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.
November 16, 2023 | South Korea | Share this update
On November 15, 2023, the South Korean Office for International Development Cooperation held a policy briefing session where Deputy Minister for Development Policy and Planning Kyung Pil Han highlighted a vision for South Korean ODA.
The session took place during 2023 Development Cooperation Week and aimed to enhance communication among key development-related ministries. Development Cooperation Week, from November 20 to 24, annually celebrates the week that South Korea became a DAC member state.
The ODA budget for 2024 was set at a record high of KRW6.5 trillion (US$5.3 billion), more than doubling ODA levels from 2019. ODA is considered to be a driving force for South Korea’s own development, functioning in a positive feedback cycle. Han addressed concerns about reduced assistance effectiveness or budget duplication by assuring that his office is aware of the concerns and is continuously implementing improvement measures.
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December 5, 2023 | Spain | Share this update
On December 5, 2023, Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union, and Cooperation José Manuel Albares, appointed Eva Granados as the new State Secretary for International Cooperation.
Granados, born in 1975, is a politician and member of the governing PSOE. She holds degrees in political science and public administration.
December 5, 2023 | Sweden, Nutrition, Education, Agriculture, Agricultural R&D, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, WASH & Sanitation, Global Health | Share this update
On December 5, 2023, Sweden announced an additional SEK149 million (US$14 million) to address the escalating needs of the civilian population in Sudan amid ongoing armed conflict, which erupted in April and has severely impacted living conditions.
The additional funding brought Sweden's humanitarian assistance to Sudan in 2023 to SEK355 million (US$34 million). The assistance package is channeled through Sida and detailed the following allocations:
December 4, 2023 | Norway, Agricultural R&D, Climate | Share this update
On December 4, 2023, Norway announced that it will commit NOK100 million (US$9 million) to the LDC Fund to strengthen the capacity of LDCs to meet climate challenges.
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the four focus areas of the fund's strategy align well with the five pillars of the Norwegian climate adaptation strategy. Norwegian Minister for International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim emphasized the importance of early warning systems, climate services, nature-based solutions, and climate-resilient food production and infrastructure.
December 3, 2023 | UK, Climate | Share this update
On December 3, 4, and 5, 2023, the UK government made an array of financing announcements at COP28, including GBP100 million (US$119 million) to climate adaptation in vulnerable countries and GBP480 million (US$575 million) in investments to leverage private sector funding for adaptation and resilience.
The UK’s GBP100 million (US$119 million) announcement to climate-vulnerable countries included:
The GBP480 million (US$575 million) investments to green private financing included:
The UK also announced its first African Climate Resilient Debt Clause for Senegal, allowing Senegal to pause debt repayments in the wake of a climate disaster to promote speedy recovery.
The UK further endorsed the new Global Climate Finance Framework at COP28, calling for reform of international financial institutions to ensure improved equity, efficacy, and greater resources.
Finally, the UK confirmed the launch of Climate Investment Funds Capital Market Mechanism in 2024. The mechanism was originally announced in 2021 under the UK’s COP26 Presidency. The launch of the mechanism comes after in-depth work on its specific financing mechanism design. The bonds are hoped to generate up to US$750 million per year in new climate finance and US$7.5 billion over the next decade.
December 3, 2023 | Norway, Agriculture | Share this update
On December 3, 2023, the Norwegian government and the opposition SV announced an agreement on Norway's 2024 state budget, which fell NOK2.1 billion (US$196 million) short of achieving the government's goal of 1% ODA/GNI to international development.
Negotiations on the 2024 state budget have been ongoing since November 13, 2023.
The agreement included an allocation of an additional NOK1 billion (US$93 million) to climate and forestry investments. This was the only change in the budget for international development.
Leader of the SV Kirsti Bergstø underlined that she believes it to be the governing party’s responsibility to achieve 1% ODA/GNI. Bergstø had previously announced that SV would not save 1% ODA/GNI at all costs during the budget negotiations. The SV argued that the government had previously stated the intention to commit 1% ODA/GNI to the UN SDGs, and that it was not the SV's duty to enforce the pledge.
Several public figures criticized the fact that the SV did not prioritize the 1% ODA/GNI target in negotiations.
