Weekly Roundup | Top international development headlines

Weekly Roundup | Top international development headlines

Inequalities are blocking the end of the AIDS pandemic, UN launches record $51.5 billion humanitarian appeal for 2023 and rising inflation brings striking fall in real wages. Here is what you missed from last week’s headlines in the international development sector.

Inequalities are blocking the end of the AIDS pandemic

Analysis by the UN ahead of World AIDS Day reveals that inequalities are obstructing the end of AIDS. To current trends, the world will not meet agreed global targets on AIDS. But the new UNAIDS report, Dangerous Inequalities, shows that urgent action to tackle inequalities can get the AIDS response on the track.

UNAIDS set out earlier this year that the AIDS response is in danger—with rising new infections and continuing deaths in many parts of the world. A new report from UNAIDS shows that inequalities are the underlying reason why. It shows how world leaders can tackle those inequalities, and calls on them to be courageous to follow what the evidence reveals.

Dangerous Inequalities unpacks the impact on the AIDS response of gender inequalities, inequalities faced by key populations, and of inequalities between children and adults. It sets out how worsening financial constraints are making it more difficult to address those inequalities. The report shows how gender inequalities and harmful gender norms are holding back the end of the AIDS pandemic.

UN launches record $51.5 billion humanitarian appeal for 2023

Next year will set another record for humanitarian relief requirements, with 339 million people in need of assistance in 69 countries, an increase of 65 million people compared to the same time last year, the United Nations and partner organizations said.

The estimated cost of the humanitarian response going into 2023 is US$51.5 billion, a 25 percent increase compared to the beginning of 2022.

“Humanitarian needs are shockingly high, as this year’s extreme events are spilling into 2023,” said the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths. “Lethal droughts and floods are wreaking havoc in communities from Pakistan to the Horn of Africa. The war in Ukraine has turned a part of Europe into a battlefield. More than 100 million people are now displaced worldwide. And all of this on top of the devastation left by the pandemic among the world’s poorest. For people on the brink, this appeal is a lifeline. For the international community, it is a strategy to make good on the pledge to leave no one behind.”

Rising inflation brings striking fall in real wages

The severe inflationary crisis combined with a global slowdown in economic growth – driven in part by the war in Ukraine and the global energy crisis – are causing a striking fall in real monthly wages in many countries.

According to a new International Labour Organization (ILO) report, the crisis is reducing the purchasing power of the middle classes and hitting low-income households particularly hard.

The Global Wage Report 2022-2023: The Impact of inflation and COVID-19 on wages and purchasing power, estimates that global monthly wages fell in real terms to minus 0.9 percent in the first half of 2022 – the first time this century that real global wage growth has been negative.

Among advanced G20 countries, real wages in the first half of 2022 are estimated to have declined to minus 2.2 percent, whereas real wages in emerging G20 countries grew by 0.8 percent, 2.6 percent less than in 2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic.

DevelopmentAid Editorials

The Group of Seven might cap Russian oil price. We consider pros and cons of this | Experts’ Opinions

oil well

The G7 group, together with Australia, are due to decide about setting a price cap on exported Russian oil by December 5, 2022. If the decision is to be adopted, the group will agree to set a fixed price rather than a floating rate. This unprecedented proposition by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the U.S. aims to prevent Russia, which is currently the second largest oil producer in the world, to profit from high oil prices following its invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, the G7 wants to ensure that most of Russia’s oil continues to flow to global energy markets. This situation has sparked much debate within the international community. DevelopmentAid asked several experts and learned of various pros and cons.

Check the full article here

Ireland’s overseas development assistance at record high in 2021

Ireland increased its overseas development assistance by €108 million in 2021 compared to 2020, pledging to raise this to €1.2 billion in 2023. In response to challenges brought about by the humanitarian and climate change disasters, Ireland’s overseas development assistance reached various emerging countries across the globe.

In 2021, Ireland’s overseas development assistance (ODA) reached a record level of €976 million up from €868 million in 2020, according to the Irish Aid Annual Report. The previous record amount of ODA was €921 million, documented in 2008. In 2022, for overseas development, Ireland allocated €1.044 billion and the Government has pledged to disburse more than €1.2 billion for ODA in 2023.

Check the full article here

EU amendments to block food imports from deforested areas. How might this affect Brazil?

Amazon deforestation

The European Parliament recently approved amendments to the law on deforestation that ban food imports from countries that fail to avoid deforestation and protect natural assets. The bill has the potential to affect exports from Brazil, the biggest country in South America and one of the world’s biggest food exporters, but also one of the biggest deforesters too.

The regulation aims to improve control over imports of beef, palm oil, soy, wood, cocoa, coffee and other products. In order for these goods to be marketed in the European Union, companies will be required to prove that they do not come from illegally logged forests.

The public consultations on the bill appear to be the most popular in the history of the European Union with more than 1.2 million responses having been received. Once the text of the draft bill is approved, Parliament will begin to negotiate the final law with EU member states. To enter into force, the draft law will need to be approved by all 27 countries. If this does happen, it will impact upon Brazil which is already under pressure from the bloc due to the socio-environmental agenda of the government of President Jair Bolsonaro.

