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.

Munich Security Conference highlights international conflicts, nutritious food systems, SDG financing

February 16, 2024 | Germany, Nutrition, Agriculture, Nutritious Food Systems, Climate, Global Health | Share this update

From February 16-18, 2024, the Munich Security Conference hosted global leaders to discuss pressing issues such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, alongside calls for increased global financial allocation for sustainable developing

The agenda and many side events were dominated by discussions surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

Several statements from high-level individuals focused on the insufficiencies of the current global financial architecture. Among them was UN Secretary General António Guterres, who requested an additional allocation of US$500 billion annually to provide accessible, long-term financing for low- and middle-income nations to invest in achieving the SDGs.

Some CSOs took the opportunity to advocate for the 0.7% financing goal for ODA during the conference, which highlighted uncertainty following Germany's budget crisis, which began in late 2023. The One Campaign issued a statement advocating for the 0.7% target, signed by various influential figures of German politics, including former German President Horst Köhler, former Minister of Development Gerd Müller, and Chair of the Munich Security Conference Christoph Heusgen.

Sustainable food systems was another prominent topic at the conference. The WFP presented its new global Innovation Accelerator office during one of the side events of the conference. The Accelerator is slated to utilize innovation and technology to address food insecurity globally, according to the WFP.

Speech - UNPress release - WFPPress release - ONE Campaign (in German)

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Canada announces US$96 million to Sudan, neighbouring countries amid armed conflict

April 15, 2024 | Canada, Global Health, WASH & Sanitation, Nutritious Food Systems, Gender Equality, Education | Share this update

On April 15, 2024, Canadian Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen participated in the International Humanitarian Conference for Sudan and its Neighbours, where he announced CAD132million (US$96 million) in international assistance funding to Sudan and neighbouring Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, and South Sudan.

The announcement included nearly CAD101 million (US$73 million) in humanitarian assistance and nearly CAD32 million (US$23 million) in development assistance amid the ongoing armed conflict in Sudan. The funding is slated to provide crisis-affected people with emergency health services, food and nutrition assistance, protection services for gender-based violence survivors, and other assistance including shelter, water, and sanitation services. The development assistance will support critical programming in SRHR and education infrastructure.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Civil 7 asks G7 to take concrete action for more peaceful future

April 14, 2024 | Italy, UK, France, Canada, Japan, US, Germany, EUI, Agriculture, Nutritious Food Systems | Share this update

On April 14, 2024, the C7 published a statement ahead of the G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Capri from April 17-19, 2024, where the group called on the foreign ministers to take concrete action to promote human rights as well as the common interests of humanity and the planet.

The C7 advocated that the G7 ministers reaffirm their commitment to developing long-term peace-building strategies that address persistent structural challenges at the basis of conflicts, ensure food security even in fragile settings, and address a profound transformation of food systems. The group also called upon their governmental counterparts to ensure safe and regular migration channels and commit to protecting migrant rights.

C7 Statement to the G7 Foreign Ministers

South Korea announces total of US$3.1 billion in 2023 ODA

April 14, 2024 | South Korea, International development | Share this update

On April 11, 2024, statistics released by the OECD DAC showed that that South Korea provided US$3.1 billion in 2023 ODA, an 11.4% increase compared to 2022.

South Korea's ODA disbursement in 2023 indicated an increase both in bilateral assistance (US$2.3 billion) and multilateral assistance (US$830 million). In particular, contributions to international financial organizations, including the World Bank and IMF, increased. Bilateral assistance increased by 3.4% due to increases in grant assistance (US$1.6 billion) and loans (US$700 million). Multilateral assistance increased by 41.9% due to an increase in contributions to support the pandemic in low-income and vulnerable countries. With the increased multilateral contribution, the South Korean government responded quickly and effectively to the global shortage of development finances and expressed its willingness to contribute to resolving global issues as a global pivotal state.

ODA/GNI was 0.18%, an increase of 0.01% from 2022. As South Korea has expanded the 2024 ODA budget by the largest amount ever (31.1%) to fulfill its role as a global pivotal state amid a tight fiscal environment, 2024’s ODA disbursement is expected to increase significantly.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)News article - Yonhapnews (in Korean)

US provides additonal US$25 million to Uganda for refugee assistance and US$100,000 million emergency assistance to Sudan

April 14, 2024 | US, Nutrition, Education, Global Health | Share this update

On April 11, 2024, the US announced that it will provide an additional US$25 million in assistance to refugees in the Uganda. The resources from both the Department of State and USAID will go to the UN High Commission on Refugees and the WFP.

The resources will be used to support food, health care, and education, as well as other emergency support to refugees whom have fled South Sudan, the DRC, Somalia, and Sudan. The US noted that Uganda has the highest number of refugees in Africa, having received more than 130,000 refugees in 2023.

The US separately called out a 2024 ruling of the Ugandan court, which had upheld a controversial anti-homosexual law, stating that the US was committed to ensuring that all assistance would be delivered without discrimination.

