Monday, October 22, 2018

What killed budget support: ‘Schizophrenic’ donors couldn’t let go of aid conditionality

 
What killed budget support: ‘Schizophrenic’ donors couldn’t let go of aid conditionality
General budget support, a popular instrument in the aid tool box during the 2000s, was effective and cheaper than project aid. Donors abandoned it because of their latent mistrust of recipient governments, a new study concludes.
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Indonesia-Norway climate forest deal. Six years behind schedule, but still relevant

Norwegian result payments for Indonesian forest protection have not materialised nine years after a cooperation agreement was signed. An evaluation urges Norway to make its first payment by 2020 and concludes that the bilateral deal is still relevant.
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Solheim in hot water, navigating to regain donor trust

Solheim in hot water, navigating to regain donor trust

A team of experts from UN headquarters in New York is helping the Nairobi-based UN Environment Program get its financial house in order. Following a critical audit, a new deputy has been given a key role in the agency’s sweep up, and Erik Solheim pledges to spend less time on the road.
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Report: Norway’s inefficient and confusing aid administration

In a donor landscape where most aid management is either delegated to a separate directorate or integrated into a foreign ministry, Norway is the only OECD country that splits grant management between a ministry and its aid agency, according to a new report commissioned by Development Minister Nikolai Astrup. This, the report concludes, creates both inefficiency and confusion.
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Fragile states, energy investments top priority in Norwegian budget

Thematic priorities like clean oceans and renewable energy investments are winners in a growing Norwegian aid budget. Support for fragile states, stemming migration and combatting terror are other top priorities, while civil society and core funding to UN agencies benefit less.
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Risk of GFF health scheme becoming a debt trap for poor countries

As the Global Financing Facility (GFF) gears up for its first replenishment next month, there are warnings that by making poor countries take up World Bank loans, the ambitious health scheme could lead to increased indebtedness.
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Travel audit rattles UNEP. Wary donors hold back EUR 16 million

The stakes are high for the UN environmental agency (UNEP) in the wake of an on-going audit which reveals excessive travel costs incurred by the agency’s leadership. Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden are holding back EUR 16 million in grants that were originally planned to be disbursed this year.
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USD 2 billion replenishment target for newest global health initiative GFF

USD 2 billion replenishment target for newest global health initiative GFF

A World Bank mechanism established in 2014 to expand funding for health and nutrition is gearing up for its first replenishment meeting in November where it hopes to raise USD 2 billion from donors. The Global Financing Facility (GFF) differs from traditional health aid, its Director Mariam Claeson tells Development Today, because it links up to billions of additional dollars. How much of this money is actually new remains unclear.
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An alternative DFI: FinnChurchAid kicks off new investment firm

In a pioneering move, the Helsinki-based NGO FinnChurchAid (FCA) has launched an investment company that will manage a EUR 16 million loan from the Finnish government to be invested in small businesses in African and Asian countries, the first of its kind in the Nordic countries.
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Three Nordics top donor ranking. Norway penalised for ‘low quality of aid’

Sweden has the best migration policies among donors and Denmark gets top marks for contributing to international peacekeeping, according to the Center for Global Development’s CDI index for 2018. Norway, which topped the UNDP index announced last week, ranks nr 12 on the CDI because of high oil and gas production, heavy agricultural subsidies and the “low quality” of its aid.
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Finnfund invests in multiple tree plantations in Africa and Latin America

Finnfund has committed USD 10 million to a new forestry fund, the Arbaro Fund, that will invest in industrial tree plantations in 12 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America over the next 15 years.
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UN watchdog scrutinises UNEP boss Erik Solheim’s travelling expenses

UN watchdog scrutinises UNEP boss Erik Solheim’s travelling expenses

In an on-going review, auditors at the UN have called for Erik Solheim, head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), to refund part of his travelling costs. A devastating auditor’s report, cited by the Oslo-based daily Aftenposten, charges that Solheim was on the road for 529 days over the last two years and racked up a bill of NOK 4 million (USD 490,000).
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Collier attacks ‘ideological NGOs’ for hampering development in Africa

