Weekly Roundup | Top international development headlines

Weekly Roundup | Top international development headlines

WFP in Afghanistan forced to drop 10 million people from lifesaving assistance, $1 billion required to support millions fleeing Sudan conflict, and sustained financial support is urgently needed to save lives in Niger and Sahel region. Here is what you missed from last week’s headlines in the international development sector.

WFP in Afghanistan forced to drop 10 million people from lifesaving assistance, deepening despair and worry for Afghans

The World Food Programme (WFP) is being forced to drop another 2 million hungry people from food assistance in Afghanistan in September, bringing to 10 million the number of people cut off from its support this year in the country. Due to a massive funding shortfall, going forward WFP will only be able to provide emergency assistance to 3 million people per month.

“Amid already worrying levels of hunger and malnutrition, we are obliged to choose between the hungry and the starving, leaving millions of families scrambling for their next meal,” said Hsiao-Wei Lee, WFP’s Country Director and Representative in Afghanistan. “With the few resources we have left, we are not able to serve all those people teetering on the edge of utter destitution.”

$1 billion required to support millions fleeing Sudan conflict as needs soar

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and 64 humanitarian and national civil society organizations today appealed for $1 billion to provide essential aid and protection to over 1.8 million people expected to arrive in five neighboring countries by the end of 2023, fleeing the ongoing conflict in Sudan.

This is a two-fold increase of what was initially estimated in May to be required to respond to the crisis, as displacement and needs continue to soar. More than 1 million refugees, returnees, and third-country nationals have already fled the country.

Sustained financial support and access are urgently needed to save lives in Niger and Sahel region

The Regional United Nations (UN) agencies are concerned that millions of people are at severe risk unless humanitarian aid and increased funding support, are provided in Niger and Central Sahel.

In Niger, over 3.3 million women, men, and children (13 per cent of the total population) are severely food insecure. Maternal mortality rates are high, with 1 in 226 pregnant women dying from pregnancy-related causes. Less than half of the country’s health facilities are fully operational due to a lack of essential equipment, medicines and medical supplies.

Over the past month, food prices have increased by up to 21 per cent, limiting vulnerable families’ capacity to meet their basic needs. Over 7 million people (approximately 28 per cent of the population) are at risk of falling into severe food insecurity due to price hikes and loss of livelihoods triggered by the ongoing political crisis.

DevelopmentAid Editorials

Malawi healthcare system faces multiple frustrations

Malawi’s healthcare system faces multiple obstacles including a poor infrastructure, the shortage of life-saving drugs, depleted equipment in most health facilities and employment issues. The system was also badly hit by Tropical Cyclone Freddy which killed over 1,200 people and destroyed healthcare facilities among other buildings as well as having to deal with the deadliest cholera outbreak in the country’s history that has claimed over 2,000 lives.

Read the full article.

Top 10 largest oil producing countries in the world today

Oil is a significant and adaptable substance that can be used in a variety of ways. Globally, the major user of oil is the transportation industry with more than a third of the world’s oil demand arising from this sector. With this in mind, it is logical to assume that the largest oil-producing countries are rich and prosperous. But is that really the case? At least four of the 10 biggest oil producers are still developing countries. Let’s learn more about the situation in our article.

Read the full article.

Uganda decries World Bank funding suspension following anti-homosexuality bill

The recent suspension of World Bank loans to Uganda due to its contentious anti-gay law has attracted widespread interest and stirred passionate debate. The World Bank, which controls a $5.2 billion portfolio and has lent more than $10 billion in funding to the East African nation since 1963, decided on August 8, 2023 to freeze new loans to Uganda in response to the passing of legislation that criminalizes homosexuality. The World Bank’s decision has focused attention on Uganda’s stance on homosexual rights and its partnerships with international institutions.

Read the full article.

Here’s what else has happened

Egypt: The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) welcomed the Arab Republic of Egypt as its latest partner country. Egypt has the largest pre-university education system in the Middle East and North Africa region, with over 25 million students. As part of Egypt’s overarching Strategic Vision 2030, the government has developed a five-year education sector plan focused on access to equitable, inclusive education, digital transformation, and early childhood education.

