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.
March 9, 2023 | US, Agriculture, Climate, Global Health, Gender Equality | Share this update
On March 9, 2023, US President Joe Biden released his FY2024 "skinny" budget, which proposed an 11% increase in US foreign assistance for a total amount of US$70.5 billion.
A more detailed budget is expected during the week of March 13, 2023. As the starting point of the annual appropriations process, experts expect Biden's budget will be met with stiff opposition by Republican leaders in the US House of Representatives.
Development advocates applauded the budget but also recognized the long road ahead, especially given the House Republican's proported plan to seek a 45% cut in foreign assistance.
Biden's priorities included funding to compete with China, climate and infrastructure, and modest increases in global health and humanitarian funding.
Funds to bolster competition with China included a new US$2 billion infrastructure fund, a new US$2 billion fund to invest in the Indo-Pacific region, and other funding to the State Department and USAID to strengthen partnerships in that region. The budget also included a US$2 billion increase for the US DFC to allow for more equity investments.
Climate finance also featured in Biden's budget. Proposed increases included a US$3 billion initiative to help countries adapt and manage impacts of climate change by 2030, US$1.6 billion for the Green Climate Fund, and US$1.2 billion in loans to the World Bank's Clean Technology Fund.
The budget also requested US$10.5 billion in humanitarian funding as well as over US$1 billion for food security and agricutural programs. Global health and security received a US$370 million increase for a total of US$10.5 billion, including US$1.2 billion for health security and US$2 billion for the Global Fund. Funding for PEPFAR, which faces a crucial reauthorization test in 2023, was slightly reduced to US$6.7 billion.
The budget also proposed US$3 billion for gender equity and equality programs.
Finally, the proposal included a US$8 billion request to fund the State Department and USAID, including funding for more staffing, new missions, reforms, and improved expertise and diversity.
Observers shared the expectation that the appropriations process will be long and complex, given the need to negotiate between a Republican-led House and a Democratic Senate. US foreign assistance, which has historically had strong bipartisan support, faces an uncertain future. Appropriations for FY2024 are supposed to be finalized by September 30, 2023, but most expect negotiations to extend past the deadline.
UN General Assembly
78th UN General Assembly Pre-Read
September 5, 2023 | Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Climate, Global Health
Spain's Sánchez highlights SDGs in meeting with UN Secretary General
May 8, 2023 | Spain, Climate
UK NGOs predict 'uncertain' development outlook for 2023
January 5, 2023 | UK, Climate, Agriculture, Nutrition
UK launches 'Nature Facility', 'Nature Positive Economy' initiatives
December 15, 2022 | UK, Climate, Agriculture
Norway presents development priorities at UNGA
October 23, 2022 | Norway, Nutrition, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Climate, Global Health
US pledges additional US$2.9 billion at Global Food Security Summit
October 21, 2022 | US, Agriculture, Nutrition
EU allocates US$97 million of committed funding for food security in Asian, Caribbean, Pacific countries
October 14, 2022 | EUI, Agriculture
EU announces US$634 million for food security in African, Caribbean, Pacific countries
September 24, 2022 | EUI, Agriculture
EU pledges US$48 million over 6 years to UNFPA Supplies Partnership
September 24, 2022 | EUI, Gender Equality, Global Health
Canada donates US$55 million to address global malnutrition, US$57 million to UN agencies
September 23, 2022 | Canada, Global donor profile, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Nutrition
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September 26, 2023 | Sweden, Gender Equality, Climate | Share this update
On September 23, 2023, Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström presented Sweden's development priority statement at the 78th UN General Assembly.
In a speech predominantly centered on Ukraine, Billström emphasized Russia's tactics of weaponizing food, exacerbating the global food crisis. He pointed out Russia's recent imposition of its blockade against grain shipments across the Black Sea, which is restricting food supplies to many, including some of the world's most vulnerable populations.
Sweden underscored the need for the UN to persistently seek enhanced effectiveness and efficiency, particularly at the national level. Billström called for development assistance to work synergistically with trade, private investment, improved access to capital, and domestic resource mobilization.
Billström highlighted the pivotal role of MDBs in achieving the SDGs. He asserted that MDBs are instrumental in innovating financing methods and mobilizing substantial finances, including private capital and domestic resources. Sweden supported the modification of the MDB business model to address global challenges more effectively, ensuring that poverty reduction and climate change remain central to their mission.
