Policy Updates

Each week, Donor Tracker's team of country-based experts bring you the most important policy and funding news across issue areas in the form of Policy Updates.

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Canada announces US$501 million for global agriculture, climate, gender equality at G7 Summit

June 14, 2024 | Canada, UK, Agriculture, Nutritious Food Systems, Climate, Gender Equality | Share this update

On June 14, 2024, the second day of the G7 Summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced nearly CAD687 million (US$501 million) to strengthen sustainable agricultural, climate resiliency, and foster gender equality in low- and middle-income countries.

Within the funding was CAD200 million (US$146 million) to IFAD, including:

  • CAD100 million (US$73 million) to reduce poverty and food insecurity while strengthening climate resilience, with a focus on poor, vulnerable, and rural communities; and
  • CAD100 million (US$73 million) as a repayable contribution to IFAD’s Private Sector Financing Programme to support investments in the agricultural sector in low- and middle-income countries, especially in the Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia.

Canada also announced new funding for the Indo-Pacific region, which is home to the largest number of climate-vulnerable people in the world. Funding included:

  • CAD360 million (US$262 million) in repayable contributions to the ADB to establish the Canadian Climate and Nature Fund for the Private Sector in Asia to mobilize private capital toward inclusive climate change mitigation and adaptation projects; and
  • CAD7 million (US$5 million) through the IDRC to build on Canada’s existing partnership with the UK to expand the IDRC’s AI for Development program for responsible AI innovation and capacity building in the Indo-Pacific.

Lastly, Canada announced new funding to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, girls, and LGBTQI+ people, including:

  • CAD100 million (US$73 million) in the International Finance Corporation’s Facility for Gender Equality, Resilience, Opportunity, and Inclusion Worldwide, which is expected to mobilize an estimated CAD470 million (US$342 million) in private capital for investments that empower women and promote gender inclusion; and
  • CAD20 million (US$15 million) to TradeMark Africa and the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation to help eliminate the gender-based barriers that prevent women from fully participating in opportunities afforded by the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Press release - Prime Minister of CanadaPress release - International Development Research Centre

G7 finance ministers call on donors to coordinate efforts, increase investments

May 25, 2024 | UK, France, Canada, Japan, US, Italy, Germany, EUI, Global Health, Climate, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Nutritious Food Systems | Share this update

On May 23-25, 2024, the G7 Ministers of Finance met at a summit in Stresa, Italy, where the ministers voiced support for contributions to the IDA, WHO, Gavi, and the Global Fund in the resulting communiqué.

The G7 ministers supported efforts towards a successful 21st replenishment of the IDA by the end of 2024 through an ambitious policy and financing package. Notably, they did not give a concrete signal that the critical US$100 billion threshold requested by the World Bank will be crossed, nor any indication of the US$120 billion expected by African leaders.

The ministers reaffirmed their dedication to strengthening the governance and finance of the global health architecture and voiced support for refinancing processes of several GHIs, such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the WHO, and the Global Fund, and expressed support for the Pandemic Fund. The communiqué called on the donor community to coordinate efforts and increase investments in global health in line with their capacities to ensure sustainable funding and maximize the impact of available resources.

Following the summit, the C7 pointed out the G7's lack of ambition and financial commitment to international development, including climate adaptation. International civil society organizations criticized the lack of any reference to allocating SDRs to global solidarity.

G7 Ministers of FinanceC7 statement

Christian Aid calls for UK government to take action to tackle debt crisis in Africa

May 16, 2024 | UK, Nutrition, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Agricultural R&D, Nutritious Food Systems, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, Family Planning, WASH & Sanitation, International development, Climate, Global Health R&D, Global Health, Security policy | Share this update

On May 16, 2024, international NGO Christian Aid released a new report, titled Between Life and Debt, that outlined the devastating debt crisis engulfing Africa and calling on the UK government to address the crisis through legal intervention.

The report, which draws on testimonies from Christian Aid partners in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and Zambia, revealed that:

  • Total external debt service by all African countries was US$85 billion in 2023 and US$104 billion in 2024;
  • In 2023, African countries spent over 50 times more on external debt than they received in aid from the UK (and 50% more than total assistance to the region);
  • 25 African countries spend more on debt than education; and
  • 32 African countries spend more on debt than healthcare.

