Trump win shocks world as key climate talks begin: This week in development news

Workshop for facilitative sharing of views at COP22. Photo by: UNFCCC / CC BY

Donald Trump’s successful bid for the U.S. presidency has left the global development community shocked and concerned about what’s next, especially as delegates gathered in Marrakech, Morocco, for a climate conference wonder what his victory means for efforts to stop global warming. This week in development news.

The U.S. election has sent shockwaves through the global development community as questions swirl about what a Trump administration might mean for development policy. President-elect Trump has been vague about foreign aid and little is known yet about what the future might hold. Devex has covered reactions on social media, including at the climate summit and at the United Nations. In the days and weeks ahead, Devex will continue to bring you more information about what this all means. Some of the key questions to watch will be whether the U.S. Agency for International Development remains an independent agency, who will lead Trump’s development efforts, what foreign aid budgets may look like and what programs or priorities will survive. Devex CEO and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar also shared his reflections on the election.

Donald Trump can't change the laws of physics. The climate is changing and will change much more, and the world is moving — with or without the United States — toward low carbon economies and investments in climate adaptation. That’s the message from Marrakech, Morocco, this week, where delegates are assembled at COP22 to shift the climate conversation from process to action. Developing countries particularly want to see action on more finance — especially for adaptation. Donors are supposed to be on a roadmap to $100 billion in climate finance by 2030. Developing countries that are already experiencing the impacts of climate change hope they’ll follow through on that commitment, and that they’ll apportion a big slice of that funding for investments in disaster risk reduction, adaptation and resilience. Next week the COP transitions to its high-level segment, when dozens of heads of state arrive and the sticky political questions about who’s responsible for what take center stage.

A Haiti Funders Conference convened in New York this week and brought together local civil society actors, government officials and international donors to address sustainable development challenges and opportunities in Haiti. The two-day meeting did not result in any concrete funding announcements but a few overlapping themes — government accountability and revitalization of local economies such as agriculture — emerged from the panel discussions. The meeting took place a little more than a month after Hurricane Matthew rocked the southern, remote portion of the country, leaving more than 800,000 facing extreme levels of food insecurity. About half of those people have received assistance, but agencies such as the United Nations Population Fund report significant funding gaps and challenges in meeting needs.

The U.K. Department for International Development announced its new strategy for funding nonprofits Friday, in the first of five key strategy documents outlining the $18 billion agency’s spending plans. Nonprofits will now apply for funds through four main channels, down from more than a dozen. The document introduces a new platform — U.K. Aid Connect — to facilitate partnerships between NGOs, the private sector and other government departments. Largely reflective of the U.K. government’s value for money agenda, the new strategy sparked some concern among U.K. organizations that worry DfID’s move away from unrestricted funding and toward financing models such as payment-by-results will leave hamstrung nonprofits out in the cold.

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About the author

  • Adva Saldinger

    Adva Saldinger is an Associate Editor at Devex, where she covers the intersection of business and international development, as well as U.S. foreign aid policy. From partnerships to trade and social entrepreneurship to impact investing, Adva explores the role the private sector and private capital play in development. A journalist with more than 10 years of experience, she has worked at several newspapers in the U.S. and lived in both Ghana and South Africa.