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German NGOs put the spotlight on Development Ministry

Two German NGO’s, Terre des hommes (Human World) and Welthungerhilfe (World Hunger Aid) published their annual report this week on Tuesday 8, which scrutinizes the German governments most recent development policy efforts. The report calls for the German Development Ministry to be strengthened and equipped with overarching, cross-cabinet powers so that all government services can promote human rights in development aid efforts, according to

The 40 page report, entitled: ‘Reality of Development Policy’, calls for a change of course by the new German government, and proposes enhancement for the German Development Ministry, to enable it to become a “ministry for international cooperation and global sustainability.”

According to the NGOs, the human rights inspection agency in the BMZ, the ‘Menschenrechts-TÜV’ (Human Rights Technical Inspection Association), should not be the only such agency dealing with development policy. "All the ministries, especially economic, agriculture, foreign, environmental and development ministries must move in the same direction," it argued.

NGO’s also criticised the performance of German Minister of Development, Dirk Niebel, and called for his replacement in the new cabinet. Anke Kurat, member of the political forum for the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development (CONCORD, said in a statement for “Economic self-interest above human rights and poverty reduction, that was Niebel’s motto.”

“Civil society itself has nothing against stronger economic cooperation with developing countries. However, cooperation should be limited to supporting the economy of affected countries, not the country sending aid.”

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Guatemala: more EU funding after Piebalgs Visit

During his recent visit to Central America, EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs met with Guatemalan authorities and civil societies to discuss future EU assistance with the country. The visit follows last weeks announcement that the EU is expecting to pledge up to at least €775 million in bilateral aid to Central America between 2014-2020.

Piebalgs said: “Guatemala has made impressive progress in terms of education and the eradication of poverty, but huge challenges, such as very high malnutrition levels, still remain. By better targeting our future funding to make sure it focuses on key sectors, we will do all we can to make sure that we continue to help those most in need.”

However, the country also has the highest chronic malnutrition rate in Latin America, with 43 % of children under the age of 5 suffering from malnutrition. The World Bank rank Guatemala as the third worst country for chronic malnutrition or stunted growth, and the EU says the country loses more than $300m (£186m) in GDP every year to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

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UK has no plans to establish a Development Bank

British Development Secretary Justine Greening has told the House of Commons that the UK has no immediate plans for a Development Bank, or to allocate aid to governments in the form of loans. She made the statement whilst addressing the international development committee, which is gathering evidence on the future of British development cooperation.

Greening said that discussions over the possible creation of a bank were a key part of a process she began when she entered office in September 2012 to explore better methods of channeling aid funds.

Greening also confirmed that there were no plans to offer bilateral loans to governments, although Britain would offer bilateral loans to the Indian private sector, when the current bilateral aid program to India expires in 2015. Greening suggested that the outcome of the loan system to the private sector would be a good indicator of the potential of bilateral aid programs in the future.

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EU Targets food security and drought resilience in Ethiopia

As part of the Supporting Horn of Africa Resilience (SHARE) scheme implemented by EU Commissioners Andris Piebalgs and Kristalina Georgiva, the EU has announce €50m to improve food security and build resilience to drought in Southern and Eastern Ethiopia.
The funds will be channeled through a series of long-term projects, such as a fund to provide food and cash to vulnerable people in case of shocks- such as a drought- in order to lessen the impact. Better nutrition will also be targeted, through schemes to promote dietary diversification and the local production of vegetables, milk and forage.

Piebalgs said in a statement: "The EU has already done all it can to address the immediate impact of drought in Ethiopia through its humanitarian assistance. Now, with this new programme, we will be helping Ethiopian people in the longer-term; providing support to help them rebuild their lives, make a living, and make sure they are well equipped to deal with droughts that will inevitably come again in the future."

The SHARE initiative provides additional support to the most affected regions of the Horn of Africa, improves disaster preparedness and helps to better link humanitarian aid and development cooperation. The Horn of Africa is particularly vulnerable to drought due to increasing demographic pressure on natural resources, as well as poor infrastructure, and insecure livelihoods prospects.

Read more.

UNESCO and the European Union: Working Together for Change

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the European Union announced this week that they have strengthened their cooperation and increased their joint operations in areas of shared interest, such as education, culture, water and oceans and freedom of expression.

This comes a year after the signing of a partnership agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) between the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Catherine Ashton and the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs. The memorandum seeks to exchange information and work more closely on together on areas of mutual interest, to which the two organizations have undertaken a range of projects in education, culture, the sciences and human rights in several regions of the world.

These include activities such as education and skills training for young Syrian refugees in Jordan, building tsunami emergency response capacity in Haiti, strengthening dialogue as well as media accountability in South East Europe, safeguarding and preserving cultural heritage in Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon.

The new projects outlined for the next twelve months include safeguarding Timbuktu’s unique manuscripts in Mali, underground water surveying in Iraq, strengthening of capacities of Mediterranean youth networks to advocate for their rights and representativeness and technical assistance for developing countries to reinforce the role of culture as a driver for sustainable development.

Piebalgs said of the partnership: "the initiative has proven that working together means our work is even more effective. The European Union and UNESCO share several priorities, but above all they share the desire to strengthen fundamental values to achieve inclusive development".

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Global calls

No new calls

In country calls


35103 - Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development (Mozambique)
 Open » 25/11/2013  Action Grants   Mozambique Non-State Actors and Local Authorities
135143 - The Sarajevo 2014 Programme
 Open » 15/01/2014  Action Grants   Bosnia and Herzegovina   PreAccession Countries / New Member States
135073 - ACP-EU Energy Facility II: Call for Proposals for Energy and Fragility Open Call for Proposals
 Open » 14/02/2014  Action Grants   ACP Countries   Africa, Caribbean and Pacific
134492 - Twinning project ''Consolidation and Strengthening the External Public Audit in the Republic of Moldova''
 Open » 28/11/2013  Action Grants   Moldova   Neighbourhood
135133 - Harmonization of the legislation and procedures with the Acquis and EU best practice related to excise
 Open » 29/11/2013  Action Grants   Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of)   PreAccession Countries / New Member States
Open » 26/10/2013  Action Grants   Yemen   Neighbourhood
134675 - Maternal and Child Health, Nutrition and Family Planning Services in Major Urban Slums in Kenya
Open » 30/10/2013  Action Grants   Kenya   Non-State Actors and Local Authorities
135045 - European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) Country-based Support Schemes (CBSS) Bangladesh
Open » 19/11/2013  Action Grants   Bangladesh   Human Rights
134665 - IPA Cross-border Programme Croatia-Montenegro, 2007-2013 - third call for proposals
Open » 13/12/2013  Action Grants   Montenegro   PreAccession Countries / New Member States

135133 - Harmonization of the legislation and procedures with the Acquis and EU best practice related to excise
Open » 29/11/2013  Action Grants   Macedonia  PreAccession Countries / New Member States
135097 - Enhancing the protection of Intellectual Property Rights in Montenegro - twinning light
Open » 13/11/2013  Action Grants   Montenegro   PreAccession Countries / New Member States
134969 - Non-State Actors in Development for Tajikistan
Open » 12/11/2013  Action Grants   Tajikistan   Non-State Actors and Local Authorities

Public consultations

The EU's list of public consultations can be found here.

Consultation on the role of family farming, key challenges and priorities for the future-11/10/13

CONCORD is the European NGO confederation for Relief and Development.  Its 27 national associations, 18 international networks and 2 associate members represent 1,800 NGOs which are supported by millions of citizens across Europe. CONCORD leads reflection and political actions and regularly engages in dialogue with the European institutions and other civil society organisations.
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