Weekly Roundup | Top international development headlines

Weekly Roundup | Top international development headlines

Natural disasters killed over 30,000 people and generated US$313 billion costs in 2022, around 78 million children don’t go to school at all and UN issues call for $1 billion to help millions of people in Türkiye affected by devastating quakes. Here is what you missed from last week’s headlines in the international development sector.

Natural disasters killed over 30,000 people and generated US$313 billion costs in 2022

Natural disasters claimed over 30,000 lives and caused US$313 billion in economic losses globally in 2022, according to the Weather, Climate and Catastrophe Insight report. While economic losses from natural catastrophes did not reach record levels, disasters triggered enormous disruption across many regions with only 42% of the losses covered by insurance.

According to the newly released report by AON, a leading international organization providing professional services on a wide range of risk, retirement, and health solutions, 421 serious natural disasters occurred in 2022, more than the 21st-century average of 396. These killed around 31,300 people with approximately 19,000 deaths occurring as a result of extensive heatwaves in Europe. The number of fatalities, however, remained below average, the report confirmed.

As to disaster-triggered economic losses, these amounted to US$313 billion – 4% above the 21st-century average. Of the total amount, US$132 billion was covered by insurance.

78 million children don’t go to school at all, warns UN chief in call for action

A staggering 78 million girls and boys around the world “don’t go to school at all” because of conflict, climate disasters, and displacement – while tens of millions more receive only sporadic teaching – UN Secretary-General António Guterres said.

Lending his support to a call for more funding for education in emergencies spearheaded by the UN global fund Education Cannot Wait (ECW) the UN chief insisted in a video message that no one should be denied their chance to learn.

A full 222 million children today experience blighted education, Mr. Guterres noted. To help them, 18 countries and private partners have pledged $826 million for ECW, on the opening day of the landmark conference.

UN issues call for $1 billion to help millions of people in Türkiye affected by devastating quakes

The United Nations launched a three-month flash appeal for US$1 billion for Türkiye so that humanitarian agencies can help more than 5 million people affected by last week’s cataclysmic earthquakes — the largest to hit the country in a century — in support of the Government-led response.

“The people of Türkiye have experienced unspeakable heartache,” said Martin Griffiths, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, who visited the country last week. “I met families who shared their stories of shock and devastation. We must stand with them in their darkest hour and ensure they receive the support they need.”

More than 9 million people in Türkiye have been directly impacted by the once-in-a-generation disaster, with more than 35,000 people lost their lives as of 15 February, according to the Turkish Government.

DevelopmentAid Editorials

How do you make a tender application?

A formal offer to complete a specified job for a predetermined fixed price is known as a tender. Tenders are often submitted in response to a request for bids known as an invitation to tender (ITT). Organizations will need to provide proof that they satisfy the specific eligibility requirements stated in the tender document. Usually, there will be more than one company willing to complete the job described in the invitation to tender and the competition for winning the contract will be tough. That’s why it is critical to create and submit a quality tender application. In this article, we’ll take a look at the steps needed to take to put together a winning bid.

Read the full article.

Wildlife population – in continuous decline: reasons, consequences and solutions | Experts’ Opinions

According to World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Living Planet Report 2022, monitored populations of vertebrates (mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish) have seen a devastating drop since 1970. According to the organization’s Living Planet Index, which tracks these populations, the decrease was on average 69% across the planet. At the bottom of the list are populations in Latin America and the Caribbean with an average decline of biodiversity of 94%. Although the international community has undertaken conservation activities, urgent action is required to reverse biodiversity loss.

Key Takeaways:

  • According to the WWF, the abundance of birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles is in freefall, declining by more than two-thirds on average between 1970 and 2018.
  • The Report mentions that around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction.
  • According to environmentalists, widespread declines in wildlife populations affect the functioning of ecological systems: losing keystone species can have domino effects on other species. However, some state that: „Action is still possible and there are success stories from which we can learn”.
  • Urbanization, intensive agriculture and the effects of climate change are among the major causes of wildlife decline.

Read the full article.

