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.

Italy, UNESCO allocate US$2 million to Jordanian cultural heritage preservation

August 24, 2023 | Italy | Share this update

On August 24, 2023, the Italian Ambassador to Jordan Luciano Pezzotti, UNESCO Representative in Jordan Min Jeong Kim, and AICS representatives announced a EUR2 million (US$2 million) project to protect cultural heritage in Petra and Wadi Rum, Jordan.

The two-year initiative is titled "Local Communities and Sustainable Tourism in Petra and Wadi Rum". It aims to relieve tourism pressure on the World Heritage sites and involve local communities, particularly women and youth, in their preservation for future generations.

Pezzotti underscored the importance of cultural heritage preservation as one of Italy's ODA priorities and the value of cultural assets in international cooperation.

News article - The Jordan Times

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UK announces MDB financing guarantees

September 19, 2023 | UK, Education, Climate, Gender Equality | Share this update

On September 19, 2023, UK Foreign Minister James Cleverly called for a more inclusive international financial system and announced a series of new UK financial guarantees to unlock further funding from MDBs at the 78th UN General Assembly.

The guarantees included:

  • US$300 million to IFCAP: The UK estimates that this will unlock a further US$1.2 to US$1.8 billion in climate financing over the next 5 years. IFCAP is a multi-donor financing partnership facility set up by the ADB, with the goal of scaling up finance for action against climate change in Asia and the Pacific; and
  • GBP180 million (US$215 million) in support to the IFFE: GBP95 million (US$113 million) will be provided as grants and paid-in capital, as well as GBP85 million (US$101 million) in contingent guarantees. The UK hopes this will unlock up to US$1 billion in affordable education finance.

The UK also announced GBP17 million (US$20 million) to improve tax systems in developing countries to help ensure countries have more sustainable public finances and to close tax loopholes. The UK estimated that this could raise an additional US$260 billion in financing.

Finally, the UK also announced that it will join and provide additional disaster risk financing support for the Caribbean, a region particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. The Foreign Secretary is slated to announce that the UK will join CCRIF SPC to establish an affordable insurance scheme to increase the resilience of vital WASH services and provide additional support for the Caribbean.

Press release - UK government

EU launches Business Advisory Group

September 18, 2023 | EUI, Climate, Education | Share this update

On September 18, 2023, EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen announced the formation of a forum for European private entities to support the Commission's Global Gateway initiative.

Launched at a sideline event of the SDG Summit, the initiative was intended to bolster private engagement and partnerships in EU development initiatives. Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen and Urpilainen predicted that the group will increase the impact of development partnerships across sectors, particularly education, digitization, and renewable energies.

Members were appointed to serve three-year terms, and comprised a mix of small- to large enterprises and trade groups.

Press release - EU Commission

Italy meets with Balkans ministers, outlines priorities

September 18, 2023 | | Share this update

On September 18, 2023, Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Antonio Tajani met with the Foreign Ministers of Albania, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia to underline the importance of ensuring stability in the Balkans and promoting joint efforts to address irregular migration, combat human trafficking, and dismantle criminal organizations.

Tajani suggested convening biannual ministerial-format meetings to facilitate regular discussions on matters of common interest. He also pledged to further advance European regional integration and establish a working group known as "Friends of the Western Balkans."

Tajani also engaged with counterparts from Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia to discuss socioeconomic challenges and migration issues in the Horn of Africa, as well as potential regional collaborations. He emphasized Italy's interest in strengthening economic cooperation with the region. Initial trade data from 2023 indicate a 23% growth in trade compared to 2022, which totaled EUR300 million (US$320 million).

Tajani will attend the UN General Assembly from September 17-22 in New York, USA. He noted that Africa and the Western Balkans are the highest priority of the Italian agenda. He also underscored the significant attention that the 2024 Italian Presidency of the G7 will devote to the African continent, particularly the Horn of Africa.

Press release - Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (in Italian)

Germany presents SDG contributions

September 18, 2023 | Germany | Share this update

On September 18, 2023, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Development Minister Svenja Schulze, and Environment Minister Steffi Lemke highlighted Germany's 12 key contributions towards achieving the SDGs at the SDG Summit in New York, USA.

Schulze highlighted German priorities, including World Bank reform, debt restructuring, and gender equality. Lemke noted that Germany continues to embrace an ambitious implementation approach to the 2030 Agenda and stressed Germany's environmental contributions and work towards strengthening ecosystem resilience.

Germany's 12 key contributions cover issues across the 17 SDGs, including funding for vaccine production in partner countries and commitments to the Pandemic Fund, a commitment to ensuring 93% of funding benefits gender equality, and increased biodiversity funding commitments. Lemke is set to announce a commitment of the BMUV to the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund.

Press release - BMZ press release 2023 SDG summit (in German)Conference statement - 12 key contributions for the 2023 SDG Summit (in German)

UK launches AI program, summit at UNGA

September 18, 2023 | UK, US | Share this update

On September 18, 2023, UK Foreign Minister James Cleverly and the US co-convened an AI event in the margins of the 78th UN General Assembly and launched a new GBP1 million (US$1 million) AI for Development program.

Cleverly noted that AI provides an immense opportunity for R&D and will be vital to accelerating drug discovery and predicting food insecurity. He called for national governments to come together in a global approach to AI and highlighted the forthcoming UK-hosted AI summit in November 2023.

