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CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter
Subject: CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter
Send date: 2013-02-08 15:30:50
Issue #: 170
Content:
Bulletin CTA

1

This weblog shares information on key ACP-EU programmes and events
from Brussels relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries.


Date : [08/02/2012]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week

  1. Main Events for the Week 10/02/2013 – 17/02/2013
  2. Next Brussels Development Briefing
  3. Video Guest: Ousmane Badiane, IFPRI
  4. Rompuy: “EU will stand by Somalia”
  5. As EU pares budgets, Turkey and Korea step up aid spending
  6. Rise of Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea
  7. Zambia: EU Gives State, NGOs €7.6m Grant
  8. Zambia’s exports to EU on upward trend
  9. Zimbabwe: lift of embargo and slump of trade with EU
  10. New call for development aid before EU budget summit
  11. Irish priority: stronger link between development and humanitarian policies
  12. EAC- EU economic agreement negotiations
  13. Europeans farmers to protect CAP budget
  14. EP: historic vote for a sustainable EU Fisheries Policy
  15. A long-term effort to build resilience in Sahel
  16. Restoring the situation in Mali
  17. Planting trees – way to growth in African drylands
  18. Foreign aid for sexual health sparks hot budget debate
  19. ACP Fish II Program, final year of implementation
  20. ‘Rebuilding Africa 'can't be dependent on donors'
  21. UK : businesses collaboration for better working conditions for farmers
  22. EP: vote on fisheries reform


  1. Main Events for the Week 10/02/2013 – 17/02/2013
    2013-02-08

    Council of the EU:

    - 11, 13-14 February: COREPER II
    - 11-12 February: Informal Meeting of Ministers for Development Cooperation
    - 11 February: EUROGROUP Meeting
    - 12 February: Meeting of Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN)
    - 13 February: COREPER I

    ACP Group:


    - 10-16 February: 9th Regional meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly (Carribean region)
    - 13 February: W/G on the Future Perspectives of the ACP Group

    You can also read our newspaper “CTA Brussels Daily” (fed by our Twitter account), follow our new Facebook group CTABrussels and our Twitter account CTABrussels to receive up-to-date information on EU-ACP events.




  2. Next Brussels Development Briefing
    2013-02-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    The 30th Brussels Development Briefing will take place on 4th March 2013 (8h30-13h00) on the important issue of Agricultural resilience in the face of crisis and shocks, highlighting proven approaches and successes in key areas of agriculture and rural development of ACP countries and other parts of the world.
    We will organise it in in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) based in Washington.
    Confirmed speakers include: Sir Gordon Conway, Professor of International Development, Imperial College London, Luca Alinovi, Country Chief FAO, Somalia, IFPRI DG, Chris Reij, SLM specialist, Senior Fellow World Resources Institute, CIMMYT, Action Aid, Regional African Farmers Organisations, WFP.

    For registrations: fill the form on http://brusselsbriefings.net/, or send an email to boto@cta.int


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the Brussels Briefings
    Link Find out more about past briefings


  3. Video Guest: Ousmane Badiane, IFPRI
    2013-02-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    ‘This is the first time that a large number of countries in Africa are growing and growing sustainable over a period of more than ten years […] whatever took place over the last 10-15 years to put Africa now among the leading fastest growing regions of the world- that needs to be understood and reinforced across the continent ’ (Ousmane Badiane, IFPRI).

    I an exclusive interview with CTA Brussels, Ousmane Badiane, the director for Africa for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) talks about the way research- based policy, developed in collaboration with local experts, can be used to enhance food security on the continent.

    Topics:
    - Developing research- based solutions against poverty and hunger in Africa
    - Development of food security policy in Africa
    - The comprehensive Africa agriculture development program (CAADP), and the activity of IFPRI in the region.

