Weekly roundup: Top international development headlines

09 May 2022

Weekly roundup: Top international development headlines

Europe must remain resilient in the face of aggression and war, progress in least developed countries stalled by multiple crises, and threats to media workers’ freedom ‘growing by the day’. Here is what you missed from last week’s headlines in the international development sector:

Europe must remain resilient in the face of aggression and war

Secretary-General Marija Pejčinović Burić has marked Europe Day 2022 by calling on European states to renew their investment in human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in the face of “terrible violence and seismic change.”

Launching the annual report, Moving Forward 2022, the Secretary-General condemned Russian aggression against Ukraine and praised the “grit, bravery, and determination” of the Ukrainian people.

“We had dared to believe that pictures like this – realities like this – belonged to Europe’s past. We were wrong. History has returned to our continent in the cruelest of ways. The scale of the destruction and the long-term geopolitical implications are still unfolding. The Council of Europe is united in its solidarity with Ukraine. We continue to support the country and its people and will do so with further, tailor-made measures as soon as the violence ends. In the meantime, we are working with member states to help them support the Ukrainian refugees who have come to their countries in search of safety.”

She stressed that the Organisation’s swift suspension and subsequent exclusion of Russia had been made inevitable by its government’s actions, which have come at a cost for its own citizens, adding: “2022 will be the year in which they lose the protection of the European Convention on Human Rights, their ability to submit applications to the European Court of Human Rights and their place in this pan-European family.

Progress in least developed countries stalled by multiple crises

Economic and social progress in the least Developed Countries (LDCs) have been slowed by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and the continuing energy and food crises. According to a report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), most LDCs responded rapidly to the pandemic by implementing a wide range of support packages, despite widening financial gaps and limited fiscal space.

The report, Present and future of work in the LDCs, presents an overview of the progress and the structural challenges faced by LDCs in terms of structural transformation, a just transition to greener economies, and the creation of full and productive employment and decent work. It covers current trends in production, productivity, employment, and decent work, as well as the role of social protection and institutions of work.

“Multiple shocks have put Least Developed Countries under enormous pressure,” said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder. “However, with the right employment and macroeconomic policy measures, new jobs can be created in both existing and new sectors, along with enhanced productivity and innovation-driven by investments in green and digital economic opportunities.”

Threats to media workers’ freedom ‘growing by the day’, UN chief warns

Journalists and media workers are facing “increasing politicization” of their work and threats to their freedom to simply do their jobs, which is “growing by the day”, said the UN chief, marking World Press Freedom Day. The day shines a spotlight on the essential work they do, bringing those in power to account, with transparency, “often at great personal risk”, said Secretary-General António Guterres, in a video message.

The UN chief noted that many social media platforms make their money not through increasing access to fact-based reporting, but by boosting engagement, “which often means provoking outrage, and spreading lies.”

“Media workers in war zones are threatened not only by bombs and bullets but by the weapons of falsification and disinformation that accompany modern warfare. They may be attacked as the enemy, accused of espionage, detained, or killed, simply for doing their jobs.”

Mr. Guterres said that digital technology was also making censorship easier for authoritarian governments and others, seeking to suppress the truth, with many journalists and editors facing the prospect of their work being taken offline on a daily basis.

DevelopmentAid Editorials

The benefits of the DevelopmentAid platform for international donors

When mentioning DevelopmentAid.org, thoughts lead to a one-stop-shop for international aid sector stakeholders. Indeed, we have managed to create the largest and most varied network of funding and implementing agencies such as development banks, finance institutions, multilateral and bilateral donors, consulting organizations, government bodies, NGOs, and individual experts. Each one of these players uses the platform for particular benefits. International donors, who are the rule-setters within the sector, use the platform to facilitate communication, publish announcements, recruit development consultants or update their blacklists.

Check the full article here.

How does the Russian invasion of Ukraine change shipping and freight rates? | Experts’ Opinions

In mid-April, the world’s three largest container shipping lines, Denmark’s Maersk, France’s CMA CGM, and Swiss-based MSC suspended their bookings to and from Russia. This was one of the many sanctions that aimed to stop the Russian invasion of Ukraine which began at 5 am on February 24.

Check the full article here.

TOP 5 causes and effects of water pollution

Water pollution is an ongoing environmental problem that affects the health of millions of people across the globe. It jeopardizes the normal functioning of natural ecosystems and thus directly threatens marine animals, wildlife, and plants. While multiple factors lead to this, those originating from human activity have the largest negative impact on the environment. This article defines water pollution, presents the causes that lead to it, and highlights the most common types of water contamination.

Check the full article here.

Here’s what else has happened

UN: Against the backdrop of a global energy crisis and worsening climate emergency, the UN took a major step to catalyze the large-scale action and support needed for the transition to clean, affordable energy for all and net-zero emissions, with the launch of a Plan of Action by some thirty leading organizations comprising “UN-Energy”.

