Weekly roundup | Top international development headlines

Weekly roundup | Top international development headlines

CO2 emissions from buildings and construction hit new high, children of African descent are not considered children at all, and new report warns world of huge untapped renewable energy potential. Here is what you missed from last week’s headlines in the international development sector.

CO2 emissions from buildings and construction hit new high, leaving sector off track to decarbonize by 2050: UN

Despite an increase in energy efficiency investment and lower energy intensity, the building and construction sector’s energy consumption and CO2 emissions have rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic to an all-time high, a new report finds. Released at the latest round of climate talks in Egypt, COP27, the 2022 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction finds that the sector accounted for over 34 percent of energy demand and around 37 percent of energy and process-related CO2 emissions in 2021.

The sector’s operational energy-related CO2 emissions reached ten gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent – five percent over 2020 levels and two percent over the pre-pandemic peak in 2019. In 2021, operational energy demand for heating, cooling, lighting and equipment in buildings increased by around four percent from 2020 and three percent from 2019.

This, according to the report from the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC), means that the gap between the climate performance of the sector and the 2050 decarbonization pathway is widening.

Children of African descent are not considered children at all, say UN experts

The unresolved legacies of trade and trafficking of enslaved Africans and colonialism, post-colonial apartheid, and segregation, continue to harm children of African descent in all areas of life, UN experts said.

In a report presented to the General Assembly by the Working Group on people of African descent, they highlighted discrimination against children of African descent in areas including the administration of justice, law enforcement, education, and health.

“Due to racial discrimination, racial stereotypes, systemic racial discrimination, and xenophobia, children of African descent are not considered as children at all,” Working Group Chair Catherine Namakula said when presenting the report.

The report details how false racial stereotypes of criminality, culpability, and dangerousness influence decision-making in relation to children and youth of African descent, including by legal system personnel, such as police officers, prosecutors, lawyers, and judges globally.

New report warns world of huge untapped renewable energy potential

Renewables are the backbone of the energy transition and a viable climate solution. Yet out of the 183 parties to the Paris Agreement with renewable energy components in their Nationally Determined Commitments (NDCs), only 143 have quantified targets with the vast majority focusing on the power sector. Only 12 countries had committed to a percentage of renewables in their overall energy mixes.

Renewable Energy Targets in 2022: A guide to design, released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) at the UN Climate Change Conference COP27, assesses the level of renewable energy ambition in national climate pledges and benchmarks targets against the global climate goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C. It clearly shows the collective level of energy transition ambition to date is not enough despite the Glasgow Climate Pact to upgrade 2030 targets in national pledges.

DevelopmentAid Editorials

Hundreds of millions globally face acute starvation as food prices soar

Hundreds of millions globally face acute starvation as food prices soar

Soaring food prices threaten many people with starvation worldwide as food-importing countries continually face challenges brought about by the ongoing multiple crises. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) warn that 222 million people will be at risk of acute food insecurity in 2022 and, unless urgent action is taken, about one million of these may face “catastrophic conditions”.

Multiple factors, such as armed conflicts, the coronavirus pandemic, and climate shocks, have driven up food prices since 2018, aggravating food insecurity on a global level. The situation was further exacerbated when Russia started the war against Ukraine at the beginning of 2022. Food-importing economies are currently recording dramatic rises in food prices with those countries that import a major share of their food from Ukraine being affected the most. Tension in the food market has been further escalated since food exporting countries have adopted protective measures, pushing food prices up even higher.

Check the full article here.

How can we prepare for the upcoming food shortages? | Experts’ Opinions

How can we prepare for the upcoming food shortages? | Experts’ Opinions

According to the Global Report on Food Crises 2022, levels of hunger remain alarmingly high around the world. In 2021, they surpassed all previous records with close to 193 million people across 53 countries/territories being acutely food insecure and in need of urgent assistance. Now, the unfolding war in Ukraine is likely to exacerbate the already severe 2022 forecasts. Many voices warn that global food shortages are coming and the world needs to be prepared. We discussed this subject with several international development experts. Check out their views below.

Check the full article here.

Gender equity and equality: two similar, yet distinct concepts?

Gender equity and equality: two similar, yet distinct concepts?

Gender equity and gender equality are similar concepts but they do however have distinct meanings. Although the two terms may sound similar, their interpretation and practical application are not.

What is gender equity?

