Weekly Roundup | Top international development headlines

Weekly Roundup | Top international development headlines

Haiti: children account for 2 in 5 cholera cases -UNICEF, IFAD and Japan to build on strategic partnership in addressing global food crisis, and COP27’s multi-billion climate funding not enough for Africa. Here is what you missed from last week’s headlines in the international development sector.

Haiti: children account for 2 in 5 cholera cases -UNICEF

Nearly two months into the cholera outbreak in Haiti, UNICEF is warning that approximately 40 per cent of the growing number of confirmed cases are among children. Since the onset of the cholera outbreak, 9 in 10 confirmed cholera cases in Haiti have been reported in areas most affected by the deepening nutrition crisis in the country.

Children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, also known as severe wasting, are more vulnerable to cholera and at least three times more at risk of dying from the disease.

“In Haiti right now, there is a triple threat to children’s lives –malnutrition, cholera and armed violence. And sometimes all three together,” said Manuel Fontaine, Director of the Office of Emergency Programmes, as he concluded a four-day visit to Haiti. “I was shocked to see many children at risk of dying in the cholera treatment centres. In just a few hours, acute watery diarrhoea and vomiting dehydrate and weaken them so much they may die without timely and adequate treatment. Cholera and malnutrition are a lethal combination, one leading to the other.”

IFAD and Japan to build on strategic partnership in addressing global food crisis

Alvaro Lario, President of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), visited Japan to meet with Tetsuro Nomura, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, government officials, and others, to build on strategic partnerships and to thank Japan for its support as one of the founding members of the organization and fifth largest donor country.

In the meeting, Minister Nomura and President Lario discussed global challenges, including climate change and the food, fuel, and fertilizer crisis that has severely impacted small-scale farmers in developing countries. Both parties agreed to work together towards resilient food systems and global food security.

COP27’s multi-billion climate funding not enough for Africa

In the six years since the last Conference of Parties (COP) took place on African soil, the continent has added the COVID-19 pandemic and the real effects of the climate crisis to its longstanding list of social, governance, and economic challenges.

These set the scene for high expectations and an intense two weeks of deliberation at COP27 which took place in Egypt from 6 -18 November 2022.

The continent secured a number of multi-million dollar financial undertakings as detailed below. However, the two most noteworthy outcomes can justifiably be attributed to the US$8.5 billion in climate financing secured by South Africa and the unanimous agreement by developed countries to establish a loss and damage fund.

DevelopmentAid Editorials

COP27 outcomes: a historical deal on loss and damage and disappointment over mitigation

COP27 outcomes: a historical deal on loss and damage and disappointment over mitigation

After intense negotiations, the world’s biggest climate event, the UN Climate Change Conference, COP27, has ended with the adoption of a commitment to establish a fund for loss and damage intended to compensate vulnerable nations for climate-related disasters. However, the document, viewed by many as a long-awaited historical deal, failed to prevent the disappointment felt by some participants regarding the poor progress made on mitigation measures.

Check the full article here.

What is sustainable development and which 5 technologies can boost it?

What is sustainable development and which 5 technologies can boost it?

The term ‘sustainable development’ originated in 1987 with the publishing of the Brundtland Report which introduced the topic of the not-so-good effects of intense economic development and sought to find answers to the negative consequences brought about by industrialization and population expansion. The report warned of the harmful environmental effects of both economic development and globalization.

Built on the idea of sustainable development, in 1992 the UN Conference on Environment and Development took place in Rio de Janeiro. It was the first global effort to formulate action plans to enable a shift to a more sustainable pattern of growth. Ever since then, experts, policymakers, and governments, as well as a myriad of NGOs, have been desperately trying to identify the optimal path and balance between economic expansion, resource use, and preserving landscapes.

Check the full article here.

What are the main consequences of climate migration? Can this process be stopped? | Experts’ Opinions

What are the main consequences of climate migration? Can this process be stopped? | Experts’ Opinions

As our planet’s climate changes, people living in the more arid zones along the equator are being forced to leave their habitats and migrate. This phenomenon is known as climate migration. This is not new and, because migration itself is a complex issue, it often involves people being displaced due to different factors, be it conflict, poverty, or climate. World Bank data shows that an annual average of 21.5 million people have been forcibly displaced by weather-related events since 2008 and the number is expected to surge in the coming decades as the climate continues to change. We discussed this issue with several climate experts. Check their opinions below.

Check the full article here.

Here’s what else has happened

UNODC and UN Women: new study by UNODC and UN Women shows that, on average, more than five women or girls were killed every hour by someone in their own family in 2021. The report comes ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25 and is a horrific reminder that violence against women and girls is one of the most pervasive human rights violations worldwide.

WFP and China: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) launched a new project for school children funded by the Government of China through the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA). Around 930 tonnes of rice and 120 tonnes of canned fish are to be procured by WFP with the support of China’s Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund (GDSSCF) for top-up lunches of some 130,000 students in 1,400 primary schools across the country.

USAID: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announces the launch of the second phase of its Environmental Restoration of the Aral Sea activity. USAID will provide up to $1.6 million, subject to the availability of funds, to expand the project from Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan, which will improve resilience to the adverse effects of desertification in the Aral Sea region by growing new forests.

Islamic Relief: Islamic Relief has begun responding to a deadly earthquake in Indonesia, which has left thousands of people homeless. At least 162 people have been killed and hundreds more injured after a 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck West Java province on 21 November. Dozens of people have also been reported missing, according to Indonesia’s disaster response agency (BNPB).

