Donors continue to urge Pakistan for reforms, with the U.K. pressing the flood-ravaged nation to improve its tax and spending efforts. The British government made the call at the recently concluded Pakistan Development Forum in Islamabad, where Japan pledged USD500 million to help rehabilitate the Islamic country.
Three other donors have fleshed out their strategies for funding development initiatives.
The U.K. Department for International Development will target programs on wealth creation, security and governance, and women’s welfare in the next five years, as stated in the department’s business plan for 2011-2015, while the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will scale down the size of grants for global health researches. To strengthen Africa-EU relations, the European Commission is recommending that the European Union focus on sustainable and inclusive growth and support for the Millennium Development Goals in the continent.
Meantime, Australia and the EU are working to bolster the effectiveness of their aid progams. Australia will implement an independent review of its foreign aid program, its first since 1996. The EU has issued a green paper on incorporating inclusive growth and sustainable development in the bloc’s development policy support, and launched a public consultation on how the EU can best support the developing world’s efforts to realize the MDGs.
U.S. President Barack Obama’s fiscal reform commission has called for cuts in the U.S. government’s voluntary contributions to the United Nations. The move will help the U.S. save USD300 million each year, according to a draft report of the commission. Twenty-one U.N. member states have pledged some USD470 million to support the global agency’s development work in 2011.
Iran, meanwhile, has failed in its bid join the board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, or U.N. Women, while Saudi Arabia has secured a seat.
Eric Postel – nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama as assistant administrator for economic growth, agriculture and trade of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Andris Vilks – European Investment Bank’s governor for Latvia.
Hoesung Lee – member of the Asian Development Bank’s Advisory Group on Climate Change and Sustainable Development.
Kirsten Sandberg – nominated by Norway to join the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Francisco Moza Zapatero – director of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation.