Policy Updates

Each week, Donor Tracker's team of country-based experts bring you the most important policy and funding news across issue areas in the form of Policy Updates.

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Summit for a New Global Financial Pact

Australia calls for climate adaptive finance architecture

June 22, 2023 | Australia, Climate

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May 8, 2023 | France, Climate, Agriculture, Gender Equality

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March 17, 2023 | France

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Japanese think tank urges leadership at health talks

September 8, 2023 | Japan, Global Health, Climate | Share this update

On September 8, 2023, Japanese non-profit think tank HGPI submitted recommendations for Japan's role in UHC promotion ahead of the UN General Assembly high-level meetings on health issues.

Japan is the current chair of the G7. HGPI noted that Japan is ideally positioned to champion UHC and planetary health in global discussions.

Several Japanese official will attend high-level meetings on health issues. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is planned to attend the PPR high-level meeting, the Prime Minister is planned to attend the UHC high-level meeting, and the Minister of Health, Labor, and Welfare is planned to attend the tuberculosis high-level meeting.

HGPI called for the inclusion of environmental and climate considerations in the 2023 UHC Political Declaration. HGPI noted their top priorities for the declaration were extending focus beyond human health and including factors such as climate change as health determinants.

Report - Health and Global Policy Institute

Japan pledges US$100 million to ASEAN integration fund

September 6, 2023 | Japan, Climate | Share this update

On September 6, 2023, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attended the 26th ASEAN-Japan Summit in Indonesia, where he presented the ASEAN-Japan Strategic Partnership and reconfirmed a pledge of US$100 million to the Japan- ASEAN Integration Fund.

Kishida emphasized the importance of achieving net-zero emissions under the Asia Zero Emissions Community initiative and of addressing climate change through the Strategic Program for ASEAN Climate and Environment. Japan committed to continued support for these initiatives, as well as those related to health, food and energy security, disaster management, and infrastructure.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

Japan announces US$10 million for Afghani agricultural project

August 29, 2023 | Japan, Agriculture, Climate | Share this update

On August 28, 2023, Japan announced a contribution of US$10 million to a four-year agricultural project in collaboration with the Government of Japan and JICA to improve agricultural productivity, food security, and livelihoods for more than 12,600 vulnerable individuals in the Kunar province of eastern Afghanistan.

The project, led by the FAO, is meant to rehabilitate the Nurgal irrigation canal in the Kunar province of Afghanistan. The rehabilitation aims to increase the area of irrigated agricultural land by 70 hectares, which is projected to result in higher agricultural production and a minimum 12% increase in productivity. Over 70% of Afghanistan's food production is reliant on irrigation and is vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

The initiative aims to help rural households cultivate two crops annually, improving their income and food security. It is also intended to protect fragile rangelands and replenish groundwater resources.

The project aligns with the Green Ground Project's legacy, initiated by Dr. Tetsu Nakamura and PMS.

Japanese Ambassador to Afghanistan Takashi Okada emphasized Japan's commitment to supporting self-reliance and recovery in Afghanistan. Richard Trenchard, FAO Representative in Afghanistan, praised Japan's contribution to enhance food security and livelihoods.

Press release - Food and Agricultural Organization

UK provides US$13 million to biodiversity fund

August 25, 2023 | UK, Canada, Japan, Climate | Share this update

On August 25, 2023, the UK government announced a provision of GBP10 million (US$13 million) to the new Global Biodiversity Framework Fund.

The new fund was approved in June 2023 and is to be managed by the GEF, which is housed in the World Bank.

Canada provided US$141 million to the fund, and Japan signalled that funding was forthcoming. However, total funding has so far fallen short of the US$200 million necessary to operationalize the fund.

News article - DEVEX

Japan to host TICAD9 in Yokohama

August 8, 2023 | Japan, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Climate, Global Health | Share this update

On August 8, 2023, the Japanese government announced that the 9th Tokyo International Conference on African Development will be held in Yokohama, Japan, in 2025.

Japan has led TICAD since 1993. It is co-hosted by the UN, UNDP, World Bank, and AUC. The main priority of TICAD is to promote development and cooperation between Japan and Africa. TICAD9 is planned to continue the tradition of bringing African leaders and Japanese representatives together to discuss cooperation and development in the African continent.

TICAD8 took place from August 27–28, 2022, in Tunis, Tunisia. The conference saw the participation of 48 African countries, including 20 heads of state and government.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

Japan signs US$430 million ODA loan agreement with Viet Nam

July 4, 2023 | Japan, Climate, Global Health, Agriculture | Share this update

On July 4, 2023, JICA announced a JPY61 billion (US$430 million) loan agreement with Viet Nam to support infrastructure development, agricultural development, and public health.

The funds were allocated to the following projects:

  • The Public Transit Infrastructure Improvement Project received US$44 million, with a focus on economic development in Ho Chi Minh;
  • The Project for Upgrading Infrastructure for Agricultural Development received US$33 million for programs in the Lam Dong province; and
  • The General Budget Support Program for Socio-economic Recovery and Development of Viet Nam Post-Covid-19 Pandemic received US$353 million to alleviate the burden of the Covid-19 pandemic on communities and businesses and encourage stable economic growth.
Press release - Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

Japan ODA loans finance US$5.7 billion coal power plant in Bangladesh

June 26, 2023 | Japan, Climate | Share this update

As of June 26, 2023, the Japanese government invested more than US$5.7 billion in the development of a coastal economic corridor in Bangladesh as part of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt plan.

The project was developed under the Japanese government’s plan to increase public-private partnerships for development assistance. Experts predicted that the coastal economic corridor will provide Japanese companies with access to a growing economy with a population of 170 million people. Japanese contractors have also been bidding on work orders for the Bangladesh’s first deep-water port, which will expand the country’s trading ability and increase economic productivity.