Check the full article here

Here’s what else has happened

UNRWA and Belgium: The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) concluded a one-year project on “Education in Emergencies for Palestine Refugee Children – Phase III” which was implemented from October 2021 to October 2022, thanks to a EUR 3.5 million contribution from the Government of Belgium through its Federal Public Service of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Co-operation (DGD) and building on previous support.

ECLAC: Despite the slight decline recorded in 2021, projections indicate that poverty and extreme poverty rates remain above pre-pandemic levels in 2022 in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) warned in its Social Panorama of Latin America and the Caribbean 2022 report, which was presented in Santiago, Chile and which addresses education as a central issue along with its role in the debate on policies for the region’s recovery.

WFP and UNHCR: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, warned of an imminent cut to food assistance to crisis-affected refugees in Chad unless urgent funding to bridge major funding shortfalls is received imminently.

FAO: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2023 is seeking $1.9 billion to save the lives and livelihoods of some of the most severe acute food insecure people, as acute food insecurity continues to escalate globally.

UNHCR and IOM: The Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela (R4V), co-led by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), is launching a US$1.72 billion regional plan to support the ongoing needs of refugees and migrants from Venezuela throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.


Humanitarian aid alone cannot overcome record levels of internal displacement

In 2022, the number of people forced to flee from their homes crossed 100 million. The majority of those people displaced by conflict, violence, or disasters are trapped within their own countries, often for years or decades. Yet, internally displaced persons (IDPs) are rarely in the headlines. This invisible crisis is due to gaps in development support, says the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

A new UNDP report, Turning the tide on internal displacement: A development approach to solutions, argues that longer-term development action is needed to reverse record levels of internal displacement, with millions more people predicted to be uprooted by climate change. By 2050, climate change could force more than an estimated 216 million people to evacuate their homes, leaving their present lives and livelihoods behind, and move to safer areas.

State of Global Water Resources report informs on rivers, land water storage and glaciers

The World Meteorological Organization has published its first State of Global Water Resources report in order to assess the effects of climate, environmental and societal change on the Earth’s water resources. The aim of this annual stocktake is to support the monitoring and management of global freshwater resources in an era of growing demand and limited supplies.

The global energy crisis is driving a surge in heat pumps, bringing energy security and climate benefits

Sales are set to hit new records, helping save energy and emissions, but policy action is needed to unblock bottlenecks such as upfront costs and training workers. Worldwide sales of heat pumps are set to soar to record levels in the coming years as the global energy crisis accelerates their adoption, the International Energy Agency says in a new special report released.


The list of major upcoming events in development sector in December 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 December 2022.

Download the comprehensive schedule of major online events.

International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC)

anti corrpution event

📅 6 – 10 December 2022
Washington, D.C, USA

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) at the upcoming International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), a biennial gathering of over 2,000 participants dedicated to “Uprooting Corruption, Defending Democratic Values.”

Throughout the four-day conference, attendees will discuss ways to strengthen the efforts of public officials, independent institutions, and civil society to promote good governance and counter corruption. Anti-corruption is at the core of IFES’ Strategic Plan as supports local efforts to build resilient institutions that protect the rule of law as the cornerstone of resilient democracies.

Link for Registration

2nd International Forum on Low Carbon Cities

low carbon cities

📅 06 – 08 December 2022
Incheon, Republic of Korea

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Incheon Metropolitan City are jointly organizing the 2nd International Forum on Low Carbon Cities on 6-8 December 2022, in collaboration with the CityNet, Climate Change Center, Green Climate Fund, ICLEI East Asia Secretariat, Incheon Climate & Environment Research Center, and Innovative Green Development Program (iGDP).

As a unique occasion for building a partnership with existing networks on low-carbon, sustainable, resilient cities, the 2nd Forum will discuss solutions and stakeholder engagement towards a low-carbon society, facilitating information sharing and strengthening partnership and peer-learning among cities in North-East Asia and city networks.

Link for Registration

The World Circular Economy Forum 2022


📅 6-8 December 2022
Kigali, Rwanda

The World Circular Economy Forum 2022 brings together forward-looking thinkers and doers and presents the game-changers in the circular economy for the first time in Africa. WCEF2022 is co-organized by the African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA), the Republic of Rwanda, the African Circular Economy Network (ACEN), and The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, with international partners.

The annual World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF) presents the world’s leading circular economy solutions with business leaders, policymakers, and experts participating from around the world.

Link for Registration

Ukraine’s economy: stabilisation, rebuilding and the role of the EBRD

ukraine ebrd event

📅 7 December 2022

Nearly nine months after the Russian invasion, the war seriously affected Ukraine’s economy, which is facing daunting tasks. Macroeconomic and financial sector stability is essential for the continued functioning of the economy and maintaining the war effort. Supporting and stimulating the real economy are the key elements of its economic sustainability.

These tasks require collective efforts and coordination among the country’s policymakers, businesses, and the international community, including the EBRD. The main objective of this half-day workshop is to bring together representatives of key stakeholders to discuss optimal policies and necessary investments to help the process of Ukraine’s stabilization and rebuilding.

Link for Registration

UN-Water Summit on Groundwater, 2022

ground water event

📅 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

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