Policy Updates

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EU pledges US$265 million at Global Gateway High-Level Education event

April 11, 2024 | EUI, Education, Gender Equality, Global Health | Share this update

On April 11, 2024, the European Commission and the Belgian Council Presidency hosted the Global Gateway High-Level Event on Education.

Grounded in EU pledges from the 2022 TES, the program prioritized green and digital learning, teaching quality, and finance for education among others. Notably, FLN, one of the key foci of the 2022 TES, did not feature in the agenda.

In addition to high-level meetings and discussions, the event included EUR245 million (US$264 million) several pledges from the EU, including:

  • EUR110 million (US$119 million) for implementation of Zambia's National Development Plan and Free Education Initiative, which aim to improve quality of early, primary, and secondary education and increase the attendance and completion rates of girls in school;
  • EUR75 million (US$81 million) co-financed by the EU and Team Europe for employment-related skills and vocational training with a focus on women and girls' education in SSA. Specific partner countries were not named;
  • EUR15 million (US$16 million) and EUR27 million (US$29 million) were allocated to youth mobility projects with a focus on EU-Africa mobility and intra-African mobility and green skills, respectively; and
  • EUR18 million (US$20 million) for building research capacity related to medicines and vaccines in Nigeria.
Web Page - European CommissionPress release - European CommissionPress release - European CommissionPress release - European CommissionPress release - European Commission

EU announces US$86 million for partnerships with Cambodia

March 12, 2024 | EUI, Agriculture, Education, Climate | Share this update

On March 12, 2024, Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen announced a battery of initiatives to support the EU - Cambodia relationship.

Two of these initiatives included Team Europe programs intended to mobilize EUR1.1 billion (US$1.1 billion) and EUR400 million (US$432 million) for green agriculture and factories, respectively. Within these initiatives, focuses included green energy and decent jobs.

Urpilainen also announced four new collaborations between the EU and Cambodia, worth EUR79 million (US$86 million), with sectoral foci including:

  • Agriculture, specifically sustainable farming practices that avoid deforestation;
  • Sustainable energy in the production of textiles and garments;
  • Digital skills, STEM education, and research; and
  • Economic and trade development, specifically addressing challenges specific to Cambodia and increasing competitiveness.
Press release - EU Commission

EU, AfDB renew investment agreement

January 28, 2024 | EUI, Education, Global Health, Climate | Share this update

On January 28, 2024, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and AfDB President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina renewed the cooperation agreement between the organizations on the sidelines of the Italy-Africa Summit.

During the event, von der Leyen highlighted the EU's commitment to investing EUR150 billion (US$163.5 billion) to partners on the continent through the Africa-EU Global Gateway Investment Package between 2021 and 2027.

The package is slated to support infrastructure development in areas of green transition, digital transformation, sustainability, education, and health. Specific projects include transport between partner countries, through initiatives such as the Lobito Corridor with partners including Zambia, Angola and the DRC.

Press release - EU Commission

EU provides US$156 million for Afghanistan

November 30, 2023 | EUI, WASH & Sanitation, Gender Equality, Education | Share this update

On November 30, 2023, European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen announced EUR143 million (US$156 million) in support for humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.

Prioritizing displaced and vulnerable populations, the package included assistance for education, WASH, health, and gender equality, including WEE. Under the heading of basic services, the assistance also included psychological care, educational incentives such as free school meals, and efforts to shore up local economies.

Press release - European Commission

European Commission releases 2024 budget

November 11, 2023 | EUI, Climate, Education, Gender Equality, Agriculture, Global Health | Share this update

On November 11, 2023, the Commission of the EU announced that the Parliament and Council of the EU had reached agreement on the 2024 budget.

Against the backdrop of the midterm review of the bloc's MFF, the 2024 budget included commitments of EUR189.4 billion (US$204.7 billion), a slight increase over the EUR186.6 billion (US$201.7 billion) budget for 2023.

Heading 6: Neighborhood and the World fell to EUR16.2 billion (US$17.5 billion) from EUR17.2 billion (US$18.6 billion) in 2023, a 5% decrease. Notable changes included:

  • Humanitarian assistance increased by EUR100 million (US$108 million) to EUR1.9 billion (US$2.1 billion); and
  • NDICI-Global Europe fell EUR800 million (US$864 million) to EUR11.5 billion (US$12.4 billion), emphasizing spending priorities of reducing drivers of migration.
Press release - European Commission

EU announces over US$3 billion in new agreements at Global Gateway Forum

October 27, 2023 | EUI, France, Education, Global Health, Climate | Share this update

On October 25-26, 2023, the EU hosted the Global Gateway Forum, which invited stakeholders from international businesses, partner countries, and CSOs.

The two-day conference aimed to increase visibility of the Global Gateway program, the EU's investment and ODA platform, which aims to strengthen Europe's ties with partner countries while addressing contemporary challenges like climate change or energy transition.