Collier attacks ‘ideological NGOs’ for hampering development in Africa

The British economist Paul Collier delivered a frontal attack on Western NGOs at a conference in Oslo this week. “Africa needs our firms, but got … our NGOs,” he told the audience. In an interview with Development Today he nuanced his perspective. Some NGOs are “the latest manifestation of imperialism,” others are doing a great job, he said.
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Tommy Thomsen leaves IFU, Huss to act as new CEO

Tommy Thomsen leaves IFU, Huss to act as new CEO

Torben Huss will become acting chief of the Danish aid-financed risk capital fund IFU when the current CEO Tommy Thomsen leaves the organisation to take up a new assignment in the private sector.
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Yet another lean year, but light in the tunnel for Finnish aid

The Finnish government proposes EUR 994 million in aid next year, marking the fourth lean aid budget in a row since the historic aid cuts announced in the summer of 2015. Nevertheless, the Finnish aid community sees a light in the tunnel.
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Norway supports new indigenous rights centre, but restricts funding to projects in India

The world’s first centre for promoting indigenous people’s land and forest rights is balancing the interests of its major donors. Sweden’s focus is rights. Norway’s is carbon. One result is that Norway supports the centre’s work on promoting tenure in countries like Colombia and Indonesia, but restricts the use of Norwegian money for projects in India, Burkina Faso and Mali.
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Denmark scales up education aid, part of broader strategy to stem migration

Denmark will scale up education efforts and private sector aid next year, but at the heart of the aid budget is managing “irregular migration and fighting its fundamental causes.” The Danes will expand their use of aid as a tool to return asylum seekers to their home countries in a tit-for-tat approach.
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Finland launches water aid strategy with focus on Finnish solutions

A new Finnish international water strategy, prepared by five separate ministries, aims to make greater use of Finland’s water expertise abroad, while aligning with Agenda 2030.
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Donors hold back direct funding, betting on more UN grants to local NGOs

Western humanitarian organisations’ own progress reports on promises made in 2016 to massively increase funding to Southern-based actors are “inherently biased,” and provide little evidence of change, according to a review by ODI. Some donors are betting on UN country funds taking the lead in increasing grants for local NGOs.
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First Nordic test of new reporting rules for refugee aid beefs up ODA

Denmark, being the first Nordic country to use the OECD’s new reporting regime for counting domestic refugee expenses as official aid, has concluded that it can increase reporting of such aid by 60 per cent for 2017. 
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Guyana solar plan melts icy relationship with Norway over forest and energy

Guyana solar plan melts icy relationship with Norway over forest and energy

At a ministerial meeting on the fringes of a forest conference in Oslo, Guyana laid out a plan for rapid expansion of solar power as a key clean energy source. The tiny South American nation hopes to resolve a seven-year dispute with Norway over the release of USD 180 million promised to Guyana for keeping its deforestation rate at a low level.
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Norway’s International Forest and Climate Initiative – 10 years of kissing frogs

Norway’s International Forest and Climate Initiative – 10 years of kissing frogs

The organisers of the Oslo Redd conference are profiling a little Tanzanian frog that has been named after Norway, apparently in thanks for ten years of Norwegian climate forest efforts. The Executive Director of Rainforest Foundation UK Simon Counsell takes a more sobre look at the ten-year-old initiative.
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DFIs should expand, but cannot fill SDG funding gap

DFIs should expand, but cannot fill SDG funding gap

The current fad in the world of international aid is all about moving from “billions to trillions” through the mobilisation of private capital combined with blending for impact investing. Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) can and should expand and blending can help. But even with the best of intentions and efforts, DFIs will not be able to plug anything more than a fraction of the SDG funding gap.
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Nordic DFIs team up with US investor to support Somalia businesses

Nordic aid-financed investors and an American businessman are establishing a USD 10 million fund to provide loans for entrepreneurs in Somalia. The Norwegian government is injecting first-loss capital to ease the risk.
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Green Resources’ CEO: good progress on food security at Uganda tree plantation

