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EDITO
Sunday, 22 October 2017

The European Union is advocating better fiscal management and accountability in Pacific countries to allow it to provide direct budgetary support to the region's governments. Financial reforms in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu dating back to 2010 have made them eligible for EU budgetary support whereas Fiji and Papua New Guinea remain ineligible. The EU Ambassador to Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, Leonidas Tezapsidis, said the case for more aid funding to be channelled through government budgets as opposed to project type funding is a strong one. Mr Tezapsidis said it reduces duplication, improves co-ordination and is more sustainable in the long-run. "We try to minimise the use of technical assistance to make short term assignments, to reduce the dependence of those countries on foreigners, on donors for their programmes. This is a kind of a risk," said Mr Tezapsidis.

Source: radionz.co.nz

At least 100 million euros were made available to Angola by a Finnish Fund to be used to implement various projects in the country, revealed last Friday in Luanda the chairman of the Angolan Agency for Investments and Exports Promotion (APIEX), António Henriques da Silva. Speaking to Journalists at the sidelines of Foreign Direct Investment Forum, António Henriques, said that the amount is already available, but, on the other hand, he said, the national businesspeople do not have projects to present to this fund. For this reason, the official pointed to the need for entrepreneurs to organise themselves better, in order to be able to meet the expectations that are generated when people speak about the potential of Angola ".

Source: allafrica.com

Switzerland contributed a grant and in-kind donations worth $2.4 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Monday, to support the programme's early recovery and safety-net activities aimed at improving household food security across Sudan. The contribution is split into a cash grant of $1.5 million and an in-kind donation of dried skimmed milk, valued at $933,489. WFP will use the funds to buy nearly 300 metric tons of special nutritional products in order to treat and prevent acute malnutrition. The programme expects this quantity to be enough to cover the needs of more than 33,000 pregnant and nursing mothers and children younger than five years, for three months. The 250 metric tons of dried skimmed milk will complement the regular hot meals provided to children through WFP's school feeding projects in North, South and West Kordofan states which benefit some 175,000 school children.

Source: allafrica.com

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The European Union will provide Burkina Faso with CFA262.3 billion for the implementation of its economic initiatives, according to the Economy and Finance Ministry on Tuesday. The money will be invested particularly in initiatives to strengthen good governance, health, agriculture and hydraulics and also in new areas of cooperation, including security and sub-regional cooperation, EU officials in Burkina Faso explained. The EU general budgetary support to Burkina Faso is estimated at about CFA 1,000 billion between 2009 and 2014.

Source: starafrica.com

An emergency response vehicle and 208 water tanks have been provided to the Republic of the Marshall Islands this week as part of ongoing support to boost emergency response efforts in the small Pacific Island nation. The timely gesture has been made possible through the European Union’s €19.37million Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project (BSRP), implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC). The European Union Ambassador for the Pacific, H.E. Andrew Jacobs presented the emergency response vehicle to the National Disaster Management Office in the capital, Majuro, today and will travel to the outer atolls of Marshall Islands including Aur, Tobal and Maloelap to see firsthand the important work of drought response and solar projects that are occurring in these communities. Maloelap is one of the 14 atoll islands that were electrified with 100 solar home systems under the EU-SPC partnership through the North Pacific ACP Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project (North-REP).

Source: saipantribune.com

The European Union has reaffirmed its support for Fiji in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Winston and says detailed discussions will be held in the coming weeks on European assistance in the recovery and rebuilding phase. The assurance was made by the European Commission’s Director for Asia and the Pacific responsible for Europe Aid, Pierre Amilhat, at a meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, with the Attorney-General and Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Mr Amilhat said he intended to hold talks with the AG in the next few weeks to canvass a number of areas of support, including initiatives and programs for the sugar cane industry. The two men discussed the Post Disaster Needs Assessment Report on Cyclone Winston, which has been jointly prepared by the European Union, the World Bank, the United Nations and the Asian Development Bank. The Report is a comprehensive assessment of the damage caused by Cyclone Winston and the needs of Fijians living in the affected areas.

Source: fijisun.com.fj

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be among some 50 leaders attending the first-ever world humanitarian summit in Istanbul to rethink the global aid strategy, UN diplomats said yesterday (9 May). The 23-24 May summit has been criticized by medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which announced it will not be taking part, calling it a “fig leaf of good intentions”. Merkel, who has been at the centre of Europe’s refugee crisis, confirmed her attendance, as did Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose country holds the six-month presidency of the European Union. A question mark remains over the representation from France and Britain. The United States is expected to send the head of the US Agency for International Development. Others attending include Kuwait’s emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou and Lebanon’s Prime Minister Tammam Salam, whose country is hosting more than one million Syrian refugees. In all, 110 countries have confirmed that they will send a delegation to the summit, which has been in preparation for the past three years. MSF said it was pulling out of the summit because it had lost hope that it will address “the weaknesses in humanitarian action and emergency response” in conflict areas and during epidemics.

Source: euractiv.com

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), on 23 and 24 May 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey, will bring together a panoply of representatives of world governments, business, and civil society, in order to find a way to improve humanitarian responses to increasingly challenging conditions. The May plenary is due to hear from the Commission and Council on the EU approach to the WHS. On the eve of the WHS, a gloomy consensus prevails: the humanitarian system is overwhelmed, and improving it is literally a matter of life and death for millions. Over recent years the system has indeed struggled, with only partial success, to cope with more frequent and protracted humanitarian crises that are affecting a record number of people: in 2016, assistance is needed for over 89.3 million people in 37 countries; of these, nearly 60 million, half of them children, are displaced due to conflict. Unfortunately, if the present trends continue, a lot of that need will remain unmet. Indeed, despite the absolute increase in humanitarian spending, the gap between needs and the available resources grows each year. In 2014, overall global funding for humanitarian activities reached US$24.5 billion; however, it is estimated that the funding gap has reached 40% overall. The shortfall is even higher in the five most under-funded cases (Gambia, Sahel region, Senegal, South Sudan and Djibouti).

Source: europarl.europa.eu

Tuesday, 03 May 2016

Projects in Senegal helping disabled schoolchildren and rescuing street kids have appealed for a continuation of their EU funding, as Brussels officials fly in for a summit in the capital, Dakar, with leaders of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations on Thursday (28 April). EU Development and Cooperation Commission Neven Mimica arrived on Tuesday (26 April) for a summit with the leaders and ministers of the largely-poor 89 ACP states, which alternates between Brussels and ACP host cities. On the agenda is a continuation of the Cotonou Agreement on development, political, and economic cooperation beyond the current deal’s cut-off point of 2020. Other items include climate change, and the EU’s controversial Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, aimed at stemming the increasing influx of irregular migrants from Africa, often heading for Libya and a treacherous sea passage to Europe. Ahead of Thursday’s first day of the meeting, EurActiv.com visited a variety of small-scale EU-aided projects in and across the capital, all receiving relatively small EU grants to help with Senegal’s increasing problem with abandoned street children.

Source: euractiv.com

In 2014, France launched a drive for greater transparency in its official development assistance. But two years on, results have proved elusive, and France is still among Europe’s worst performers. EurActiv France reports. Regularly criticised for the lack of transparency in its official development assistance (ODA) programmes, Paris took steps in 2014 to bring its activities into line with international standards. So far, the results have not been convincing. The French government launched the French aid to priority countries website in an attempt to improve the traceability of its ODA. The site was supposed to provide information on all financial aid packages of more than €100,000 to 16 priority African countries (Benin, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Chad, etc.). In practice, the aim was to allow the citizens of the countries concerned to follow the implementation of development and humanitarian projects financed by France.

Source: euractiv.com