Weekly Roundup | Top international development headlines

Weekly Roundup | Top international development headlines

Famine already present and killing tens of thousands in Somalia, FAO welcomes an additional $150 million multi-agency contribution from the World Bank, and global trade set to hit record $32 trillion in 2022, but outlook increasingly gloomy for 2023. Here is what you missed from last week’s headlines in the international development sector.

Famine already present and killing tens of thousands in Somalia

The declaration on hunger in Somalia fails to convey the extreme severity of the situation on the ground in many parts of the country. NRC is afraid this may lead the international community into further complacency.

Famine is already present and killing tens of thousands silently in Somalia. There is not enough data being collected and shared to inform the Famine Review Committee’s decision adequately. Half of the areas worst affected by the drought in the south are entirely out of the reach because of the fighting. But people can only assume the worst: those who are left behind are the most vulnerable, left with no resources or energy to flee for food and water.

FAO welcomes an additional $150 million multi-agency contribution from the World Bank

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has welcomed an additional $150 million multi-agency contribution provided by the World Bank to scale up the restoration of rural livelihoods, boost household food production and provide emergency assistance to vulnerable households in Yemen.

Since 2021, the $127 million Yemen Food Security Response and Resilience Project (FSRRP) has been jointly implemented by FAO, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the World Food Programme (WFP). The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is joining the UN agencies in the implementation of the project.

Global trade set to hit record $32 trillion in 2022, but outlook increasingly gloomy for 2023

Global trade should hit a record $32 trillion for 2022, but a slowdown that began in the second half of the year is expected to worsen in 2023 as geopolitical tensions and tight financial conditions persist, according to the latest Global Trade Update, published by UNCTAD.

Despite the war in Ukraine and the lingering impact of the pandemic, trade in both goods and services has seen strong growth this year. Trade in goods grew 10% from last year to an estimated $25 trillion, due in part to higher energy prices. Services were up 15% to a record $7 trillion.

But the UNCTAD report warns that the slowdown during the second half of this year points to tougher conditions in 2023.

DevelopmentAid Editorials

COP27 resolutions, between expectancies and reality | Experts’ Opinions

COP27 resolutions, between expectancies and reality | Experts’ Opinions

November 2022 was memorable for the UN Climate Change Conference, COP27, held in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt. The many debates, discussions, and contradictions that arose during the sessions ended with an agreement to compensate poorer countries for the devastating effects of rising global temperatures.

However, several countries expressed concern that the COP27 resolutions on mitigation may not be sufficient to “keep 1.5°C alive.” We discussed the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Change Conference conclusions with several international climate experts. Check out their opinions below.

Check the full article here

How do developed countries differ from the developing ones?

How do developed countries differ from the developing ones?

No commonly acknowledged standard can fully explain the reasoning behind grouping nations based on their level of development. This could be the result of the disparity in development outcomes between nations and the difficulty in categorizing every nation accurately into two groups. Yet, organizations such as the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank attempt to do so, mainly because a ‘developing’ status allows a nation to benefit from foreign aid.

Although evaluating a country’s economic wealth can be achieved by analyzing its GDP, several additional metrics can also be used including the Human Development Index (HDI), Gross National Income (GNI) and Human Capital Index (HCI). Although some are more accurate than others, each metric can be considered to be correct since development may be interpreted in different ways.

Check the full article here

Top-5 world’s most peaceful countries in 2022

Top-5 world’s most peaceful countries in 2022

There is no doubt that any sane person would like to live in a harmonious society and in a world where peace is everyone’s goal. A peaceful society is one with functional justice and minimal violence. Nations that manage to successfully achieve this equilibrium, at least to a certain degree, are regarded as peaceful. Obviously, the state of absolute “peacefulness” is difficult or perhaps even impossible to achieve. To measure the progress (or regress) of each state in this sense, one Australian-based research institution has developed a tool – the Global Peace Index – that has been referred to since its first publication in 2007.

Check the full article here

Here’s what else has happened

Ethiopia: UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, has resumed the distribution of humanitarian aid in Tigray, following the recent peace agreement. On 8 December, around 70 tonnes of reproductive health medicines and equipment arrived in the capital Mekelle, the first consignment since August 2022.

Global Fund: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria and private sector partners officially launched the Digital Health Impact Accelerator (DHIA), a US$50 million catalytic fund designed to accelerate countries’ digital health transformation in sub-Saharan Africa.

CARE: CARE announces its partnership with the Florida-based organization Feeding Tampa Bay to help assist families affected by Hurricane Ian. As a leader in emergency response, Feeding Tampa Bay has always been equipped to provide essential foods to families impacted by crises and natural disasters.

ADB: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has lowered its economic growth forecasts for developing Asia and the Pacific amid a worsened global outlook. The region’s economy will grow 4.2% this year and 4.6% next year, ADB said in a regular supplement to the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2022, released. ADB estimated in September that the economy would grow 4.3% in 2022 and 4.9% in 2023.

WHO: A new study commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO), and featured in the report “An investment case for new tuberculosis (TB) vaccines”, predicts high health and economic returns from investment in new TB vaccines. The report highlights that a focus on TB vaccine products that meet WHO-preferred product characteristics, could significantly reduce TB incidence and mortality, improve antimicrobial stewardship and health equity, and drive economic growth. A vaccine for adolescents and adults is projected to have a greater and more immediate impact than one for infants.