Billström also highlighted the urgent need to mobilize climate finance from both public and private sectors, and to amplify support for local resilience and climate adaptation. Sweden pledged its continued commitment to adaptation and urged other nations to increase their contributions.
Sweden underlined that human rights, democracy, and the rule of law are essential for development. Billström stated that the rights of women and girls, as well as SRHR, are fundamental to development and are foundational for democracy.
September 24, 2023 | EUI, Italy, Germany | Share this update
On September 24, 2023, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni wrote to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz criticizing a German governmental initiative to finance NGOs involved with the search and rescue of irregular migrants in the Mediterranean without consulting with their Italian counterparts.
Meloni asserted that Germany should have informed and coordinated this initiative with the Italian government. She stated that EU nations interested in providing assistance to migrants arriving in Italy should focus on building infrastructural solutions to increase Italy's strained capacity to handle migrants.
Meloni concluded with a proposal to discuss the issue with Scholz at the European Council in Granada on October 5 and 6, 2023.
September 24, 2023 | France, Agriculture | Share this update
On September 24, 2023, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that France will commit US$150 million for IFAD in its 2025-2027 funding cycle.
The announcement was made during the Global Citizen concert, held in the margins of the 78th UN General Assembly. France will host the 13th IFAD Replenishment Conference in December 2023.
September 23, 2023 | Japan | Share this update
On September 23, 2023, Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbum called on Japan to strengthen its commitment to the SDGs, following Japan's appearance at the SDG Summit at the 78th UN General Assembly.
Global leaders used the summit to adopt a political declaration to push forward with policies aimed at achieving critical objectives, including the eradication of poverty, the promotion of quality education, and mitigation of the impacts of climate change. However, experts criticized the gaps between ideals and the realities of the challenges in the way of achieving the SDGs.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida emphasized the importance of SDG progress and urged nations to turn their shared ideals into actionable plans. He noted that despite the collective commitment to the SDGs, the world still faces poverty, hunger, and other issues. Kishida stressed that Japan, drawing from its extensive experience in development cooperation, should leverage its expertise to prioritize supporting stable livelihoods.
Progress has lagged on the SDGs, with approximately 30% of the goals associated with the primary objectives classified as either stagnant or regressing. The most pressing challenge remains the eradication of poverty and hunger, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, where over 30% of the population still lives in extreme poverty. Efforts to combat these challenges face hurdles such as disruptions in grain exports associated with geopolitical conflicts, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which have caused global food prices to rise and pushed many into food insecurity. Kishida noted that ending these conflicts is essential for the affected nations as well as for the broader global community.
Japan’s history of development assistance has earned it a respected place on the global stage. To maintain its influence, Yomiuri Shimbum called on the Japanese government to strategically utilize ODA to secure necessary budget allocations. Furthermore, Yomiuri Shimbum noted that deepening collaboration with emerging powers could both serve Japan’s national interests and contribute significantly to global progress.
As the Japanese 2024 draft budget is discussed by the Diet, Yomiuri Shimbum called for a strong focus on increasing the funding for and scope of ODA. The SDG Summit highlighted the pressing need for accelerated action. Japan’s experience and continued commitment is thought to be instrumental in addressing challenges on the path to a sustainable and equitable future.
September 23, 2023 | Norway, Agriculture, Climate | Share this update
On September 23, 2023, during The Global Citizen Festival in New York, Norway pledged a 50% increase in core support to the IFAD, totaling NOK927 million (US$93 million) for the 2025-2027 funding cycle.
Norwegian Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim stated that climate-resilient food production is key in the effort to fight hunger. The funding is intended to help small-scale farmers and fishers adapt their local agriculture and fisheries to climate changes.
The funding is also intended to mobilize greater private investment in agriculture. Tvinnereim noted that the role of private investment in agriculture will become increasingly important in the immediate future. She reaffirmed Norway's commitment to stimulating investment growth, particularly for local food value chains and markets.
September 22, 2023 | Canada, Global Health, Agriculture | Share this update
On September 22, 2023, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced CAD692 million (US$510 million) in new military, economic, peace and security, and development assistance investments for Ukraine.
The announcement was made during a visit to Canada by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Trudeau reaffirmed Canada’s ongoing solidarity and unwavering support for Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia’s war of aggression.