     

    The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is one of 15 centers supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), an alliance of 64 governments, private foundations, and international and regional organizations.
    The Institute’s aim is to develop research-Based Policy Solutions That Sustainably Reduce Poverty and End Hunger and Malnutrition. However, the research conducted by IFRPI is aimed not only for academic use, but destined to have an impact, and be integrated at the local level.
    One of the major projects IFPRI conducted with NEPAD (an implementing agency of the African Union) was CAADP (the “Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme”)- an African led initiative, aimed at reaching economic growth through agriculture-led development ( an average annual growth rate of 6 percent in agriculture by 2015). CAADP was implemented in Burkina Faso, Niger, Ghana, Benin, and Tago.


    Link Watch the Video
    Link Find out more about IFPRI


  4. Rompuy: “EU will stand by Somalia”
    2013-02-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    “The EU will stand by Somalia in its endeavour for a better future.”, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy said to President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud on 30 January.
    This declaration was made, on the occasion of Somalis president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud visit in Brussels. In his visit to the EP, president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud made a plea for the MEPs on the Development and Foreign Affairs committees to support his country:  “Somalia has been without a functioning state for 22 years” and its new government urgently needs EU assistance to help it build “strong state institutions”. EU humanitarian aid “helped to save millions of lives” in Somalia but a new approach is now needed to consolidate the Somali state, he said.
    Mr. Rompuy also underlined that in the period of 2008 – 2013, EU will have provided €517 million to help Somalis authorities for strengthening governance, the rule of law, education and economic activities.
    Moreover, the EU has extended the mandate of the EU training mission in Somalia (EUTM Somalia) to a further two years, as the previous and second mandate, which began in 2010, was due to end this February.
    The mission will continue training Somali soldiers with the hope that they can ultimately take over security responsibilities in the war-torn country. The new mandate will end on March 31, 2015 and is estimated to cost Euro11.6m

    Source: New Europe


    Link Read more
    Link EU cooperation: Somalia
    Link Somalia: EU Extends Training Mission


  5. As EU pares budgets, Turkey and Korea step up aid spending
    2013-02-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Aid effectiveness

    EU candidate Turkey and South Korea are ramping up aid programmes for poor nations at a time when such spending in Europe is under threat, a EurActiv analysis of aid statistics shows.
    The two countries figure among a handful of nations that are giving more to help poor countries at a time when the traditional heavy-hitters - the EU, Japan and the United States – are struggling with domestic budgetary problems and are on course to scale back their overseas commitments.
    South Korea nearly tripled its spending from 2006 to 2011, easily outpacing any other donor country, while Turkey nearly doubled its overseas aid budget in the same period. However, , the two emerging donors are a long way from joining the big leagues, data from the OECD and development monitoring groups show.
    South Korea provided $1.33 billion (991 million Euros) in overseas aid and Turkey $1.3 billion (990 million Euros) in 2011, out of a world total of $125.1 billion (93.2 million Euros).
    EU candidate Turkey provided more aid in 2011 than wealthy Austria ($1.1 billion) and Luxembourg ($413.4 million) and nearly as much as Finland ($1.4 billion) in 2011, OECD figures show. Overall, the EU is collectively the largest aid donor, providing $86 billion (€66 billion) from national governments and EU institutions – or 55% of the world total in 2011. The total value of development aid provided by the EU for the period 2008-2013 only under the European development Fund (10th EDF) amounts to EUR 22 billion.
    When measured by gross national income (GNI), aid accounted for 0.12% of South Korea’s GNI in 2011, falling short of its 0.13% target, and 0.13% of Turkey’s GNI. Overall, the 24 member countries the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) allocated 0.31% of GNI to foreign aid and the EU’s 2015 target is 0.7%.


    Source: Euractiv.