Ecuador: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a loan of $45 million to reduce the digital divide between schools and thus promote successful educational trajectories among students in Ecuador.

United States: The United States announced more than $200 million in assistance to support democracy, governance, and human rights in Ukraine. U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken announced the additional assistance through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) during a visit to Ukraine.

Australia: Established in 1987Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) is the federal department responsible for delivering Official Development Assistance (ODA), often under the branding of Australian Aid. Originally, Australia Aid had a wider remit and a far larger budget, but now works in a reduced capacity and primarily with nations in the Southeastern Asia and Pacific region.


Demand for online gig work rapidly rising in developing countries

The ‘gig economy’ accounts for up to 12 percent of the global labor market—much higher than previously estimated—and holds particular promise for women and youth in developing countries. Demand for online gig work is growing rapidly, however, social protections for workers in this segment are still lacking, according to a new World Bank report.

The world is failing girls and women, according to new UN report

Despite global efforts, the world is falling short of achieving gender equality. This year’s edition of the UN Women and UN DESA “Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot 2023”, paints a worrisome picture halfway through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Market Systems Symposium 2023

Market Systems Symposium 2023

📅 14-16 November 2023
Cape Town, South Africa

Empower your market systems development practice with inspiration, innovation, and connection.

Get ready to be inspired, equipped, and connected like never before at Market Systems Symposium 2023! Engage with industry-leading experts in Market Systems Development from around the world as we explore cutting-edge research, innovative strategies, and real-world application in this dynamic and engaging forum.

Key Themes:

Given the significant impact of climate change, conflict and food insecurity on our world today, the core themes which we will be discussing, debating, collaborating, and innovating around at MSS2023 are:

  • Climate Change & Adaptation
  • Conflict-Affected Contexts
  • Food Security and Food Systems


The 2023 SDG Summit

The 2023 SDG Summit

📅 18-19 September 2023
New York, USA

The 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a global plan of action to drive economic prosperity and social well-being while protecting the environment. Countries established the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) – to boost efforts to achieve the goals.

The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) meets every year in July under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, bringing high-level representatives of governments and stakeholders together to review progress, examine obstacles, exchange best practices, and recommend new actions to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. Countries agreed that every four years, the HLPF will meet under the auspices of the General Assembly at the level of Heads of State and Government.

On 24 and 25 September 2019, the first SDG Summit – the HLPF under the auspices of the General Assembly was convened in New York since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda in 2015. It resulted in the adoption of the Political Declaration, “Gearing up for a decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”. World leaders called for a decade of action to deliver the SDGs by 2030 and announced acceleration actions they are taking to advance the agenda. The General Assembly endorsed the Political Declaration on 15 October 2019.

The SDG Summit in September 2023 will be the second time for the HLPF to be convened under the auspices of the General Assembly at the level of Heads of State and Government. It will be chaired by the President of the General Assembly. The outcome of the Summit will be a negotiated political declaration.


AidEx 2023 | The Global Humanitarian Aid Event

AidEx 2023 | The Global Humanitarian Aid Event

📅 25-26 October 2023
Palexpo, Geneva

The world’s leading humanitarian aid and disaster relief event – AidEx is featuring high-level conference sessions, workshops, discussion groups, impact sessions, case studies, relief and international development, and training programmes geared to solve the challenges in aid.

The main agenda theme of this year’s AidEx is ‘Addressing the forgotten crises – how can we manage and anticipate crises when so much of our focus is on Ukraine? The conference will shine a light on other crises that are obscured by the war in Europe and explore creative solutions to turn the tide on the crises that are not getting the attention they deserve.

AidEx is co-located with Development2030, bringing together global development actors to achieve the sustainable development goals. Together, both events will bring aid, relief and international development professionals all under the same roof to explore the latest innovations, meet new suppliers, share your experiences with your peers, build meaningful relationships and continue the conversation afterwards.

In 2022, 2800+ participants attended from 60+ countries including significant participation from UN agencies, the EU, Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, local and international NGOs, donors, foundations, private investors, government and the private sector.