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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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

German Finance Ministry plans signal further reductions to BMZ

April 2, 2024 | Germany | Share this update

On April 2, 2024, proposed cuts to the German BMZ's budget by Finance Minister Christian Lindner prompted debate and resistance from Development Minister Svenja Schulze, highlighting differing perspectives on global development assistance commitments.

The outcome of these negotiations holds significant implications for Germany's stance on international development amid fiscal challenges and coalition tensions. Lindner outlined stringent austerity measures for the upcoming year, particularly targeting the BMZ. Recent leaked directives from Lindner's office to the BMZ revealed a budget ceiling of EUR9.9 billion (US$10.7 billion), significantly lower than the previously anticipated allocation of EUR10.3 billion (US$11.2 billion) for 2025. The drastic reduction follows a trend of diminishing budgets for German development assistance, with allocations dropping from EUR12.16 billion (US$11.6 billion) in 2023 to EUR11.2 billion (US$12.1 billion) in the current year.

The proposed cuts sparked outrage within BMZ and among humanitarian organizations, raising concerns about Germany's commitment to global development. The austerity measures also risk violating the coalition agreement, which stipulates at least 0.7% ODA/GNI. Lindner's directives cast doubt on the German government's ability to meet this target.

Schulze vehemently opposed the proposed cuts, emphasizing Germany's moral obligation to address global challenges. She asserted that neglecting ODA could have severe repercussions, not only ethically but also economically, especially for a nation reliant on international trade. Schulze is expected to challenge the imposed budget ceiling, setting the stage for potential conflict within the coalition government.

As the deadline for budget submissions approaches on April 19, 2024, tensions are mounting within the governing coalition ( SPD, FDP, and the Greens). The Finance Ministry's rigid stance on budget constraints threatens to exacerbate existing discord, with potential repercussions for the government's fiscal policies. The outcome of these negotiations will be critical, as the cabinet aims to finalize the budget proposal by July 3, 2024.

News article - Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German)

UNDP and BMZ present report on human development

March 27, 2024 | Germany, International development | Share this update

On March 18, 2024, Chairman of the German United Nations Association Dr. Ekkehard Griep, Development Minister Svenja Schulze, representing the BMZ, and Head of the UNDP Achim Steiner invited the press and other stakeholders to the presentation of the UN Human Development Report 2023/24 in Berlin, which concluded that the half of the poorest countries continue to regress in their development.

The report, titled Breaking the Stalemate: Rethinking Collaboration in a Polarized World underscored a concerning disparity in global human development, as revealed by the HDI. Despite an overall increase in the HDI, there is a pronounced gap between HICs and low- and middle-income countries. While HICs are witnessing unprecedented levels of development, half of the world's LICs are struggling to reach pre-pandemic living standards.

The imbalance is exacerbated by substantial economic consolidation, with a disproportionate amount of global trade and wealth concentrated in a handful of nations. The report highlighted a reversal in the trend of reducing inequalities between HICs and LICs since the turn of the century, despite the growing interconnectedness of global societies.

To address these challenges, the report emphasized the need for renewed international cooperation and a shift towards more equitable collaboration. Multilateral efforts were deemed crucial in tackling pressing issues such as climate change, economic disparities, and technological advancements. Efforts to combat political polarization and misinformation were underscored as essential for fostering a more inclusive and sustainable global future.

Press release - BMZ (in German)Report - UNDP

BMZ and AA provide US$49 million for UNRWA

March 25, 2024 | Germany, Education, Nutritious Food Systems, Global Health | Share this update

On March 25, 2024, it was announced that the BMZ and AA are providing an additional US$49 million to UNRWA for its work in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank

The BMZ has earmarked US$24 million to aid Palestinian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. Among these funds, US$16 million will be allocated to bolster essential health and educational services for Palestinian refugees in both countries, while an additional US$8 million will support the "Cash for Work" initiative benefiting Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Concurrently, the AA committed US$25 million to provide assistance to Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, along with delivering crucial food assistance in the West Bank.

The financial pledges form part of Germany's ongoing commitment to provide regional support to the UNRWA. The German government underscored that decisions regarding the continuation of its support for UNRWA operations in Gaza will be contingent upon the progress of ongoing review and investigation procedures.