The funding from Canada included:
Trudeau and Zelenskyy also signed a modernized Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, which supports long-term security, stability, and economic development in Ukraine while ensuring high-quality market access terms for Canadian businesses participating in Ukraine’s economic recovery.
The commitment brought Canada’s total to more than CAD9.5 billion (US$7 billion) in assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of 2022.
September 22, 2023 | US, Global Health | Share this update
On September 22, 2023, USAID announced that it will provide an additional US$23 million to USAID's Global Accelerator to End TB Plus funding package, where USAID has planned to spend a total of US$394 million in FY2023.
The funding will help reach the global targets that were agreed upon during the 78th UN General Assembly. The effort is slated to focus on a number of countries, including conflict settings such as Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Myanmar. It intends to deliver on new prevention and treatments efforts, reduce drug prices, and invest in innovations.
USAID also pledged to commit 60% of TB funding to go directly to local partners by 2027.
September 22, 2023 | Netherlands, Global Health | Share this update
On September 22, 2023, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher reaffirmed the Netherlands’ commitment to ensuring UHC at the high-level meeting on UHC at the 78th UN General Assembly.
Schreinemacher stated that UHC is key to ensuring accessible health services to all, including providing safe abortion and preventing of unwanted pregnancies, and that achieving UHC requires strong health systems and flexible financing. This commitment to strengthening primary healthcare systems aligns with the Netherlands’ Global Health Strategy 2023-2030, originally published in October 2022.
A key outcome of the event was the approval of a new Political Declaration on UHC. The WHO noted that the declaration acted as a catalyst for world leaders to take bold action to mobilize the necessary political commitments and financial investments to achieve SDG #3 by 2030. The declaration, once adopted by the General Assembly, will be regularly monitored and discussed at the next UN High-Level Meeting in 2027.
The WHO estimated that an additional US$200-328 billion in financing is needed to scale up primary health care in low-and middle-income countries to fulfill SDG #3. SDG #3 aims to deliver 90% of essential health services, save 60 million lives, and increase average life expectancy by 3.7 years by 2030.
Healthcare NGOs responded with a joint statement highlighting the contrasts between the 2023 declaration and a healthcare declaration from 2019. They commended the new text’s increased focus on person-centered care, coordination of healthcare processes, HIV/AIDS, and community emphasis. However, the NGOs expressed concern that the declaration failed to explicitly mention criminalized and marginalized communities, did not strengthen essential aspects of healthcare delivery and equity, and lacked funding commitments for multilateral organizations and community-led responses.
September 22, 2023 | Norway, Global Health | Share this update
From September 18-19, 2023, during the high-level week of the 78th UN General Assembly in New York, the Norwegian delegation emphasized global health and disease control as a development priority and underlined the importance of cooperation to secure better health for all.
One of the main global health messages from Norway was emphasizing UHC as a cornerstone of robust health systems. Norwegian Minister of Health Ingvild Kjerkol stated the need to accelerate work on UHC to achieve SDG #3 during the meeting. Norwegian Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim emphasized the need to harmonize health investments following the COVID-19 pandemic. She noted that robust UHC forms the foundation of good PPR.
Combating non-communicable diseases was also a health priority for Norway during the General Assembly. Kjerkol noted at a meeting led by the WHO that non-communicable diseases account for a predominantly large share of the global disease burden, disproportionately affect the most vulnerable, and are worsened by climate change.
Tvinnereim also participated at ICPD30, where several countries expressed a concern about SRHR being under increasing pressure. Tvinnereim underlined a need for broad consultations ahead of the ICPD's 30th anniversary to build a vision for the future of the ICPD beyond 2024.
During the high-level meeting on tuberculosis, Kjerkol emphasized that solid and accessible health systems are necessary for access to basic services and the fight against tuberculosis.
September 21, 2023 | Canada, Nutrition, Education, Gender Equality, Climate, Global Health, Agriculture | Share this update
On September 21, 2023, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau concluded his participation in the 78th UN General Assembly and announced CAD427 million (US$314 million) to support the SDG 2030 Agenda.
The funding from Canada included:
During the High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development, Trudeau announced Canada’s intent to allocate an additional 700 million in SDRs, representing approximately CAD1.3 billion (US$958 million), to the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust. The trust will provide concessional loans to LICs.
US$ 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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