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Gender: Closing the equity gap

Brookings - 28. Januar 2023 - 0:17

By Jeni Klugman, Caren Grown, Odera Onyechi

Gender: Closing the equity gap 2023
  • Chapter 05
01

Economic recovery and growth

Tackling multiple headwinds

02

Food security

Strengthening Africa’s food systems

03

Education and skills

Equipping a labor force for the future

04

Health

Assuring health security for all

05

Gender

Closing the equity gap

06

Climate change

Adapting to a new normal

07

Africa’s cities

Realizing the new urban agenda

GENDER: Download chapter 5

Essay 1

Why addressing gender inequality is central to tackling today’s polycrises

Jeni Klugman

Essay 2

Strengthening fiscal policy for gender equality

Caren Grown and Odera Onyechi

Why addressing gender inequality is central to tackling today’s polycrises Jeni Klugman

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Africa Growth Initiative, Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institution

As we enter 2023, the term “polycrisis” is an increasingly apt way to describe today’s challenges.[Martin Wolf. 2022.“How to think about policy in a policy crisis”. Financial Times.] Major wars, high inflation, and climate events are creating hardship all around the world, which is still grappling with a pandemic death toll approaching 7 million people.

Faced with such daunting challenges, one might well ask why we should be thinking about the gender dimensions of recovery and resilience for future shocks. The answer is simple: We can no longer afford to think in silos. Today’s interlocking challenges demand that sharp inequalities, including gender disparities, must be addressed as part and parcel of efforts to tackle Africa’s pressing issues and ensure the continent’s future success.

“We can no longer afford to think in silos. … Gender disparities, must be addressed as part and parcel of efforts to tackle Africa’s pressing issues and ensure the continent’s future success.”

The burdens of the pandemic have been unequally borne across regions and countries, and between the poor and better off. Inequalities exist around gender—which can be defined as the “socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, attributes and opportunities that any society considers appropriate for men and women, boys and girls” and people with non-binary identities.[WTO. 2022. “Gender and Health”. World Health Organization.] As Raewyn Connell laid out more than two decades ago, existing systems typically distribute greater power, resources, and status to men and behaviors considered masculine.[Connell RW. 1995. “Masculinities”. Cambridge, UK. Polity Press.] As a result, gender intersects with other sources of disadvantage, most notably income, age, race, and ethnicity.

This understanding is now mainstream. As recently observed by the IMF, “The gender inequalities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic follow different paths but almost always end up the same: Women have suffered disproportionate economic harm from the crisis.”[Aoyagi, Chie.2021.“Africa’s Unequal Pandemic”. Finance and Development. International Monetary Fund.] Among the important nuances revealed by micro-surveys is that rural women working informally continued to work through the pandemic, but with sharply reduced earnings in Nigeria and elsewhere.[WB.2022. “LSMS-Supported High-Frequency Phone Surveys”. World Bank.] And as the burden of child care and home schooling soared, rural households headed by women were far less likely than urban households to have children engaged in learning activities during school closures.

Important insights emerge from IFPRI’s longitudinal panel study (which included Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda) covering income loss, coping strategies, labor and time use, food and water insecurity, and child education outcomes.[Muzna Alvi, Shweta Gupta, Prapti Barooah, Claudia Ringler, Elizabeth Bryan and Ruth Meinzen-Dick.2022.“Gendered Impacts of COVID-19: Insights from 7 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia”. International Food Policy Research Institute.]

Among the especially adverse impacts for women were greater food and water insecurity compared to men, including worrying about insufficient food and eating less than usual, while a large proportion of women also did not have adequately diverse diets. Moreover, many women had to add hours to their workday caring for sick family members, and their economic opportunities shrank, cutting their earnings and widening gender income gaps.

While today’s problems seem daunting, there remain huge causes for optimism, especially in Africa. Over the past three decades, many African countries have achieved enormous gains in levels of education, health, and poverty reduction. Indeed, the pace of change has been staggering and commendable. As captured in the Women Peace and Security Index, which measures performance in inclusion, justice, and security, 6 of the top 10 score improvers during the period 2017-2021 were in sub-Saharan Africa.[GIWPS.2022. “Women Peace and Security Index” Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.] The Democratic Republic of Congo was among top score improvers since 2017, as the share of women with financial accounts almost tripled, to 24 percent; and increases exceeding 5 percentage points were registered in cell phone use and parliamentary representation. In the Central African Republic, improvements were experienced in the security dimension, where organized violence fell significantly, and women’s perceptions of community safety rose 6 percentage points up to 49 percent.

Looking ahead, efforts to mitigate gender inequalities must clearly be multi-pronged, and as highlighted above—we need to think outside silos. That said, two major policy fronts emerge to the fore.

Ensure cash transfers that protect against poverty, are built and designed to promote women’s opportunities, with a focus on digital payments.[Klugman, Jeni, Zimmerman, Jamie M., Maria A. May, and Elizabeth Kellison. 2020. “Digital Cash Transfers in the Time of COVID 19: Opportunities and Considerations for Women’s Inclusion and Empowerment”. World Bank Group.] Ways to address gender inequalities as part of social protection program responses[IFPRI.2020. “Why gender-sensitive social protection is critical to the COVID-19 response in low-and middle-income countries”. International Food Policy Research Institute.] include deliberate efforts to overcome gender gaps in cell phone access by distributing phones to those women who need them, as well as private sector partnerships to subsidize airtime for the poorest, and to make key information services and apps freely available.[IDFR.2020. “Kenya: Mobile-money as a public-health tool”. International Day of Family Remittances.] Programs could also make women the default recipient of cash transfer schemes, instead of the head of household. Furthermore, capacity-building initiatives can be built into program design to give women the skills and capabilities needed to successfully manage accounts and financial decisionmaking.[Jaclyn Berfond Franz Gómez S. Juan Navarrete Ryan Newton Ana Pantelic. 2019. “Capacity Building for Government-to-Person Payments A Path to Women’s Economic Empowerment”. Women’s World Banking.]