First of all, gender equity is a condition that helps to achieve gender equality. Ensuring gender equity means treating everyone equally based on the needs of each person, without paying attention to the gender they have been assigned at birth, or chosen afterwards. The existence of the term, ‘gender equity’, reflects the sad but widespread situation where women do not share the same ‘starting place’ as men due to historical and societal limitations.

What is gender equality?

A society achieves gender equality when all individuals benefit from the same rights and every person can boast equal access to various opportunities and rewards, regardless of their gender.

Check the full article here.

Here’s what else has happened

UN: The United Nations and humanitarian partners are continuing to reach growing numbers of people impacted by the war on the ground with life-saving assistance, a UN spokesperson told journalists.

IRENA: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) will work together to support the transition to renewable energy through tailored weather, water, and climate services.

COP27: A new initiative to improve the understanding of climate and disaster risk in humanitarian and fragile contexts was announced at COP27 in Egypt at a side event organized by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR). UNDRR is supporting Governments and the United Nations bringing together humanitarian and development partners to jointly analyze and address risk factors that would impact relief and development operations.

AIIB: Three new partners have officially joined the Energy Transition Accelerator Financing Platform (ETAF), IRENA’s global climate finance program aimed at mobilizing capital to scale up renewable project funding in developing countries by 2030.

USAID: The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing more than $72 million in emergency food assistance to more than 650,000 vulnerable people in Lebanon, including refugees from Syria and other countries. This funding, through the United Nations World Food Program, will provide household food parcels – including rice, lentils, and chickpeas – for Lebanese families, and electronic food vouchers for Syrian refugees to use in local shops, which supports the Lebanese economy.


WHO releases first data on global vaccine market since COVID-19

WHO‘s Global Vaccine Market Report 2022, published, shows that inequitable distribution is not unique to COVID-19 vaccines, with poorer countries consistently struggling to access vaccines that are in demand by wealthier countries.

Limited vaccine supply and unequal distribution drive global disparities. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine against cervical cancer has only been introduced in 41% of low-income countries, even though they represent much of the disease burden, compared to 83% of high-income countries.

Affordability is also an obstacle to vaccine access. While prices tend to be tiered by income, price disparities see middle-income countries paying as much – or even more – than wealthier ones for several vaccine products.

African countries face 34% GDP hit due to climate change even at 1.5C of global heating

A study published by Christian Aid highlights the devastating economic impact climate change will inflict on the African continent. With delegates discussing finance issues at COP27, the first African COP for six years, the new report lays out the grim economic future some of the poorest countries in the world will face.

The analysis in the report, titled The cost to Africa: drastic economic damage from climate change, was led by Marina Andrijevic, an economist at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna. By 2050 and 2100 the economies of these countries are still expected to be higher than they are today. This study highlights the amount of damage caused to their GDP by climate change, compared to a scenario where climate change didn’t take place.

A billionaire is responsible for a million times more greenhouse gas emissions than the average person

Billionaire investments in polluting industries such as fossil fuels and cement double the average for the S&P 500 companies – Oxfam

The investments of just 125 billionaires emit 393 million tonnes of CO2e each year – the equivalent of France – at an individual annual average that is a million times higher than someone in the bottom 90 percent of humanity.

Carbon Billionaires: The investment emissions of the world’s richest people, is a report published by Oxfam based on a detailed analysis of the investments of 125 of the richest billionaires in some of the world’s biggest corporates and the carbon emissions of these investments. These billionaires have a collective $2.4 trillion stake in 183 companies.

The report finds that these billionaires’ investments produce an annual average of 3m tonnes of CO2e per person, which is a million times higher than the average for people living in the bottom 90 percent (2.76 tonnes of CO2e).


The list of major upcoming events in the development sector in November 2022

The list of major upcoming events in development sector in October 2022

Keep up-to-date on key events about emerging funding strategies, environmental policies, climate change, technological development, labor standards, and energy issues in the development sector via our compiled list.

Track events hosted by reputable international organisations, donors, NGO’s and IFIs that bring together the biggest change-makers and stakeholders in international development cooperation.

Save the date to register and attend the upcoming events in November 2022.

Download the comprehensive schedule of major online events.

Monitoring and Evaluation of Gender Based Violence | Training

Monitoring and Evaluation of Gender Based Violence | Training

📅 9,16,23, 30 November 2022
Online, Zoom

The “Monitoring and Evaluating Gender-Based Violence” workshop is designed to present the basic principles and concepts for monitoring and evaluating GBV prevention and mitigation programs.

