Daily Archives: September 21, 2015

Emerging Market Economies and the EU: Transformations and new challenges

Emerging Market Economies and the EU: Transformations and new challenges

The EPC, in conjunction with the Institute for Scientific Advancement of the South (ISAS), has launched a new project on the challenges and transformations that the EU and Emerging Market Economies (EMEs) are facing in a rapidly changing world.

EMEs become increasingly important global players. While these countries do not necessarily share a common agenda, they have all made a huge leap forward in increasing their economic weight. With their increasing economic power, the EMEs are also gaining more and more political weight on the international stage. The emerging market economies are not a homogenous block sharing similar economic, political, social and cultural features. Although united in the commitment to develop and modernize their economies and societies, the reality is that each of them faces its own different conditions and domestic challenges.

In this context, Western developed economies, and Europe in particular, are still in need to find a coherent strategy to answer to this new balance of powers. In order to shed light on the relationship between the EMEs and the EU, this project focuses on four key areas in which these two blocs of countries can cooperate in a meaningful way: climate change, trade, global economic trends, and global governance.

This project is coordinated by Juliane Schmidt, Programme Assistant.

USA to Raise Refugee Resettlement Quota

Note that this figure is the total number of refugees around the world. The number of Syrian refugees admitted could remain quite low–around 16,000. “The Obama administration will increase the number of refugees the United States is willing to accept to 100,000 annually in 2017, a significant increase over the current worldwide cap of 70,000, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday. The announcement came as Mr. Kerry conferred here with German officials on the wave of migrants that has swamped Europe and met with Syrian refugees who are seeking asylum in Europe. Under the new plan, the American limit on refugee visas would be increased to 85,000 in the fiscal year 2016. The cap would then rise to 100,000 the following year.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/1iqdPF2)

Stat of the Day: Global Fund Says it Saved 17 Million Lives… “A new report shows that the Global Fund partnership has made remarkable gains against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria by supporting programs that have saved more than 17 million lives. The Global Fund Results Report 2015 delivers a broad overview of impact and results achieved by the partnership. Scientific advances, innovative solutions and increased global support are saving lives at a steadily increasing rate each year – more than two million – putting the partnership on track to save 22 million lives by the end of 2016.” (Global Fund http://bit.ly/1KEu7Fz)

Juxtaposition of the Day…”In his homily delivered under the gaze of a metal portrait of revolutionary fighter Che Guevara, Francis urged Cubans to care for one another out of a sense of service, not ideology. He encouraged them to refrain from judging each other by ‘looking to one side or the other to see what our neighbor is doing or not doing.’” (AP http://yhoo.it/1KEz0yl)


Pro-coup demonstrators in Burkina Faso on Sunday stormed a hotel due to host talks aimed at restoring a civilian interim government and attacked participants arriving for the meeting, witnesses said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1OnDLPd)

At least five people were killed in a suicide bomb attack on Sunday in the northern Cameroon town of Mora, military sources said, in what appeared to be the latest cross-border attack by Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamist militant group. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1KrOqSX)

Three blasts struck the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, a military spokesman said on Sunday, a day after a new audio message purportedly from Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau accused the army of lying about successes against the militants. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1KEv4xr)

Two young suicide bombers killed three people in far north Cameroon on Sunday, the latest attack to hit a region that has been rocked by strikes blamed on Boko Haram Islamists from neighbouring Nigeria. (AFP http://bit.ly/1KEwCaQ)

Nearly 4,700 migrants were rescued off the coast of Libya on Saturday as they tried to reach Europe but one woman was found dead, Italy’s coastguard said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1OnDImp)

The United Nations accused the army of Libya’s internationally recognised government on Sunday of deliberately trying to sabotage crunch peace talks with a new offensive in second city Benghazi. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1OnEvnm)

Canada’s conservative government said it would accept 10,000 Syrian refugees within one year by simplifying and speeding up the immigration application process. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1OnEtMm)

It’s the one year anniversary of Houthi rebels taking control of Yemen’s capital city. (AFP http://bit.ly/1KEwCaQ)


Nepal has a new constitution — the nation’s first since the abolition of the long-ruling Hindu monarchy in 2008. (VOA http://bit.ly/1NMcHsZ)

Vietnam has released a high-profile blogger who has traveled to the United States, the American embassy said on Sunday, but a human right group said the move extended a “cynical” practice by Hanoi to send its critics into exile. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1gDNOB2)

Horrible story about the US military brass punishing soldiers for speaking up about pederasts in the Afghan national army. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1KEvh3R)

The Americas

Pope Francis called for the Church in Cuba to have “the freedom and the means” to pursue its mission, on his first visit to the island. He also hailed improving ties between the US and Cuba as “an example of reconciliation for the whole world.” (BBC http://bbc.in/1iGUccC)

Venezuelans took to the streets in cities around the country to protest the sentence handed down earlier this month to opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. (AP http://yhoo.it/1OnEsYQ)

…and the rest

Police in Germany said on Sunday there had been an arson attack on a planned accommodation center for migrants in the southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the latest sign of tension as migrants flow to the country. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1gDNOBd)


Seattle push on Gates Foundation to divest from fossil fuels (Humanosphere Podcast http://bit.ly/1iHw4Xp)

Here are the Big Stories That will Drive the Agenda at the UN Summit in New York. An UNGA Preview (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1OogKf6)