Secretary-General of Norwegian Church Aid, which initially reported the funding shortfall, Dagfinn Høybråten described the agreement as deeply disappointing and incomprehensible. He underlined multiple extraordinary and intersecting global crises, including widespread war and conflict, a global food crisis, and a climate crisis requiring immediate action. Høybråten noted that Norway has enormous additional income from oil sales, putting it in a unique financial state to undertake development action. He asserted that in light of this, Norway should give significantly more 1% of GNI to international development rather than reducing its ambitions.
Secretary-General of Save the Children Birgitte Lange shared a similar disappointment. She argued that global extreme poverty is increasing and threatening increasing numbers of children. Lange also expressed disappointment that the SV did not use its negotiating power to push for more funding to international development.
Deputy leader of the Liberal Party Sveinung Rotevatn, which is a traditional ally of the SV in prioritizing international development, expressed his approval that the government and the SV committed to strengthening funding to welfare services in Norway. He noted, however, that he believes that Norway, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, should be able to allocate 1% of GNI to development.
December 3, 2023 | Agriculture, Gender Equality, Agricultural R&D, Climate | Share this update
On December 3, 2023, during the opening days of COP28, USAID announced a number of additional investments in a range of agricultural-climate investments to promote food security through the US' flagship program Feed the Future.
The largest announcement was an additional US$100 million for CGIAR through 2026 to support innovations in climate-smart agricultural efforts. The pledge brought total US commitments to CGIAR to US$215 million.
USAID stated that it will prioritize efforts to address climate-related agricultural issues, including innovations for smallholder farmers, a focus on climate-resilient crops, improving irrigation and water management systems, addressing gender inequalities, and reducing food waste and emissions.
December 2, 2023 | Spain, France, EUI | Share this update
On December 2, 2023, during the opening days of COP28, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, France, Kenya, Spain, and the African Union Commission, with the European Commission as an observer, jointly launched a new taskforce on international taxation.
The taskforce is the result of discussions initiated at the June 2023 Paris Summit for a New Financing Pact and the September 2023 African Climate Summit, held in Nairobi.
The taskforce was announced with the goal to identify innovative finance mechanisms and mobilize new, additional, predictable and adequate financial resources for development, climate change and the protection of biodiversity. It is intended to ensure that all economic sectors, particularly those with a low tax burden, contribute a fair share to climate financing according to respective greenhouse gas emission levels.
The taskforce is planned to analyze various taxation options, such as a global carbon tax regime, a carbon tax on the fossil fuel trade, shipping, and aviation, as well as a global Financial Transaction Tax.
The members of the coalition mobilized around the taskforce stated their openness to cooperation with other countries and CSOs. The taskforce will be supported by the European Climate Foundation.
The next steps for the taskforce were listed as:
December 2, 2023 | Netherlands, EUI, Germany, US, Japan, UK, Climate | Share this update
On December 2, 2023, during the opening days of COP28, outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Rutte announced a commitment of EUR15 million (US$16 million) to help establish the Loss and Damage Fund.
The EUI pledged US$125 million, Germany and the UAE each pledged US$100 million, the UK pledged GBP60 million (US$78 million), the US pledged US$18 million, and Japan pledged US$10 million. The total funds surpass the US$400 million needed to initiate the establishment and operation of the Loss and Damage Fund.
Dutch NGO ActionAid Netherlands responded by commenting that while the pledge is a fair initial contribution to the fund, it is far from a "fair share" for the Netherlands when based on the country’s emissions levels.
December 2, 2023 | Sweden, France, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, EUI, Climate | Share this update
On December 2, 2023, the EU institutions, the EIB, the EBRD, and the Member States that comprise Team Europe pledged EUR20 billion (US$21.8 billion) for clean energy partnerships with African partners.
The funding announcement listeed EUR3.4 billion (US$3.7 billion) in grants and covered the period from 2021-2027. The project, AEGEI, aims to produce over 50 Gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030.
12 EU Member States contributed to the funding. No language regarding specific partner countries was included in the announcement.
December 2, 2023 | Italy, Climate | Share this update
On December 2, 2023, at COP28, Italy signed a Memorandum of Understanding underlining future climate cooperation between Italy and Ethiopia, which committed approximately EUR7 million (US$8 million) from Italy's Ministry of Environment and Energy Security to projects for CO2 reduction and climate adaptation.
The signing occurred during a meeting between Italian Minister of Environment and Energy Security Gilberto Pichetto-Fratin and Ethiopian Minister of Planning and Development Fitsum Assefa.
US$ 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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