Lack of cash is the reason Green Resources was slow to respond to concerns raised about food security of villagers living near the Kachung tree plantation in Uganda, company CEO Erik Knive tells Development Today. But over the past year good progress has been made on food security projects, he says.
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Sweden opens EU’s first warehouse for joint crisis management

The Swedish Contingencies Agency (MSB) has this week opened a 5,000 square metre EU warehouse in Kristinehamn in Central Sweden. It is expected to shorten the response time for the union’s civilian security efforts around the world.
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Norway narrows geographic focus in aid

A new white paper proposes to reduce the number of main partner countries in Norwegian aid from 24 to just 16, divided on two categories - long-term cooperation partners and countries where the focus is on stabilisation and conflict prevention. A newcomer among partner countries is Ghana.
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EU rejects Israeli call for NGO boycott. Links to terror ‘unfounded’

Claims in the Israeli government report, “The Money Trail,” that EU-funded NGOs have ties to terror are forcefully rejected by the European Union, donors and NGOs. An EU spokesperson says to Development Today that Israel’s accusation that the EU supports terror is “unfounded and unacceptable.”
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Massive Swedish scale-up of flexible UN funding starting with WFP

As a first step in an ambitious plan to scale up multi-year flexible funding for several UN agencies, Sweden has entered into a four-year agreement with the World Food Programme worth SEK 3 billion (USD 370m).
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Sweden delays decision on purchase of carbon credits from Green Resources plantation in Uganda

Concerned that the Kachung industrial tree plantation in Uganda is affecting food security in nearby villages, the Swedish Energy Agency has still not decided whether to make a second payment for carbon credits to the plantation owner, the cash-strapped Norwegian firm Green Resources.
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Finnish state agencies seek commercial cooperation in Vietnam

As Vietnam makes the transition from traditional ODA recipient to middle-income country, Finland is using its government twinning programme to create commercial opportunities for Finnish state agencies.
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DKK 4 billion deal. IFU joins pension funds to invest in SDG projects

The Danish aid-funded investor IFU has, together with six Danish pension funds, raised DKK 4.1 billion for investments in developing countries and promotion of Danish technology and know-how. The investors expect a net yield amounting 10-12 per cent.
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Norwegian agribusiness investor becomes Norfund chief

Norwegian agribusiness investor becomes Norfund chief

Tellef Thorleifsson (55), an investor in East African agribusiness, takes over the helm of Norfund, replacing Kjell Roland who in March announced that he would step down after almost 12 years in the position.
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Donor cash to local NGOs stalled, despite Grand Bargain promise to step up funding

Donors gave only 3 per cent of humanitarian aid directly to local and national responders last year, according to new figures from Development Initiatives. This means that humanitarian actors are on a steady path to break their Grand Bargain promise to direct one-fourth of funding to local organisations by 2020. Instead, resources continue to go mainly to UN agencies and Western NGOs.
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Rainforest Foundation: a ‘strategic choice’ not to criticise Norway’s forest efforts

Rainforest Foundation: a ‘strategic choice’ not to criticise Norway’s forest efforts

Researchers and international environmental activists have critically scrutinised Norway’s massive climate forest initiative, while Norwegian NGOs are largely silent. Now they are charged with being too cozy with the Climate Ministry in Oslo, which is a main funding source. Rainforest Foundation Norway says it is a “strategic choice” not to criticise the initiative in public.  
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Stalled vision of a Nordic Green Bank in Helsinki

A proposal to merge three Helsinki-based institutions into a Nordic Green Bank has been put on hold because the current Swedish Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers is too busy with other tasks. The reform proposal includes the aid-financed Nordic Development Fund.
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Rainforest aid. Defiant Climate Minister disputes critical Auditor General’s report

Rainforest aid. Defiant Climate Minister disputes critical Auditor General’s report

A defiant Climate Ministry in Oslo rejects key conclusions of a report by the Auditor General on the prestigious Norwegian rainforest programme, which finds that the scheme is delayed, results are unsure and anti-corruption efforts are weak. The ministry disagrees with the criticism and insists that important results have been achieved. 
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Evaluation recommends billions of crowns in new capital for Swedfund