Cleverly also launched a new AI for Development program in partnership with Canada’s International Development Research Centre, which is slated to help LICs build local AI skills and boost innovation to end poverty, improve education and support food security.

The UK announced a GBP1 million (US$1 million) investment in the Complex Risk Analytics Fund. The fund will work with the UN and international partners to harness the power of AI to predict and prevent conflicts and humanitarian crises.

Press release - UK government

EU, UN Women launch GBV prevention initiative

September 18, 2023 | EUI, Gender Equality | Share this update

On September 18, 2023, EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen approved the Advocacy, Coalition Building and Transformative Feminist Action to End Violence against Women on the sidelines of the 78th UN General Assembly.

Valued at EUR22 million (US$24 million), the initiative is intended to increase the impact of investments to end GBV by bolstering front-line gender equality organizations.

The program aimed to increase the interconnectivity of development organizations working in the gender equality and women's empowerment spaces and support the formation of accessible and effective multi-stakeholder partnerships.

The program was designed to be launched with partners in LAC and Africa.

Press release - European Commission

Norway, US launch agricultural SME fund in Africa

September 18, 2023 | Norway, US, Agriculture | Share this update

On September 18, 2023, Norwegian Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim and USAID Administrator Samantha Power launched Financing for Agricultural SMEs in Africa, a new multi-donor fund designed to unlock financing for agricultural SMEs on the African continent.

The fund was announced at an event with Power, Tvinnerim, US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, Kenyan President William Ruto, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, US International Development Finance Corporation CEO Scott Nathan, and Acumen CEO Jacqueline Novogratz.

Tvinnereim stated that Norway will provide an initial commitment of US$35 million through the Norad. The US will contribute with a matching commitment through USAID.

Norway and the US aim to reach a total of US$200 million through additional donor contributions, potentially catalyzing millions more in commercial financing by reducing investment risk.

The fund was suggested to have the capacity to support 500 agricultural SMEs and 1.5 million smallholder farmers, benefiting approximately 7.5 million people. The fund will also support approximately 60,000 private sector jobs.

The fund is the first mechanism with the aim of mobilizing private capital on a large scale exclusively for the agricultural sector in Africa. Ruto gave the fund a warm welcome and underlined that investments in agriculture in Africa were the most effective way to reduce poverty.

Tvinnereim noted that the fund will reduce risk for private investors and trigger more private capital. She described the fund as an important step towards self-sufficiency and reduced import dependence for African partner countries.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian)News article - Panorama nyheter (in Norwegian)

NGO report finds UN gender equality goal out of reach

September 15, 2023 | Netherlands, Gender Equality | Share this update

On September 15, 2023, Dutch NGO Plan International published a report titled "Goals Off Target: Accelerating the SDGs with girls and young women", which found that 85% of SDG gender equality indicators fell behind schedule for the 2030 SDG deadline.

The report was based on a sample of 26 countries. It highlighted the effects of ongoing conflict, conservative politics, and climate change in reversing progress on SDG #5.

The report found that:

  • Physical and sexual violence against girls and women increased in the majority of the sample countries;
  • The number of girls who fall victim to genital mutilation remains high despite progress in some countries; and
  • All countries failed to sufficiently implement legislation promoting gender equality.

The report called on the development community to make more determined and practical efforts to challenge harmful societal norms at all levels of society. It also noted that greater investments in women-led collective action and a clearer focus on local implementation could magnify the grassroots impact of the SDGs.

The report was published in anticipation of the UNGA SDG Summit, which is slated to take place on September 18 and 19 in New York, USA.

Press release - Plan International press release (in Dutch)Report - Report: Goals Off Target: Accelerating the SDGs with Girls and Young Women

Japan provides US$14 million for food security

September 15, 2023 | Japan, Agriculture | Share this update

Throughout the month of September 2023, the Japanese government made a series of commitments totaling JPY2 billion (US$14 million) to promote food security in seven countries.

The funds were allocated as follows:

  • JPY300 million (US$2 million) to Guinea to improve food security and nutritional conditions through the WFP;
  • JPY200 million (US$1.4 million) to Palestine to improve food security through the WFP;
  • JPY150 million (US$1 million) to Cabo Verde to support rice donations and to improve food security;
  • JPY250 million (US$1.7 million) to the Central African Republic to improve food security and promote development through the WFP;
  • JPY200 million (US$1.4 million) to Cameroon to improve food security and promote development through the WFP;
  • JPY280 million (US$1.9 million) to Uzbekistan for the construction of a climate-resilient agricultural system in the Aral Sea region; and
  • JPY602 million (US$4.1 million) to Mauritania to improve food security and support the fishing industry.

Japan reaffirmed its commitment to addressing the ongoing food crisis exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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

Canada announces US$4 million for Libya flood assistance

September 15, 2023 | Canada, Nutrition, Global Health | Share this update

On September 15, 2023, Canadian Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen announced CAD5 million (US$4 million) in humanitarian assistance for populations who have been impacted and displaced by the September 11 flooding in Libya.

The funding from Canada is slated to assist humanitarian partners deliver immediate life-saving assistance, including emergency health and WASH services, as well as shelter and non-food items.

This funding adds to the US$10 million allocated to this crisis through the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, to which Canada is a key donor.

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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