors and ranked in the ‘good’ category, but declined by 4 points in transparency from 2020. The EBRD’s sovereign portfolio ranked 24th among donors and scored in the ‘good’ category, declining by 3 points since 2020. The non-sovereign portfolio was also placed in the ‘good' category, but ranked 31st among donors. The EC’s NEAR ranked in the ‘good’ category, as it did in 2020, but declined significantly in transparency, dropping nearly 15 points. The EIB’s sovereign portfolio ranked 33rd among donors and remained in the ‘fair’ category, as it was in 2020; the portfolio also lost 3 points in transparency compared to 2020. The EIB’s non-sovereign portfolio also stood in the ‘fair’ category, ranking 37th among donors.  

France: The French Development Agency (AFD) ranked 28th among donors and sat in the ‘good’ category. The agency improved by five points compared to 2020 and jumped up from ‘fair.’  

Germany: Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) scored ‘good’ overall and ranked 11th among evaluated donors, improving by seven points compared to the 2020 index. Germany’s Federal Foreign Office (FFO), on the other hand, ranked 43rd among donors with only 37 of 100 transparency points. 

Italy: The Italian Development Cooperation Agency (AICS) has gradually improved its performance since 2017. In 2020, AICS was placed in the ‘fair’ category, but the agency improved by 5 points, ranking 34th overall in 2022.   

Japan: The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) dropped the most out of the evaluated agencies – by 26 points – sliding from ‘fair’ to ‘poor’ in 2022 and ranking just 47th out of 50 donors evaluated.  

Netherlands: The Netherlands’ Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) declined by 4 points from 2020, but remained in the ‘good’ category, ranking 23rd overall.  

Norway: Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) dropped from ‘fair’ in 2020 to ‘poor’ in 2022, losing seven points.  

South Korea: South Korea’s Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) scored ‘good’ overall and ranked 14th among evaluated donors, improving by seven points compared to the 2020 index. 

Spain: The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) ranked 42nd among donors, losing nearly 17 points since 2020 and remaining in the ‘fair’ category.  

Sweden: The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) ranked 21st among donors, improving by 4 points since 2022 and sitting in the ‘good’ category. 

United Kingdom: The report found the transparency of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has declined.  According to the index’s ranking, the FCDO fell from 9th place in 2020 to 16th in 2022; no UK agency scored in the 'very good' category for the first time since the Index was launched in 2012. The FCDO and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) sat in the ‘good’ category. The FCDO has underperformed compared to the former Department for International Development (2020) across all five Index components; this is largely the result of a lack of organizational and country strategies and inconsistent release of results, evaluations, and objectives.

United States: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) ranked 25th among donors and was placed in the ‘good’ category; however, the agency lost nearly 12 points and declined significantly in transparency since 2020. The US State Department ranked 32nd among donors, losing 5 points since 2020 and dropping out of the ‘good’ category to ‘fair.’  

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent US government agency, scored in the ‘very good’ category and ranked 5th among donors. The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) jumped from ‘fair’ to ‘good’ in 2022, improving by nearly 9 points and ranking 20th among donors.  

Recommendations for all donors included:  

  • Publishing more project budgets to facilitate planning and coordination;  
  • Implementing government entity references and developing referencing approaches for the private sector to track assistance flows;  
  • For Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), improving non-sovereign portfolio data;  
  • Publishing comprehensive data on project impact metrics; and 
  • Publishing budget documents, project procurement information, and impact appraisals.  

Report - Publish What You Fund 

News article – BOND  

News article - The Telegraph 

News article - National Tribune 

South Korea plans to attract international pharmaceutical R&D players to strengthen vaccine capacity

The South Korean government will aim to attract overseas research and development (R&D) centers in the pharmaceutical industry to make South Korea a global vaccine hub.

As domestic technology is still insufficient, South Korea's strategy involves attracting overseas R&D infrastructure. Although SK Bioscience obtained a COVID-19 vaccine license, South Korea still lacks the experience and capability within the industry to develop a blockbuster vaccine with solely domestic technology. The South Korean government thinks it is necessary to expand its cooperation with global pharmaceutical companies and key professionals beyond the simple manufacturing process required for vaccines. In line with this plan, South Korea has decided to invest KRW2.2 trillion (US$1.7 billion) in total from 2021 - 2026 to leap forward in the global vaccine industry by 2025.

