Taking into account the global economic woes, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has proposed a two-year budget that is 3 percent lower than the current one, which totals $5.16 billion, or 20 percent up from the previous two-year budget.

In a meeting with senior managers on the 2012-2013 budget Wednesday (March 9), Ban said the global agency must be “realistic” about global economic conditions but “no less disciplined.”

The United Nations Development Program, U.N. Population Fund and UNICEF, meanwhile, have unveiled their action plans for Iraq that would support an estimated $600 million worth of development initiatives in the next four years.

Amid the continuing political revolts across the Middle East and North Africa, the International Finance Corp. and other international financing institutions are mulling over providing aid to banks in the region, while U.S. Sens. John Kerry, (D-Mass.), Joe Lieberman, (R-Conn.) and John McCain, (R-Ariz.) are proposing up to $80 million in aid to support democratic transition in Egypt and Tunisia. In her visit to Cairo March 15, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced more than $2 billion in economic aid for the North African country.

G-8 foreign ministers, who met March 14-15 in Paris, were also due to tackle a “further coordinated international response” to the political crisis gripping the Arab world. The European Union, meanwhile, has decided to refocus its bilateral aid programs under the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument, the bloc’s aid instrument for MENA nations.

The EU has also announced €39 million ($54.6 million) in rural development and democratic governance aid to Timor-Leste, and another €22.25 million in humanitarian aid for Myanmar and Thailand.

In Canada, Peter Milliken, speaker of the House of Commons, ruled on Wednesday (March 9) that Minister of International Cooperation Beverley Oda breached parliamentary privilege by misleading members of parliament about the modification of a memorandum by the Canadian International Development Agency to deny funding for church-based organization Kairos.

Appointments:

Lakshmi Puri – assistant secretary-general for intergovernmental support and strategic partnerships at the U.N. Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, or U.N. Women

John Hendra – assistant secretary-general for policy and programs at the U.N. Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, or U.N. Women

Sahle-Work Zewde – director-general of the U.N. Office in Nairobi, Kenya

Abou Moussa – special representative and head of the newly established U.N. Regional Office for Central Africa in Libreville, Gabon

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev – director-general of the U.N. Office at Geneva, Switzerland

Mariangela Zappia – head of the European delegation to the U.N. organizations in Geneva

Dr. Seth Berkley – chief executive officer at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization

Ariel Pablos-Méndez – nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama as assistant administrator for global health at the U.S. Agency for International Development

Lakshmi Shyam-Sunder – chief financial officer and director of finance and risk management at the International Finance Corp.

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.