Reducing the risk of violence against women. Women who are not safe at home are denied the freedom from violence needed to pursue opportunities that should be afforded to all. In 2018, 10 of the 15 countries with the worst rates of intimate partner violence were in sub-Saharan Africa—in descending order of average intimate partner violence these were, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Zambia, Ethiopia, Liberia, South Sudan, Djibouti, and Uganda.

“As the burden of child care and home schooling soared, rural households headed by women were far less likely than urban households to have children engaged in learning activities.”

Conflicts and crises multiply women’s risk of physical, emotional, and sexual violence. During the pandemic, risk factors like economic stress were compounded by service closures and stay-at-home orders, which increased exposure to potential perpetrators.[Peterman, A. et al.2020. “Pandemics and Violence Against Women and Children”.Center for Global Development Working Paper.] Several governments responded by strengthening existing help services, including police and justice, supporting hotlines, ensuring the provision of psychological support, and health sector responses.[UNDP/ UN Women Tracker.2022. “United Nations Development Programme. COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker”. United Nations Development Programme. New York.] Examples of good practice included an NGO in North-Eastern Nigeria, which equipped existing safe spaces with phone booths to enable survivors to contact caseworkers.

However, given the high levels of prevalence and often low levels of reporting, prevention of gender-based violence is key. Targeted programs with promising results in prevention include community dialogues and efforts to change harmful norms, safe spaces, as well as possibilities to reduce the risk of violence through cash plus social protection programs. These efforts should be accompanied by more systematic monitoring and evaluation to build evidence about what works in diverse settings.

Finally, but certainly not least, women should have space and voices in decisionmaking. This case was powerfully put by former President Sirleaf Johnson in her 2021 Foresight essay, which underlined that “economic, political, institutional, and social barriers persist throughout the continent, limiting women’s abilities to reach high-level leadership positions.”[McKinsey Global Institute .2019. “The power of parity: Advancing women’s equality in Africa”.] Persistent gender gaps in power and decision-making, not only limits innovative thinking and solutions, but also the consideration of more basic measures to avoid the worsening of gender inequalities. Overcoming these gaps in power and decision-making requires safeguarding legal protections and rights, investing in women and girls financially, and opening space for women in political parties so that women have the platforms to access high-level appointed and competitive positions across national, regional, and international institutions.[Foresight Africa. 2022. “African Women and Girls: Leading a continent.” The Brookings Institution.]

Strengthening fiscal policy for gender equality Caren Grown

Senior Fellow, Center for Sustainable Development, Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institution

Odera Onyechi

Research Analyst, Center for Sustainable Development, Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institution

It is often said that women act as “shock absorbers” during times of crisis; this is even more so in the current context of climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and increased geopolitical conflict. These three global crises have simultaneously stretched women’s ability to earn income and intensified their unpaid work. Well-designed fiscal policy can help cushion the effects of these shocks and enable women and their households to recover more quickly.

Over 60 percent of employed women in Africa work in agriculture, including in small-scale food production; women are the primary sellers in food markets, and they work in other sectors such as informal trading. At the same time, women are an increasing share of entrepreneurs in countries such as Ghana and Uganda, even as they face financial and other constraints to start and grow their firms.[Africa Gender Innovation Lab (GIL). 2020. “Supporting Women Throughout the Coronavirus Emergency Response and Economic Recovery.” World Bank Group.] In addition to earning income for their households, women bear the major responsibility for unpaid domestic activities such as cooking; collecting water and fuelwood; caring for children, elderly, and other dependents—so women are more time-poor than are men.

African women and entrepreneurs have been impacted disproportionately more than men by the triple shocks mentioned earlier. Extreme weather events disrupt food production and agricultural employment, making it harder for women to earn income.[One recent study in West, Central Africa, East and Southern Africa found that women represented a larger share of agricultural employment in areas affected by heat waves and droughts, and a lower share in areas unaffected by extreme weather events. Nico, G. et al. 2022. “How Weather Variability and Extreme Shocks Affect Women’s Participation in African Agriculture.” Gender, Climate Change, and Nutrition Integration Initiative Policy Note 14.] [Carleton, E. 2022. “Climate Change in Africa: What Will It Mean for Agriculture and Food Security?” International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).] [Nebie, E.K. et al. 2021. “Food Security and Climate Shocks in Senegal: Who and Where Are the Most Vulnerable Households?” Global Food Security, 29.] The pandemic and conflict in Ukraine further intensified women’s paid and unpaid activities.[Sen, A.K. 2022. “Russia’s War in Ukraine Is Taking a Toll on Africa.” United States Institute of Peace.] [Thomas, A. 2020. “Power Structures over Gender Make Women More Vulnerable to Climate Change.” Climate Change News.] Beyond climate change and the war in Ukraine, localized conflicts and insecurity in East and West Africa exposes women and girls to gender-based violence and other risks as they seek to support their families and develop new coping strategies.[Ibid.] [Kalbarczyk, A. et al. 2022. “COVID-19, Nutrition, and Gender: An Evidence-Informed Approach to Gender Responsive Policies and Programs.” Social Science & Medicine, 312.] [Epstein, A. 2020. “Drought and Intimate Partner Violence Towards Women in 19 Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa During 2011-2018: A Population-Based Study.” PLoS Med, 17(3).]

“Responding to these shocks necessitates a large infusion of resources. In this context, fiscal policy can be deployed more smartly to advance gender equality and create an enabling environment for women to play a greater role in building their economies’ recovery and resilience.”