Press release - BMZ (in German)

EU provides US$290 million for social services in Latin America, Caribbean

March 21, 2024 | Sweden, France, Spain, Germany, EUI, Global Health | Share this update

On March 21, 2024, the EU announced a contribution of EUR268 million (USS$290 million) at the EU - LAC High-Level Event on Inclusive Human Development and Equitable Access to Health Products.

Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Uprilainen announced the investment, made in cooperation with France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, and Sweden. The finance aims to mobilize EUR1 billion (US$1 billion) to support access to basic social services and rights and increase the transparency and accountability of government agencies.

The contribution was made in line with broader :abbrEU - CELAC cooperation, which aims to mobilize over EUR45 billion (US$49 billion) from 2024-2027 to support the SDGs and other efforts in the region.

Press release - EU Commission

Team Europe launches health partnerships at EU-AU event

March 20, 2024 | EUI, Sweden, France, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Global Health | Share this update

On March 20, 2024, the EU and the Belgian Council presidency announced a joint contribution of EUR14 million (US$15 million) for the African Medicines Agency and launched three global health partnership programs.

The support, announced at the high-level event on EUAU partnership on Global Health for equitable access, comprised EUR10 million (US$11 million) from the Commission and EUR4 million (US$4 million) from Belgium. The support aims to advance the establishment of the African Medicines Agency, particularly as an end to strengthening vaccine production and health innovation.

In addition, the event marked the launch of three Team Europe initiatives on:

  • Sustainable Health Security, which aims to increase PPR among African partner countries, with a specific focus on AMR and other infectious diseases, and will receive EUR128 million (US$129 million) from the 2021-2027 budget;
  • Support to Public Health Institutes in Africa, which aims to bolster UHC and reduce health access inequalities and received an allocation of EUR50 million (US$54 million) from 2024-2027; and
  • Digital Health, focusing on reducing health disparities and advancing UHC and PPR through technological and practical innovation, which received EUR87 million (US$94 million) from 2024-2027.
Press release - EU CommissionPress release - EU Commission

Germany highlights global governance reform

February 26, 2024 | Germany | Share this update

On February 26, 2024, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock delivered a speech following the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting surrounding 'global governance reform'.

The G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from February, 21-22, 2024.

Her speech highlighted:

  • The importance of modernizing multilateral institutions, including the World Bank and the IMF;
  • The need to align G20 efforts with the UN's Pact for the Future;
  • The reform of the international financial architecture, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the climate crisis and economic transformation. Baerbock highlighted support for initiatives like the recent World Bank reform and the reform of the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism; and
  • The reaffirmation of Germany's commitment to international law and institutions, including the ICJ and the ICC.
Speech - Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Germany (in German)

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)

Germany tops up financial support for IRC, UNICEF, but freezes UNRWA funding to Gaza

January 27, 2024 | Germany | Share this update

On January, 27, 2024, the BMZ and the AA announced a US$7 million top-up of financial support of the IRC and UNICEF operating in the Palestinian territories.

The BMZ and the AA announced in a shared press statement that further assistance of the UNRWA is halted until the accusations regarding the members of staff of the UNRWA are resolved. The ministries underlined, however, the importance of humanitarian assistance, which they noted as grounds for the top-up.

Press release - German Ministry of Development Cooperation (in German)

Germany resumes development cooperation in Palestinian territories

December 13, 2023 | Germany | Share this update

On December, 13, 2023, the BMZ announced that it will resume development cooperation with the Palestine territories and release previously frozen funding.

This follows a decision, taken in the aftermath of Hamas attacks in Israel on October, 7, 2023, to suspend and re-examine ODA to the Palestine territories.

The BMZ undertook an evaluation and informed the Bundestag's Committee for Development Cooperation about the results of the re-examination of ODA, which have shown that funding to Palestine is not misused.

During a visit to Israel and Palestine on December, 19, 2023, BMZ Minister Svenja Schulze re-emphasized Germany's commitment to a long-term solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict and the role of German development policies in building the foundation for the future of the region.

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






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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