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International Community Faces Several Development Challenges In 2019

Devex: Facing harsh realities, the global development community confronts another fraught year
Raj Kumar, founding president and editor-in-chief at Devex

“…2018 was … an encouraging year in many ways. … Unfortunately, 2019 may not turn out so rosy. Political uncertainty and nationalist, anti-aid pronouncements are taking a toll around the world. As we enter 2019, the development community is coming to grips with harsh realities. … The outlines of an established global politics on aid are beginning to come into focus, and it’s a fraught landscape. Aid is now openly and directly discussed as a tool to stem migration, achieve foreign policy objectives, and derive domestic economic benefits, particularly for major donors including the U.S., China, Germany, and the U.K. As a result, even pro-international engagement donor governments such as Canada are becoming more cautious about funding ambitions. … This is a huge challenge for 2019 — with a major replenishment for the Global Fund coming midyear and a so-called rolling $2 billion replenishment for the Global Financing Facility only halfway completed. Then there’s the World Health Organization’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ plan to raise $14 billion, the triennial International Development Association replenishment, and the Green Climate Fund’s race to replenish its resources with doubled commitment from Germany, but without U.S. support. … Perhaps 2019 will be a transition year, a kind of blip before normalcy returns. More likely, the main trend we’re in the thick of today — the growing politicization of aid leading to budget pressures and dysfunction — will be with us for some time, regardless of short-term election results. … For global development professionals used to tough operating environments, this one just happens to be closer to home” (1/2).