Responding to these shocks necessitates a large infusion of resources. In this context, fiscal policy can be deployed more smartly to advance gender equality and create an enabling environment for women to play a greater role in building their economies’ recovery and resilience. Public expenditure supports critical sectors such as education, health, agriculture, social protection, and physical and social infrastructure, while well-designed tax policy is essential to fund the public goods, services, and infrastructure on which both women and men rely.

Gender-responsive budgets, which exist in over 30 countries across the continent, can be strengthened. Rwanda provides a good model for other countries. After an early unsuccessful attempt, Rwanda invested seriously in gender budgeting beginning in 2011.[Stotsky, J. et al. 2016. “Sub-Saharan Africa: A Survey of Gender Budgeting Efforts. IMF Working Paper 2016/512.] [Kadama, C. et al. 2018. Sub-Saharan Africa.” In Kolovich, L. (Ed.), Fiscal Policies and Gender Equality (pp. 9-32). International Monetary Fund (IMF).] The budget is focused on closing gaps and strengthening women’s roles in key sectors—agriculture, education, health, and infrastructure—which are all critical for short- and medium-term economic growth and productivity. The process has been sustained by strong political will among parliamentarians. Led by the Ministry of Finance, the process has financed and been complemented by important institutional and policy reforms. A constitutional regulatory body monitors results, with additional accountability by civil society organizations.

However, raising adequate fiscal revenue to support a gender budget is a challenge in the current macro environment of high public debt levels, increased borrowing costs, and low levels of public savings. Yet, observers note there is scope to increase revenues through taxation reforms, debt relief, cutting wasteful public expenditure, and other means.[Ortiz, I. and Cummins, M. 2021. “Abandoning Austerity: Fiscal Policies for Inclusive Development.” In Gallagher, K. and Gao, H. (Eds.), Building Back a Better Global Financial Safety Net (pp. 11-22). Global Development Policy Center.] [Roy, R. et al. 2006. “Fiscal Space for Public Investment: Towards a Human Development Approach.”] We focus here on taxation.

Many countries are reforming their tax systems to strengthen revenue collection. Overall tax collection is currently low; the average tax-to-GDP ratio in Africa in 2020 was 14.8 percent and fell sharply during the pandemic, although it may be rebounding.[ATAF, 2021.] Very few Africans pay personal income tax or other central government taxes,[Moore, M. et al. 2018. “Taxing Africa: Coercion, Reform and Development. Bloomsbury Publishing.] [Rogan, M. 2019. Tax Justice and the Informal Economy: A Review of the Debates.” Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing Working Paper 14.] and statutory corporate tax rates (which range from 25-35 percent), are higher than even the recent OECD proposal for a global minimum tax[African Tax Administrative Forum (ATAF). 2021. African Tax Outlook 2021.] so scope for raising them further is limited. Efforts should be made to close loopholes and reduce tax evasion.

As countries reform their tax policies, they should be intentional about avoiding implicit and explicit gender biases.[Stotsky, J. et al. 2016. “Sub-Saharan Africa: A Survey of Gender Budgeting Efforts.” IMF Working Paper 2016/512.] [Coelho, M. et al. 2022. “Gendered Taxes: The Interaction of Tax Policy with Gender Equality.” IMF Working Paper 2022/26.] [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 2021. Gender and Capital Budgeting.] [Grown, C. and Valodia, I. 2010. Taxation and Gender Equity: A Comparative Analysis of Direct and Indirect Taxes in Developing and Developed Countries. Routledge.] Most African countries rely more on indirect taxes than direct taxes, given the structure of their economies, but indirect taxes can be regressive as their incidence falls primarily on the poor. Presumptive or turnover taxes, for example, which are uniform or fixed amounts of tax based on the “presumed” incomes of different occupations such as hairdressers, can hit women particularly hard, since the burden often falls heavily on sectors where women predominate.[Joshi, Anuradha et al. 2020. “Gender and Tax Policies in the Global South.” International Centre for Tax and Development.] [Komatsu, H. et al. 2021. “Gender and Tax Incidence of Rural Land Use Fee and Agricultural In¬come Tax in Ethiopia.” Policy Research Working Papers.]

Property taxes are also becoming an increasingly popular way to raise revenue for local governments. The impact of these efforts on male and female property owners has not been systematically evaluated, but a recent study of land use fees and agricultural income taxes in Ethiopia finds that female-headed and female adult-only households bear a larger tax burden than male-headed and dual-adult households of property taxes. This is likely a result of unequal land ownership patterns, gender norms restricting women’s engagement in agriculture, and the gender gap in agricultural productivity.[Ibid.]

“Indirect taxes can be regressive as their incidence falls primarily on the poor. Presumptive or turnover taxes … can hit women particularly hard, since the burden often falls heavily on sectors where women predominate.”

Going forward, two key ingredients for gender budgeting on the continent need to be strengthened. The first is having sufficient, regularly collected, sex-disaggregated administrative data related to households, the labor force, and other survey data. Investment in the robust technical capacity for ministries and academia to be able to access, analyze, and use it is also necessary. For instance, the World Bank, UN Women, and the Economic Commission for Africa are all working with National Statistical Offices across the continent to strengthen statistical capacity in the areas of asset ownership and control, work and employment, and entrepreneurship which can be used in a gender budget.

