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.

Gates Foundation publishes SDG, MNCH report

September 12, 2023 | Gender Equality, Global Health | Share this update

On September 12, 2023, the Gates Foundation published its 7th annual Goalkeepers Report, which found that the international community is lagging behind on achieving the UN 2030 Agenda and SDGs.

The 2023 report focused heavily on MNCH, corresponding to SDG #3, and reflected on the Gates Foundation's concern on the decline in funding for MNCH initiatives. It attributed this decline in MNCH funding to a general decline in international ODA caused by the war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, and compounding international fiscal crises. MNCH outcomes deteriorated in 2022 along with the decline in funding.

Experts with projects funded by the Gates Foundation noted that the lag between health R&D and implementation is one of the greatest obstacles to improving maternal outcomes. They called for greater impact from research institutes and governments in funding MNCH R&D, as well as for a general refocus of world leaders on the SDGs during the UN General Assembly and SDG Summit. The summit is slated to take place from September 18-19 in New York, USA.

News article - DevexWeb Page - Gates Foundation

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EU election results cause coalition tensions in Germany's ongoing budget negotiations

June 11, 2024 | Germany | Share this update

On June 11, 2024, following poor EU election results for German coalition parties SPD and the Greens, coalition tensions rose surrounding ongoing budget negotiations with the potential to significantly impact German ODA.

All three coalition partners ( SPD, FDP, Greens) faced EU election losses, particularly the SPD and the Greens. The losses increased conflicts between parties on the budget. German Finance Minister Christian Lindner ( FDP) proposed massive cuts to the 2025 BMZ budget, which included large amounts of ODA. Development Minister Svenja Schulze, ( SPD) requested additional funding for the BMZ.

Election results have spurred leading voices of SPD and Greens to advocate for increased funding for their priorities against the opposition of the FPD.

The 2025 budget draft is scheduled for confirmation by Parliament on July 3, 2024, however, consensus on the draft remains uncertain.

News article - Table Media (in German)News article - Süddeutsche (in German)

Norwegian development minister attends humanitarian summit on Gaza

June 10, 2024 | Norway | Share this update

On June 10-11, 2024, Norwegian Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim visited Jordan to attend a summit addressing the humanitarian needs in Gaza.

The meeting, hosted by King Abdullah of Jordan, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, discussed the international community's response to Gaza's crisis after eight months of war. Tvinnereim emphasized the critical need for international development assistance to reach those most affected and for increased humanitarian assistance in Gaza.

Tvinnereim also met with Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Jordan, as well as with Jordan's Planning Minister, UN representatives, and other humanitarian organizations working in the region.

News article - Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian)

EU election shows shift rightward, EPP emerges as largest party

June 10, 2024 | EUI | Share this update

On June 10, 2024, following the 2024 European election, the center-right EPP emerged as the largest European party, while far-right groups ID and the ECR gained significant support; the liberal Renew Europe and the Green parties faced most of the losses.

Despite these changes, the authoritative victory of the far-right predicted by many experts did not materialize. The most probable governing majority coalition is believed to be between the EPP, Socialists & Democrats, and Renew Europe, potentially with the support of the Greens.

The shift of power towards the right is expected to further deepen the current EU approach to international partnerships, potentially leading to a more national interest-driven focus. The ECDPM predicted that a rightward change will likely deprioritize progressive policies. Development policy may receive less attention, with increased emphasis on defense, security, migration, and economic interests. Experts caution that development assistance may become more conditional on migration control and economic benefits for the EU, overshadowing global poverty eradication goals and potentially further straining relationships with partner countries, particularly those in Africa.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, member of the EPP, is seeking support for re-election among EU leaders and from groups in the European Parliament. Her prospects seem bolstered in light of the elections results, as the EPP group won in 13 countries. Additionally, French President Emmanuel Macron, who has yet to endorse von der Leyen, was significantly weakened, and allied Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk were among the few leaders whose parties saw success.

EU leaders will discuss the package of important appointments during an informal summit on June 17, 2024, and at the European Council on June 27-28, 2024. Once agreement is reached, the Parliament will vote on the new Commission president in July or September 2024. The president-elect will then allocate portfolios to commissioners from candidates proposed by the Member States. The final vote by the Parliament is likely to take place in late fall 2024, with the new presidential mandate officially starting in December 2024 or January 2025.

Web Page - European ParliamentReport - ECDPMVideo - ECDPM

Australian national re-elected to UN committee on the elimination of discrimination against women

June 8, 2024 | Australia, Gender Equality | Share this update

On June 8, 2024, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong announced that Australian national Natasha Stott Despoja was re-elected to the 23-person UN committee monitoring the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Stott Despoja was previously Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls as well as an Australian senator. She was reappointed to the committee in her personal capacity, and will commence her second term on January 1, 2025.

Press release - Australian Foreign Affairs Minister

Dutch national Corinne Dettmeijer-Vermeulen re-elected to CEDAW

June 7, 2024 | Netherlands, Gender Equality | Share this update

On June 7, 2024, Dutch national Corinne Dettmeijer-Vermeulen was re-elected to CEDAW for the 2025-2028 term.

Dettmeijer-Vermeulen served her first term as member of the CEDAW from 2021-2024. The Dutch government nominated her for re-election, which the 189 CEDAW State Parties supported in New York, US.

During her first term, Dettmeijer-Vermeulen held the roles of Vice-chair and later Chair of CEDAW Working Group on Communications. She also joined the Working Group on Working Methods and the Working Group on Gender Stereotyping.

CEDAW consists of 23 members, who are independent experts that monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The convention has opposed the effects of discrimination, including violence, poverty, lack of legal protections, the denial of inheritance, property rights, and access to credit.

