Weekly Roundup | Top international development headlines

Weekly Roundup | Top international development headlines

Gates Foundation CEO announces largest-ever annual budget, explains foundation’s approach to fighting poverty, disease, and inequity, EU increases funding to €1.7 billion for 2023, and 25 million Nigerians at high risk of food insecurity in 2023. Here is what you missed from last week’s headlines in the international development sector.

Gates Foundation CEO announces largest-ever annual budget, explains foundation’s approach to fighting poverty, disease, and inequity

In his annual letter published, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman announced the foundation will spend US$8.3 billion this year to continue its work fighting poverty, disease, and inequity. He also shared examples of how the foundation uses its resources, voice, and convening power to call attention to and help find solutions for problems that otherwise might be neglected.

The budget—the largest in the foundation’s history—is a response to multiple crises that threaten to stall or reverse global progress on the Sustainable Development Goals since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include war, economic turmoil, climate-related disasters, and large decreases in vaccinations for preventable infectious diseases, all of which have taken a significant toll on the world’s poorest people. The board of trustees’ approval of the budget puts the foundation on track to meet its commitment to reach an annual payout of US$9 billion by 2026—and represents a 15% increase over the 2022 forecasted payout.

Humanitarian Aid: EU increases funding to €1.7 billion for 2023

As humanitarian needs continue to rise globally, the EU maintains its commitment to support those in need by adopting its initial annual humanitarian budget of €1.7 billion for 2023. Human-induced humanitarian crises, resulting from wars with often widespread violations of international humanitarian law, conflicts, or outbreaks of violence are the main source of humanitarian needs in the world.

The EU’s humanitarian assistance helps millions of vulnerable people, including forcibly displaced people or trapped populations, as well as host communities. The needs resulting from such crises are often further exacerbated by disasters triggered by natural hazards, such as drought or floods, fuelled by climate change.

25 million Nigerians at high risk of food insecurity in 2023

Nearly 25 million Nigerians are at risk of facing hunger between June and August 2023 (lean season) if urgent action is not taken, according to the October 2022 Cadre Harmonisé, a Government led and UN-supported food and nutrition analysis carried out twice a year.

This is a projected increase from the estimated 17 million people currently at risk of food insecurity. Continued conflict, climate change, inflation, and rising food prices are key drivers of this alarming trend.

Food access has been affected by persistent violence in the northeast states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe (BAY) and armed banditry and kidnapping in states such as Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Benue, and Niger.

According to the National Emergency Management Agency, widespread flooding in the 2022 rainy season damaged more than 676,000 hectares of farmlands, which diminished harvests and increased the risk of food insecurity for families across the country. Flooding is one of the effects of climate change and variability impacting Nigeria. More extreme weather patterns affecting food security are anticipated in the future.

DevelopmentAid Editorials

Taliban has stolen the right to education from the Afghan women. What are the consequences? | Experts’ Opinions

Taliban has stolen the right to education from the Afghan women. What are the consequences? | Experts’ Opinions

Women in Western countries often struggle to find the balance between their career, family, and education. However, at the same time on the opposite side of the world, Afghan women are facing unimaginable challenges to access their right to education and to work. At the end of 2022, the Taliban, who gained absolute power in the country earlier that year, banned women from university education and from working in local and international non-governmental organizations. We discussed the consequences of these decisions with several international development aid experts from Afghanistan and beyond. Check their opinions below.

Check the full article here

15 Interesting Facts about the United Nations that you didn’t know

15 Interesting Facts about the United Nations that you didn’t know

After World War II ended in 1945, nations and millions of people around the globe were left suffering from the effects of serious destruction. After years of war, there was no guarantee that such devastating conflicts would not happen again which was one of the reasons why the United Nations (UN) was created.

The organization’s major goals include calming geopolitical tensions, advancing human rights, and lessening the likelihood of future major conflicts. Today, it includes 193 Member States although initially there were only 51.