Malawi: Malawi has been grappling with a devastating cholera outbreak that has affected entire communities as the country experiences a worsening hunger crisis. Government reports released in November indicate that there was a 33.5% increase in reported cholera cases in October, compared to September. With the rainy season about to start, there are fears that there could be a spike in cases. Despite a combination of interventions, including a vaccine drive that started in May 2022, the outbreak has kept on spreading and has now affected all 28 districts in the Country.


Amid food and climate crises, investing in sustainable food cold chains crucial

As food insecurity and global warming rise, governments, international development partners and industry should invest in sustainable food cold chains to decrease hunger, provide livelihoods to communities, and adapt to climate change, the UN said.

Launched at the 27th Climate Change Conference, the Sustainable Food Cold Chains report, from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), finds that food cold chains are critical to meeting the challenge of feeding an additional two billion people by 2050 and harnessing rural communities’ resilience while avoiding increased greenhouse gas emissions.

The report was developed in the framework of the UNEP-led Cool Coalition in partnership with FAO, the Ozone Secretariat, the UNEP OzonAction Programme, and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

Uncovering nature’s role in climate action

The latest science confirms that nature acts as the secret ally in the fight against climate change, slowing global warming and protecting humanity from much more severe impacts of climate change, according to a new WWF report.

The report highlights the power of natural ecosystems to both reduce emissions and help communities adapt and build resilience in a warming world. Our Climate’s Secret Ally: Uncovering the story of nature in the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report draws upon the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s work to highlight the interlinked emergencies of human-induced climate change and biodiversity loss and makes the case for better integrating nature into the global response to the climate crisis.

Green recovery is an urgent issue, not just an option: APEC report

APEC member economies are facing extensive sustainability challenges and there is an urgent need to embark on green structural reforms to tackle this and promote a green recovery from the economic slowdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, an APEC report on structural reform in the Asia-Pacific region shows.

The 2022 APEC Economic Report, released while APEC officials are convening in Bangkok, Thailand, ahead of the APEC Annual Ministerial Meeting and APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting this week, draws on examples from APEC member economies implementing structural reforms to promote sustainable outcomes. It finds that the proportion of fiscal stimulus spending on green initiatives is fairly small and that most stimulus packages are spent on business-as-usual activities.

It argues that governments’ responses to economic shocks can provide the impetus and means to promote a green recovery that contributes both to economic growth and to improvements in environmental outcomes.


The list of major upcoming events in the development sector in November-December 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-December 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

Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Financing for Development, sixth session

Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Financing for Development, sixth session

📅 30 November – 02 December 2022
Geneva, Switzerland

Since the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Financing for Development, the economic prospects for most developing countries have worsened considerably.

The global economy saw a two-speed recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in 2021, with developing countries falling behind in a context of lower vaccination rates and reduced fiscal space.

While these countries nevertheless began to benefit from improved export performances and a rebound of capital inflows in the last quarter of 2021, the positive trends quickly reversed again from around March 2022, the war in Ukraine, wider inflationary pressures triggered by the global recovery, and a return of monetary tightening cycles, curbing domestic growth and increasing the cost of domestic sovereign debt.

The combination of an ongoing health crisis, rising food, fertilizer, and energy prices, and worsened global financial conditions has created a cost-of-living crisis not seen in at least a generation.

These unfavorable developments come on the back of the pre-existing high vulnerabilities of the external debt positions of many developing countries and in the context of a fast-worsening climate crisis.

The sixth session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Financing for Development will assess the impact of current global and interrelated crises on efforts to scale up development finance and discuss specific policy initiatives, at the national, regional, and global levels, to provide a much-needed stimulus for Sustainable Development Goal financing and, more generally, the scaling-up of development finance in the near future.

Link for Registration

State Resilience Index Launch

Associate Writer | State Resilience Index Launch

📅 7 December 2022 🕐 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM EST

For the last 17 years, the Fund for Peace has published the Fragile States Index (FSI), measuring annual pressures and shocks across the globe. Every country experiences these shocks–from pandemics to extreme weather events–and their frequency is increasing. Though we understand fragility, we need a tool to measure a country’s ability to anticipate, manage, and recover from crisis. We have created a new index to fill that gap: The State Resilience Index (SRI).

The SRI measures state-level resilience in 154 countries across seven broad societal pillars: Inclusion, Social Cohesion, Environment/Ecology, Individual Capabilities, State Capacity, Economy, and Civic Space, which in turn are broken out into 39 sub-pillars. The index stands alongside the FSI as a new tool to identify capacities and capabilities in countries under stress. Our indices work hand in hand as decision support tools and highlight key insights for planning and response.

In partnership with data analytics leader SAS, FFP has brought these two indices together to create a state-of-the-art Crisis Sensitivity Simulator (CSS). The CSS can model a country’s potential reaction to varying degrees and types of shock based on analysis of its capacities (data from the SRI) and pressures (data from the FSI). Our tools show that even the most fragile of states have factors of resilience that can be leveraged for improvement.

The Inaugural Launch event will feature a demonstration of how to access and use the SRI and CSS dashboards, as well as a panel discussion on the index, its utility, and its potential to promote a more resilient world.

Link for Registration

UN-Water Summit on Groundwater, 2022

UN-Water Summit on Groundwater, 2022

📅 7-8 December 2022
 Paris, France

Groundwater is invisible, and yet its impact is visible everywhere. It is a hidden treasure that enriches lives. Groundwater may be out of sight, but it must not be out of mind. The UN-Water Summit on Groundwater 2022 aims to bring attention to groundwater at the highest international level. The Summit will use the UN World Water Development Report 2022 as a baseline and the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework as a guideline to define actions toward more responsible and sustainable use and protection of this vital natural resource.

The Summit will unify the statements from all major water-related events in 2022 into one comprehensive groundwater message for the UN Water Conference 2023.

Link for Registration