    Link Read more
    Link Data on global aid
    Link UK MPs: Aid money to go through NGOs, not the EU


  6. Rise of Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea
    2013-02-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has increased dramatically with 42% in 2012, as compared to the previous year, reaching 51 attacks, according to the last numbers released by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
    This is in contrast with the trend in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia, where in 2012 only 35 ships were attacked, compared to 163 in 2009. This is largely due to the presence of international naval patrols, out of which , nine are part of the EU-NATO 'Atalanta' mission.
    However, experts advise against similar interventions in the Gulf of Guinea, where, compared, to the case of Gulf of Aden- where we are dealing with a failed state (Somalia)- the coast states are sovereign, and would the governments not accept such intrusion, Pottengal Mukundan, director of the London-based International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said.  
    The main reasons for the rise in piracy levels are political instability and social unrest. Young people, who see no possibilities for their future turn in many cases to piracy. Piracy started here approximately 10 years ago, limited to fishing boats or local good transporters. However, the increase in oil exports brought about a larger and more violent piracy- the attacks on oil tankers.
    The Gulf of Guinea has huge resources of oil, as the coast countries produce  around 500 million liters of old daily, out of which 40% is exported to Europe. Even if European countries have a great interest in keeping their its tanks out of the hands of pirates, experts advise against interventions in the Gulf of Guinea. Here, compared, to the case of Gulf of Aden- where we are dealing with a failed state (Somalia)- the coast states are sovereign, and would the governments not accept such intrusion, Pottengal Mukundan, director of the London-based International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said. Instead, he recommends that the international organizations provide supports to the coast countries themselves to build their own strategy for fighting piracy, and even more, to help them develop economic reforms which can decrease unemployment and offer another future for young people, besides piracy.


    Source: Deutsche Welle


    Link Read more
    Link Read more on the report
    Link EU : strategy against maritime piracy


  7. Zambia: EU Gives State, NGOs €7.6m Grant
    2013-02-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive, ACP-EU Trade

    The European Union (EU) has given a total grant of 7.6 million Euros (KR55 million) to four Government institutions and eight non-governmental organisations (NGOs), under the 'Non State Actors and Local Authorities in Development' programme, which aims at encouraging non-state actors and local authorities to get more involved in development issues.
    The specific grant is aimed at supporting implementation of health, education, sustainable livelihood, governance, and water and sanitation projects in Zambia.
    The local authorities have been selected after a Call for Proposals in March last year. They are supposed to use the funds to carry out, among other projects, improved water, sanitation and waste management and building capacity to implement preventive health services.
    Some of the NGOs include Care International, Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Zambia (CIRDZ), DanChurch Aid and Marie Stopes. The recipients of the funds are Mongu Municipal Council, Petauke District Council, Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company and Kafue District Health Management Team.
    The size of grants for actions proposed by NSAs ranges between EUR 350, 000 and EUR 750, 000 while support for LAs ranges between EUR 200, 000 and EUR 400, 000. The programme was introduced by the European Commission in 2007.
    Other two calls for proposals were announced-  one for non-state actors and one for local authorities, with an estimated three million Euros and 800,000 Euro respectively.


    Source: AllAfrica


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the programme
    Link Zambia’s exports to EU on upward trend


  8. Zambia’s exports to EU on upward trend
    2013-02-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    EU remains Zambia’s major one market for honey and sugar exports, totaling  212 million Euros KR 1.5 billion in 2010, after a steady increase in last years, permanent secretary for the Ministry of Finance Felix Nkulukusa said.
    In 2009, Zambia’s exports to the EU market stood at 155 million Euros (K1.1 billion).
    Nkulukusa said it is necessary to attain and sustain high rates of economic growth, in order for Zambia be able to fight the high poverty and unemployment levels. “Poverty at 60.5 percent at the national level is still very high and is particularly worse in rural areas at more than 70 percent,” he said.
    Government is said to have prioritized economic diversification and to be promoting growth in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, construction and services.
    Zambia is a large landlocked country with a highly urbanised population of 11 million people. The economy is still very much based on agriculture, which employs over 70% of the working population. After the economic stagnation experienced during the 1990s, growth accelerated in recent years.
    Under a strategic framework for co-operation of the European Commission (EC) with Zambia €489.8 million have been allocated for the period 2008-2013 mainly in the areas of regional integration and transport infrastructure as well as human development, in particular health.