Check the full article here

How to stand out from the competition with DevelopmentAid’s career leverage tools

How to stand out from the competition with DevelopmentAid’s career leverage tools

Who doesn’t want to get more done in less time? This also applies when you’re looking for new assignments. Spending hours every day working on cover letters and resumes and applying to open positions that you think would be the perfect fit for you is not necessarily a bad approach but obviously, there are tools that can help job seekers to optimize their searches infinitely better to find that ideal opportunity.

In this respect, the DevelopmentAid platform is an incredibly valuable asset to anyone searching for a job, and therefore becoming a Professional Plus member is crucial if you want to stand out from the competition. Read on to find out why.

Check the full article here

Here’s what else has happened

CARE: The ten most under-reported humanitarian crises in 2022 were all in Africa, according to aid organisation CARE’s annual “Breaking the Silence” report. The report highlights the crises which received the least media attention over the course of the year.

Science: Even if civilization is ambitious with regard to climate change targets, the world’s glaciers will still have disappeared at unprecedented rates by the end of the century according to a recent study published in the journal, Science. This will lead to a significant increase in sea levels and may also deprive billions of people of their main water sources.

Pakistan: Terming the recent international donors’ conference held in Geneva a “success” after Pakistan was able to secure 10 billion US dollars, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has promised “every penny” of the pledges will be used towards rehabilitation of flood-hit people.

IRC: With the April- May rains in Somalia this year expected to be below normal for the sixth consecutive season, the number of households affected by the worst drought in the region in decades continues to grow every day. At least 8.3 million people in Somalia are on the brink of catastrophic famine as aid agencies fail to secure sufficient funding required to avert the crisis.

Lebanon: Around 2 million people in Lebanon, including 1.29 million Lebanese residents and 700,000 Syrian refugees, are currently facing food insecurity, according to Lebanon’s first-ever Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Acute Food Insecurity Analysis. The situation is expected to worsen in the coming months.


Economic slowdown likely to force workers to accept lower quality jobs

The current global economic slowdown is likely to force more workers to accept lower quality, poorly paid jobs which lack job security and social protection, so accentuating inequalities exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, according to a new International Labour Organization (ILO) report.

The ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2023 (WESO Trends), also projects that global employment growth will be only 1.0 percent in 2023, less than half the level in 2022. Global unemployment is slated to rise slightly in 2023, by around 3 million, to 208 million (corresponding to a global unemployment rate of 5.8 percent).

The moderate size of this projected increase is largely due to tight labour supply in high-income countries. This would mark a reversal of the decline in global unemployment seen between 2020-2022. It means that global unemployment will remain 16 million above the pre-crisis benchmark (set in 2019).

Decentralised renewables solutions can improve healthcare services for almost 1 billion people

Close to 1 billion people in low- and lower-middle-income countries are served by healthcare facilities that lack a reliable electricity supply, according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll).

Access to electricity is critical for quality healthcare provision, from delivering babies to managing emergencies like heart attacks, or offering lifesaving immunisation. Without reliable electricity in all healthcare facilities, Universal Health Coverage cannot be reached, the report notes.

The joint report, Energizing health: Accelerating Electricity Access in Health-Care Facilities, presents the latest data on electrification of healthcare facilities in low- and middle-income countries. It also projects investments required to achieve adequate and reliable electrification in healthcare.

UN Report: 131 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean cannot access a healthy diet

A new United Nations report finds that 22.5 percent of Latin America and the Caribbean population cannot afford a healthy diet. In the Caribbean this figure reaches 52 percent; in Mesoamerica, 27.8 percent; and in South America, 18.4 percent.

The Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean reports that 131.3 million people in the region could not afford a healthy diet in 2020. This represents an increase of 8 million compared to 2019 and is due to the higher average daily cost of healthy diets in Latin America and the Caribbean compared to the rest of the world’s regions – an average of $3.89 per person per day compared to the global average of $3.54.In the Caribbean, this reaches a value of $4.23, followed by South America and Mesoamerica with $3.61 and $3.47, respectively.


The list of major upcoming events in development sector in January – February 2023

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 January-February 2023.

Download the comprehensive schedule of major online events.

