This day in global development: 10 things that happened on Valentine’s Day


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Here are some of the notable events in global development that took place Feb. 14.

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This day in global development: 10 things that happened on Valentine’s Day

  1. 1. This day in global development 10 things that happened on Valentine’s Day
  2. 2. Photo by: Global Polio Eradication Initiative A 3-day polio vaccination drive — co-organized by UNICEF, WHO and the government — kicks off in Afghanistan. The target: 2.8M children under 5. Today, the disease remains endemic in Afghanistan (as well as in Pakistan and Nigeria) and has resurfaced in Africa. But the aid community hopes to see an end to polio by 2018, and make it the first human disease to be eradicated in the 21st century.
  3. 3. Photo by: The White House U.S. President Barack Obama unveils his fiscal 2012 budget, including $47B for the State Department and USAID — up 1% from the 2010 level. With a divided Congress, the proposed budget fails to get the stamp of approval. Worse, foreign affairs spending for that year suffers a cut. The recent budget passed by Congress, however, offers some good news, with increases from the fiscal 2013 level for several international development programs. USAID’s operational budget though takes a dive.
  4. 4. Photo by: Essam Sharaf / CC-BY-SA International aid groups organize a gathering to help their local counterparts in Egypt develop contingency plans amid the political turmoil engulfing the country. Anti-government protests and the violence that ensued have forced many aid groups to suspend their operations. Today, three years after the Arab Spring broke out, civil society groups in Egypt continue to struggle, facing increasing restrictions from local authorities.
  5. 5. Photo by: Pippa Ranger / DfID The United Kingdom is giving £280M each year through 2015 to India, aid minister Andrew Mitchell says in an interview with a British newspaper. Amid public outcry at home, the Department for International Development later asserts that the United Kingdom “is walking the last mile” with the emerging Asian economy. Today, DfID no longer provides new grants and looks to refocus its engagement with India on “trade rather than aid.”
  6. 6. Photo by: Gates Foundation Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s global health program, is leaving come June, the charity announces. Under Yamada, the foundation’s global health grant portfolio tripled. The foundation hails him for “investing heavily in high-risk, high-reward projects with long-term benefits,” including the development of new vaccines.
  7. 7. Photo by: European Union Tunisia wins aid pledges from the European Union and AfDB to help the country transition to democracy. Since then, Tunisia has seen several leadership changes. Mehdi Jomaa is now the prime minister.
  8. 8. Photo by: Agnes Varraine Leca / Doctors of the World UK Medecins du Monde bids South Darfur goodbye. Sudanese authorities accuse the French aid group of working “as spies” and making “negative reports” about the state. Soon after, they suspend the Catholic Relief Services ‘ operations in West Darfur, for allegedly distributing Bibles. Today, Darfur remains a highly challenging place for aid agencies to operate in, amid continued fighting between militia and government forces.
  9. 9. Photo by: United Nations Bev Oda admits altering a CIDA memo about funding Kairos. The move means a loss of CA$ 7.09M for the church-based NGO. The uproar over the document tampering prompts calls for the Canadian aid minister’s resignation and a parliamentary move to cite her in contempt. Oda resigns a year later. Today, CIDA no longer exists. The Canadian aid program is now under the foreign affairs and trade department.
  10. 10. Photo by: World Economic Forum In Tokyo, East Asian governments vow to “to help guide the state-building effort of Palestine.” They offer no financial assistance but instead promise to share their knowledge on economic development and regional integration. Palestinian leader Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has had hopes to wean the territories from foreign aid to pay for the government budget, including civil service salaries.
  11. 11. Photo by: CIAT IFAD imposes news rules for paying its president. The IFAD chief (currently Kanayo Nwanze) will receive the same pay as the FAO director-general as well as take home a $50,000 annual representation allowance and €180,000 in housing allowance per year. Other news things at the U.N. agency: Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu become members and the governing council approves new lending policies and criteria.
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