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.

Norway allocates US$4 million to seed diversity fund

September 16, 2022 | Norway, Agriculture, Climate | Share this update

On September 16, 2022, Norway announced it will allocate NOK40 million (US$4 million) to the Benefit-sharing Fund, which was established by the International Treaty’s Governing Body and managed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The funding from Norway will especially target projects strengthening farmers' access to a variety of crops and the development of robust and nutritious crops. The donation was announced in the leadup to the meeting of International Plant Treaty Members in India from September 19 - 24, 2022.

The Norwegian Minister of International Development, Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, said that the cultivation of nutritious crops such as millet, chickpeas, and sorghum will be important in shoring up global food production in the face of climate change. Tvinnereim also noted the importance of cultivating varieties of corn, that are adapted to local conditions.

The Benefit-sharing Fund is part of the international collaboration to manage the diversity of the world's cultivated plants. Norwegian Minister of Food and Agriculture Sandra Borch said the increased Norwegian support will give new energy to international cooperation efforts to preserve seed diversity. The funding will also help develop local value chains by empowering farmers to make informed decisions on the varieties of crops they grow.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian)

Press release - Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian) (in Norwegian)

Trending Topics

UN General Assembly

78th UN General Assembly Pre-Read

September 5, 2023 | Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Climate, Global Health

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May 8, 2023 | Spain, Climate

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January 5, 2023 | UK, Climate, Agriculture, Nutrition

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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

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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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Sweden outlines development priorities

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.

Speech - Sweden's National Statement at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Italy criticizes German NGO financing

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.

News article - Corriere della sera (in Italian)

France pledges US$150 million for IFAD

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.

News article - Le Monde (in French)Press release - French Presidency

Japan receives calls to strengthen ODA commitment

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.

News article - Yomiuri Shimbun (in Japanese)

Norway pledges US$93 million to enhance food security

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.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian)

Canada announces US$510 million in additional support for Ukraine

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:

  • CAD650 million (US$479 million) in military assistance to supply Ukraine with 50 armored vehicles;
  • CAD8 million (US$6 million) in peace and security assistance to strengthen nuclear security measures, enhance resilience against cyberattacks, and promote recovery and stabilization initiatives; and
  • CAD34 million (US$25 million) in development assistance for four multi-year initiatives supporting mental health, agriculture, infrastructure, and technical assistance for an inclusive recovery process.

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.

Press release - Office of the Prime Minister of Canada

USAID announces US$23 million for TB

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.

Press release - USAID

Netherlands reiterates UHC commitment

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.

Twitter - Dutch UN representativeGovernment document - Dutch GovernmentNews article - WHOConference statement - United NationsJoint NGO Statement

Norway centers global health at General Assembly

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.

News article - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Norwegian)

Canada pledges US$314 million to SDGs

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:

  • CAD125 million (US$92 million) to support projects in line that advance quality education, health care, and gender equality, including SRHR;
  • CAD78 million (US$57 million) to UN programs including UNICEF, UN Women, UNFPA, and UNDP;
  • CAD169 million (US$125 million) to promote global climate adaptation and leadership, with a focus on women and girls;
  • CAD7 million (US$5 million) to combat illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing and support ocean governance and protection; and
  • CAD48 million (US$35 million) to promote stability and sustainable development in Haiti, with a focus on child nutrition and enhancing the justice system.

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.

Press release - Office of the Prime Minister of CanadaPress release - Office of the Prime Minister of Canada






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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