Global goals summit: from the pope to Shakira, everything you need to know (Guardian http://bit.ly/1YsqhFr)

Does Anti-Poverty Work Actually… Work? (CFI http://bit.ly/1Ooh1yx)

Where should #globaldev community focus aid to end hunger? (Devex http://bit.ly/1Ooh90U)

Someone you know is probably malnourished. What are you going to do about it? (Development Horizons http://bit.ly/1YspVP3)

As UN meets to fight poverty, Europe puts up razor wire to keep poor out (Guardian Economics Blog http://bit.ly/1iGUdxk)

Why General Gilbert Diendéré is derailing the political transition in Burkina Faso (Africa is a Country http://bit.ly/1Ysp8ha)

MissionCreep #9: Spills, refugees and languages (WhyDev http://bit.ly/1FW9sY4)

Fifty years of coordination against the odds: a history of ACFID (DevPolicy http://bit.ly/1OogFbh)



U.N.: S.Sudan Conditions Worsen amid Ceasefire Violations

NNA – Conditions in war-torn South Sudan have worsened with thousands fleeing fighting since a ceasefire deal three weeks ago, the United Nations has warned.

In the northern battleground state of Unity, thousands of civilians are trekking through the vast Sudd swamplands to reach the village of Nyal, away from fighting.

“About 10 canoes, each carrying 60 to 70 people, have arrived in Nyal on a daily basis since mid-August,” the U.N. office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest report.

At least 18,000 people have arrived in Nyal in the past two weeks, taking the total there to more than 78,000 civilians, the report added.

In the capital Juba, the U.N. warned of a “deteriorating security situation”, where an aid worker was murdered in a “brutal attack” on September 10, taking the total killed since the war began to 34.

Some 1.64 million people have fled fighting inside the country, another 628,000 have fled as refugees into neighboring nations, while over 4.6 million people are now dependent on food aid.

The army and rebels have repeatedly traded blame accusing each other of breaking an August 29 ceasefire deal, the eighth such agreement to have been signed since civil war broke out in December 2013.

Despite the fighting, both sides say the political deal remains in place.

Over 192,000 terrified civilians are sheltering inside U.N. bases.

In the largest camp, the U.N. base in the Unity state capital Bentiu — home to 112,000 civilians — some 34 children died in just one week alone, many from malaria, the UN report added.

“Malnutrition remains a major concern across the country,” the U.N. report added.

The world’s youngest nation, South Sudan descended into bloodshed in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of planning a coup.

The violence has left tens of thousands of people dead and the impoverished country split along ethnic lines.–AFP


Coming Together for Peace

War causes hunger. If we could stop hunger, maybe we can start peace. The International Day of Peace is 21 September, and its theme this year is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All,” a strong reminder that we need to come together to support the almost 60 million children, women and men who have been displaced by conflict and ensure they are fed and given an opportunity to rebuild their lives.

While the world is making progress reducing hunger each decade, regional wars, terrorism and civil strife have forced the most amount of people from their homes since World War II. Millions of families are now refugees or displaced inside their countries with little hope of a secure future for their children. Ultimately, they need an end to war and conflict, but they also need food assistance to survive. That’s why the World Food Programme (WFP) is working every day to provide lifesaving food to families affected by conflict as well as natural disasters, feeding more people than any other humanitarian organisation and offering choices during difficult times. Here are two examples of how WFP helps create a more stable world.

The Syrian Crisis

Fatmeh, a Syrian refugee now living in Lebanon, recently told us the harrowing story of how her and her family had to flee their home because of the continued bombing of Idlib in northeastern Syria. But the real nightmare began when they crossed the border into Lebanon, where they joined many other Syrian refugees that now face hunger, illness and a bleak future. 

It has been three years since Fatmeh arrived in Lebanon with her family. During their first year, they could rely on humanitarian assistance to make ends meet, but when the humanitarian funding crisis began in 2013, all support stopped. A year later, their youngest son Moaz, was born and life became even harder. 

At that time, the number of Syrian refugees receiving food assistance from WFP fell by almost 30 percent because of the need to prioritise those most vulnerable. Eventually, a lack of funding meant that WFP was forced to cut support to Fatmeh and her family entirely, which made survival a daily challenge. Today they are receiving food assistance again, which helps sustain them and provides choices during desperate times. 

Conflict in South Sudan

Ongoing conflict, climate change, poverty and an upcoming lean season are pushing 4.6 million people in South Sudan into hunger. 

Nyanath, a mother of four, whose husband was killed by fighting, told us “the children of South Sudan are dying because of the war and hunger. We don’t have enough rain to plant our crops. We have had no food since April. Now we are facing hunger. WFP came to rescue us – to give us food and, we say thank you. I am appealing to the Government of South Sudan and the Opposition. This war is making us truly suffer. We are suffering – please, brothers, sit and make peace. Think about our lives.”

WFP is on the ground in South Sudan, providing food assistance to vulnerable people like Nyanath and helping communities build resilience so they can better overcome their challenges in the future. 

A Need for Peace and Food Assistance

To help raise awareness about the vital role food assistance plays in creating a more peaceful world and to provide a tangible way for people to get involved, global companies have come together on the International Day of Peace to shine a spotlight on WFP’s work through a 30-second commercial that is airing in 38 countries. Learn more about the effort and how you can make a difference.