News article – News1 (in Korean)

Japan commits to investing in people at UNDP, JICA Special Forum ahead of TICAD8

Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoshimasa Hayashi delivered the opening address at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Special Forum, Human Security and Africa’s Challenges: Toward TICAD8 (The Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development). In his address, Hayashi stressed the importance of human security and investing in people to promote economic and social development.

In August 2022, Japan will open TICAD8, which will be hosted in Tunisia. The conference, which was first held in 1993, will focus on three pillars for sustainable development: economics, society, and peace and stability.

Press release – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

Japan contributes US$8 million to children’s education in Burkina Faso through UNICEF

The Government of Japan signed a ¥1.1 billion (US$8.4 million) agreement with the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to provide grant assistance to Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso’s strategy for social and economic development includes human capital consolidation as one of its four pillars and places importance on strengthening the education system. While the total enrolment rate for secondary schools has increased, it remains low at 50% due to inadequate facilities and resources. Lack of resources has also led to large class sizes, which thereby affect the quality of education. The grant will go toward the Programme for the Construction of Secondary Schools and Technical Education Vocational Training Secondary Schools in the Central and Central Western Regions.

This grant contribution continues Japan's longstanding support for education initiatives in the region through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and UNICEF.

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

Japan contributes US$9 million to infectious disease prevention, digital health systems through UNICEF

Japan signed a ¥1.27 billion (US$9 million) grant agreement with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to support infectious disease prevention efforts and digital health systems in Southeast and East Asia.

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in health systems around the world and highlighted challenges associated with data collection before, during, and after public health emergencies. There are currently several initiatives aimed at introducing a system that can manage immunization data in order to revitalize the economy.

The grant will go toward assisting Southeast and East Asian countries to develop a digital vaccination information management system to respond to health threats like COVID-19. The project is expected to contribute to overall health system strengthening and universal health coverage in the region.

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

UK's Johnson to step down in September; new PM candidates' development outlooks vary

Current UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will step down on September 5, 2022, after losing the confidence of the Conservative Party; over 50 of Johnson's government ministers resigned during the week of July 4, 2022.

Six candidates remain in the contest for UK Prime Minister following the first round of voting, which took place on July 13, 2022. Conservative MPs will whittle down candidates through a series of votes until two candidates are left. The vote will then pass to a wider selection of Conservative party members for the final decision.

Former Levelling Up Minister Kemi Badenoch, Attorney General Suella Braverman, Minister of State Penny Mordaunt, former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, and MP Tom Tugendhat remain in the race. Rishi Sunak won the first round on with 88 votes, followed by Penny Mordaunt (67) and Liz Truss (50). 

Bookmaker, ODDSMAKER, labeled Rishi Sunak, former Chancellor of the Exchequer as the favorite to win, followed by Penny Mordaunt, a former International Development Minister, and Liz Truss, the current Foreign Minister. Rishi Sunak has been accused, by those in the development sector, of imposing further reductions on an already reduced ODA budget by counting debt relief and vaccine donations as ODA. While these actions fall within the rules set by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as ODA-eligible contributions, many NGOs feel they should not be counted as ODA, especially given the UK's recent decision to slash its overall development budget. Penny Mordaunt is viewed as having a more positive impact on international development given her experience running the former Department of International Development and her time working for NGOs.

Chief Executive of BOND, the UK network for international development NGOs, has urged whichever candidate that takes over to reverse the UK's drastic ODA cuts. Ian Mitchell from the Centre for Global Development indicated that the UK commitment to return to the 0.7% ODA/GNI target based on fiscal requirements will likely be endorsed by all potential candidates since it was approved by Parliament. However, he noted that when exactly the requirements are considered fulfilled will be determined by the new Prime Minister and their Chancellor of the Exchequer.

News article - BBC

News article - Devex

Twitter - Ian Mitchell

Twitter - CGD

UK to improve World Bank’s capacity to implement environmental, social safeguards following watchdog recommendation

The Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) fully accepted the Independent Commission on Aid Impact’s (ICAI) recommendation that it should work to strengthen the World Bank’s implementation of environmental and social safeguards.

ICAI, the UK's development assistance watchdog, undertook an extensive review of UK support to the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA).

The review praised the UK, formerly the largest donor to IDA, noting that the UK was the ‘most influential’ donor partly as a result of the scale of its funding but also as a result of its world-class diplomatic and development network.

