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.

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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

European Commission earmarks US$27 million to Palestinian Authority, US$17 million to UNRWA

May 31, 2024 | EUI, Global Health, Education | Share this update

On May 31, 2024, the European Commission approved a second allocation of EUR25 million (US$27 million) to the Palestinian Authority, and granted EUR16 million (US$17 million) to UNRWA to provide basic services, such as health and education, to Palestinian refugees.

The funds allocated to the Palestinian Authority, as part of the PEGASE program, is intended to help the Palestinian Authority meet its commitments to pay salaries and pensions to civil servants in the West Bank. The payment is the second tranche of the EUR118 million (US$126 million) development assistance package approved in December 2023.

The European Commission authorized the EUR16 million (US$17 million) to UNRWA after assessing progress towards reform recommendations. The disbursement brings the total EU ODA to UNRWA in 2024 to EUR66 million (US$70 million), out of a total projected EUR82 million (US$88 million) for the year.

Press release - European Commission

EIB Global allocates US$27 million to Amethis Fund III

May 29, 2024 | EUI, Gender Equality, Global Health, Climate | Share this update

On May 29, 2024, the global arm of the EIB committed EUR25 million (US$27 million) to Amethis Fund III, a pan-African fund that supports the growth of medium-sized companies in Africa.

The fund focuses on companies providing goods and services to low and middle-income populations in sectors such as healthcare, business services such as logistics and IT, manufacturing and distribution, agribusiness, consumer goods, non-banking financial services, infrastructure, and energy.

The EIB Global investment aligns with the EU's Global Gateway strategy to promote economic development in sub-Saharan Africa. The fund will implement an impact strategy that addresses issues essential to the sustainable development of the continent, such as gender equality, sustainable employment with an emphasis on health coverage and climate considerations.

Press release - EIB

G7 finance ministers call on donors to coordinate efforts, increase investments

May 25, 2024 | UK, France, Canada, Japan, US, Italy, Germany, EUI, Global Health, Climate, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Nutritious Food Systems | Share this update

On May 23-25, 2024, the G7 Ministers of Finance met at a summit in Stresa, Italy, where the ministers voiced support for contributions to the IDA, WHO, Gavi, and the Global Fund in the resulting communiqué.

The G7 ministers supported efforts towards a successful 21st replenishment of the IDA by the end of 2024 through an ambitious policy and financing package. Notably, they did not give a concrete signal that the critical US$100 billion threshold requested by the World Bank will be crossed, nor any indication of the US$120 billion expected by African leaders.

The ministers reaffirmed their dedication to strengthening the governance and finance of the global health architecture and voiced support for refinancing processes of several GHIs, such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the WHO, and the Global Fund, and expressed support for the Pandemic Fund. The communiqué called on the donor community to coordinate efforts and increase investments in global health in line with their capacities to ensure sustainable funding and maximize the impact of available resources.

Following the summit, the C7 pointed out the G7's lack of ambition and financial commitment to international development, including climate adaptation. International civil society organizations criticized the lack of any reference to allocating SDRs to global solidarity.

G7 Ministers of FinanceC7 statement

US starts delivery of humanitarian assistance through temporary pier in Gaza

May 17, 2024 | US, UK, EUI, Nutrition, Nutritious Food Systems, WASH & Sanitation | Share this update

On May 17, 2024, it was announced that the US has begun to deliver needed humanitarian assistance through a temporary pier into Gaza, which it characterized as a supplemental channel for emergency assistance and not a substitute for land deliveries.

This effort is being led by USAID and the US Department of Defense, and involves Cyprus, Israel, the UN, the UAE, the UK, and the EU. The conflict conditions in Gaza have engendered a dire need for food, shelter, medicine, and other emergency assistance.

The decision to set up the humanitarian maritime corridor was motivated in part by the slow delivery of humanitarian assistance into Gaza. Assistance delivered by truck has been reduced to approximately 100 trucks a day since the beginning of the conflict, approximately one-sixth of full operation. USAID's initial contributions through the pier will be hundreds of metric tons a day, including nutrient rich food for the most vulnerable children and adults. Other assistance includes shelter, water, and hygiene kits.

