Wednesday, November 14, 2018

June / 2018

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

 
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

 
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

 
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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