    Source: Zambia Daily Mail, European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU relations with Zambia
    Link Zambia: ‘Prickly’ issues to be solved before signing EPAs


  9. Zimbabwe: lift of embargo and slump of trade with EU
    2013-02-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Ahead of the referendum on the constitution to take place in Zimbabwe next month, the European Union is said to be ready to lift its decade old embargo against Zimbabwe, given that the democratic exercise will prove to be  'credible'. A review of EU’s policy toward Zimbabwe is expected in the coming two weeks.
    The sanctions were originally imposed a decade ago- in 2002- in response to human rights abuses and political violence, after alleged electoral fraud by president Robert Mugabe. The EU partially eased the sanctions last year by removing a visa ban and asset freeze on 51 of the targeted 150 people and 20 of 30 companies on the sanctions list.


    Mugabe and his coalition government partners early this month reached an agreement on the proposed new constitution paving the way for the referendum. According to a report in the state run Herald Monday, EU head of delegation to Zimbabwe Ambassador Aldo Dell' Ariccia said only "a peaceful and credible constitutional referendum would justify a suspension of the majority of all restrictive measures. In this context, the recent agreement on the constitution draft is a welcome step in that direction. "
    Slump in Trade and EPA
    Trade between Zimbabwe and the EU has been declining because of the embargo, as well as due to the euro zone crisis  and a poor agriculture season in the country. "The total trade between Zimbabwe and the EU shows a decrease of 9, 8% in 2012 from the previous year with a decrease on the Zimbabwean exports to the EU of 16,47% and a slight increase of the imports from the EU of 2,54%," Dell'Ariccia said recently.
    Zimbabwe exports mainly ferro-chromium, raw cane sugar, non-industrial and industrial diamonds,  raw hides, citrus, cut flowers and vegetables to the EU. Trade with the EU currently constitutes around 30 percent of Zimbabwe’s total exports, The EU being the country’s second largest trading partner after South Africa.
    However, trade between the two parties is set to expand after Zimbabwe completed the ratification of the interim Economic Partnership (EPA) last year. Zimbabwe entered into an interim EPA with the EU in 2009, giving the country a 100% duty-free quota access into the EU market with a transition period for rice and sugar.


    Source: The Africa Report, NewsDay, All Africa, ACP.


    Link Read more
    Link ACP: Trade EU - Zimbabwe
    Link Zimbabwe, EU trade slumps


  10. New call for development aid before EU budget summit
    2013-02-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    Ahead of the EU summit on the 2014-2020 budget, where cut spending for development aid up to 13% is expected, MEP Eva Joly, chairwoman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Development calls on EU leaders not to sacrifice the funds for development, which she calls “peace insurance for Europe”.
    The development aid budget is expected to suffer the highest cut in the EU budget - 11% to 13%, compared to overall reduction of 7.5% to other budget headings. Joly believes this is caused by a self-proclaimed assumption among EU leaders that development aid is not a priority.
    ‘EU states behave egoistically and have a short-term approach. France for instance doesn’t support a reasonable fishing policy. And France would not accept cuts to the fisheries funds, as it would not accept cuts to the Common Agricultural Policy, two policies which currently are not led by the common interest for a better food, a better environment, for fair and shared revenues for all farmers and fishermen’ she affirms.
    Joly added that the European Parliament’s Committee on Development, which she chairs, has put in the centre of its work the fight against tax heavens and tax evasion, with the purpose of allowing the developing countries to have a better access to their resources, and to obtain a just share of what is being extracted from their soil.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Georgieva vows to protect EU humanitarian aid funding
    Link Europeans farmers to protect CAP budget


  11. Irish priority: stronger link between development and humanitarian policies
    2013-02-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    A month into the Irish presidency of the EU, the Irish minister of state for trade and development Joe Costello said one of his main priories is to achieve a stronger link between EU's development and humanitarian policies - "The chronic nature of poverty and vulnerability, and the increasing frequency and severity of natural and man-made disasters in recent years, points to the need to ensure a coherent, joined-up approach on the part of both humanitarian and development actors", Costello said to The Parliament.
    Earlier this year, the European Union's humanitarian aid commissioner Georgieva compared her service to “a speedboat”, and development aid to the Queen Mary ocean liner.
    Besides, "Linking relief, recovery and development" and the "EU aid volunteers' initiative are designated as further concern matters in the field of trade and development for the Irish Presidency of the EU. The EU aid volunteers' initiative receives intense attention from the minister, beings of "particular interest to the European parliament", and given that "a well functioning, well trained corps of humanitarian aid volunteers should be seen as a concrete expression of the EU's solidarity with those in need."
    Not lastly, the presidency wants to make the "forgotten crises", such as those in Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo also one of its main concerns.

