Weekly roundup: Top international development headlines

Weekly roundup: Top international development headlines

Ukraine war squeezes food supplies, drives up prices, threatens vulnerable nations, countries review progress on global migration compact, four key climate change indicators break records in 2021. Here is what you missed from last week’s headlines in the international development sector:

Ukraine war squeezes food supplies, drives up prices, threatens vulnerable nations

Kicking off a three-day meeting on the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its wider impact on food and energy prices, the head of the UN agriculture agency outlined key ways for governments to help safeguard global food security.

Under the theme Securing Global Food Security in Times of Crisis, Qu Dongyu, Food, and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General, told agriculture ministers from G7 wealthy nations gathered in Stuttgart, Germany, that the most significant threats stem from conflict, and the associated humanitarian impact, together with multiple overlapping crises.

“Crisis represents a challenge for food security for many countries, and especially for low‑income food import-dependent countries and vulnerable population groups,” he said.

Countries review progress on global migration compact

Although many migrants worked on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, risking their own lives to save others, they were at times denied access to basic services and excluded from recovery plans, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in New York.

“Behind every number is a family, a community, a life. They seek what we seek. They dream what we dream – Opportunity. Dignity. A better life” said, Mr. Shahid. “Our ability to protect and to integrate migrants is not only a barometer of the health of our institutions – but of the empathy, we feel for our fellow human beings; of our will to do right by our own conscience; of our commitment to upholding the basic human rights of all.”

He said at least 8,436 migrant deaths were recorded globally between 1 January 2019 and 24 November 2021. A further 5,534 migrants went missing and are presumed dead, adding that these were just the reported numbers. Mr. Shahid told the conference that as countries work to recover from the pandemic and to achieve sustainable development by 2030, they will need the contribution from all in society, including migrants.

Four key climate change indicators break records in 2021

Four key climate change indicators – greenhouse gas concentrations, sea-level rise, ocean heat, and ocean acidification – set new records in 2021. This is yet another clear sign that human activities are causing planetary-scale changes on land, in the ocean, and in the atmosphere, with harmful and long-lasting ramifications for sustainable development and ecosystems, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The WMO State of the Global Climate in 2021 report confirmed that the past seven years have been the warmest seven years on record. 2021 was “only” one of the seven warmest because of a La Niña event at the start and end of the year. This had a temporary cooling effect but did not reverse the overall trend of rising temperatures. The average global temperature in 2021 was about 1.11 (± 0.13) °C above the pre-industrial level.

“Renewables are the only path to real energy security, stable power prices, and sustainable employment opportunities. If we act together, the renewable energy transformation can be the peace project of the 21st century,” said Mr. Guterres.

DevelopmentAid Editorials

The effects of deforestation on humans, the environment and biodiversity

Every year a massive number of trees are chopped down throughout the world. At the same time, data shows that this is being done at a pace that is considerably faster than reforestation efforts. It is believed this disparity will cause significant damage to the planet.

Check the full article here.

How do the sanctions imposed on Russia affect the global economy? | Experts’ Opinions

The effectiveness of the economic sanctions against Russia after its leader, Vladimir Putin, ordered the invasion of Ukraine has provoked much debate worldwide raising doubts that this will force the Kremlin to end the war. At the same time, the economic impact of the financial sanctions on Russia has apparently proved to be greater than previous estimates. Imposing sanctions on a country also affects the economy of the imposing country to a degree. We discussed these consequences with several international financial experts. Check out their opinions below.

Check the full article here.

UN SDG 6 – water and sanitation: Where is South Africa?

Access to sufficient and safe water is a basic right enshrined in South Africa’s Constitution. So much so that the government’s stated intention is to provide indigent households with free water of “at least a basic amount of 6 kl (6 000 l) of water per month per household”.

Check the full article here.

Here’s what else has happened

WORLD BANK: The World Bank announced actions it plans to take as part of a comprehensive, global response to the ongoing food security crisis, with up to $30 billion in existing and new projects in areas such as agriculture, nutrition, social protection, water, and irrigation. This financing will include efforts to encourage food and fertilizer production, enhance food systems, facilitate greater trade, and support vulnerable households and producers.

G7: Up to a quarter of a billion people are at risk of falling into extreme poverty this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, climate crisis, and crisis in Ukraine. Global inequality threatens to rise massively unless more is done to effectively address this situation.