The second ingredient is stronger diagnostic tools. One promising new tool, pioneered by Tulane University, is the Commitment to Equity methodology, designed to assess the impact of taxes and transfers on income inequality and poverty within countries.[Lustig, N. 2018. “Commitment to Equity Handbook: Estimating the Impact of Fiscal Policy on Inequality and Poverty.” Brookings Institution Press.] It was recently extended to examine the impact of government transfers and taxes on women and men by income level and other dimensions. The methodology requires standard household-level data but for maximum effect should be supplemented with time use data, which are becoming more common in several African countries. As African countries seek to expand revenue from direct taxes, lessons from higher income economies are instructive. Although there is no one size fits all approach, key principles to keep in mind for designing personal income taxes include building in strong progressivity, taxing individuals as opposed to families, ensuring that the allocation of shared income (e.g., property or non-labor income) does not penalize women, and building in allowances for care of children and dependents.[Grown, C. and Valodia, I. 2010. “Taxation and Gender Equity: A Comparative Analysis of Direct and Indirect Taxes in Developing and Developed Countries.” Routledge.] As noted, corporate income taxes need to eliminate the many breaks, loopholes, and exemptions that currently exist,[Cesar, C. et al. 2022. “Africa’s Pulse: An Analysis of Issues Shaping Africa’s Economic Future.” World Bank.] and countries might consider experimenting with wealth taxes.

In terms of indirect taxes, most African countries do not have single-rate VAT systems and already have zero or reduced rates for basic necessities, including foodstuffs and other necessities. While it is important to minimize exempted sectors and products, estimates show that goods essential for women’s and children’s health (e.g., menstrual health products, diapers, cooking fuel) should be considered part of the basket of basic goods that have reduced or zero rates.[Woolard, I. 2018. Recommendations on Zero Ratings in the Value-Added Tax System. Independent Panel of Experts for the Review of Zero Rating in South Africa.] And while African governments are being advised to bring informal workers and entrepreneurs into the formal tax system,[It is important to distinguish between firms and individuals that are large enough to pay taxes but do not (which include icebergs, e.g., which are registered and therefore partially visible to tax authorities but do not pay their full obligations) and ghosts, e.g., those which should register to pay but do not and there invisible to tax authorities) and firms and individuals that are small and potentially but not necessarily taxable such as street vendors and waste pickers. Rogan, M. (2019). “Tax Justice and the Informal Economy: A Review of the Debates.” Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing Working Paper 14.] it should be noted that this massive sector earns well below income tax thresholds and already pays multiple informal fees and levies, for instance in fees to market associations.[Ibid.] [Ligomeka, W. 2019. “Expensive to be a Female Trader: The Reality of Taxation of Flea Market Trad¬ers in Zimbabwe.” International Center for Tax and Development Working Paper 93.]

Lastly, leveraging data and digital technologies to improve tax administration (i.e., taxpayer registration, e-filing, and e-payment of taxes) may help minimize costs and processing time, and reduce the incidence of corruption and evasion.32 Digitalization can also be important for bringing more female taxpayers into the net, especially if digital systems are interoperable; for instance, digital taxpayer registries linked to national identification or to property registration at the local level. However, digitalization can be a double-edged sword if privacy and security concerns are not built-in from the outset. Women particularly may need targeted digital financial literacy and other measures to ensure their trust in the system. Recent shocks have worsened gender inequality in Africa. It is therefore important now, more than ever, to invest in strengthening fiscal systems to help women and men recover, withstand future shocks, and reduce gender inequalities. While fiscal policy is not the only tool, it is an important part of government action. To be effective and improve both budgeting and revenue collection, more and better data, new diagnostic tools, and digitalization will all be necessary.