    Source: the Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link Irish EU presidency: A breath of fresh Eire?
    Link EU Presidency to focus on agreement on CAP reform


  12. EAC- EU economic agreement negotiations
    2013-02-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Concern has been raised over Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) negotiations between the East African Community and European Union, with regional leaders insisting that they must meet regional development priorities.
    Members of the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) affirm that negotiators should have policy space and flexibility on issues of export taxes and the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) Clause, among others, to allow for value-addition and enhance industrial development.
    Legislators want a number of areas critically looked into, as the Rules of Origin, institutional arrangements, dispute settlements and final provisions as well as market issues. The Eala also recommends the EU to support the region to develop infrastructure such as energy, roads and railways so as to address supply constraints. It says the issue shall address the region’s supply side constraints and trade predictability.
    The chairman of the EAC Council of Ministers, Mr Shem Bageine, said while the region was looking for a market for its raw materials, imports from Europe were largely finished products, thus rendering the EAC net importers.“We must be very cautious and focused. We should be looking at areas where we have comparative advantages so that we compete favourably on the world market – calling for investments in natural resources”, the minister remarked.
    At the end of 2007, six States in the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region (Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe) concluded an interim EPA with the EU. The agreement was signed by four countries (Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe) in August 2009 in Mauritius and is provisionally applied since 14th of May 2012. This deal is a stepping stone towards a full EPA and remains open to other countries willing to join at a later stage.


    Source: The Citizen


    Link Read more
    Link Facts abut the interim Economic Partnership Agreement
    Link EP backs EU’s EPA with ESA


  13. Europeans farmers to protect CAP budget
    2013-02-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Policy, Rural development

    On the eve of the EU summit in Brussels (7-8 February) on the Union's 2014-2020 budget, some 400 representatives of European farm groups and cooperatives agreed a five-point declaration, warning EU leaders that decreasing the funding for the Common Agricultural Policy risks killing jobs and undermining food security.
    Antónia Figueiredo, vice president to the Cogeca agricultural cooperatives group, added that farmers insist on maintaining farm spending, which reached €58.6 billion in 2012. “Having a budget a the current level is vital and crucial,” she said. Cuts of anywhere from €17 billion to €25.5 billion are now being considered, according to Farm representatives.
    Farmers called on the European Parliament, which for the first time has direct say in EU spending, to fight cuts.
    CAP takes up 40% of total EU spending, the EU’s largest single programme and an easy target of austerity advocates, including Britain and Germany. But big farm states like France and Poland are more wary of slashing farm support.
    In 1986, the CAP accounted for 70% of European Community spending. Today, it is less than 40% and would fall further under reductions being considered by national leaders. CAP spending was €58.6 billion in 2012, a rise of nearly €1.3 billion from 2011. The main expenditures was €40.5 billion for direct payments to farmers.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link MEPs back a less green, more 'flexible' CAP
    Link The Common Agricultural Policy after 2013