Ministry of Foreign AffairsWeb Page - OHCHRWeb Page - OHCHRWeb Page - Kingdom of the Netherlands

UK records US$2.2 billion spent on ICF in FY2023/24

June 7, 2024 | UK, Climate | Share this update

On June 7, 2024, an analysis by Carbon Brief, based on data provided by the UK government via freedom-of-information, revealed that the UK government spent GBP1.8 billion (US$2.2 billion) on ICF during FY2023/24, marking the largest yearly ICF spend since 2011.

The amount represents an increase of GBP192 million (US$230 million) over FY2022/23. Despite the record funding, the UK will need to more than double its ICF spend in FY2024/25 and FY2025/2026 to meet the UK government’s commitment of disbursing GBP11.6 billion (US$14 billion) in ICF between FYs 2021/22 and 2025/26.

Funding classified as ICF in 2023-24 was used to support the reconstruction of low-carbon power supplies in Ukraine, assist humanitarian victims in Pakistan and Ethiopia, and to fund multilateral contributions, including support to the GCF.

According to Carbon Brief, 11% of the funding, or GBP199 million (US$238 million), resulted from the UK government expanding its definition of climate finance in 2023. Experts believe this figure to be an underestimate, as Carbon Brief was not able to include all reclassified humanitarian funding in their calculations.

Report - Carbon Brief

Netherlands allocates US$161 million to Ukraine recovery and humanitarian assistance in 2024

June 7, 2024 | Netherlands | Share this update

On June 7, 2024, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher outlined the Netherlands’ recovery and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine for 2024.

The Spring Budget, published on April 15, 2024, announced that the Netherlands would provide a total of EUR4.4 billion (US$4.8 billion) to Ukraine for 2024-2026. Of this, EUR148 million (US$161 million) will go to recovery and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine in 2024 and EUR252 million (US$274 million) in 2025.

Schreinemacher specified the allocations for 2024 as:

  • EUR58 million (US$65 million) via the World Bank to the URTF for infrastructure repair;
  • EUR33 million (US$35 million) for the second round of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency’s UPF for collaboration with Dutch businesses on reconstruction;
  • EUR20 million (US$22 million) via the EBRD for the Ukrainian energy sector;
  • EUR15 million (US$16 million) via the ICRC for humanitarian assistance;
  • EUR10 million (US$11 million) via FMO to support Ukraine’s private sector;
  • EUR3 million (US$3 million) for civil society organizations providing support in Ukraine; and
  • EUR10 million (US$11 million) reserved for emerging needs.

The recovery and humanitarian assistance allocations for 2025 will be announced on Budget Day, on September 17, 2024, as part of the 2025 Annual Budget.

Letter - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Dutch)Government document - Spring Budget 2024 (in Dutch)

Canada announces US$17 million to advance climate resilience through aquaculture

June 7, 2024 | Canada, Agriculture, Nutritious Food Systems, Climate, Agricultural R&D | Share this update

On June 7, 2024, Canada’s IDRC announced CAD23 million (US$17 million) to support inclusive and sustainable aquaculture food systems to address climate change and food insecurity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific region.

The IDRC partnered with the Canadian government to launch AQUADAPT, a four-year project to improve small-scale aquaculture’s climate productivity and sustainability. The partnership aims to develop nature-based solutions to sustainably manage aquatic ecosystems and support robust nutritious systems, quality jobs, and resilient food production in a changing climate. AQUADAPT will include 11 research alliances and 35 institutions across Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

Press release - IDRC

Think tank urges Canada to invest, lead support for Myanmar’s Rohingya minority

June 6, 2024 | Canada | Share this update

On June 6, 2024, Canada’s IRPP called for urgent government action to support Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya minority.

One million Rohingya have sought refuge in Bangladesh, and experts believe that Myanmar’s remaining Rohingya population faces a possible genocide.

In a 2018 report, Canadian special envoy to Myanmar Bob Rae stated that Canada could potentially help prevent a genocide of Myanmar’s Rohingya. However, as the conditions of the group continue to deteriorate amid the ongoing civil war, international leadership on the crisis has been criticized as weak.

The IRPP noted several actions that Canada should take, including demanding greater humanitarian access to the Rohingya and working toward more international support for refugees. The think tank recommended that the Canadian government double the funding it committed to ensuring the delivery of urgently needed lifesaving measures, including food and water, and work directly with local Rohingya-led organizations, rather than being dependent solely on NGOs. It asserted that Canada should also champion the global effort and collaborate with other donor countries to address the crisis.

Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP)

German development minister calls for greater textile recycling, sustainability

June 5, 2024 | Germany | Share this update

On June 5, 2024, German Development Minister Svenja Schulze urged for greater recycling and reuse in the textile industry to protect scarce resources.

Schulze noted that the textile sector accounts for 20% of global freshwater pollution and 10% of CO₂ emissions, surpassing both international aviation and shipping, and that less than 1% of global clothing waste is recycled. She emphasized the necessity of reducing textile waste and enhancing recycling efforts, which could benefit the environment and create jobs in the recycling sector.

Over two-thirds of EU-traded textiles are manufactured in Asia, while nearly half of used EU textiles are disposed of in Africa. Germany's development policy supports sustainable practices in production countries like Bangladesh and Cambodia, aiming to reduce water and chemical use and promote recycling of production scraps. Germany has partnered with import countries, including Ghana, where second-hand markets generate significant textile waste to establish sorting centers to repurpose fabric scraps, develop recycling initiatives, and foster green job creation.

Press release - BMZ (in German)






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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