A new evaluation proposes a giant capital injection for Swedfund, the smallest Nordic aid funded investor. Operating in some of the world’s most difficult markets, Swedfund is vulnerable and has presented deficits amounting to SEK 500 million for the period 2009-2016.
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Norway ‘grossly exaggerated’ forest success in Tanzania

The Norwegian government’s claims that a climate project in Tanzania successfully helped farmers to adopt new agricultural techniques as part of a forest conservation scheme, have no basis in empirical evidence, according to new research.
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Astrup plans to move development experts out of Norad

Norway’s Development Minister Nikolai Astrup will strengthen his day-to-day access to the competence relevant for his portfolio by moving staff from the aid agency Norad to the Foreign Ministry. Norad will be streamlined to handle grant management. The move has been met with strong resistance from the opposition.
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Afghanistan, Somalia are the only common Nordic top recipients

The joint Nordic aid agenda is breaking up. Where poor developing countries, especially in Africa, once dominated aid portfolios, security and migration concerns now determine where the Nordics share common priorities for their aid disbursement. Afghanistan and Somalia are the only two countries on the four Nordic donors’ top-ten bilateral aid recipient lists, a review carried out by Development Today shows.
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UN agencies still account for only one in ten fraud cases reported to Sida

A Swedish report shows that only one in ten cases of reported fraud originates from UN agencies and other multilateral organisations. The UN’s own watch dog has warned of systemic under-reporting of corruption in the UN which could be causing “substantial monetary losses.”
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A vanishing Nordic aid agenda

Historically, the Nordic donors have operated as a block on the global development scene with joint efforts built on common values and a focus on the poorest countries, especially in Africa. They have also worked closely in multilateral fora like the UN and the World Bank.
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World Bank debarment: Email proof crushed Swedish Hifab’s defence

The World Bank has blacklisted the Swedish consultant Hifab International AB and two employees for taking part in “corrupt practice,” providing a USD 38,800 vehicle to a public official in Laos, according to World Bank sanctions documents obtained by Development Today.
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Norwegian Peoples’ Aid will negotiate new terms for USAID grants

NGOs are reviewing the terms for USAID grants after Norwegian Peoples’ Aid (NPA) had to pay a USD 2 million penalty for allegedly violating US terror laws related to Norwegian-funded projects in Gaza and Iran carried out several years ago. Some NGOs fear the American grant terms could jeopardise both their independence and their humanitarian principles.
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Colombia takes centre stage in Norwegian climate forest initiative

During Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s visit to Colombia, she promised total payments of up to NOK 4 billion by 2025 for forest conservation efforts, making the South American country a key climate forest partner for Norway.
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US terror laws haunt European NGOs, Norwegian People’s Aid pays USD 2m fine

Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), a major Nordic recipient of US aid grants, has agreed to pay a penalty of USD 2 million in a settlement with the US Department of Justice under the False Claims Act. The case exposes the far-reaching political conditionality for European NGOs that take US grants. NPA has in the past assisted Iran and Hamas in violation of US terror laws, according to the settlement. 
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2017 aid statistics: Loans to middle-income countries on the rise, OECD calls for caution

Official development assistance remained stable last year at USD 146.6 billion, according to fresh statistics from the OECD. A slight increase in overall aid to the poorest countries was offset by a large increase in loans to middle-income countries. Humanitarian aid and in-donor refugee costs continue to dominate donors’ budgets.
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‘Rage donations’ poured into MSF in wake of Norwegian political row

As the result of an unprecedented political feud in Norway over immigration and anti-terror measures, two aid organisations MSF and Plan found themselves at the centre of events. Rage donations, seen as a US phenomenon in the Trump era, entered the peaceful Norwegian aid community with full force.
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Sida should initiate independent review of its failure to warn Oxfam

A decade ago an official at Sida warned about a sexual abuser working in a key position at Oxfam, but the aid agency failed to inform the organisation about the matter.
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No paper trail, no report. Sida blames ex-staff for not warning Oxfam about sexual abuser

The Swedish aid agency Sida points to the former head of its Humanitarian Department as being responsible for not informing Oxfam ten years ago about a sexual abuser in Haiti, the focus of intense media scrutiny since early February. The former Sida staffer, Per Byman, tells Development Today that he raised the matter internally at the time, but never received advice on how to handle the matter.
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USD 100m for UNWRA fails to compensate for Trump cuts

