Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

December 2017
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EDITO
Monday, 18 December 2017

Government needs to have a clear sectoral strategy before the disbursement of forty-five million dollars by the European Union. EU Ambassador for the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs says there were certain conditions that needed to be worked out in partnership with the Government before the financial assistance program could be rolled out. Jacobs has confirmed they are working very closely with the Sugar Ministry and Agriculture Ministry on defining benchmarks that will trigger disbursement of the support.

In a world-first, the Pacific has launched a regional industry association for practitioners involved in climate change, disasters and other sectors related to building resilience. The Pacific Regional Federation for Resilience Professionals will boost the skills, education, training and employment opportunities for diverse professionals dedicated to climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and maintaining ecosystem services in a highly vulnerable region. The launch by the European Union, Pacific community, and The University of the South Pacific took place at the Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management in Suva, Fiji, within the margins of Pacific Resilience Week 2016.

Wednesday, 09 November 2016

The newly refurbished Nadi District Emergency Operations Centre and the Western Division Emergency Operations Centre - Planning Office and Divisional Controller’s Office in Lautoka were opened today. This was made possible through the European Union funded ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific project which is implemented by the Pacific Community. The cost of the project was $92,236. Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Meleti Bainimarama says the new office will ensure government services are not disrupted during an emergency.

In many regions of central and northern Tanzania, lives and livelihoods suffer from periodic weather-related stress, particularly from below-normal rainfall. The resulting crop failures and loss of livestock increases economic hardship, forcing thousands of families to skip meals, sell assets, cut back on medical care, or stop attending school. While these strategies help populations live through difficult times, they dampen quality of life and limit opportunities for development.

European Union (EU) Ambassador to Liberia Tiina intelmann along with two visiting members of Estonia's parliament, on Tuesday toured EU supported projects in Liberia including the ongoing Mount Coffee Hydropower rehabilitation project. The fieldtrip gave the EU delegation the opportunity to speak directly to implementing partners. Among the projects the EU delegation visited to gauge impact were the Monrovia-Bo Waterside road, the support to Ebola affected communities in Bomi County, the site of Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture, Nutrition and Income project, and the 'Cash Transfer Scheme' to beneficiaries.

The European Investment Bank or EIB has listed renewable energy, water and livestock projects as some of the sectors of the Namibian economy that it is interested in funding. Vice president Pim van Ballekom told The Namibian that his visit to Namibia this week was to explore more investment opportunities. Van Ballekom held meetings with President Hage Geingob, finance minister Calle Schlettwein and officials of NamPower and Namibia Breweries. He said the bank's lending rates are favourable since the bank is not expected to pay dividends to the 28 members of the European Union, who are its shareholders.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the bank of the European Union, has signed a EUR 7,5 million (N$113,5 million) credit facility with Trustco Group Holdings Limited to finance small businesses and entrepreneurs in Namibia. At a ceremony held yesterday at Trustco's headquarters, the EIB, Europe's long-term lending institution, signed the agreement with Trustco Group Holdings Limited. “The European Investment Bank has a strong track record in supporting crucial investment programmes across Africa and around the world,” said Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank vice president.

The EU, the world’s biggest aid donor, has a special responsibility in improving development effectiveness and accountability across the world, MEPs said in a non-binding resolution adopted Tuesday. Enhanced transparency, good governance and the rule of law in developing countries are also essential to make progress, they added. “Our report calls on all actors to make their development cooperation as effective as possible to achieve the ambitious goals of the 2030 Agenda with the available public and private resources,” said rapporteur Cristian Preda (EPP, RO) before the vote.

Tuesday, 08 November 2016

The EU faces a substantial drop in its development resources following Brexit. Still, the amount will depend on how “hard” that exit is, and the UK’s ongoing involvement in voluntary EU-level arrangements. Here we assess the potential size of the Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) funding drop that EU institutions could face. At the UN General Assembly, Theresa May already confirmed that the UK will continue to “honour its commitment” to spend 0.7 percent of national income on development. However, following Brexit, this aid may be spent very differently, particularly the 9.8 percent of UK aid spent via EU institutions in 2014.

Monday, 07 November 2016

MEPs on Wednesday (26 October) approved a €500 million increase to EU spending to cover the costs of the refugee and migration crisis without cutting development aid. Europe’s response to the refugee crisis requires significant funds and the European Parliament has decided to make sure they will be available for 2017. In a resolution adopted on Wednesday (26 October), the European Parliament demanded more funds to assist third countries to mitigate the migration crisis. “The European budget must correspond to [the EU’s] political commitments and strategic objectives,” MEPs insisted.