Endnotes
  1. 1. Martin Wolf. 2022.“How to think about policy in a policy crisis”. Financial Times.
  2. 2. WTO. 2022. “Gender and Health”. World Health Organization.
  3. 3. Connell RW. 1995. “Masculinities”. Cambridge, UK. Polity Press.
  4. 4. Aoyagi, Chie.2021.“Africa’s Unequal Pandemic”. Finance and Development. International Monetary Fund.
  5. 5. WB.2022. “LSMS-Supported High-Frequency Phone Surveys”. World Bank.
  6. 6. Muzna Alvi, Shweta Gupta, Prapti Barooah, Claudia Ringler, Elizabeth Bryan and Ruth Meinzen-Dick.2022.“Gendered Impacts of COVID-19: Insights from 7 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia”. International Food Policy Research Institute.
  7. 7. Klugman, Jeni, Zimmerman, Jamie M., Maria A. May, and Elizabeth Kellison. 2020. “Digital Cash Transfers in the Time of COVID 19: Opportunities and Considerations for Women’s Inclusion and Empowerment”. World Bank Group.
  8. 8. IFPRI.2020. “Why gender-sensitive social protection is critical to the COVID-19 response in low-and middle-income countries”. International Food Policy Research Institute.
  9. 9. IDFR.2020. “Kenya: Mobile-money as a public-health tool”. International Day of Family Remittances.
  10. 10. Jaclyn Berfond Franz Gómez S. Juan Navarrete Ryan Newton Ana Pantelic. 2019. “Capacity Building for Government-to-Person Payments A Path to Women’s Economic Empowerment”. Women’s World Banking.
  11. 11. Peterman, A. et al.2020. “Pandemics and Violence Against Women and Children”.Center for Global Development Working Paper.
  12. 12. UNDP/ UN Women Tracker.2022. “United Nations Development Programme. COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker”. United Nations Development Programme. New York.
  13. 13. McKinsey Global Institute .2019. “The power of parity: Advancing women’s equality in Africa”.
  14. 14. Foresight Africa. 2022. “African Women and Girls: Leading a continent.” The Brookings Institution.
  15. 15. One recent study in West, Central Africa, East and Southern Africa found that women represented a larger share of agricultural employment in areas affected by heat waves and droughts, and a lower share in areas unaffected by extreme weather events. Nico, G. et al. 2022. “How Weather Variability and Extreme Shocks Affect Women’s Participation in African Agriculture.” Gender, Climate Change, and Nutrition Integration Initiative Policy Note 14.
  16. 16. Carleton, E. 2022. “Climate Change in Africa: What Will It Mean for Agriculture and Food Security?” International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).
  17. 17. Nebie, E.K. et al. 2021. “Food Security and Climate Shocks in Senegal: Who and Where Are the Most Vulnerable Households?” Global Food Security, 29.
  18. 18. Sen, A.K. 2022. “Russia’s War in Ukraine Is Taking a Toll on Africa.” United States Institute of Peace.
  19. 19. Thomas, A. 2020. “Power Structures over Gender Make Women More Vulnerable to Climate Change.” Climate Change News.
  20. 20. Ibid.
  21. 21. Kalbarczyk, A. et al. 2022. “COVID-19, Nutrition, and Gender: An Evidence-Informed Approach to Gender Responsive Policies and Programs.” Social Science & Medicine, 312.
  22. 22. Epstein, A. 2020. “Drought and Intimate Partner Violence Towards Women in 19 Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa During 2011-2018: A Population-Based Study.” PLoS Med, 17(3).
  23. 23. Stotsky, J. et al. 2016. “Sub-Saharan Africa: A Survey of Gender Budgeting Efforts. IMF Working Paper 2016/512.
  24. 24. Kadama, C. et al. 2018. Sub-Saharan Africa.” In Kolovich, L. (Ed.), Fiscal Policies and Gender Equality (pp. 9-32). International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  25. 25. Ortiz, I. and Cummins, M. 2021. “Abandoning Austerity: Fiscal Policies for Inclusive Development.” In Gallagher, K. and Gao, H. (Eds.), Building Back a Better Global Financial Safety Net (pp. 11-22). Global Development Policy Center.
  26. 26. Roy, R. et al. 2006. “Fiscal Space for Public Investment: Towards a Human Development Approach.”
  27. 27. ATAF, 2021.
  28. 28. Moore, M. et al. 2018. “Taxing Africa: Coercion, Reform and Development. Bloomsbury Publishing.
  29. 29. Rogan, M. 2019. Tax Justice and the Informal Economy: A Review of the Debates.” Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing Working Paper 14.
  30. 30. African Tax Administrative Forum (ATAF). 2021. African Tax Outlook 2021.
  31. 31. Stotsky, J. et al. 2016. “Sub-Saharan Africa: A Survey of Gender Budgeting Efforts.” IMF Working Paper 2016/512.
  32. 32. Coelho, M. et al. 2022. “Gendered Taxes: The Interaction of Tax Policy with Gender Equality.” IMF Working Paper 2022/26.
  33. 33. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 2021. Gender and Capital Budgeting.
  34. 34. Grown, C. and Valodia, I. 2010. Taxation and Gender Equity: A Comparative Analysis of Direct and Indirect Taxes in Developing and Developed Countries. Routledge.
  35. 35. Joshi, Anuradha et al. 2020. “Gender and Tax Policies in the Global South.” International Centre for Tax and Development.
  36. 36. Komatsu, H. et al. 2021. “Gender and Tax Incidence of Rural Land Use Fee and Agricultural In¬come Tax in Ethiopia.” Policy Research Working Papers.
  37. 37. Ibid.
  38. 38. Lustig, N. 2018. “Commitment to Equity Handbook: Estimating the Impact of Fiscal Policy on Inequality and Poverty.” Brookings Institution Press.
  39. 39. Grown, C. and Valodia, I. 2010. “Taxation and Gender Equity: A Comparative Analysis of Direct and Indirect Taxes in Developing and Developed Countries.” Routledge.
  40. 40. Cesar, C. et al. 2022. “Africa’s Pulse: An Analysis of Issues Shaping Africa’s Economic Future.” World Bank.
  41. 41. Woolard, I. 2018. Recommendations on Zero Ratings in the Value-Added Tax System. Independent Panel of Experts for the Review of Zero Rating in South Africa.
  42. 42. It is important to distinguish between firms and individuals that are large enough to pay taxes but do not (which include icebergs, e.g., which are registered and therefore partially visible to tax authorities but do not pay their full obligations) and ghosts, e.g., those which should register to pay but do not and there invisible to tax authorities) and firms and individuals that are small and potentially but not necessarily taxable such as street vendors and waste pickers. Rogan, M. (2019). “Tax Justice and the Informal Economy: A Review of the Debates.” Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing Working Paper 14.
  43. 43. Ibid.
  44. 44. Ligomeka, W. 2019. “Expensive to be a Female Trader: The Reality of Taxation of Flea Market Trad¬ers in Zimbabwe.” International Center for Tax and Development Working Paper 93.
Next Chapter

06 | Climate Change

Related Foresight Africa: Top Priorities for the Continent in 2023

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Kategorien: english

Climate Change: Adapting to a new normal

Brookings - 28. Januar 2023 - 0:17

By Kevin C. Urama, Adamon Mukasa, Anthony Simpasa, Bogolo J. Kenewendo

Climate Change: Adapting to a new normal 2023
  • Chapter 06
01

Economic recovery and growth

Tackling multiple headwinds

02

Food security

Strengthening Africa’s food systems

03

Education and skills

Equipping a labor force for the future

04

Health

Assuring health security for all

05

Gender

Closing the equity gap

06

Climate change

Adapting to a new normal

07

Africa’s cities

Realizing the new urban agenda

CLIMATE CHANGE: Download chapter 6

Essay 1

Turning political ambitions into concrete climate financing actions for Africa

Kevin C. Urama, Adamon Mukasa, and Anthony Simpasa

Essay 2

The charge due to custodians of the world’s lungs

Bogolo J. Kenewendo

Turning political ambitions into concrete climate financing actions for Africa Kevin C. Urama

Acting Chief Economist and Senior Director of the African Development Institute, African Development Bank

Adamon Mukasa

Senior Research Economist, Macroeconomic Policy, Debt Sustainability and Forecasting, African Development Bank

Anthony Simpasa

Principal Research Economist in the Research, Networking and Partnerships Division, Development Research Department, African Development Bank

One of the main targets of the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, was “to accelerate global climate action through emissions reduction, scaled-up adaptation efforts and enhanced flows of appropriate finance.” While the breakthrough agreement on a new “Loss and Damage” Fund for vulnerable countries is a welcome development, progress on climate finance leaves much to be desired. This is worrisome for African countries.