Donors have pledged USD 100 million in fresh money for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNWRA) and frontloaded millions more at an extraordinary donor gathering in Rome Thursday.
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Sida satisfied with Oxfam’s safeguard systems, releases SEK 104m

A three-year humanitarian aid grant to Oxfam, frozen by Sida last month in response to allegations of sexual misconduct at Oxfam’s Haiti office several years ago, has now been approved. Development Today is told that Sida is satisfied Oxfam has taken the issue very seriously and the agency has decided to proceed with the agreement, which is worth SEK 104 million.
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Donors suspend EUR 100 million in funding to Oxfam in wake of sex scandal

Several donors are wielding the money weapon over Oxfam following allegations of sexual exploitation at offices in Haiti, Chad and elsewhere. Donor funding amounting to at least EUR 100 million has been held back from Oxfam as a direct result of the scandal.
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Nordic donors to discuss strengthening Nordic Development Fund

The Helsinki-based Nordic Development Fund (NDF) has acquired a niche as an effective provider of grants and loans for climate projects. The board has now asked the management to present options for strengthening the fund.
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Plan’s CEO aims to shake up status quo

Plan’s CEO aims to shake up status quo

Anne Birgitte Albrectsen, the Danish CEO of the 80-year-old organisation, says Plan’s current way of working is out of date. She wants to see several new branches established in developing countries within the next five years, and calls for a re-think of the child sponsorship model. “Business as usual is not an option,” she says.
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Norway freezes NOK 1 billion in forest aid to DRC

In an effort to pressure Kinshasa into revoking three “illegally allocated logging concessions,” Norway is withholding the equivalent of a billion crowns in promised aid funding for forest protection in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
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Misplaced spending. Foreign aid does not reduce migration

Misplaced spending. Foreign aid does not reduce migration

While Western governments invest billions of foreign aid dollars in programs aimed at reducing the flow of migrants into the United States and Europe, the evidence suggests that such efforts can be futile, and even counter-productive. Two researchers at Center for Global Development argue that a smarter approach would be to manage migration for the benefit of all sides, instead of trying to halt it.
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International NGO brands lay claim to billions of dollars earmarked for local actors

In a fierce power struggle over emergency relief funds, Western NGOs have secured a loophole in the agreement on reforming the humanitarian system that would allow their own affiliates in developing countries to tap into some USD 5 billion earmarked for local NGOs.
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Indian drug firm challenges GSK, Pfizer in race for multi-billion-dollar aid-financed vaccine market

The Indian pharmaceutical company Serum Institute says its pneumonia vaccine will be ready for sale in developing countries by 2020 at a fraction of the going price. This places Serum in direct competition with two Western drug manufacturers, GSK and Pfizer, which have dominated the aid- financed pneumonia vaccine market for the last decade.
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Leading Sida in a time of increased isolation

Leading Sida in a time of increased isolation

Compared with a decade ago, the global outlook today is somewhat pessimistic, and Sweden has become more isolated. This is the reflection of Carin Jämtin, the new Director General of Sida. She left her post as Minister for International Development Cooperation in 2006 and now looks back on that time as a more hopeful period.
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Donor earmarking of WFP funds makes it more difficult to reach forgotten crises

Increased donor earmarking of funds to WFP makes it more difficult for the world’s largest humanitarian agency to respond rapidly to crises that are outside the limelight of global politics. Funds that WFP can use freely have dropped from 12 to 6 per cent of its total budget over the last seven years.  
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Pneumonia vaccine remains expensive after 10 years of Gavi’s AMC funding

When the innovative USD 1.5 billion financing mechanism, the AMC, was launched by Gavi ten years ago, it was expected to do two things: accelerate the distribution of pneumonia vaccine among children in poor countries and incentivise more suppliers to enter the market, thereby increasing competition and pushing prices down. The AMC succeeded on the first but failed on the second.
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Danish aid targets return of 1,000 rejected asylum seekers