In advance of the Paris International Humanitarian Conference for Sudan and it Neighbors, Power also announced an additional US$100 million in emergency assistance for the 25 million people who have been affected by the civil war in Sudan. Five million people are close to famine and eight million have been displaced. USAID also called out the violence being perpetrated on the people of Sudan by both sides of the armed conflict. The emergency assistance will include food, nutrition, and other services. This brings total US humanitarian assistance for Sudan to over US$1 billion.

Press release - USAIDPress release - USAID

Australian funds partnership platform to assist sustainable rice project developers

April 13, 2024 | Australia, Climate, Agriculture | Share this update

On April 13, 2024, Australia has announced it will invest a further AUD17 million(US$11 million) to extend the BPP through 2028.

Through the BPP, Australia funded a partnership with organization Gold Standard and the International Rice Research Institute to assist sustainable rice project developers. The hub assisted scaling carbon market access within Vietnam and in global markets. It aims to significantly reduce methane emissions and also to provide possibilities for more income for smallholder farmers.

The BPP promotes development by partnering with academia, not-for-profit organizations and businesses to create jobs and increase incomes. It also aims to empower women.

The four countries covered by the program are Vietnam, Samoa, Sri Lanka, and Fiji.

Web Page - Krishakjagat Web Page - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

South Korea elected to WFP, UNICEF executive board

April 12, 2024 | South Korea, Education, Agriculture | Share this update

On April 12, 2024, it was announced that South Korea was elected to the Executive Boards of UNICEF and the WFP for the 2025-2027 term.

The WFP Executive Board provides policy guidance and oversees all activities as the highest decision-making body. South Korea’s third consecutive election to the WFP Executive Board since 2019 reflects its role and contribution to reducing poverty and ending hunger around the world.

South Korea's election to the Executive Board of UNICEF for 2025-2027 marked its tenth consecutive nomination since 1988. The South Korean government will continue to proactively participate in discussions within UNICEF to advance the protection, health, and education of children and adolescents around the world. The government is also slated to further develop the partnership between South Korea and UNICEF.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)News article - Sisafocus (in Korean)

Norway reaches 1% ODA/GNI in 2023

April 12, 2024 | Norway | Share this update

On April 11, 2024, preliminary data from the OECD showed that Norway provided NOK58.6 billion (US$5.4 billion) to development assistance in 2023, or 1.09% ODA/GNI, the only OECD DAC country with more than 1% ODA/GNI.

Norwegian Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim noted that it is important that Norway continues to be a reliable partner with significant contributions to meet increasing needs for humanitarian assistance, development assistance, and climate financing. Tvinnereim also underlined the concern that more countries are failing to meet the UN target of 0.7% ODA/GNI.

According to the OECD's preliminary calculations, Norway's assistance to Ukraine accounted for 14.1% of Norway's development funding, up from 11.3 % of Norwegian development assistance in 2022.

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

Netherlands supports Ukraine with additional US$1.5 billion

April 12, 2024 | Netherlands | Share this update

On April 12, 2024, outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that the Netherlands will make another EUR1.4 billion (US$1.5 billion) available this year to support Ukraine against Russia’s attacks and its recovery efforts.

Rutte announced that EUR1 billion (US$1.1 billion) will be available for military support and EUR400 million (US$435 million) to bolster Ukraine’s economy and for vital repairs to energy infrastructure.

This commitment is in addition to the EUR2 billion (US$2.2 billion) that the Netherlands committed to Ukraine in the form of a guarantee on February 9, 2024.

Rutte further stated that the Ministers of Defense, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, and Finance agreed to make EUR3 billion (US$3.3 billion) available for military support in 2025.

Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte (in Dutch)

USAID Administrator defends FY2025 budget proposal; states that famine in Gaza is underway

April 12, 2024 | US | Share this update

On April 12, 2024, USAID Administrator Samantha Power testified before both chambers of Congress, making the case for the Biden Adminstration's FY2025 budget for USAID, which comprises US$28.3 billion in accounts that are either fully or partially managed by USAID.

Powers testified that in light of the humanitarian needs across the globe, USAID will need both the US$10 billion in the proposed budget along with the pending supplemental request of US$10 billion. She defended the rest of the budget request, while acknowledging that the proposed cuts in the FY2025 budget will have serious implications for USAID's development allocations.

In the testimony, Power also responded to questions about the conflict in Gaza. She stated that, based on a report from IPC, a famine was underway in Gaza, marking the first time a senior US official identified the food crisis in Gaza as a famine. Power faced protests from spectators in the hearing room.

News article - The New York TimesWeb Page - US Senate Foreign Relations CommitteeWeb Page - US House Committee on AppropriationsNews article - Devex

Liesje Schreinemacher returns as Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation

April 12, 2024 | Netherlands | Share this update

On April 12, 2024, the Royal House of the Netherlands announced that as of April 15, 2024, Liesje Schreinemacher will return from maternity leave and resume her role as Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

Schreinemacher started her maternity leave on December 4, 2023. Since then, Geoffrey van Leeuwen has temporarily taken on the role of Minister.

News article - Royal House of the Netherlands (in Dutch)

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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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