Wednesday, December 11, 2019

February / 2019

Danish SDG fund grows to DKK 4.85b, first investments in blueberries and solar

Starting with a government grant of just DKK 100 million, the Danish aid-funded investor IFU has announced the close of its SDG fund worth DKK 4.85 billion. The fund’s first two investments are in blueberry farms in South Africa and solar power in the Ukraine.

Bring China into the international financial system

Will China indebt the world? China has risen rapidly to become the world’s largest infrastructure creditor. Its lending is politically driven, risk-prone and opaque, and has left many borrowers with unsustainable debt. China should be encouraged to join the established, rules-based international financial system, writes Robert Wihtol, a former Director General at the Asian Development Bank.

Mutual distrust between donors and humanitarians, ‘opaque’ decision making on both sides

Humanitarian aid would stretch farther and respond better to those most in need if donors coordinated their allocations in a transparent manner instead of making funding decisions in isolation, but there is little appetite among donors to do so. This is one of the conclusions of a recent study on underfunded humanitarian appeals commissioned by the Swedish aid evaluation office, EBA.

Finnfund eyes record expansion. Doubts about risks and profit

Finnfund might soon receive its largest-ever injection of capital. It plans to focus on high-risk markets, double its investments and triple its impacts, while at the same time maintaining profit levels. An evaluation report warns that Finnfund will be hard pressed to tick all these boxes at once.

Tough competition for donor money: Global health agencies under scrutiny for inflating results

In an environment of fierce competition, global health initiatives like the Global Fund are making grand claims regarding the numbers of lives they can save if donors provide enough money. But in the new, more holistic SDG era, with an ambition of universal health coverage, researchers say that such claims are “misleading.” “We have to stop this game of trying to say exactly how many years or months or lives we can buy with one earmarked dollar,” says Gorik Ooms at the London School of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene to Development Today.

New Danish UNEP boss must regain donors’ trust after Solheim debacle

The Dane Inger Andersen has been chosen to restore confidence at UNEP in Nairobi after the former chief Erik Solheim was forced to leave three months ago. An audit revealed that he had travelled excessively and encouraged staff to “wilfully violate” UN rules, “encouraged a culture of impunity ... and weakened the control environment .”