The report asserted that the debt problem is largely due to Western private lenders, who have lent to Africa at extremely high interest rates, far higher than other sovereign lenders like China. Total external debt service by all African countries to private creditors was US$39 billion in 2023 and US$47 billion in 2024, and that private creditors charge the highest interest rates of 6.2%.

Christian Aid argued that the UK government has the unique power to help remedy the crisis, given that most private creditors, due to colonial history, are governed by British law. The organization called on the UK to step up and take action to change UK law to compel private creditors to cancel debts and stop the crisis.

Report - Christian Aid News article - BOND

C7 releases international civil society communiqué around seven key issues

May 15, 2024 | Italy, Germany, EUI, Japan, Canada, US, France, UK, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Nutritious Food Systems, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, Family Planning, WASH & Sanitation, Climate, Global Health | Share this update

On May 14-15, 2024, the C7 summit was held at the UN FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, organized by the Italian Civil Society Coalition that led, coordinated, and moderated the C7 2024 process.

Approximately 400 global representatives took part in the event, as well as international decision-makers, including FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu, Italian G7 sherpa Ambassador Elisabetta Belloni, Cardinal, President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Pope’s envoy for the Russian-Ukrainian conflict Matteo Maria Zuppi, and Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign Marina Ponti.

The official C7 communiqué that listed the international civil society recommendation to the G7’s Leaders around seven key issues was released at the event, which included:

  • Economic justice and transformation;
  • Climate, energy transformation, and environmental justice;
  • Global health;
  • Principled humanitarian assistance;
  • Peace, common security, and nuclear disarmament;
  • Human mobility and migration; and
  • Food justice and food systems transformation.
C7 communiqué

US joins others to support African-led agricultural growth

May 10, 2024 | Ireland, Canada, US, Netherlands, Germany, UK, France, EUI, Agriculture | Share this update

On May 10, 2024, USAID joined the AU Commissioner and 14 other partners in a statement of support for the African Fertilizer and Soil Health Action Plan at an AU-led soil health summit.

The US also announced US$40 million for the Space in Place approach, which is meant to support farmers with geospatial data and knowledge to ensure the best use of fertilizer for more nutritious foods.

Others joining the statement included the ADB, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, France, the World Bank, France, Canada, the EU, Germany, the Netherlands, the Rockefeller Foundation, Germany, and the UK. Commitments included improved investment policies, more access to fertilizers, enhancing soil inputs and interventions, and building capacity for soil health and fertilizer management.

Press release - USAID

UK to step up response to ODA funding fraud

May 2, 2024 | UK, Nutrition, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Agricultural R&D, Nutritious Food Systems, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, Family Planning, WASH & Sanitation, International development, Climate, Global Health R&D, Global Health, Security policy | Share this update

On May 2, 2024, the UK government responded to the ICAI, the UK’s aid watchdog, recommendations for tackling fraud in UK ODA funding.

The FCDO thanked ICAI for reviewing the UK's approach to combating fraud in ODA funding released earlier in 2024. The FCDO partially accepted ICAI’s first recommendation to take a more robust and proactive approach to anticipating fraud. The FCDO noted that it was actively exploring the cost-effectiveness of creating an FCDO Fraud Intelligence Unit and was expanding its Fraud Liaison Officers’ Network to strengthen oversight.

The FCDO also partially accepted the second recommendation to strengthen its fraud in its top 20 ODA recipient countries, noting that it will reinforce the mandatory annual assurance assessment across control and risk areas and expand its Fraud Liaison Officer's network.

The FCDO fully accepted the final two recommendations, which called for new fraud management guidance to be written for capital investments and to increase the Head of Mission’s oversight and accountability for fraud risks relating to centrally managed and other government programs.

Report - UK government

Civil 7 asks G7 to take concrete action for more peaceful future

April 14, 2024 | Italy, UK, France, Canada, Japan, US, Germany, EUI, Agriculture, Nutritious Food Systems | Share this update

On April 14, 2024, the C7 published a statement ahead of the G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Capri from April 17-19, 2024, where the group called on the foreign ministers to take concrete action to promote human rights as well as the common interests of humanity and the planet.

The C7 advocated that the G7 ministers reaffirm their commitment to developing long-term peace-building strategies that address persistent structural challenges at the basis of conflicts, ensure food security even in fragile settings, and address a profound transformation of food systems. The group also called upon their governmental counterparts to ensure safe and regular migration channels and commit to protecting migrant rights.