Recent reports on climate change such as the African Economic Outlook 2022 and the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have reiterated that the climate crisis is likely to worsen, especially in Africa, and that the time for action to avert the impending catastrophe is now. World leaders have missed (again) the opportunity to move from mere political commitments and ambitions to concrete actions.

Africa’s climate paradox

As the late Kofi Annan perfectly put it, all continents are in the same boat when it comes to addressing climate change. However, individual regions and countries are not equally responsible for global environmental problems. This principle of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities is at the core of climate justice and just energy transition.

Africa’s case is especially concerning. The continent is the least polluting region[The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 2021. “Climate Change 2021: The Physi-cal Science Basis.” Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.] of the world but faces a disproportionate burden from the impact of climate change. Between 1850 and 2020, Africa’s contribution to global emissions remained below 3 percent[AfDB.2022. “African Economic Outlook 2022”. African Development Bank.] and yet, it lost about 5 percent to 15 percent annually of GDP per capita growth between 1986 and 2015. About 70 percent of the used global carbon budget is accounted for by just the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, and China (Figure 35a). An average African had a carbon footprint of just 0.95 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2eq) in 2020, well below the 2.0 tCO2eq required to achieve the net-zero transition target. On the other extreme, an average American had a carbon footprint of up to 14 tCO2eq, fifteen times higher than that of an average African (Figure 35b).

From climate finance commitments to reality and at scale

The $100-billion promise,[Jocelyn Timperley. 2021. “The broken $100-billion promise of climate finance — and how to fix it.”] made by developed countries since 2009 at COP15 in Copenhagen, has still not been achieved. According to the OECD,[OECD.2022. “Climate Finance Provided and Mobilised by Developed Countries in 2016-2020.”] climate financing provided and mobilized by developed countries reached $83.3 billion in 2020, some $16.7 billion below the target. Indeed, a 2020 report commissioned by the United Nations concluded the only realistic scenario is that the $100-billion target will be out of reach in the short- to medium-term.

Africa’s share of global climate finance—provided and mobilized by developed countries for developing countries—increased by only 3 percentage points on average during 2010 to 2019, from 23 percent ($48 billion) in 2010–2015 to 26 percent ($73 billion) in 2016–2019 (Figure 36). This means that Africa benefited from $18.3 billion a year from 2016–2019, far behind Asia, which benefited $27.3 billion a year, over the same period. Yet, Africa accounted for about 40 percent of all countries eligible to benefit from this support, compared with only 20 percent for Asia. In addition, between 2010 and 2019, debt instruments (mostly loans) accounted for about two-thirds of all climate finance channeled to Africa, out of which two-fifths were on non-concessional terms.

Climate finance inflows to Africa are dwarfed by the enormity of resources needed for Nationally Developed Contributions (NDCs), estimated to range from about $1.3 trillion to $1.6 trillion between 2020 and 2030, or $118.2 billion to $145.5 billion per year over this period. Under the current climate finance trends, Africa’s annual financing gap could thus reach an estimated average of $108 billion per year until 2030. This climate injustice needs urgent attention.

Mobilizing more climate finance for Africa is within the reach of the global community. For instance, between January 2020 and September 2021, the global community mobilized about $17 trillion through various fiscal measures in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost $15.3 trillion (or 90 percent of these fiscal measures) was mobilized by G-20 economies. This demonstration of political will and innovative use of fiscal policy rules to address the global threat posed by COVID-19 is commendable. Like COVID-19, climate change is a global commons problem but perhaps with even longer-term and systemic impacts.

Why Africa deserves more in climate financing

Mobilizing climate finance to avert the growing climate catastrophes in developing countries calls for similar political will and collective action. To this end, an important milestone is for the international community and developed countries to step up to the plate in mobilizing and providing the requisite climate resources to developing countries.

“Ultimately, climate change is a global commons problem. Climate solutions will not be sustainable unless all actors play their part. The climate challenge cannot be addressed if any country fails to meet its Nationally Determined Contributions.”

Achieving this will require significant reform of the current global climate finance architecture,[Charlene Watson, Liane Schalatek, and Aurélien Evéquoz. 2022. “The Global Climate Finance Architecture.”] to ensure that the most vulnerable countries (especially in Africa), effectively harness climate resilience opportunities. The structure, flow, and scale of the global climate finance architecture, as currently designed, is misaligned with climate vulnerability. For example, as illustrated in Figure 36 above, more resilient and less vulnerable regions receive more climate finance, in per capita terms, than their less resilient but more vulnerable counterparts. Moreover, the climate finance architecture is modelled to mirror the current global financial architecture that is risk averse and discriminatory against fragile economies. The loose definition of climate finance has also led to proliferation of various climate finance instruments, including debt instruments. The latter exacerbates debt vulnerabilities in countries where climate impacts are already constraining fiscal health.

There is thus need for a clearer definition of climate finance, better coordination among existing global climate finance facilities, dedicated climate initiatives, as well as enhanced harmonization of funding requirements that can channel climate finance flows to the most climate-vulnerable countries. While African countries do have their part to play, the principle of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities requires that the most polluting countries bear the greatest burden of climate financing.

