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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South Korea aims to expand ODA to US$10 billion by 2030

June 4, 2024 | South Korea, Climate, International development, Education, Global Health | Share this update

On June 4, 2024, South Korean President Suk Yeol Yoon announced to increase South Korea’s ODA to US$10 billion by 2030 as a catalyst for projects for cooperation with Africa at the 2024 Korea-Africa Summit.

The increase is double the level of South Korea's 2024 ODA budget. At the Korea-Africa Summit, a joint declaration was adopted to support e-government in Africa and proactively promote the KSP for Africa’s economic development and digital-based trade.

The joint declaration presented three priority areas:

  • Shared growth: expand ODA up to US$10 billion by 2030, provide US$14 billion in export financing to Korean companies, and share the lessons learned from the experience of concluding free trade agreements;
  • Sustainability: strengthen international cooperation to create a climate finance architecture responsive to Africa’s needs, advance cooperation for food security and sustainable agriculture, and establish primary healthcare infrastructure and leadership for critical mineral reserves; and
  • Solidarity: support counterterrorism efforts and continue efforts in providing humanitarian assistance, achieve irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and cultivate talented human resources through education and training.
Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs News article - Maeilbusiness (in Korean)

European Commission earmarks US$27 million to Palestinian Authority, US$17 million to UNRWA

May 31, 2024 | EUI, Global Health, Education | Share this update

On May 31, 2024, the European Commission approved a second allocation of EUR25 million (US$27 million) to the Palestinian Authority, and granted EUR16 million (US$17 million) to UNRWA to provide basic services, such as health and education, to Palestinian refugees.

The funds allocated to the Palestinian Authority, as part of the PEGASE program, is intended to help the Palestinian Authority meet its commitments to pay salaries and pensions to civil servants in the West Bank. The payment is the second tranche of the EUR118 million (US$126 million) development assistance package approved in December 2023.

The European Commission authorized the EUR16 million (US$17 million) to UNRWA after assessing progress towards reform recommendations. The disbursement brings the total EU ODA to UNRWA in 2024 to EUR66 million (US$70 million), out of a total projected EUR82 million (US$88 million) for the year.

Press release - European Commission

Germany strengthens parternship with Senegal on energy, vaccines, youth employment

May 28, 2024 | Germany, Education, Global Health R&D, Global Health, Climate | Share this update

On May 28, 2024, German State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth became the first high-ranking German official to meet the new Senegalese government following President Bassirou Diomaye Faye’s election, where he discussed energy transition, local vaccine production, and creating jobs for the local youth population.

Flasbarth emphasized the long-standing partnership between Germany and Senegal, particularly in renewable energy, highlighting Senegal's peaceful governmental transition as a sign of its robust democracy.

Senegal's government expressed commitment to continuing its strong partnership with Germany, especially within the framework of the Just Energy Transition Partnership established in 2023. The partnership involves multiple international stakeholders and aims to enhance energy supply, reduce poverty, and create job opportunities, especially for young people. Flasbarth’s visit also addressed vocational training and support for small enterprises to generate new income opportunities.

The cooperation includes establishing a vaccine production facility in Diamniadio and creating an independent regulatory body for vaccine approval. The initiative aims to position Senegal as a key player in the West African public health sector by enhancing local medicine and vaccine supply capabilities.

Press release - BMZ (in German)

G7 finance ministers call on donors to coordinate efforts, increase investments

May 25, 2024 | UK, France, Canada, Japan, US, Italy, Germany, EUI, Global Health, Climate, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Nutritious Food Systems | Share this update

On May 23-25, 2024, the G7 Ministers of Finance met at a summit in Stresa, Italy, where the ministers voiced support for contributions to the IDA, WHO, Gavi, and the Global Fund in the resulting communiqué.

The G7 ministers supported efforts towards a successful 21st replenishment of the IDA by the end of 2024 through an ambitious policy and financing package. Notably, they did not give a concrete signal that the critical US$100 billion threshold requested by the World Bank will be crossed, nor any indication of the US$120 billion expected by African leaders.

The ministers reaffirmed their dedication to strengthening the governance and finance of the global health architecture and voiced support for refinancing processes of several GHIs, such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the WHO, and the Global Fund, and expressed support for the Pandemic Fund. The communiqué called on the donor community to coordinate efforts and increase investments in global health in line with their capacities to ensure sustainable funding and maximize the impact of available resources.

Following the summit, the C7 pointed out the G7's lack of ambition and financial commitment to international development, including climate adaptation. International civil society organizations criticized the lack of any reference to allocating SDRs to global solidarity.

G7 Ministers of FinanceC7 statement

White House, USAID, DFC announce new commitments alongside Kenya

May 23, 2024 | US, Education, Climate | Share this update

On May 23, 2024, as part of the state visit of Kenyan President William Ruto's visit to the US, the US and Kenya announced a number of new programs, commitments, and partnerships covering a wide range of topics including governance, democracy, criminal justice reform, free elections, civil society protections, corruption, and human rights.

DFC announced a new US$250 million financing agreement with Kenya to support the private sector in building renewable energy, digital connectivity, and affordable student housing. In addition, DFC will be opening a DFC regional office in Nairobi, which will serve as a base for increasing private sector development in Kenya and across Africa.

USAID and Kenya announced new partnerships in education and STEM-related fields between US and Kenyan universities to promote high education and post-high school education. Microsoft and Mastercard are also part of the effort to increase science, technology, and math education in Kenya as a way to improve economic growth.