EBRD: As a response to the war on Ukraine, the EBRD and its donors are providing emergency technical assistance to Ukrposhta and Nova Poshta, the two largest delivery companies in Ukraine.

COP15: Land, life, and legacy: from scarcity to prosperity”: this is the call to action for the international conference to combat desertification. Held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire from May 9 to 20, much of the focus of COP15 will be on Africa. AFD Group will attend, reiterating its commitment to promoting food security, and presenting ideas for the restoration of degraded land.


Ukraine: New UN Women and CARE report highlights the disproportionate impact of the war on women and minorities

After more than two months of the war in Ukraine, which has forced millions of refugees and displaced people to flee their homes, a new Rapid Gender Analysis by UN Women and CARE reveals that women and minorities are facing immense hardship when it comes to health, safety, and access to food as a result of the crisis. In Ukraine, women are increasingly becoming heads of households and leaders in their communities as men are conscripted, yet they remain largely excluded from formal decision-making processes related to humanitarian efforts, peace-making, and other areas that directly impact their lives.

Global Report on Food Crises: Acute food insecurity hits new highs

The number of people facing acute food insecurity and requiring urgent life-saving food assistance and livelihood support continues to grow at an alarming rate. This makes it more urgent than ever to tackle the root causes of food crises rather than just responding after they occur. This is a key takeaway from an annual report launched by the Global Network Against Food Crises (GNAFC) – an international alliance of the United Nations, the European Union, and governmental and non-governmental agencies working to tackle food crises together.

The report focuses on those countries and territories where the magnitude and severity of the food crisis exceed the local resources and capacities. In these situations the mobilization of the international community is necessary.

Report highlights urgent need to fund measures to protect world’s poorest from impact of climate change

“The report’s expert authors confirm what the world’s poorest are experiencing every day – that the impacts of climate change are here now and will only get worse without immediate action,” Concern Sally Tyldesley said. “The report also shows that there are steps we can take to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. Disasters do not need to be inevitable. But funding from high-income countries is needed to take action.”


Future-Aviation Forum 2022

📅 9-11 May 2022
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s first-ever Future-Aviation Forum will unite international leaders from the private and public sectors, international CEOs, and regulators to shape the evolution of international air travel and put forward new solutions.

Link for registration.

UNCCD 15th session of the Conference of the Parties

📅 9 – 20 May 2022
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

The COP15 theme, ‘Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity, is a call to action to ensure land, the lifeline on this planet, continues to benefit present and future generations. ​

Link for registration.

Market Systems Symposium 2022 (MSS2022 ) | Online

📅 09-19 May 2022

Join us for MSS2022! Hosted on a highly engaging, virtual platform this leading industry event convenes market systems development practitioners from all over the globe.

Link for registration.

Impact Evaluation | Blended Course

📅 09 May 2022 –03 June 2022
Blended Course

There is an increasing demand for impact evaluation. But for most practitioners, clearly defining impact, as well as adequately assessing and evaluating it, remains a challenge.

Link for registration.

EBRD 2022 Annual Meeting and Business Forum

📅 10 – 12 May 2022

The event in Morocco will showcase the country as a model to do business, as well as its vision for green and inclusive development, and will present an opportunity to highlight successful projects and intensify cooperation.

Link for registration

The African Kick-off Conference for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development

📅 10 – 12 May 2022
Alexandria, Egypt

The African Conference on Priority Setting & Partnership Development for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development is hosted by the Government of Egypt through its Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, and co-organized with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO through its Sub-Commission for Africa (IOCAFRICA) and in partnership with a wide range of partners in the region.

Link for registration

Measuring Development 2022: The Role of Mobile Data in Global Development Research

📅 11 May 2022

It is nearly impossible to participate in the modern economy without mobile devices. Over 6 billion people have access to smartphones, and the use of sensors to measure things like power quality, cookstove use, and air pollution is becoming more common. The expansion of mobile banking, online social networks, and the sharing economy have made mobile devices essential parts of everyday social and economic activity.

Connecting buyers and sellers in international value chains | Free webinar

📅 11 May 2022 🕟 4 PM (Brussels)/ 10 AM (Washington DC)

DevelopmentAid, together with Coverpoint RCM and the International Trade Centre (ITC), invites you to join a thematic webinar on “Connecting buyers and sellers in international value chains”. During the webinar, attendees will discover the essentials of global value chains and learn some important tips for identifying foreign buyers and building sustainable export channels for their products.

Key Takeaways

    • Tips for a successful product/service launch into export markets
    • How to find foreign distributors for your product/services
    • What factors distributors consider when deciding to take on a new product


    • Anthony Brand, CEO & Partner at CoverPoint RCM
    • Cristina Reni, Market Development Coordinator at International Trade Centre
    • Abel Fernández, General Manager of the cooperative CONACADO in the Dominican Republic


    • Elena Rata, External Relations & Events at DevelopmentAid

Link for registration