Press release - USAID

Team Europe provides US$44 million for clean energy in Nepal

May 17, 2024 | Germany, EUI, Climate | Share this update

On May 17, 2024, Team Europe and Nepal announced an EUR65 million (US$70 million) partnership to increase electrical connectivity in rural areas surrounding Kathmandu.

Co-financed with an EUR25 million (US$27 million) loan from the EIB, EUR14 million (US$15 million) from the KfW, and EUR1 million (US$1 million) from the EU, the project will support infrastructure development linking Kathmandu and outlying municipalities.

The project also aims to increase access to electricity from renewable energies, including hydropower from the Trishuli river. In total, the river has to potential to provide up to 650 megawatts with capacity improvements from current projects.

Press release - European Commission

Germany advances ratification of EU - Africa trade agreements

May 15, 2024 | EUI, Germany | Share this update

On May 15, 2024, the German cabinet, led by Development Minister Svenja Schulze, moved to ratify four EU trade agreements with Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, and the Southern African Development Community, aiming to strengthen economic ties and support sustainable development.

The trade agreements, also known as Economic Partnership Agreements, aim to establish long-term, equitable trade relationships between the EU and its African partners. While already ratified by the African countries, full implementation requires approval from all EU member states, including the German Parliament.

Schulze emphasized the importance of these partnerships amid increasing competition from China and Russia. The agreements aim to diversify trade and reduce Germany's dependence on specific economic powers, including provisions for development cooperation and economic growth support for African nations. The agreements also ensure duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market for African partners, who will gradually reduce tariffs on EU imports. Special measures are included to protect local industries and account for the economic conditions of the African countries involved.

Press release - BMZ (in German)Press release - European Commission

C7 releases international civil society communiqué around seven key issues

May 15, 2024 | Italy, Germany, EUI, Japan, Canada, US, France, UK, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Nutritious Food Systems, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, Family Planning, WASH & Sanitation, Climate, Global Health | Share this update

On May 14-15, 2024, the C7 summit was held at the UN FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, organized by the Italian Civil Society Coalition that led, coordinated, and moderated the C7 2024 process.

Approximately 400 global representatives took part in the event, as well as international decision-makers, including FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu, Italian G7 sherpa Ambassador Elisabetta Belloni, Cardinal, President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Pope’s envoy for the Russian-Ukrainian conflict Matteo Maria Zuppi, and Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign Marina Ponti.

The official C7 communiqué that listed the international civil society recommendation to the G7’s Leaders around seven key issues was released at the event, which included:

  • Economic justice and transformation;
  • Climate, energy transformation, and environmental justice;
  • Global health;
  • Principled humanitarian assistance;
  • Peace, common security, and nuclear disarmament;
  • Human mobility and migration; and
  • Food justice and food systems transformation.
C7 communiqué

US joins others to support African-led agricultural growth

May 10, 2024 | Ireland, Canada, US, Netherlands, Germany, UK, France, EUI, Agriculture | Share this update

On May 10, 2024, USAID joined the AU Commissioner and 14 other partners in a statement of support for the African Fertilizer and Soil Health Action Plan at an AU-led soil health summit.

The US also announced US$40 million for the Space in Place approach, which is meant to support farmers with geospatial data and knowledge to ensure the best use of fertilizer for more nutritious foods.

Others joining the statement included the ADB, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, France, the World Bank, France, Canada, the EU, Germany, the Netherlands, the Rockefeller Foundation, Germany, and the UK. Commitments included improved investment policies, more access to fertilizers, enhancing soil inputs and interventions, and building capacity for soil health and fertilizer management.

Press release - USAID

EU pledges US$1.1 billion for Lebanon from 2024-27

May 2, 2024 | EUI, Education, Global Health | Share this update

On May 2, 2024, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the EU would provide EUR1 billion (US$1.1 billion) to Lebanon from 2024-27.

Von der Leyen made the pledge during a visit to Beirut. The support primarily focuses on health and education, as well as banking and governance reforms.

The pledge comes at a time when EU funding is under scrutiny for its emphasis on curbing migration, specifically as the bloc reallocates funding to EU border control, rather than support for partner countries.

Press release - European Commission

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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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