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October 2017
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EDITO
Saturday, 21 October 2017

New figures confirm that the European Union and its member states have consolidated their place as the world’s leading aid donor in 2016. But NGOs and MEPs say the picture is distorted and the aid figures are inflated. Preliminary OECD figures show that Official Development Assistance (ODA) provided by the EU and its member states has reached €75.5 billion in 2016. This constitutes an 11% increase compared to 2015 levels. Highest level to date The EU’s assistance has increased for the fourth year in a row and reached its highest level to date, the Commission said in a press release yesterday (11 April). In 2016, EU collective ODA represented 0.51% of EU Gross National Income (GNI), having increased from 0.47% in 2015.

The European Commission has announced humanitarian assistance of €47 million to help people in need in the Great Lakes and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean regions, who continue to face the consequences of years of conflict and displacement, as well as widespread food insecurity and natural disasters. Of the €47 million announced, €32 will go to populations in the Great Lakes region – including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania, while €15 million will go to the Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region, including Madagascar, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The European Union has announced its support for the local production of fortified complementary food in Chad. The joint 3-year project (2016-2019) will be implemented by several United Nations agencies (FAO, WHO, WFP, UNICEF) in partnership with the Chad Government. Through an integrated, innovative approach, the project aims to improve access, availability and use of highly nutritious complementary food for children under five. Malnutrition is a major obstacle to country’s development.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Ensuring young people in rural areas can access financing and earn decent incomes is essential to stem migration to Europe and elsewhere, said Gilbert F. Houngbo, who began his term as the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) today. IFAD is a specialized United Nations agency and international financial institution, which invests in eradicating rural poverty and hunger in developing countries. Houngbo - who has extensive experience in political affairs, international development and financial management, including a term as Prime Minister of Togo - takes up the helm at a crucial time. Changing government priorities and numerous global emergencies, such as the 20 million people currently facing starvation in the Horn of Africa, threaten to divert funding away from long-term development.

Could the coming century belong to Africa instead of Asia? The idea of “Africa Rising” has taken off in recent years based on Africa’s fast-growing economies, young population, natural resource wealth, and expanding consumer class. Despite these advantages, Africa must grapple with a number of problems that could hinder its economic, political, and social progress. Its population is projected to double to 2.4 billion people by 2050, and could double again by 2100. Africa has the fastest urban population growth rate in the world, but its cities lack the basic infrastructure to adequately manage influxes of people. Security concerns, such as the threat of terrorism, also present significant risks to both northern and sub-Saharan Africa. In an increasingly interconnected world, these problems will not remain Africa’s alone.

Germany wants to use its G20 presidency to mobilize more assistance for Africa. But it has yet to work out a strategy which has been properly coordinated between government ministries and time is running out. Germany's development minister Gerd Müller (above, right) is a man with a mission he is impatient to fulfill. He recently attended the Berlin African Economic Forum, a conference convened by the German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft) and the Westerwelle Foundation, which is named after the late German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle.

Changing context and challenges, DEVCO announced that the EU’s Aid for Trade Strategy “is currently being revised to improve complementarity between trade and development policies and increase the effectiveness of Aid for Trade on least developed countries (LDCs) in particular”.[i] Aid for Trade (AfT) is part of Official Development Assistance (ODA) related to improving countries’ capacity to trade and comprises five categories.[ii] Given that Aid for Trade represents a third of the official development assistance of the EU and its Member States, the review offers an important opportunity to ensure that this public money is channelled not only towards economic sectors but also to areas where it could reduce inequality and improve the distribution of gains from trade.

Monday, 10 April 2017

On 20 March, the Government of Ireland announced a contribution of €3 million to the UN Humanitarian Pooled Fund in Sudan. The funding ($3.3 million) to the Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SHF) will be used to provide life-saving assistance through UN and NGO partners, based on the needs of vulnerable people facing conflict, forced to leave their homes, and with insufficient food to feed their families, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reports in its latest weekly bulletin.

Wednesday, 05 April 2017

At the launch of the Global Report on Food Crises 2017, Daniel Gustafson, the Deputy Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, warned that 108 million people are in “food crisis” around the world. Daniel Gustavson joined the FAO in 1994, serving in Africa and South Asia. Before assuming his present role, he was the director of the organisation’s Liaison Office for the US and Canada. Gustavson spoke with EURACTIV.com Development Correspondent Matthew Tempest. The message of today’s report seemed to be summed up in the words that ‘famine is back’, especially looking at South Sudan, Somalia and north-east Nigeria.

Monday, 03 April 2017

During an official visit to Kenya, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has pledged new support for projects in the power and transport sectors.Also, at a press conference In Nairobi with Cabinet Secretary for the Treasury Henry K. Rotich, the signature of a connectivity project was announced. The EIB’s three-day programme will include a site visit to the Lake Turkana Wind Park, the largest windfarm in sub-Saharan Africa developed by the private sector, which the EIB helped finance in 2014.At the Treasury the EIB signed the “Last Mile Connectivity” project, which will connect nearly 300.000 Kenyan households (equalling up to 1.5 million Kenyans) to the national electricity grid.