The training will be fully taught in Arabic.

This training will rely on the GBV Monitoring and Evaluation Toolkit to give practitioners the resources to improve individual and organizational capacities to implement monitoring and evaluation processes, protocols, and tools applicable to GBV programming.

This intensive 4-day training is intended for staff of GBV sub-cluster member organizations, third-party monitoring entities, and donors, who seek to build their individual and organizational capacity to implement monitoring and evaluation interventions in their programmes.

Link for Registration



📅 16 – 18 November 2022
Bangkok, Thailand

APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) is an important forum for advancing the prosperity of people and societies in the region. Together, APEC governments and businesses work toward inclusive and sustainable growth by deepening economic cooperation, improving the environment for trade and investment, and adapting and sharing innovative measures.

The APEC CEO SUMMIT 2022 is the most influential meeting of business and government leaders in the Asia Pacific. The Summit provides opportunities for CEOs and top business executives to engage in dialogue with APEC Leaders on the most pressing issues of the day.

The APEC CEO SUMMIT provides the unmatched potential to build networks, hear directly from APEC Leaders, discuss regional challenges, and take away relevant business insights.

Thailand is Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy with a nominal gross domestic product of around USD 500 billion. With a free-market economy, the Kingdom has a strong domestic market and a growing middle class, with the private sector being the main engine of growth.

The Thai economy is well integrated into the global marketplace, with exports accounting for over 70% of the Kingdom’s GDP. Thailand also has a strong industrial sector (40% of GDP) and a robust and growing services sector (50% of GDP) centered on the tourism and financial services industries.

The friendly and warm attitude of the Thai people makes the Kingdom an ideal and welcoming destination for Asia Pacific’s biggest business meeting.

Link for Registration

Development2030 | Beyond Aid

Development2030 | Beyond Aid

📅 16-17 November 2022
Brussels Expo

With an ever-increasing pressure to ensure the global public and governments worldwide continue to support overseas development assistance, it is imperative for the international community to adapt to the changing landscape if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Development2030 event will consider how best we can do this, through identifying the key existing and emerging players, and analysing their role in creating long-term impact for low- and middle income countries. It is THE place for the overseas development community to build meaningful relationships, get inspired and meet like-minded individuals committed to achieving the 2030 goals.

Link for Registration

SAFIN Annual Plenary Meeting 2022

SAFIN Annual Plenary Meeting 2022

📅 21 – 22 November 2022
Morelia, Mexico & Online

As the world struggles to address the worst food crisis in generations, agri-SMEs that play key roles across agricultural value chains are facing unprecedented pressure. Increased operation costs, lower profit margins, and higher interest rates are among the realities faced by many agri-SMEs following the compounding effects of the war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, and climate change.

More than ever is the time for the agri-SME finance community to work in concert towards an inclusive ecosystem where agri-SMEs can affordably access the appropriate capital they need to weather these turbulent times.

The Annual Plenary Meeting of the Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN) is a unique opportunity to engage with experts from the rural and agricultural finance community, discover new research, pitch new initiatives, and connect with your next impact partner.

Under the theme “Opportunity in an evolving landscape,” this year’s event will focus on practical ways to turn the current food crisis into an opportunity for agri-SME finance and investment. The in-person event will take place in Morelia, Mexico alongside the 7th World Congress on Rural and Agricultural Finance and will be live-streamed to a virtual audience.

Link for Registration

Harnessing Digital Technologies and Experiences to SEA of Solutions 2022

SEA of Solutions 2022

📅 23 – 24 November 2022

The triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss need to be addressed for humanity to have a viable future on this planet. Plastic pollution is a key contributor and by-product of an essentially linear system in which over 75% of the material value of plastic is lost following a short first-use cycle.

Transitioning from this linear system to a circular economy demands impactful solutions across the plastic value chain from designing, producing, and consuming products to post-consumer waste management. SoS 2022 will spotlight such unique and impactful circular solutions for plastic pollution.

Over the last three years, SEA of Solutions (SoS) – SEA circular’s annual flagship event – has served as an avenue to exchange best practices, enable meaningful dialogue, and empower stakeholders to promote circularity in the plastic value chain within South-East Asia.

SoS 2022 will spotlight unique and impactful solutions along the plastic value chain covering three cross-cutting themes – Innovation, Inclusion, and Collaboration.

Link for Registration