C7 Statement to the G7 Foreign Ministers

BOND sets out manifesto for new UK government

March 24, 2024 | UK, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Agricultural R&D, Nutritious Food Systems, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, Family Planning, WASH & Sanitation, Climate, Global Health, Security policy | Share this update

On March 24, 2024, BOND published a new manifesto setting out the steps the next UK government should take to help deliver on the SDGs and work in solidarity with its partners.

The manifesto is based around seven key asks:

  • Act as a responsible and ambitious development partner. This includes returning ODA to 0.7% of GNI and providing new and additional resources for meeting global climate finance and ensuring the ODA program is headed by a cabinet-level minister with dedicated and well-resourced staff;
  • Create an equitable and sustainable international financial system that works for people, nature, and the climate. This includes supporting a UN sovereign debt workout mechanism to deal with unsustainable debt in lower-income countries, pursuing an ambitious MDB reform agenda that increases their provision of resources and makes their governance more representative, and supporting a universal UN Framework Convention on tax;
  • Recommit to the SDGs and ‘leaving no one behind. This includes ensuring UK development programs focus on those most in need, promoting gender transformative approaches to sustainable development, acknowledging care as an economic issue and a right and build the care economy in line with the 5Rs framework{title"recognition, reduction, redistribution, representation and reward"} for care work, and scaling up efforts to deliver universal access to basic services;
  • Do our fair share to tackle the global climate and biodiversity crises. This includes ensuring all ODA is aligned with the Paris Agreement, providing genuinely new and additional grant finance for the Loss and Damage Fund;
  • Develop a new approach to UK trade and private sector investment. This includes introducing new legislation that mandates companies, the financial sector, and the public sector operating in the UK to carry out human rights and environmental due diligence. It also holds them to account for failures, reduce the volume of UK funding being used to capitalize BII until it reforms to ensure it does more to contribute to poverty reduction;
  • Promoting stability, security and effective crisis responses. This includes providing the UK’s fair share to support humanitarian crises, championing locally led approaches to anticipatory crisis prevention, action and resilience, establishing a prevention-focused national security outlook which focuses on preventing crises as well as responding to them; and
  • Protect and promote rights, freedoms and civic space. This includes prioritizing meaningful partnerships with human rights defenders, including indigenous communities, women, LGBTQI+ advocates, migrant rights advocates and environmental defenders, removing restrictions on civil society campaigning domestically, and working with other governments to reverse restrictions on civic space in public debate and policymaking.
Report - BOND

Canada, UK launch new climate resilience projects Africa, Asia-Pacific regions

March 11, 2024 | Canada, UK, Agriculture, Climate, Global Health, Gender Equality | Share this update

On March 11, 2024, the CLARE partnership between the UK and Canada’s IDRC launched 17 research projects designed to build climate resilience and reduce vulnerability in LICs and LMICs, valued at CAD180 million (US$133 million).

The research projects aim to support socially inclusive and sustainable action to build resilience to climate change and natural hazards in African partners and the Asia-Pacific region. Researchers in recipient countries are leading or co-leading the research, which will embed gender equality and inclusion principles and will address a wide range of climate change issues in the fields of agriculture, health, urban adaptation, water security, among others.

Press release - International Development Research Centre

UK government to strengthen management of Blue Planet Fund, ensure poverty focus

January 19, 2024 | UK, Agriculture, Nutritious Food Systems, Climate | Share this update

On January 19, 2024, the UK government announced that it has accepted all the recommendations made by the ICAI's review of the Blue Planet Fund, which included GBP500 million (US$599 million) in ODA for a DEFRA-managed fund aimed at protecting the marine environment and reducing poverty in low- and middle-income countries.

The review also recommended:

  • Improving DEFRA management of the fund and appointing more staff to manage the fund;
  • Strengthening cross-government strategic oversight over the fund. The UK government will conduct a rapid review to explore how to strengthen the functions of the JMB, the FCDO and DEFRA body responsible for oversight of the fund;
  • Focusing all programs under the fund are focused on poverty reduction as their primary focus. DEFRA has committed to commissioning a review of the global evidence base on the linkages between poverty, and protecting and restoring the marine environment; and
  • Ensuring greater effort is made to engage partner stakeholders in the programming process. DEFRA is committed to ensuring that partner voices are heard in all future programming.
Press release - UK government






US$ amounts are cited directly from sources; in the absence of an official conversion, they are calculated using the previous week's average of the US Federal Reserve's daily exchange rates.

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