Accelerated action needed to ensure safe drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene for all

Urgent action is needed globally and locally to achieve safe and sustainably managed water, sanitation, and hygiene for all in order to prevent devastating impacts on the health of millions of people. Findings from WHO and UN-Water’s Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water (GLAAS) report show that acceleration is needed in many countries to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 – water and sanitation for all by 2030.

While 45% of countries are on track to achieve their nationally-defined drinking-water coverage targets, only 25% of countries are on track to achieve their national sanitation targets. Less than a third of countries reported having sufficient human resources required to carry out key drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) functions.

1 in 3 digital learning platforms developed during COVID-19 no longer functional

UNICEF report released reveals stagnation in access to digital learning made during the COVID-19 pandemic, as one-third of nationally developed platforms have entirely shut down, are outdated, or are no longer fully functional, limiting learning approaches to help schoolchildren recover their education.

When planned and facilitated effectively, quality, inclusive, and equitable digital learning opportunities can complement other learning approaches and help schoolchildren catch up on what they missed during the pandemic and the pre-existing learning crisis, according to the report.

“Nearly 90 per cent of National Statements of Commitment made at the Transforming Education Summit highlighted digital learning and the need to strengthen it,” said UN Special Adviser for the Summit, Leonardo Garnier. “To truly harness the potential of technology, we need to avoid simply replicating in the digital form the mistakes made in traditional in-person instruction. When applied with sound pedagogical approaches, technology can help put learners at the center, enabling the creation of student communities bonded by common questions and interests.”

UNFPA launches 1.2 billion humanitarian appeal as crises prove devastating for women and girls’ health and rights

UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, has outlined record-breaking funding needs to respond to women and girls facing crises around the world. The agency has appealed for $1.2 billion to provide life-saving reproductive health and protection services to 66 million of the world’s most vulnerable women, girls, and young people in 65 countries in 2023. This includes $289 million in Afghanistan, $70 million in Ukraine, $62 million in Somalia, and $23 million in Haiti.

Humanitarian needs soared to shockingly high levels in 2022. For the first time ever, the number of people forcibly displaced surpassed 100 million. Lethal droughts and floods wreaked havoc from Pakistan to the Horn of Africa. The Russian invasion of Ukraine forced millions from their homes and exacerbated food insecurity in countries including Afghanistan, Haiti, Somalia, and Yemen. Conflict and instability continued in the Democratic Republic of Congo, northern Ethiopia, Haiti, and beyond.

Whole communities have borne the brunt of these crises, but as is often the case, women and girls are paying an unacceptably high price.


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.

Negotiation Skills for Humanitarian Aid Workers – Online Training

Negotiation Skills for Humanitarian Aid Workers - Online Training

📅 23 – 26 January 2023
Registration deadline: 19 December 2022

The ability to effectively negotiate in stressful circumstances is a skill that is essential to every humanitarian worker: from the field-based aid worker negotiating access on the frontline to the manager in headquarters talking to donors and governments.

The Clingendael humanitarian negotiation training aims to enhance the negotiating capacity of humanitarian workers. This is the application form for the training in Negotiation Skills for Humanitarian Aid Workers which takes place online from 23-26 January 2023.

Training approach

Since 2017, Clingendael Academy has trained over 1000 humanitarian workers of 50+ (I)NGOs and UN agencies in essential negotiation skills.

The training introduces negotiation theory to help in daily humanitarian work. Through specially designed simulations and role plays, one can immediately apply the newly acquired tools and insights. This four-day training is very interactive and provides space for learning.

Link for Registration

Online Edition – Winter School on Illicit Trade

Online Edition - Winter School on Illicit Trade

📅 23- 26 January 2023
Registration deadline: 2 January 2023

Money laundering. Terrorist financing. Drug trafficking. Arms smuggling. Illicit trafficking of human body parts, wildlife, and ancient historical artifacts. Human trafficking and smuggling, and the modern-day slave trade. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Tax havens. Oil bunkering. Conflict minerals and blood diamonds.

These are not just abstract terms, but billion-dollar globalized industries that are part of the world’s globally interconnected economy and which overlap with and exacerbate terrorism, wars and conflicts, corruption, authoritarianism, the decline of the natural environment, and other contemporary security threats. Not to mention their devastating impact on human rights and development.

With these considerations in mind, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the University of Groningen (UG) organize the third edition of the Winter School on Illicit Trade, which will be delivered online, from 23 to 26 January 2023.

The Winter School pierces the veil of secrecy around issues related to the dark side of globalization and teaches participants about illicit financing and trading. Now in its third edition, this specialized course is the first of its kind in teaching illicit trade in a holistic and practically useful way. Participants will learn how criminals set up offshore companies and bank accounts; how they obscure the beneficial ownership of assets; how they exploit the loopholes of dual-use goods legal systems, and identify vulnerabilities in particular institutions, countries, and jurisdictions. The Winter School includes academic and practical learning about illicit finance, trafficking, and trade, and expert examination into strategies and practices about how to combat illicit trade.

Link for Registration