  14. EP: historic vote for a sustainable EU Fisheries Policy
    2013-02-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The European Parliament backed on Wednesday (6 February) overwhelmingly reform to end over-fishing and restore EU sea stocks by 2020.
    The revised policy Common Fisheries Policy, to take effect in 2014, will enforce sustainable catch limits - meaning fishermen can catch no more than a given stock can reproduce in a year. It will also end the practice of discards: throwing undersized fish or unwanted species back into the sea, where they usually die anyway.
    Thus, EU member states will be prevented from setting quotas that are too high to be sustainable. Fishermen will have to respect the "maximum sustainable yield" - catch no more than a given stock can reproduce in a given year.
    In order to restore sea stocks, the reform will rely on multi-annual fish stock management plans, based on more reliable and accurate scientific data, which EU member states will be obliged to collect and make available. Taking a longer term approach should improve market predictability, which in turn should help the industry to invest better and plan ahead.
    EU maritime affairs commissioner Maria Damanaki estimates that  the reform will lead to the increase in the amount of fish in the sea by 50 million tones by 2020, which will lead to 25 per cent more income for fishermen and 30 per cent more jobs.
    “Two third of the European fish stocks are overfished today. This reform will end the unacceptable practice of throwing millions of tonnes of perfectly good fish back into the sea and will allow our fish stocks to recover based on advise from both scientists and fishermen. “, ALDE MEP Nils Torvalds, (Svenska folkpartiet, Finland) said.
    While the broad outlines of the new policy are in place, some details still have to be negotiated. It will then need final parliamentary approval as well as endorsement from the EU's 27 governments including Britain, which is debating looser ties with the bloc.
    Eurosceptics there have called for more regional management of fish stocks and the right to control access of other European fishing vessels to British waters. The Irish Presidency of the Council has repeatedly said it hopes to achieve an agreement the end of June.
    The Common Fisheries Policy, which dates back to the 1970s, was regarded as a failure. It has allowed subsidised, industrial-sized fleets to devastate fish stocks, while eurosceptics have scorned it as bureaucratic. Currently, some 80% of Mediterranean and 47% of Atlantic stocks are overfished, European Commission figures showed.
    This was the first time the European parliament voted on the CFP.


    Source: Euractiv, European commission, ALDE, The Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link MEPs cast vote to restore EU fish stocks
    Link Find out more about the Policy reform


  15. A long-term effort to build resilience in Sahel
    2013-02-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The EU declares itself strongly engaged in a building – resilience strategy to last at least 20 years for Sahel, in an attempt to avoid a destabilisation in the region. The recently launched Global Alliance for Resilience Initiative (AGIR) is shaping up to be a major long-term EU-led strategy for Africa's fragile Sahel region- the zone of transition between the Sahara desert in the North and the Sudanian savannah in the south.
    Philippe Thomas, head of the food crises and food economy section at DG Devco (Development and Cooperation), said that the whole concept of the new AGIR alliance was built around the EU’s new approach of building resilience, based on lessons learned from previous food crises. “In the Sahel, over the nine last agricultural campaigns, we have had six years of food crisis. But those have been of different nature,” he said. Among them was the 2008 price crisis, which prompted the EU to put in place the food facility and to unblock €1 billion. “This is going to continue. At first we thought this was a temporary shock, mostly due to market speculation. Actually it’s more complicated. Among the causes is the fact that we [the EU] have changed policies,” he said, by referring to the Union's abandoned policy of excess production under the Common Agricultural Policy. Without this excess production and low prices, any small climate shock in the USA or Russia or the slightest rumour on production shortages would prompt prices to explode, affecting the poorest countries, he said.
    Investment in sustainable agriculture is a major pillar for AGIR. The meaning of the AGIR is that the EU has sought to pull is political weight to bring on the table the other partners – the USA, the World Bank, UNICEF, WFP, the EU member states and African governments, to build something coherent for the region.
    Similar alliances existed in other areas, such as in the Horn of Africa, where there the US was in the lead, the Commission official said, calling this a "division of tasks, not competition".


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU: €500 million to help with the food crisis in Sahel
    Link Find out more about AGIR


  16. Restoring the situation in Mali
    2013-02-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The EU thinks it can help quickly by releasing some of the €250 million of development aid it froze last year. It could also help to fund human rights monitors who would gather evidence of rights abuses committed by the rebels and act as a deterrent against any abuses by the re-occupying Malian troops. These announcements were made with the occasion of the Governments and international organisations meeting in Brussels on Tuesday 5 February on the situation in Mali.
    The international support group for Mali - comprised of the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union and West African states discussed the funding, equipping and training of an 8,000-strong African force, which is expected to eventually take over from the French. The group also discussed steps to restore government services and ensure security in areas newly back under government control.
    "When a state falls apart, it takes a while to put it back together again ... Nevertheless, we need to try," said a senior European Union official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "In the medium term, we need to look at ensuring the north has adequate funds for development so the communities there can build real livelihoods," the EU official said.
    International donors pledged of total $455 million (€337.2 million) for the Mali crisis in January. No further pledge was made on the meeting on Tuesday.