Press release - The White HousePress release - DFCPress release - USAID

Australia to provide increased assistance to Bangladesh to assist status promotion efforts

May 21, 2024 | Australia, Education | Share this update

On May 21, 2024, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, while visiting Bangladesh, indicated that Australia will provide more funding to help Bangladesh align its labor laws and other areas that would assist Bangladesh’s proposed graduation from LDC status.

Australia is also slated to provide more assistance for colleges providing technical education training.

Wong also traveled to Cox’s Bazaar, a Rohingya refugee area. She noted Australia had provided AUD860 million (US$571 million) over six years to assist with the Rohingya crisis.

The News, Bangladesh

UK announces US$54 million for higher education program

May 20, 2024 | UK, Education, Gender Equality | Share this update

On May 20, 2024, UK Deputy Foreign Secretary Andrew Mitchell announced that the UK will provide GBP45 million (US$54 million) to support higher education for women and girls at the Education World Forum.

The program is slated to benefit 1 million young people. Funding will be channeled with partners across Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. The program will focus on removing the barriers preventing them from accessing higher education, including tackling GBV.

The initiative builds on the Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education Innovation and Reform program that began in 2016.

Press release - UK government

Sweden bolsters humanitarian assistance to Gaza with additional US$11 million

May 17, 2024 | Sweden, Nutrition, Education, Gender Equality, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, Climate, International development | Share this update

On May 17, 2024, the Swedish Government introduced a significant aid package totaling SEK120 million (approximately US$11 million) directed towards UNICEF, UNFPA, and WFP to help alleviate the pressing needs of the Gazan population.

Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Johan Forssell emphasized the gravity of the situation, highlighting the severity of the crisis and Sweden's role as one of the largest donors of humanitarian assistance to the crisis in Gaza. He noted that Sweden is further increasing the humanitarian support with a focus on addressing hunger and protecting women and children, and advocated for greater humanitarian access and the release of hostages.

This latest initiative brings Sweden’s total humanitarian contributions to Gaza to over SEK520 million (US$49 million), reinforcing its role as a major supporter of humanitarian efforts in the region. The most recent funds are slated to be allocated as:

  • UNICEF: SEK20 million (US$2 million) to support children's needs, counter malnutrition, and provide access to clean water and healthcare. Additionally, UNICEF will focus on education, psychosocial support, and financial assistance for families;
  • UNFPA: SEK20 million (US$1.9 million) to maintain SRH services, including maternity and neonatal care. Efforts will also target the prevention of SGBV and support for survivors; and
  • WFP: SEK80 million (US$8 million), with SEK29 million (US$3 million) specifically for Gaza and SEK51 million (US$5 million) as core support. This wil help ensure food and nutritional assistance reaches those facing imminent famine in northern Gaza and improve logistics of assistance delivery.
Press release - Press Release - Government of Sweden

Christian Aid calls for UK government to take action to tackle debt crisis in Africa

May 16, 2024 | UK, Nutrition, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Agricultural R&D, Nutritious Food Systems, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, Family Planning, WASH & Sanitation, International development, Climate, Global Health R&D, Global Health, Security policy | Share this update

On May 16, 2024, international NGO Christian Aid released a new report, titled Between Life and Debt, that outlined the devastating debt crisis engulfing Africa and calling on the UK government to address the crisis through legal intervention.

The report, which draws on testimonies from Christian Aid partners in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and Zambia, revealed that:

  • Total external debt service by all African countries was US$85 billion in 2023 and US$104 billion in 2024;
  • In 2023, African countries spent over 50 times more on external debt than they received in aid from the UK (and 50% more than total assistance to the region);
  • 25 African countries spend more on debt than education; and
  • 32 African countries spend more on debt than healthcare.

The report asserted that the debt problem is largely due to Western private lenders, who have lent to Africa at extremely high interest rates, far higher than other sovereign lenders like China. Total external debt service by all African countries to private creditors was US$39 billion in 2023 and US$47 billion in 2024, and that private creditors charge the highest interest rates of 6.2%.

Christian Aid argued that the UK government has the unique power to help remedy the crisis, given that most private creditors, due to colonial history, are governed by British law. The organization called on the UK to step up and take action to change UK law to compel private creditors to cancel debts and stop the crisis.

Report - Christian Aid News article - BOND

Canada announces US$143 million to education, SRHR, climate, peace, security in Ethiopia, Tanzania

May 16, 2024 | Canada, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Nutritious Food Systems, Family Planning, Climate, Global Health | Share this update

On May 16, 2014, Canadian Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen concluded a trip to Ethiopia and Tanzania, where he announced nearly CAD195 million (US$143 million) to several development projects focused on education, SRHR, climate, peace, and security.

The funding included:

  • CAD65 million (US$48 million) to UNFPA to implement the Protecting the Dignity and Rights of Women and Girls project in Ethiopia, which will support family planning services and prevention and response to SGBV;
  • CAD30 million (US$22 million) to the International Finance Facility for Education to implement a new financing mechanism for global education, which will support lower-middle income countries to fund quality education;
  • CAD25 million (US$18 million) to ACELI Africa to implement the Agri - SME Catalytic Financing Mechanism, helping high-impact agricultural SMEs and promoting economic growth and food security;
  • CAD21 million (US$15 million) to CARE Canada for the Her Resilience, Our Planet project, which promotes climate-resilient agriculture and supports the empowerment of women to address climate change;
  • CAD20 million (US$15 million) to the [[AU] to help implement its 2063 agenda and strategic plan to advance sustainable and inclusive development;
  • CAD15 million (US$11 million) to UNICEF’s Improving Adolescent SRHR in Tanzania initiative, to enhance access to gender-responsive SRHR information and services for adolescents; and,
  • CAD14 million (US$10 million) to the UNDP’s demobilization and reintegration project in Ethiopia.
Press release - Global Affairs Canada

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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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