Ultimately, climate change is a global commons problem. Climate solutions will not be sustainable unless all actors play their part. The climate challenge cannot be addressed if any country fails to meet its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

And the world cannot expect Africa to implement its NDCs if the expected climate finance flows to fund the conditional NDCs, are not made available. Should the current trends continue, it is certain that Africa will not achieve its NDCs by 2030. By implication, the global community will not be able to reach the Paris Climate Accord.

The charge due to custodians of the world’s lungs Bogolo J. Kenewendo

United Nations Climate Change High-Level Champions’ Special Advisor
Former Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Botswana

It is time to rebalance the scales in Africa’s favor when it comes to climate finance. The African continent is home to 16 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s remaining rainforests[World Bank Africa Region. 2017. “Forests in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges & Opportunities.” The Program on Forests (PROFOR).]—yet Africa attracts only 3.19 percent of global climate finance ($30 billion of $940 billion global climate flows), and the pledges to accelerate adaptation and mitigation financing of $100 billion by 2020 in developing countries are yet to fully materialize.[Naran, Baysa. 2022. “Global Landscape of Climate Finance: A Decade of Data: 2011-2020.” Cli¬mate Policy Initiative.] Climate finance can be a catalytic tool for fiscal stability, especially for African countries that are struggling with economic recovery, amid multiple global shocks.

However, for African countries and non-state actors to attract increased climate finance and play a greater role in structuring the green financial architecture, Africa must position itself as a worthy investment destination for climate finance focused on long-term development issues. To achieve this, I propose a few key areas of focus for policymakers. First, countries must have green investment plans, and second, it is critical to bring the private sector to the table and to give it space to innovate. In addition, policymakers should use public finance to de-risk private investment and have a regulatory environment that enables doing business with variable financing tools. Lastly, developed countries must deliver on the pledges already made without any further and new conditionalities to spur green development for a common 1.5 degrees future.

“Of the great rainforests in the world, only the Congo rainforest has enough standing forest left to absorb more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases.”

African Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), that is countries’ action plans to cut emissions and adapt to climate impacts, should be accompanied by national investment strategies that prioritize green infrastructure and natural resource protection. These can create a green development pathway that promises economic growth opportunities, industrialization, and jobs, propelling Africa past a more traditional, less green infrastructure and development approach.

Country platforms should also encompass the private sector, so that there is a cohesive approach as to who will invest where, and who is best placed to tackle the varying aspects of mitigation and adaptation and protection. A good example of this approach on leveraging the private sector is the proposal by members of the “Nairobi Declaration on Sustainable Insurance” that identified the African insurance sector as a key climate mitigation and adaptation agent; and re-affirmed its triple role of risk manager, risk carrier, and investor through commitment to a Africa climate risk management fund. This fund will cover $14 billion worth of climate and nature-related risks such as floods, droughts, and tropical cyclones through innovative insurance products and solutions. These kind of innovations by the private sector are in line with what the Paris Agreement envisioned.

Second, debt-for-climate swaps and carbon markets should be rolled out more broadly as part of the solution to debt crises which plague a long and growing list of African nations. This effort starts with valuing Africa’s wealth in the totality of its nature assets. Nature has become the world’s most important commodity, and its protection is paramount for the world’s survival. According to the World Resources Institute, of the great rainforests in the world, only the Congo rainforest has enough standing forest left to absorb more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases.[Harris, Nancy and David Gibbs. 2021. “Forests Absorb Twice as Much Carbon as They Emit Each Year.” World Resources Institute.]

Commercializing such nature assets, and making sure they attract fair value and benefit neighboring communities, is a key feature of the Africa Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI)[ACMI is a joint initiative of GEAPP, SE4All, UNECA and supported by the UN Climate Change High Level Champions.]—an initiative that has created a roadmap for developing African voluntary carbon markets, with the aim to accelerate and scale carbon credit production on the continent. The initiative proposes to leverage an advanced market commitment (AMC), which in essence is an upfront guarantee from buyers and multiple corporations, to purchase African carbon credits. This AMC will help send a strong demand signal and incentivize appetite for good quality and innovative credits. There is huge potential in making carbon markets work to attract more climate finance.

Third, there is need for gender-informed investing to enhance climate adaptation and resilience. At its core, this means acknowledging climate action as a development issue; recognizing that the climate crisis is not “gender-neutral,” and that women and girls are disproportionately affected; and finally, that the devastating impacts of extreme climate occurrences cause more economic scarring to the poorest and most vulnerable in our societies. 2xCollaborative has developed a gender-lens investing toolkit that can, and should be, widely used to promote gender-lens climate finance to businesses and adaptation projects, involved or led by women.

We cannot afford the current architecture of global green finance to perpetuate existing disparities in those it serves. It is time for African countries to unite, strategically position themselves, and demand that the world does more to deliver climate finance for the continent; it promises great return for all, and it is what is due to the custodians of the “lungs of the world.”

  1. 1. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 2021. “Climate Change 2021: The Physi-cal Science Basis.” Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  2. 2. AfDB.2022. “African Economic Outlook 2022”. African Development Bank.
  3. 3. Jocelyn Timperley. 2021. “The broken $100-billion promise of climate finance — and how to fix it.”
  4. 4. Charlene Watson, Liane Schalatek, and Aurélien Evéquoz. 2022. “The Global Climate Finance Architecture.”
  5. 5. World Bank Africa Region. 2017. “Forests in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges & Opportunities.” The Program on Forests (PROFOR).
  6. 6. Naran, Baysa. 2022. “Global Landscape of Climate Finance: A Decade of Data: 2011-2020.” Cli¬mate Policy Initiative.
  7. 7. Harris, Nancy and David Gibbs. 2021. “Forests Absorb Twice as Much Carbon as They Emit Each Year.” World Resources Institute.
  8. 8. ACMI is a joint initiative of GEAPP, SE4All, UNECA and supported by the UN Climate Change High Level Champions.
Next Chapter

07 | Africa’s Cities

Related Foresight Africa: Top Priorities for the Continent in 2023

On January 30, AGI will host a Foresight Africa launch featuring a high-level panel of leading Africa experts to offer insights on regional trends along with recommendations for national governments, regional organizations, multilateral institutions, the private sector, and civil society actors as they forge ahead in 2022.