The review made five recommendations for the UK's continued influence on the institution. The UK accepted two recommendations and partially accepted 3. Beyond the recommendation to strengthen the IDA’s environmental and social safeguards, the review called on the FCDO to: 

  • Push for more action-focused targets for IDA climate change action, with a strong focus on adaptation: The UK partially accepted this recommendation, noting that the World Bank’s Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2025 includes ambitious targets and that the FCDO would monitor the Bank’s implementation of these targets rather than push to set new ones;
  • Set more systematic objectives for UK engagement with the World Bank at the country level: The UK partially accepted this recommendation, noting that while it would strengthen relationships with the World Bank at the country level, it did not feel it needed a systematic objective to deliver this change;
  • Hold IDA accountable for delivering on its ‘leave no one behind’ commitment and ensure it operationalizes the World Bank's ‘co-prosperity goal’: The FCDO partially accepted this recommendation, noting that it already held IDA to account for leaving no one behind through its ministerial and board-level representation. However, it did recognize that there were issues in monitoring progress on the World Bank’s shared prosperity goal in IDA countries due to limited data and that the UK would continue to advocate for better data;
  • Work closely with World Bank management and other funders to improve the Bank’s capacity to monitor and oversee implementation of environmental and social safeguards: The FCDO fully accepted this recommendation, noting that the rollout of the Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) first proposed in 2016 should be strengthened; and 
  • Strengthen country partnerships with IDA to strengthen public financial management and anti-corruption programs: The UK fully accepted this recommendation, noting that it has zero tolerance for fraud and recognizes the need for accountability and transparency in public finance systems. The UK committed to continuing to work with the IDA to strengthen public financial management and tax capacity in partner countries.

Press release – UK government

Report – ICAI

EU to provide US$86 million directly to NGOs for health, education in Ethiopia

The European Commission approved €82 million (US$86 million) in EU support for health and education in conflict-affected areas in Ethiopia to be delivered directly to NGOs instead of the government. 

This funding comes out of the €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) earmarked in the EU budget for Ethiopia for 2021-2027. While the plan for how to spend this money was negotiated with the Ethiopian government, the Commission stopped providing budget support to the government in December 2020 as a result of the conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

The Commission will only officially adopt the multi-year spending plan for the country, called a multiannual indicative plan (MIP), and resume direct support to the government under certain conditions, which include ending hostilities, enabling humanitarian access, and demonstrating accountability for human rights violations during the conflict.

News article - Devex

Netherlands defends withdrawing financial support for Afghanistan women’s empowerment program

Last week, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher defended the decision made in May to withdraw financial support from a program that combats violence against women and promotes women’s political participation in Afghanistan. The Minister argued that while supporting women’s rights organizations remains a key goal, the program had too many safety risks for program staff and beneficiaries.

Two members of parliament from the Christian Democratic Appeal party (CDA) submitted questions to the Minister in June about why financial support to the program was halted, and what the Netherlands will do to continue supporting women’s rights in Afghanistan. They posed that withdrawing contributions to a women’s rights organization sends an unfortunate signal, especially since Afghan women’s position has significantly worsened since the Taliban takeover in August 2021. This conversation echoed several experts’ concerns that after 20 years of involvement, the Netherlands has a moral responsibility to prevent the abrupt destruction of capital for fear of the Taliban.

The topic of whether the Netherlands should continue activities within Afghanistan, with or without adaptations, was discussed in a cabinet debate in January. The Minister answered that after consultations with the partner organization, the program was deemed unable to meet the new requirements to mitigate safety risks for program staff and the women it aimed to support.

Nevertheless, Schreinemacher explained that the Netherlands will continue to financially support women in Afghanistan with initiatives that do meet the new stringent requirements, such as other existing programs and relevant EU, UN, and World Bank initiatives, and through a new project that supports human rights defenders, including women’s rights defenders. The Minister committed to submitting a letter about the Dutch long-term approach in Afghanistan, including support to civil society and the position of women, with financial contributions earmarked for these causes.

Letter (July) – Dutch government (in Dutch)

Letter (May) – Dutch government (in Dutch)

Op-ed – Volkskrant (in Dutch)

Italian Agency for Development Cooperation publishes annual report

The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) published its 2021 Annual Report, which was presented at the National Development Cooperation Conference, Coopera 2022 in June 2022. Between 2019 and 2021, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) allocated US$600 million to implement its programs, US$646 million to new investments, US$173 million to tackle new emergencies, and US$216 million to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

AICS invested the most in food and nutrition security in 2021, with around US$50 million in funding, followed by good governance and civil society support (US$46 million), gender equality (US$43 million), health (US$35 million), environmental protection and climate mitigation (US$32 million), education (US$27 million) and support for people with disabilities (US$20 million). 