Skills for Youth. Investing in human capital in Latin America and the Caribbean

Skills for Youth. Investing in human capital in Latin America and the Caribbean

📅 24 January 2023 🕑 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Washington, D.C., USA

As a new social, economic, and political order is being reconfigured in the post-pandemic world, 165 million young people in Latin America and the Caribbean face a rapidly changing present lacking the skills they need. To navigate complex realities, the youth need the region to build quality education that responds to the demands of the 21st century.

On the International Day of Education, IDB invites people to this hybrid event at IDB headquarters in Washington, DC. It will be a gathering of global leaders from the private and public sectors and experts on the regional agenda to transform the future of education with a focus on 21st Century skills.

Link for Registration

Africa Food Summit—Unleashing Africa’s Food Potential

Africa Food Summit—Unleashing Africa’s Food Potential

📅 25-27 January 2023
Dakar, Senegal

At the action-driven Dakar 2 Summit, Heads of State will convene meetings to mobilize and align government resources, development partners, and private-sector financing to unleash Africa’s food production potential. With the removal of barriers to agricultural development aided by new investments, it is estimated that Africa’s agricultural output could increase from $280 billion per year to $1 trillion by 2030.

The action-driven agenda of the Summit will:

  • Mobilize high-level political commitment around production, markets and trade to deliver Food and Agriculture Delivery Compacts for selected countries.
  • Mobilize and align government resources, development partners and private sector financing around the Food and Agriculture Delivery Compacts to achieve food security at scale in each country.
  • Share successful experiences on food and agriculture in selected countries and successful platforms to scale up support for agriculture.
  • Double agricultural productivity with state-of-the-art, climate-adapted crop, livestock, and aquaculture technology and advisory services and support research and development for a pipeline of climate-resilient agricultural technologies.
  • Develop necessary infrastructure and logistics with Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones to build markets and competitive food and agriculture value chains.

Link for Registration

7th Urbanization and Poverty Reduction Research Conference

7th Urbanization and Poverty Reduction Research Conference

📅 30-31 January 2023
Washington, DC, USA

The 7th Urbanization and Poverty Reduction Research Conference will bring together academics and development practitioners to present and discuss questions relating to Climate Change and Sustainable Cities.

This theme is of increasing importance to academics and policymakers alike, with climate change presenting cities with both new challenges and opportunities for improving their livability and productivity. If well-managed, cities offer both adaptation and mitigation benefits—as well as sustainable development opportunities—that other types of human settlement cannot. If poorly managed, the downsides of density may exacerbate strained citizen livelihoods and exacerbate emissions.

Sustainable cities are thus a core part of the long-term shift to a resource- and carbon-efficient development trajectory. An environmentally sustainable and inclusive approach to urbanization is necessary to put economies on track toward green growth and poverty reduction.

The main conference takes place on 30 January and is hosted by the World Bank (Development Research Group), George Washington University (Elliott School of International Affairs and Institute for International Economic Policy), and the International Growth Center (Cities Research Program), with the Young Urban Economist Workshop occurring on 31 January.

Link for Registration

ECOSOC Partnership Forum 2023

ECOSOC Partnership Forum 2023

📅 31 January 2023 🕑 10.00 AM
New York, USA

Under the main theme of the 2023 ECOSOC and the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), “Accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels”, the 2023 ECOSOC Partnership Forum will bring together the UN Member States and stakeholders – from civil society, the private sector, scientists, women, youth, local governments, and many others – to discuss innovative efforts that are driving action on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to highlight the contributions that partnerships can make in this regard.

An analytical summary will be prepared to capture the key policy messages of the Forum along with the messages of the Coordination Segment, which will serve as input to the July 2023 HLPF and the 2023 SDG Summit as well as the overall work of the ECOSOC and other key inter-governmental processes throughout 2023.

The Partnership Exchange, organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs virtually on 30 January 2023, the day prior to the ECOSOC Partnership Forum, will provide a space for Member States and other stakeholders to share knowledge and expertise in the design and implementation of partnerships that will contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Link for Registration