IOM and UNICEF: The organizations are currently working to address pressing global challenges and appeal to other humanitarian organizations and their partners to establish similar collaborative frameworks to ensure the safety and livelihood of migrant children.


All-time high of nearly 60 million people internally displaced worldwide

The number of people living in internal displacement around the world reached a record 59.1 million at the end of 2021, up from 55 million a year earlier. The unprecedented figure is the result of new waves of violence and protracted conflict in countries ranging from Ethiopia and Afghanistan to Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)’s annual global report.

World a ‘virtual tinderbox’ for catastrophic levels of severe malnutrition in children

The number of children with severe wasting was rising even before the war in Ukraine threatened to plunge the world deeper into a spiraling global food crisis – and it’s getting worse, UNICEF warned in a new Child Alert. Released ”Severe wasting: An overlooked child survival emergency” shows that in spite of rising levels of severe wasting in children and rising costs for life-saving treatment, global financing to save the lives of children suffering from wasting is also under threat.

Investing in quality early childhood education is key to tackling learning poverty and building human capital

COVID-19 has hit the youngest children’s learning the hardest, especially in low-income countries, accentuating the need for actionable and evidence-based strategies to deliver quality early childhood education (ECE) at scale. Released, the World Bank’s new volume Quality Early Learning: Nurturing Children’s Potential reviews the science of early learning and offers practical advice on key elements and principles to deliver quality ECE.


Protection of Civilians Week 2022

📅 23 – 27 May 2022

In 1999, the UN Security Council added the protection of civilians in armed conflict (PoC) to its agenda, thereby formally recognizing PoC as a matter of international peace and security. Resolution 1265 – the Council’s first resolution on PoC – set the parameters of what remains the building blocks of the PoC agenda. Since then, the annual Open Debate of the Security Council on this issue has been the opportunity for the UN membership to take stock of the state of PoC, assess tools available to enhance the PoC on the ground, and adopt several thematic PoC resolutions.

Link for registration.

African Development Bank Group’s 2022 Annual Meetings

📅 23 – 27 May 2022

Ghana will host the African Development Bank Group’s 2022 Annual Meetings from 23-27 May in its capital, Accra. This year’s meetings mark a return to in-person sessions following virtual meetings over the last two years. They will be held in a hybrid format with participants present in Accra and online.

Link for registration.

Seventh Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP2022)

📅 23 – 28 May 2022
Bali, Indonesia

The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is the main global forum to assess and discuss progress on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The seventh session of the Global Platform (GP2022) will be organized by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) from 23 to 28 May 2022, in Bali, Indonesia, hosted by the Government of Indonesia. The event will be co-chaired by the Government of Indonesia and UNDRR.

Organisational Development and Change | Blended course

📅 23 May 2022 – 17 June 2022
Blended Course

The only thing that is constant in life is change” – the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. In order to remain relevant and effective, organisations need to look critically at their own functioning and understand the rapidly changing world surrounding them.

Link for registration.

Doing Business with the World Bank. Corporate Procurement | Free Webinar

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

DevelopmentAid, in collaboration with the World Bank Group, invites organizations and individual experts working in the development sector to join the webinar on “Doing Business with the World Bank. Corporate Procurement” to learn more about aspects of WB’s corporate procurement and discover ways to achieve successful collaboration.

Key Takeaways

    • Get to know the Corporate Procurement Unit and its mission within the WBG
    • Learn how to become a registered vendor for corporate procurement at WBG
    • Discover tips on how to target business opportunities, submit solicitations and prepare winning proposals
    • Ask your questions during the Q&A session


Faith Graham, Category Lead for Professional Services, Corporate Procurement at the World Bank Group


Elena Rata, External Relations & Events at DevelopmentAid.

Link for registration

World Bank Group Youth Summit 2022: Unlocking the Power of Inclusion for Equitable Growth

📅 26-27 May 2022
Hybrid- Online and Washington DC

COVID-19 has reversed years of progress in global development and further exacerbated inequalities in education, health, income, and access to opportunities. The pandemic’s impact has been even more severe for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities. About 97 million more people are living in poverty because of COVID-19, and the loss in human capital wealth globally due to gender inequality is estimated at $160.2 trillion. The idea of inclusive growth has emerged as a central theme animating discussions on recovery and growth in the post-COVID world. The outcome of COP26 has only highlighted the need for an ambitious plan and action.

Link for registration