Experts put annual CO2 capture at 2 billion tons, urging more funds for removal technology

About 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide are removed from the atmosphere annually, states an independent report led by the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment (University of Oxford). However, given the huge level of emissions, countries need to ramp up investments in greenhouse gas removal technology and continue to reduce gas emissions. This is crucial if the Paris Agreement target of keeping global warming below 2°C against pre-industrial levels is to be met, the report warns.

The State of Carbon Dioxide Removal report noted that forests account for most of the 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide removed annually from the atmosphere despite the growing number of CO2 removal technologies. This, however, is not enough given that global carbon dioxide emissions have been gradually increasing since 1940, when the records began, reaching 35.26 and 37.12 billion metric tons in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Read the full article.

Here’s what else has happened

WWF: WWF is urging countries to finalize a new global agreement for the two-thirds of the ocean that is largely unprotected and overexploited, as talks over the last 15 years are anticipated to conclude in a ‘High Seas Treaty’. The Fifth Intergovernmental Conference, or IGC5, to negotiate a legally binding agreement took place last August, but recessed on the final day due to too many issues to resolve. The meeting will resume for what organizers and ocean advocates hope will be the final talks between governments at the UN Headquarters in New York, from 20 February to 3 March 2023.

Canada: Conflict, climate change, and COVID-19 have caused a global education crisis, with an estimated 222 million children and adolescents who are not developing the essential skills and knowledge they need to build and prepare for their futures. Canada is investing in immediate and sustainable programs to ensure access to quality education for children and youth in emergency and crisis situations so that no child is left behind.

Syria: The UN Secretary-General announced a $397 million humanitarian appeal to aid the people of earthquake-ravaged Syria, to help secure “desperately needed” relief for nearly five million people.

Nigeria: The UN launched a $1.3 billion appeal to help six million people severely affected by conflict, disease, and disaster in northeast Nigeria. “The large-scale humanitarian and protection crisis shows no sign of abating,” said Matthias Schmale, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria. “An estimated 2.4 million people are in acute need – impacted by conflict, disaster, and disease – and require urgent support.”



Winter 2023 Economic Forecast: EU economy set to avoid recession, but headwinds persist

Almost one year after Russia launched its war of aggression against Ukraine, the EU economy entered 2023 on a better footing than projected in autumn. The Winter interim Forecast lifts the growth outlook for this year to 0.8% in the EU and 0.9% in the euro area. Both areas are set to narrowly avoid the technical recession that was anticipated for the turn of the year. The forecast also slightly lowers the projections for inflation for both 2023 and 2024.

New IRENA report highlights hydropower’s evolving role

Current trends in the power sector have prompted changes in the role of hydropower, creating a need to adjust the way these assets are designed, operated, and maintained, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The “The changing role of hydropower Challenges and opportunities”, produced in the context of IRENA’s Collaborative Framework on Hydropower, provides a snapshot of the current status of hydropower and lays out a vision of how to realize its potential.

“Hydropower has been an effective source of clean power generation for more than a century,” said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera. “However, with the rapidly evolving energy landscape, it is important to reevaluate its future role and leverage recent technological advancements that can maximize its potential while ensuring its sustainability and climate resilience.”


Food Security in Humanitarian Assistance

📅 6- 10 March 2023
Registration deadline: 1 March 2023

Globally, more than 800 million people suffer from hunger. When an emergency strikes, ensuring access to and availability of food is key to the Humanitarian response. That is why whether working (or willing to work) in natural or man-made crises, Food Security specialists need to possess a unique set of skills and competencies to navigate the complexities and the challenges of assessing needs, designing, implementing, and evaluating a Food Security intervention within humanitarian action.

This training is addressed to professionals with a food security background and/or with a basic to a good understanding of Food Security programming in humanitarian action or in development settings who:

Link for Registration

Virtual Conference on Sustainable Finance for Asia’s Net Zero Transition

📅 6 – 8 March 2023

This ADBI-SOAS University of London Centre for Sustainable Finance virtual conference will feature new research on sustainable finance and mobilizing private capital to achieve climate goals on net zero carbon emissions, with a focus on Asia. Topics to be addressed include the identification of transition-related financial risks and risk mitigation measures, the evaluation of blended finance mechanisms, transition finance-related criteria and frameworks, obstacles to ESG investment, incentivizing private sector investment in carbon emission reduction, and the implications of carbon-pricing for just transition and wider financial stability.

Link for Registration