    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU freezes development operations in Mali
    Link EU to host an international meeting next month on Mali


  17. Planting trees – way to growth in African drylands
    2013-02-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security

    “Agroforestry is the future of agriculture in the drylands and sub-humid regions”, Dr Chris Reij of the World Resource Institute said in the European Parliament on Tuesday  29 January.
    United Nations Drylands Ambassador Dennis Garrity adds that the planting of trees such as gao, an indigenous form of acacia, had “improved the region’s ability to cope with drought shocks”, contributing towards more political stability over the past 20 to 30 years.
    The evidence suggests that planting trees can contribute significantly towards land stability in the drylands and sub-humid regions. Reij said in southern Niger farmers had improved some five million hectares of land through “regenerating and multiplying valuable trees whose roots already lay underneath their land”. This had led to more than 500,000 additional tonnes of food per year.
    Furthermore, Reij said water harvesting could drive local growth, with €1 more earned by each farmer translating into €1.6 in non-farmed areas.
    While humanitarian crises in the sub-Saharan regions are often linked to ethnic and religious tensions, Garrity said the principle causes were droughts, food insecurity, and poverty: “The pattern for terrorism overlaps perfectly with the drylands. These regions are bottom of the human development index, bottom of the hydrological index”, he said. Moreover,  UN reports have found a spatial relationship between higher adult female illiteracy and higher levels of land degradation.

    Source: Euractiv  


    Link Read more
    Link Drylands Development Centre (DDC)
    Link Brussels Briefing: Food crisis


  18. Foreign aid for sexual health sparks hot budget debate
    2013-02-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive

    The relatively small sum for EU development aid to finance family planning services in poor nations has sparked an outgoing debate over how European aid money is spent.
    In January, anti-abortion campaigners began collecting signatures for a European Citizens’ Initiative to ban the use of EU money for abortions at home or abroad. The One of Us campaign, backed by an Italian pro-life organisation, says more than 34,000 people have signed so far, out of the one million needed for the initiative to be considered. In the same time, a Brussels NGO, European Dignity Watch, last year accused the European Commission of violating its own rules by funding abortions without the approval of all member states.
    This comes shortly before the 7-8 February EU budget summit, where development aid for 2014-20120 is expected to be diminished by 11%.
    Under these conservative pressures, the EU financing for family planning, reproductive health and AIDS has been constantly reduced - from €234 million in 2007 to €150 million last year, according to a Europmapping 2012 report on development aid and population assistance annual overview of Europe’s development assistance relating to population issues). The total value of development aid provided by the EU for the period 2008-2013 (under 10th EDF) amounts to EUR 22 billion.
    Since 1958, the European Development Fund (EDF) has been the main geographic instrument for financial and technical cooperation between the European Community and developing countries and territories which, for historic reasons, maintained special links with certain Member States. The EDF is not funded from the EU's general budget, but rather from direct contributions from EU countries, the amounts of which are agreed in negotiations, which take into account the special relations between certain Member States and the ACP countries

    Source: Euractiv, European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link More on the European Development Fund (EDF)
    Link Africa needs basic health care, as well as clever drugs


  19. ACP Fish II Program, final year of implementation
    2013-02-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    ACP Fish II Programme is entering the final year for implementing the last 75 projects from a total of 189 to complete all the Programme planned assignment in support of fisheries management and trade in the ACP regions.
    The Programme operates under the guidance of a Steering Committee, which will hold its 5th meeting tioday February 5th, in Brussls. This Steering Committee is an important way of facilitating and increasing beneficiary and stakeholder involvement in the Programme.
    ACP FISH II is a four years programs which aims to strengthen fisheries management in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries with the goal of alleviating poverty and improving food security in member states. The Programme has a global programme budget of 30 million Euros funded under the  EDF, allocated to activities and projects across 78 ACP countries.


