News Selection – Finance for Sustainable Development
Recent news chosen to update Tread Softly briefings on Finance for Sustainable Development.
German aid minister slams proposed cuts as 'completely incomprehensible'
12/7/2018: The world's second-largest bilateral donor is on track to miss the 0.7 percent aid target as politicians approved a lower-than-expected budget for 2018 and 2019. Source: Devex
Tread Softly Comment: The article doesn't speculate whether this cut in foreign aid was provoked by Trump's bullying of NATO contributors or by the new-found strength of Angela Merkel's right-of-centre coalition partner. Either way, the commitment of the German coalition government to maintain a common trajectory of funds for development and defence has been shredded. The defence budget for 2019 is up 10%, the development budget is heading for a fall. An ominous outcome for the funding resolve of other donor countries. Relevant Briefing: Aid Politics
Green funds fade for developing countries
28/6/2018: With the US halving its contribution to the Global Environment Facility, one of the world's most important green funds sees its first budget cut in 27 years. The poorest countries will struggle to meet the tighter conditions for funding. Source: The Third Pole
Changing patterns of humanitarian assistance
19/6/2018: The association of humanitarian assistance with "emergencies" has become less significant. Almost all of the 20 largest recipient countries in 2017 reflect either long-term or medium-term crises.
Should foreign aid benefit the donor country?
5/6/2018: Owen Bader unpicks the debate about foreign aid tied to the interests of the donor country as much as the beneficiary. He concludes that aid that addresses one of the underlying causes of global poverty will benefit all parties.
Leverage of private finance for SDGs is not a silver bullet
30/4/2018: The international aid community constantly asserts that the use of public funds to leverage private sector investment is a critical tool for achieving development goals. What are the flaws in this argument?
Another Debt Crisis for Poor Countries?
18/4/2018: A new IMF report warns that 24 out of 60 low-income countries are either already in a debt crisis or highly vulnerable to one. Action now by borrowing country governments can prevent the crisis spreading.
Development aid to Africa at last reachess $25 billion
9/4/2018: Foreign aid from official donors totalled USD 146.6 billion in 2017, a small decrease of 0.6% from 2016 in real terms, according to provisional OECD figures. Aid to sub-Saharan Africa was also up by 3%, finally reaching USD 25 billion.
Uganda joins Africa's big-debt club
23/3/2018: In three years, Uganda's debt has risen from $6 billion to $15 billion, the government ramping up borrowing, mostly from China, to fund infrastructure projects. Now the country's central bank is concerned about repayments.
Developing country debt payments increase by 60% in three years
18/3/2018: Figures released by the Jubilee Debt Campaign show that external debt payments in developing countries have reached their highest level since 2004, following a recent lending boom and commodity price falls.
Concern about increasing debt in African countries
8/3/2018: Lending to Africa has surged since the 2008 financial crisis, a period of very low interest rates in rich countries. But falling commodity prices and slow growth have reduced five sub-Saharan African countries to a state of “debt distress".