However, the heart of the project, a coal-fired power plant on the Bay of Bengal, has received heavy criticism. The Japanese government argued that the plant will help the country diversify fuels in light of depleting domestic natural gas reserves, and it is expected that the plant will cover 30% of the power demand in Dhaka.

However, the completion of the coal-fired plant followed after G7 members pledged to end new government support for unabated coal power by the end of 2021. G7 members also committed to taking measures against climate change at the G7 Hiroshima Summit in May 2023.

The Japanese government asserted that these ongoing cases fall outside the scope of these environmental commitments.

News article - Nikkei Asia

G7 establishes clean energy partnership with Ukraine

June 21, 2023 | UK, France, Canada, Japan, US, Germany, Italy, EUI, Norway, Sweden, Climate | Share this update

On June 21, 2023, the G7+ Coordination Group established a clean energy partnership with Ukraine at a meeting in London.

In response to Russia's war against Ukraine, G7+ partners have continued to support Ukraine’s energy system with emergency finances in partnership with international organizations and private corporations. The G7+ Coordination Group confirmed its commitment to supporting Ukraine in building a cleaner energy system consistent with a Net Zero future. The so-called Clean Energy Partnership was developed with five main goals:

  • Accelerating the adoption of EU energy legislation and increasing integration with the EU market;
  • Increasing low carbon energy sources;
  • Implementing transition policies to phase out coal power;
  • Upgrading energy infrastructure; and
  • Attracting innovative technological and financial solutions.

The Government of Ukraine has committed to doing its part in realizing these progressive goals and will work closely with the G7+ to do so.

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

Japan signs investment agreement for climate solutions in Brazil

June 13, 2023 | Japan, EUI, US, Climate | Share this update

On June 13, 2023, JICA signed an investment agreement with the GEF LatAm Climate Solutions Fund III in Brazil.

The fund, managed by GEF Capital Partners, aims to support companies in Brazil that are working on climate change solutions. JICA's investment is part of a co-investment effort with other development finance institutions, including PROPARCO, DFC, and the EIB.

Brazil has the largest GDP in Central and South America and ranks fifth globally in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. The country recently updated its National Determined Contribution and committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The climate change sector in Brazil has significant potential for growth, but many unlisted companies in the private equity market struggle to raise capital due to economic uncertainties and rising interest rates.

The GEF LatAm Fund III focuses on investing in renewable energy, agriculture, and urban solutions in Brazil. By collaborating with other development finance institutions, JICA aims to promote climate solution investments in the country and stimulate private sector financing for businesses in the climate change sector. This project aligns with SDGs 13, climate action, and 17, partnership for the goals.

Press release - Japan International Cooperation Agency

Japan revises Development Cooperation Charter

June 12, 2023 | Japan, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Climate, Global Health | Share this update

On June 9, 2023, the Government of Japan released a revised version of its Development Cooperation Charter, the country’s blueprint for ODA.

The Charter, entitled Japan’s Contributions to the Sustainable Development of a Free and Open World, reflected the global geopolitical situation and placed a strong emphasis on mobilizing development assistance to uphold security and the rule of law. At the same time, the Charter set goals to shape an international environment that is favorable to Japan in terms of securing peace and security, as well as economic growth.

Japan outlined four basic policies that will guide its development cooperation:

  • The first, “Contributing to Peace and Prosperity”, recommitted to contributing to peace and prosperity through non-military cooperation. However, Japan also introduced “Overseas Security Assistance” under the heading, which aimed to provide defense aid to like-minded countries;
  • The second, “Human Security in a New Era”, positioned human security as a central policy feature, resulting in greater investments in people;
  • The third, ‘Co-creation of Social Values through Dialogue and Cooperation with Developing Countries” set the goal of establishing shared social values with partner countries and leading to economic growth; and
  • Finally, the fourth basic policy, “Leading the Dissemination and Implementation of International Rules and Guidelines Based on Inclusiveness, Transparency, and Fairness”, set out goals to support rule of law and fundamental human rights as a top priority for the government.

Moreover, the government identified three priority policy areas that require attention:

  • First, “Quality Growth”, focused on poverty eradication, particularly on strengthening the Japanese economy through the expansion of private interests and the diversification of supply chains;
  • The second priority, “Peace and Stability”, comprised another commitment to promote governance, humanitarian assistance and peacebuilding, and maritime security, particularly under the vision of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific; and
  • The third policy priority, “Addressing Complex and Serious Global Issues,” foregrounded international cooperation to address climate change, health, disaster prevention, and education in order to achieve the SDGs.

In terms of implementation, the Japanese government signalled its continued support for co-creation through private finance mobilization. Japan also identified implementation principles that will guide development cooperation including attention to democratization, non-military principles, attention to military expenditures, environmental impact, debt sustainability, and gender mainstreaming.

The recent update also included plans to expand ODA, while also recognizing difficult fiscal conditions that may prevent it from increasing the annual budget. The strategy notably focused on improving the quality of assistance and identified food and energy security and digital and quality infrastructure as priority areas for growth. The report also suggested Japan may take a more proactive approach to ODA with a new offer-type mechanism that enables Japan to make assistance proposals to recipients.

Experts commented that the Charter, deemed one piece of former-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s legacy, is expected to drive policy decisions for Japan’s ODA over the coming years and shape the international geopolitical and geostrategic environment.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of JapanNews article - The Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese)News article - NHK (in Japanese)






US$ amounts are cited directly from sources; in the absence of an official conversion, they are calculated using the previous week's average of the US Federal Reserve's daily exchange rates.

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