Over the course of the conference, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Uprilainen announced a variety of partnerships and funding, including:

  • EUR634 million (US$669 million) for global health, including EUR500 million (US$528 million) for a partnership between the EIB, BMGF to support SMEs working on global health R&D and vaccine development, and EUR134 million (US$141 million) to support health product manufacturing in Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, and South Africa;
  • EUR500 million (EUR528 million) to launch a credit facility for the EU's Just Energy Transition Partnership with Vietnam, which will focus on decarbonization projects, and was accompanied by EUR1 billion (US$1.1 billion) in loans from the EIB, AFD, and KfW;
  • EUR470 million (US$496 million) for Bangladesh, including an EUR395 million (US$418 million) loan from the EIB for solar and wing projects, and EUR70 million education, and combatting GBV;
  • EUR146 million (US$154 million) from the EU and AFD for Tanzania to support the construction of a hydropower plant on the Kagera river;
  • EUR72 million (US$76 million) for the 2023 EU - Kenya cooperation priorities, which included assistance for green energy transition, shoring up cybersecurity, combatting female genital cutting, and strengthening democratic structures; and
  • EUR46 million (US$49 million) to support the foundation of a Regional Teacher Facility in Africa to support the realization of commitments made at the 2022 Transforming Education Summit, with an emphasis on foundational learning, capacity-building, and technical assistance for partner countries in Africa.

While the event resulted in a variety of high-level commitments, observers expressed concern at the mismatch between representation from partner countries, many of whom sent heads of government or state, and EU Member States, some of which either did not attend or were represented by lower-level officials.

Press release - EU-Tanzania Hydropower AgreementPress release - EU-Africa Regional Teacher FacilityPress release - EU-Kenya Cooperation PrioritiesPress release - EU-Bangladesh AgreementPress release - EU-Vietnam JETPPress release - EU-Global Health Commitments

EU provides US$827 million for Nigeria through Global Gateway

October 19, 2023 | France, EUI, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, Agriculture, Education, Climate, Global Health | Share this update

On October 19, 2023, Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen pledged EUR780 million (US$827 million) in ODA loans and grants for Nigeria through the global Gateway program.

The funding was announced ahead of the 8th Nigeria - EU strategic dialogue, which convened EU representatives and members of the new Nigerian government to discuss existing partnerships and new opportunities for cooperation. Key components of the support included:

  • EUR116 million (US$123 million) in ODA financing agreements for global health, sustainable and climate-resilient agriculture, SRH and MNCH, energy access and renewable energy capacity, and education, all with a focus on supporting women and young people; and
  • EUR600 million (US$636 million) in EIB loans for a green transportation project for inland shipping, with support from the AFD, support for SMEs, and renewable energy capacity.
Press release - European Commission

AidWatch 2023 report finds EU inflates ODA by 22%

October 18, 2023 | EUI, Germany, Sweden, Education | Share this update

On October 18, 2023, Concord released its 2023 AidWatch Report and found that EUR20 billion (US$21.2 billion), or 22% of ODA from the EU and its Member States, was allocated to budget lines that do not directly benefit partner countries.

Concord has published AidWatch Reports annually since 2005 in an effort to provide accountability for the EU and its Member States in meeting the goal of providing 0.7% GNI/ODA.

Examining EU and Member State ODA in 2022, the report found that of the ODA that did not directly benefit partner countries, the three largest categories of "double counted" or "inflated" ODA included:

  • EUR13.9 billion (US$14.7 billion) went to in-donor refugee costs to for those fleeing the war in Ukraine, allocations which are at times reported as ODA at the Member State level;
  • EUR2.8 billion (US$3 billion) supported imputed student costs, or funding for students from partner countries studying in the donor country; and
  • EUR1.7 billion resulting from a method of calculating and reporting ODA loans as grants, which distorted the actual value of the support.

Accounting for inflated ODA, the report found that only two Member States, Luxembourg and Sweden, met the 0.7% ODA/GNI ratio, while Germany's ratio fell to near .69%.

The report noted that these observations comprised the continuation of skewed reporting trends in the EU and Member States. It recommended increasing ODA spending to meet the goal of 0.7% ODA/GNI, not counting in-donor refugee costs as ODA, and reforming ODA reporting to ensure assistance achieves maximum impact, among others.

News article - ConcordReport - AidWatch 2023

Report highlights EU successes with refugee assistance in Türkiye

September 27, 2023 | EUI, Education, Global Health | Share this update

On September 27, 2023, the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey released its 7th annual report, which marked progress in the provision of basic needs for refugees, the construction of education centers and programs to support schooling for refugees, the construction of health facilities for migrants, and the expansion of WASH services throughout Türkiye.

The report also included a breakdown of the EUR10 billion (US$10.7 billion) that the EU has provided in assistance to Türkiye since 2011. The breakdown noted:

  • EUR2.8 billion (US$3 billion) for basic needs, typically through direct transfers to individuals;
  • EUR1.5 billion (US$1.6 billion) for education;
  • EUR800 million (US$854 million) for health;
  • EUR380 million (US$406 million) for WASH, under the heading of municipal infrastructure; and
  • EUR3 billion (US$3.2 billion) for border control.

Of the EUR3 billion (US$3.2 billion) committed for 2023, EUR800 million (US$854 million) had not been allocated as of October 2023.

Press release - EU Commission

EU unfreezes US$150 million for women's empowerment in Afghanistan

September 20, 2023 | EUI, Education, Gender Equality, Agriculture, Global Health | Share this update

On September 20, 2023, EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen announced that the bloc would release EUR140 million (US$150 million) of previously frozen funding for Afghanistan.

The funds were allocated from a larger EUR1 billion (US$1.1 billion) package of support for Afghanistan that was announced in August 2021. The funding was frozen in December 2021 following the Taliban's decision to bar women from working in CSOs.

The released funding was allocated to support initiatives in education, women's economic empowerment, agriculture, and health. The EU made the decision to release the funds after conducting a six-month evaluation to ensure women remained central to the implementation and disbursement of assistance.

The assistance was allocated through the UN system and other CSOs and multilaterals on the ground in Afghanistan.

Press release - European Commission






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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