Weekly Roundup | Top international development headlines

Weekly Roundup | Top international development headlines

Migrants across the world must have access to life-saving assistance and protection, decent work and a sustainable model aquaculture could feed the world and EU launches new programme to support peace, stability and conflict prevention. Here is what you missed from last week’s headlines in the international development sector:

Migrants across the world must have access to life-saving assistance and protection

In a year marked by exacerbated difficulties due to Covid-19 and climate-related disasters, the humanitarian situation of migrants around the world has worsened, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned ahead of International Migrants Day on 18 December.

Francesco Rocca, President of the IFRC, said: “2021 has been another terrible year for migrants across the world. Far too many migrants continue to face significant humanitarian needs with devastating consequences, with many taking life-threatening journeys, others excluded from essential services and critical protection, and yet more facing hostility and exclusion in countries of transit and destination. Governments have the duty to protect human dignity and save lives, and humanity must be at the center of any and all decisions. When did we forget that?”

The IFRC network has a global presence along migratory routes, including at sea on the world’s deadliest route in the Central Mediterranean, providing humanitarian support to migrants throughout their journeys – in countries of origin, transit, and destination. In at least 110 countries and in a coordinated manner across borders, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies provide life-saving assistance and protection to migrants regardless of their legal status, based on their needs and vulnerabilities.

With decent work and a sustainable model aquaculture could feed the world

Harnessing aquaculture’s potential to effectively contribute to feeding the world’s growing population in the decades to come will require concerted efforts to promote sustainable enterprises and decent work for its workforce.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt by both businesses and workers in the sector. Workers, especially in processing, have been at heightened risk of exposure to the virus, with the long working hours in close quarters and low temperatures. Businesses have struggled to remain viable, which has been reflected in reduced working hours or lay-offs, impacting the livelihood of workers and their families. The lessons learned from the crisis should encourage reforms towards more sustainable and resilient aquaculture and food systems more generally.

“Coherent policy frameworks should be created that focus on sustainable enterprise development and productivity improvements, the promotion of inclusive labor markets, skills development and adequate social dialogue mechanisms which involve Employers’ federations. All these elements will drive and enable the future growth of the sector,” said Employers’ group Vice-Chair, Henrik Munthe.

EU launches new programme to support peace, stability and conflict prevention

The EU is stepping up its capacity to advance peace and security in conflict-affected areas. With a budget of almost €900 million, the Global Europe thematic program on Peace, Stability, and Conflict Prevention will support actions with a global or trans-regional impact during the period of 2021-2027, by providing assistance to build capacities for conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and crisis preparedness and addressing global, trans-regional and emerging threats.

High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell said: “The EU needs to be able to address instability and conflict globally. With this program, we step up our capacity to act and support our partners in conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and crisis preparedness globally, and to address emerging threats. It will ensure that we match our ambitions with tangible support.”

Building on the work done under the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, it will be complemented by other tools, such as the European Peace Facility and Common Security and Defence Policy missions and operations.

DevelopmentAid Editorials

How does the future look for low-income countries with record-high debt levels?

According to a recent World Bank report, governments around the world responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with fiscal, monetary, and financial stimulus packages. While these measures were aimed at addressing health emergencies, cushioning the impact of the pandemic on the poor, and putting countries on a path to recovery, the resulting debt burden of the world’s low-income countries rose by 12% to a record US$860 billion in 2020. Excessive levels of foreign debt can hamper the ability of countries to invest in their economic future, experts warn.

Check the full article here.

Humanitarian Crisis – everything you need to know

Humanitarian crises crumble the lives of millions of people in the world, from Yemen in the Middle East to Venezuela in South America and Ukraine in Eastern Europe. As a result, people die, fall into poverty and despair and lose their sense of security. Currently, up to 235 million people are suffering during 27 national and regional humanitarian emergencies which require an immediate response. These events mostly occur as a result of natural disasters and armed conflicts but sometimes there are multiple factors that provoke such tragedies. Tackling these disasters requires a coordinated and pragmatic approach from various actors and on multiple fronts – something which is very hard to achieve.

Check the full article here.

Cybercrimes Act throws a lifeline to victims of cyberbullying in South Africa

Cyberbullying is a fairly frequent phenomenon among South African youth aged 14 and above, with social networks being the main media channels serving as a tool for this. To deal with this state of affairs and with cybercrimes in general, the country passed the Cybercrimes Act on 1 December 2021 which is expected to put an end to years of inability to deal with cybercrimes.

Check the full article here.

Noma, deformed face of children’s poverty

Noma, a disease that leads to facial deformation in malnourished children in poor countries, affects about 30,000 to 40,000 people a year even though it is totally preventable. The majority of cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa.

Check the full article here.

Here’s what else has happened

Top 10 largest NGOs in the world: Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are nonprofit entities created around specific purposes or issue(s) with local or international reach that operate independently from governments. Modern NGOs take various juridical forms and can be differentiated based on a number of factors such as their size, budgets, level of representation, scope, focus, and operational orientation.

IOM: The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has dispatched surge teams to support the Philippine government’s efforts to assist communities devastated by Typhoon Rai, the most powerful storm of 2021.

World Bank Group: With around 2 billion people lacking access to securely managed drinking water and 3.6 billion to sanitation, the water sector has experienced a triple crisis generated by the pandemic, climate change, and poor progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2021, Global Water Security & Sanitation Partnership, a World Bank (WB) think tank, influenced US$14.2 billion in new lending from the WB, mobilizing efforts to tackle the challenges faced by the water sector.

IDB: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and its private-sector arm, IDB Invest, expect to close the year 2021 with $19.5 billion in new financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, as they helped countries recover from the pandemic and usher in an era of sustainable and inclusive growth.


Latest child mortality estimates reveal world remains off track to meeting Sustainable Development Goals

According to the report, more than 50 countries will not meet the under-five mortality target by 2030, and more than 60 countries will miss the neonatal mortality target without immediate action. The SDGs call for an end to preventable deaths of newborns and children under age 5, with all countries aiming to have a neonatal mortality rate of 12 or fewer deaths per 1,000 live births, and an under-five mortality rate of 25 or fewer deaths per 1,000 live births, by 2030.


70 countries experience serious disruptions in access to humanitarian aid

According to the latest report by the Assessment Capacities Project, ACAPS, an independent non-governmental project that conducts humanitarian analysis, people in many countries do not receive sufficient humanitarian assistance due to constraints on the ground.