Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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EDITO
Wednesday, 18 October 2017

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.

On 23 and 24 October, Stefano Manservisi, Director General for Development of the European Union led a high level mission to Haiti to see the extent of damage and loss suffered by the population following the passage of Hurricane Matthew; Mission to which participated among others : Jolita Butkeviciene, Director for the Americas and the Caribbean to the Directorate for the development of the EU and Cees Wittebrood, Head of Unit Asia, Latin America, Caribbean and Pacific to the department of humanitarian aid and civil protection of the European Union (ECHO).

The European Union (EU), this week, pledged over €70 million in funding to the Latin American and Caribbean regions to support sustainable development. The EU made the pledge during the its two-day ministerial meeting with the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC) held in Santo Domingo from October 25-26. At the meeting the EU said that it would be rolling out sustainable development programs totaling some €74 million. The EU said that its aim is to improve the living conditions of people within the CELAC states by 2030, in accordance with the “Transforming Our World: the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development”, agreed to by the United Nations in 2015.