    Source: ACP


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the ACP Fish II Programme
    Link Jamaica Aquaculture Development Plan


  20. ‘Rebuilding Africa 'can't be dependent on donors'
    2013-02-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    Nigerian finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said on Friday, 1 February as part of UN development panel in Liberia that aid should not be situated at the core of Africa’s development. Instead, Africa needs innovation, infrastructure and jobs.
    The declaration was made as part of the UN high level panel which discussed the continuation after 2015 of the Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs). In this context, the Nigerian minister also argued that for a change to occur, Africa needs approximately $93bn-120bn  a year, almost $50bn less than available at the moment. However, these money shall not come exclusively from donors; new ways of financing these needs shall be found.
    Perspective for the period post-2015 exist, as the private sector, unlike previously, appears to be interested in putting forward a solid framework for the millennium development goals (MDGs).
    Discussions on the post-2015 MDGs framework will continue in Bali, Indonesia on 25-27 March 2013.


    Source: The Guardian


    Link Read more
    Link Communiqué from the high panel on post-2015 MDGs
    Link Find out more about the MDGs


  21. UK : businesses collaboration for better working conditions for farmers
    2013-02-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development

    The UK Department for International Development launched on 29 January the Trade and Global Value Chains (TGVC) initiative which will work with some of the UK's biggest high street names to improve working conditions and job opportunities in some of the world's poorest countries. The initiative will be piloted in Bangladesh, South Africa and Kenya.
    The project will form partnerships between food and clothing retailers, local charities and governments to help farmers and workers employed by suppliers that operate in global supply chains, with focus on improving conditions, training and wages as well as providing healthcare and education in workers' local communities.
    The first project to be supported by the TGVC initiative will be a partnership between the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Waitrose Foundation which aims to increase youth skills and employment in the horticulture value chain in South Africa.


    Source: Department for International Development (DFID)


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about DFID
    Link Brussels Briefing: Rural transformation


  22. EP: vote on fisheries reform
    2013-02-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    On Wednesday 6 February, during the European Parliament Plenary in Strasbourg, the MEPs are expected to give their final vote on a reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). This will the first time when the EP will vote as a co-legislator on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.
    In December last year, The European Parliament's Fisheries Committee voted on major reforms to the CFP demanding sustainable quotas by 2015 and an end to discards.
    A majority is expected to support the Commission- voted reform, which was praised by environmental NGOs as a milestone vote for sustainable fisheries.
    Concretely, this will mean the adoption of:
    •    Binding sustainable fishing quotas by 2015 in order to rebuild fish stocks to sustainable levels (above stock sizes that can produce the maximum sustainable yield, MSY) by 2020.
    •    A discard ban on all harvested species introduced between 2014 and 2017.
    After Parliament adopts its position, there will be negotiations with the Council during the next few months. Since the Parliament has had influence on the CFP as a co-legislator only since the adoption of the Lisbon treaty, this will be the first time the Parliament and Council will negotiate on the framework for the future of EU fisheries.
    However, on the key issues of overfishing and discards, the Council position is quite different from the text that the Parliament is set to vote on. Fisheries ministers have declared that they want to begin setting quotas at MSY levels only by 2020. Also, the discard ban is being debated in Council now, as several member states want to weaken the discard ban- by postponing it and by introducing exemptions allowing up to 15 percent of the catches to be discarded.
    Nevertheless, Simon Coveney, Ireland's agriculture and fisheries minister says he wants to have the CFP reform adopted by the end of Ireland’s rotating presidency in July 2013.


    Source: CFP-reformwatch.eu, European Voice


    Link Read more
    Link Disagreements over plans for fish stocks.
    Link Fisheries Committee votes for crucial overhaul of CFP


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Ms Isolina BOTO
Head
CTA Brussels Office
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Editor: Dobos Cristina (dobos@cta.int)

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Copyright © 2011 Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU. Email:cta@cta.int
The opinions expressed in the comments and analysis are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CTA.

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