Report - AICS (in Italian)

US to partner with South African tech company to produce mRNA vaccines

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Afrigen Biologics Ltd -- the company selected by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the technology transfer hub in South Africa -- announced a partnership to develop messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. The vaccines will be used against a host of diseases, including COVID-19, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and Ebola.

This hub -- the first of its kind globally -- was established in 2021 to increase the knowledge and skills needed to produce mRNA vaccines in low- and middle-income countries. The US will supply the materials needed to start the production of the vaccines, as well as technology and training. Ultimately, the hub will be able to establish all processes in-house. However, because no commercial producers (such as Moderna) would share their technology, any vaccines developed by the hub will need to go through human clinical trials. The hub intends to own its intellectual property in the future. 

New article - Devex

MEPs call for EU to ramp up food security funding in LMICs

In response to the global food security crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) adopted a non-binding report calling for increased EU funding and action to support food security in low and middle-income countries (LMICs).

MEPs said the EU should fill the funding gap in the 2022 UN humanitarian appeals for East Africa and the Middle East, but also prioritize sustainable agriculture and support for smallholder farmers in its longer-term international development programming. The report urged the EU to invest in sustainable food systems to enable LMICs to achieve self-sufficiency and nutritional security, as well as to reduce poverty. 

News article - Euractiv

Report - European Parliament

Germany contributes additional US$48 million to Congo Basin Forest Partnership

During the 19th Meeting of the Parties of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership, State Secretary of the German Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation Jochen Flasbarth announced that Germany will contribute an additional €45 million (US$48 million) for the protection of the Congo Basin Forest, one of the largest tropical forest carbon sinks.

The funding will be assigned to the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), a finance mechanism that promotes sustainable forestry and improved agricultural practices in the Congo Basin Forest. With the new pledge, Germany’s contributions to CAFI total €250 million (US$264 million).

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

Alvaro Lario appointed president of IFAD

On July 8, 2022, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (MAEC) announced the appointment of Alvaro Lario as the new president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); he will be tasked with leading the response to the current global food crisis. 

Since 2018, Lairo worked as Associate Vice-President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Controller, Financial Operations Department, at IFAD. He was responsible for IFAD’s financial strategies. Prior to that position, Lario served as Treasury Capital Markets Lead and Principal Portfolio Officer at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group. He holds a Masters in Economics from the London Business School and a Ph.D. in Financial Economics from the Complutense Madrid University. 

Among other sectors, Spain prioritizes food security and rural development within its development cooperation policy. As a cornerstone to respond to the current food crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Spain is advocating for the importance of strengthening multilateral institutions. 

Press release – MAEC (in Spanish)

More than 40 countries see 15% food inflation, according to new report

The think tank CeSPI recently published a report for the Italian Parliament on the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on global food security.

The report begins by claiming that the number of people suffering from food insecurity has reached 865 million in June 2022. In addition, the study analyses the drivers of increased global food prices, showing that trends toward crisis have emerged over the last two years and were accelerated by Russia’s conflict escalation in February 2022. Currently, several countries are facing food price spikes, with more than 40 countries experiencing 15% food inflation. 

Russia and Ukraine represent around 12% of calories exported worldwide, accounting for one-third of total wheat exports and more than half of global sunflower oil exports. The report highlights that in June 2022, global wheat production fell by 1.5 million tons, - linked particularly to the conflict in Ukraine due to blocked wheat exports from Ukrainian harbors, etc., as well as decreases in agricultural production due to the dry season in countries like France, Spain, and India. These factors are exposing the most fragile countries to food insecurity, particularly low- and middle-income countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, which imports half of its cereals from Russia and Ukraine and countries in Southern Asia and the remainder of countries in the African Union. These countries will face higher costs when replacing low-cost imports with new suppliers. 

The report states that the global food security impact of the escalated conflict in Ukraine will depend on three factors:

  1. A drastic reduction in agricultural production and food exports from Russia and Ukraine;
  2. A surge in global food prices, as well as the prices of crucial inputs for global supply chains, such as fertilizers and energy; and
  3. The launch of restrictive measures such as export bans of agricultural products, in several countries such as Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Serbia, and Turkey that have begun implementing these policies. 

Finally, the report discusses some policy measures that could be taken to mitigate and eradicate global food insecurity. While in the short-term it is crucial to support the most fragile countries with humanitarian food assistance, it is also essential to address the root causes of hunger by supporting financial investments that allow the creation of resilient, sustainable, and productive agri-food systems.  

Report - CeSPI (in Italian)