Danish aid targets return of 1,000 rejected asylum seekers

Denmark is for the first time directly linking development funds with the return of migrants whose applications for asylum have been turned down. So far DKK 50 million in aid have been allocated to facilitate the return from Denmark of 198 rejected asylum seekers to six countries, including Nigeria, Somalia and Afghanistan.
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Norfund turned its back on Statkraft to focus on Africa

The Norwegian aid-financed investor Norfund expects to present a surplus of about NOK 2 billion for 2017, after taking full control of the hydropower investor SN Power last fall, a result of strong disagreement with the co-owner Statkraft about investments in Africa.
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Norway: New Conservative minister pledges sweeping aid reform

Norway: New Conservative minister pledges sweeping aid reform

Norway’s Conservative Party takes a stronger grip on development policy, appointing one of its top politicians, Nikolai Astrup, to be the party’s first Development Minister. The appointment is part of a government reshuffle, where the Liberal Party joins the minority government. The new minister now promises sweeping reforms of the Norwegian aid administration. 
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Finnfund, Swedfund and IFU adopt EU tax haven blacklist

Three Nordic aid-financed investment funds have on short notice decided to ban investments through tax havens blacklisted by the European Union.
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Out of Stockholm. Sida head office to be moved

The Swedish government decided this week that the headquarters of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) is to be moved out of central Stockholm to the municipality of Botkyrka, 20 kilometres southwest of the city.
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NDF looks beyond Nordics to finance new trust fund

The Nordic Development Fund (NDF) is in discussions with several European donors to provide funding for a new trust fund for innovative climate projects in Southern and Eastern Africa. The trust fund opens a window that allows NDF for the first time to seek funding outside the Nordic region.
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Gavi applauds MSF’s effort to break Pfizer vaccine monopoly in India

Gavi applauds MSF’s effort to break Pfizer vaccine monopoly in India

Anuradha Gupta, Deputy CEO of the vaccine alliance Gavi, says Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)’s legal challenge of a Pfizer patent in India could, if successful, contribute to making the pharmaceutical market more “healthy.” Revoking the patent would break Pfizer’s monopoly on pneumonia vaccine, opening the way for cheaper generic copies to enter the market.
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Two Danish NGOs merge. Huge new child sponsorship actor targets public funds

Two Danish branches of international NGO alliances, Plan Denmark and BØRNEfonden - Children and Youth Foundation, have merged to form the largest privately-funded development NGO in Denmark. Though both currently draw most of their income from child sponsors, they are looking to expand support from government donors.
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How Norway crippled Nobel laureate ICAN by cutting vital funding

How Norway crippled Nobel laureate ICAN by cutting vital funding

On Sunday the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) receives the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. It is a slap in the face for Norway’s Blue-Blue government which brought the organisation to its knees two years ago by cutting all its funds. Norwegian aid accounted for almost 90 per cent of ICAN’s budget.
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Pressure to set new deal before Georgetown trip

Norwegian officials are racing against time to set new terms for Norway’s forest climate aid agreement with Guyana worth USD 30 million a year; the deadline is March 31 when Minister Erik Solheim arrives in Georgetown.
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Guyana climate deal stalled: 6th year with no payments

For the sixth year in a row, Norwegian aid-financed climate forest payments to the Guyana government have been stalled. 
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OECD urges Finland to restore it ‘flagging’ development aid

Massive cuts have pushed Finnish aid to its lowest level in a decade, reports the OECD peer review of Finland. The Paris-based aid watchdog calls on the Finnish government to produce a roadmap for restoring support to the poorest countries and raising aid to 0.7 per cent of GNI.
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Maria Håkansson takes over the helm at Swedfund

The board of the aid-funded investor Swedfund has appointed Maria Håkansson as the new Chief Executive Officer.
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‘Inadequate’ Swedish anti-corruption laws

Sweden is dragging its feet on implementation of the OECD’s Anti-Bribery Convention. Despite “repeated calls for action” following a review in 2012, Sweden has not yet put in place laws on corporate liability for bribing foreign public officials, the OECD states.
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Two Danish NGOs merge. Huge new child sponsorship actor targets public funds

Two Danish branches of international NGO alliances, Plan Denmark and BØRNEfonden - Children and Youth Foundation, have merged to form the largest privately-funded development NGO in Denmark. Though both currently draw most of their income from child sponsors, they are looking to expand support from government donors.
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MARKET UPDATE

SN Power buys major stake in Bujagali

SN Power, a hydropower company fully owned by Norfund, has bought two-thirds of the shares in Bujagali Energy Limited (BEL) from the investment company Blackstone. 
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IFU invests in thermal power in Mali

IFU and BWSC are investing in the 90-megawatt thermal power station in Kayes in Western Mali.
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Swedfund invests in clean energy through JCM Power

Swedfund commits to invest USD 15 million in shares of JCM Power, which develops, builds and operates solar and wind power plants in developing countries.
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IFU invests in Ukrainian solar power

In cooperation with NEFCO and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IFU has invested in a new 36-megawatt solar cell park in the Ukraine. With a total investment of EUR 35 million, Yavoriv Solar will produce renewable energy and help to reduce carbon emissions.
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Multiconsult wins GET FiT Zambia

The Norwegian consulting firm Multiconsult has been selected to manage KfW’s renewable energy financing facility GET FiT in Zambia. It aims to provide up to 200 megawatts from small renewables. The firm has managed a similar fund in Uganda for the past four years.
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Danish investment in Ethiopian wind energy

Development Minister Ulla Tørnæs has approved DKK 600 million through Danida Business Finance for co-financing of a 100-megawatt wind park in Addis Ababa. Danish firms will be involved in the project.
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Norfund’s NOK 1.9 billion surplus for 2017

Norfund has reported a record-high profit of almost NOK 1.9 billion for 2017. The fund’s portfolio amounted to NOK 23 billion by the end of the year.
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Danish windmills for Mongolia project

The first wind turbine in a 55 megawatt wind farm in the Gobi desert is now in place. The 25 turbines for the USD 120 million project are produced by Denmark’s Vestas.
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Tender: Oil for Development Evaluation 2016 - 2018

The evaluation concerns three Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA)’s programmes, funded by the Norad-managed Oil for Development Programme, which aim to support people in organising and influencing how natural resources are exploited in Lebanon, South Sudan and Mozambique.
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NDF supports Nordic Green Hub in Kenya

The Nordic Development Fund has approved EUR 500,000 to co-finance the establishment of a Kenya-Nordic Green Hub in Nairobi to promote Nordic green solutions. The target group is public institutions responsible for urban development in the city.
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Swedfund invests USD 10m for loans in Sub-Saharan Africa

Swedfund is investingUSD 10 million in the TLG Credit Opportunities Fund (COF). According to Zain Latif, CEO of TLG Capital, the fund’spurpose is to “plug the missing middle funding gap” for small and medium-sized companies in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Record-large IFU investments last year

Last year IFU and IFU-managed funds signed 37 investment agreements worth a total of DKK 1.3 billion, according to its annual report. IFU had an active portfolio of more than 200 project companies. This is a new record and a 15 per cent increase compared to 2016. IFU presented a net result for its managed funds amounting to DKK 186 million.
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Changes on Finnfund’s boards

Former Minister Lenita Toivakka joins Finnfund’s Supervisory Board, while Antero Toivainen, the Head of the International Tax Affairs Unit at the Finnish Finance Ministry, becomes a member of the fund’s Board of Directors.

https://www.finnfund.fi/ajankohtaista/uutiset18/en_GB/board_appointment/

 

USD 5m Swedfund loan for Kenyan bank

The Swedish aid-funded investor Swedfund is providing a USD 5 million loan to the Kenyan bank Victoria Commercial Bank (VCB). The seven-year loan targets small and medium-sized companies. Swedfund is the first Development Finance Institution to invest in VCB. “Well-run banks play a central role in creating decent jobs [and] economic growth,” says Maria Håkansson, CEO of Swedfund, in a press statement.
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NDF funds costal societies in West Africa

The Nordic Development Fund (NDF) joins forces with the World Bank to provide funding for coastal communities in Benin and Senegal. NDF has signed a credit agreement with Benin and a grant pact with the World Bank to speed up such financing for the West African Coastal Areas Program. The agreements were signed during the World Bank’s spring meeting in Washington DC.
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NDF Nordic roadshow to find private sector partners

The Nordic Development Fund will arrange events in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Reykjavik and Helsinki in May to present climate financing opportunities for companies. NDF will highlight its two funding windows: the Nordic Climate Facility and the Environment and Energy Partnership Africa, which offer early-stage project financing climate projects.
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Norfund provides loan to Vietnamese bank

 

Norway’s Norfund and the German development finance institution DEG have signed a senior loan agreement worth USD 40 million with An Binh Commercial Joint Stock Bank in Vietnam for on-lending to enterprises, particularly those that are run by women.
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Swedfund invests in RE fund for Sub-Saharan Africa

Swedfund has invested SEK 126 million in the Evolution II Fund. The fund will invest mainly in solar power, wind power and hydropower in countries such as Zambia, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Uganda. Other financiers include the African Development Bank and European development finance institutions. The Fund aims to reach a total of SEK 2 billion in capital by the end of the year.
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Scatec, Norfund join forces in 3 new African solar projects

Scatec Solar ASA and Norfund are shortly expected to achieve financial close for three solar PV plants in South Africa totalling 258 megawatts. The investment amounts to ZAR 4.76 billion and the lion’s share of the capital is provided by commercial banks and DFIs with Standard Bank in the lead. Scatec Solar will be the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) provider for the projects and construction start is expected in the fall this year.
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IFU signs pact with Inter-American Development Bank

The Danish aid-financed investor IFU and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) aims to develop a pipeline of projects to spur Danish investments in Latin America and the Caribbean after signing a partnership agreement. The agreement is with IDB Invest, which manages more than USD 10 billion and can “pave the way for Danish trade and industry,” said Helle Bjerre, IFU Vice President. She says they have already identified two relevant projects in Bolivia and Colombia.
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NDF climate contract in Nicaragua

The Nordic Development Fund announces a tender for civil works  for climate change adaptation on a road project in Nicaragua.
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Rural electrification in Myanmar

Norfund and the World Bank’s IFC join forces to invest in micro power in Myanmar. The aim is to electrify hundreds of telecommunications towers and rural communities across the country.
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USD 7m grant for Scatec Solar plant in Mozambique

The World Bank’s private sector arm IFC has provided a debt financing package for a 40-megawatt solar plant in Mozambique to be built by Scatec Solar, a Norwegian based solar energy company. The financing package amounts to USD 76 million. Part of the package is a USD 7 million grant from the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund.
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Norfund opens office in Ghana

Norway’s aid-funded investor Norfund has opened a new office in Ghana covering West Africa. “We believe that investing in the agribusiness sector is the best way that Norfund can contribute to economic transformation in Ghana and West Africa,” said Norfund CEO Kjell Roland.
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NDF: more than 100 climate projects funded

In its annual report for 2017 the Nordic Development Fund highlights approval of its 100th new climate project milestone. The total project portfolio is worth more than EUR 300 million, according to annual report for 2017.
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IFU, FLSmidth take part in cement project in Pakistan

FLSmidth and IFU join forces to invest in a brownfield development project in Pakistan. IFU will provide EUR 8.5 million in funding for the the project. FLSmidth will be responsible for engineering, procurement, equipment supply and supervision.
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IFU invests in hybrid power project in Ghana

IFU and Emerging Markets Power (Holdings) Limited (EMP) have signed an investment and joint development agreement in relation to EMP’s 90-megawatt hybrid wind and solar project 75 kilometres from Accra.
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Evaluation: Finnfund has more focus on poor countries

Finnfund has put more focus on the poorest countries and on high-risk projects with significant development impacts. An evaluation shows that this has in part been made possible through a special risk financing where losses are partly covered by a guarantee granted by the state.
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Norfund CEO Kjell Roland to step down

Kjell Roland who turns 65 this summer has informed the Norfund Board that he wants to resign as chief of the aid-financed investor.
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