What should be the top priority for Africa in 2023?

BY ALOYSIUS UCHE ORDU

Aloysius Uche Ordu introduces Foresight Africa 2023, which outlines top priorities for the year ahead and offers recommendations for supporting Africa at a time of heightened global turbulence.

Foresight Africa Podcast

The Foresight Africa podcast celebrates Africa’s dynamism and explores strategies for broadening the benefits of growth to all people of Africa.

      
Kategorien: english

Africa’s Cities: Realizing the new urban agenda

Brookings - 28. Januar 2023 - 0:17

By Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, Peter Anyang' Nyong'o

Africa’s Cities: Realizing the new urban agenda 2023
  • Chapter 07
01

Economic recovery and growth

Tackling multiple headwinds

02

Food security

Strengthening Africa’s food systems

03

Education and skills

Equipping a labor force for the future

04

Health

Assuring health security for all

05

Gender

Closing the equity gap

06

Climate change

Adapting to a new normal

07

Africa’s cities

Realizing the new urban agenda

AFRICA’S CITIES: Download chapter 7

Essay 1

Lagos: The challenges of managing a megacity

Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu

Essay 2

Kisumu: A secondary city with grand ambition

Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o

Lagos: The challenges of managing a megacity Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu

Governor of Lagos State, Nigeria

To achieve sustainable resilience and inclusiveness, Africa’s cities need to develop the confidence to innovate with a home-grown approach. It is all too easy to attempt to copy and paste what appears to be working elsewhere in the world in terms of city management and problem-solving. Ultimately, the only approach that works in the long-term, is tailoring the thinking and problem-solving to the local context.

All Africa’s megacities are alike in many ways—the demographic pressures, the challenge of climate change, infrastructure renewal, fighting crime, and so on—but each one is also unique, in its own way, with a history, character, and journey that sets it apart from others.

It is therefore necessary to ensure that these unique characteristics are kept in mind, in devising unique, home-grown solutions to the challenges being faced. So, that is the starting point.

Moving on to the specifics of policy areas that should be focused on in the coming year, I would say that at the top of the list would be all things related to the demographic pressure that today’s African megacities face. Rapidly rising populations require jobs, schools, hospitals, energy, transport infrastructure, and so on. Let’s start with jobs and skills. Africa is the fastest growing continent in the world, home to the largest population of people below 20.[United Nations. 2022. World Population Prospects 2022. Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division.] And yet, unemployment is rising rapidly, not necessarily because African economies are not creating any jobs at all, but because the jobs are not being created at a pace that can keep up with population growth.

“All Africa’s megacities are alike in many ways—the demographic pressures, the challenge of climate change, infrastructure renewal, fighting crime, and so on— but each one is also unique, in its own way, with a history, character, and journey that sets it apart from others.”

What is now clear to us is that we cannot depend on the traditional modes of thinking about jobs and skills—trying to educate everyone to tertiary level and focusing on academic certificates as proof of education. In many African countries a lot of people are still obsessed with going to university, even if they’re studying courses that eventually turn out to be economically ineffectual.

This is not to say that tertiary education is not vital, or necessary—only this year, our administration in Lagos State established two new universities; the Lagos State University of Science and Technology, and the Lagos State University of Education, to expand access to tertiary education for our teeming youth population. However, the point I am making is that we must acknowledge and come to terms with the fact that we have to focus on multiple alternatives and avenues to get our young people educated and skilled.

This is where Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) comes in. As we have seen from experience, technology is a necessary ingredient for creating opportunities for leapfrogging old models of learning and for making a living. Today, a growing proportion of our young people earn a living from e-commerce, selling goods and services on the internet, to customers not only in Nigeria, but globally. Any government serious about creating such jobs, must therefore be serious about creating an enabling environment, by making the following happen: Bringing down the cost of internet access; providing and facilitating financing support for entrepreneurs and startups; and building school curriculums that introduce young people to innovative thinking and technology early.

I’m pleased to say that we are doing all of this in Lagos State. We are at the forefront of supporting the deployment of cutting-edge technology to give our young people an edge in the world of the 21st century. Our Eko Excel initiative is putting digital tablets in the hands of teachers and pupils. Our School Modernization Program is delivering schools with interactive learning facilities.

Lagos State Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) is providing seed-funding to student innovators with startup ideas. The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) supports individuals and micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), including technology-focused ones. We are rolling out a network of 6,000km of fibre-optic infrastructure that will increase access and reduce cost.

“We cannot depend on the traditional modes of thinking about jobs and skills—trying to educate everyone to tertiary level and focusing on academic certificates as proof of education.”

Second, after jobs and skills, is the issue of climate change. Lagos is especially vulnerable to climate change, as a city on the Atlantic Ocean, and barely two meters above sea level for the most part. Also, about 30 percent of our land mass is composed of water—lagoons, creeks, swamps, and marshes.

Rising sea levels are therefore a constant challenge, complicating the potentials of flash flooding. One ambitious solution we have embarked upon in Lagos State has been the Great Sea Wall of Lagos, designed as an engineering solution which seeks to protect Victoria Island and environs from the rising Atlantic, while at the same time also enabling us the opportunity to eke out a brand-new city called the Eko Atlantic City. This new city is setting new national standards in terms of clean energy deployment, energy efficiency, and environmentally friendly practices.

Let me now highlight some of the challenges that we face as administrators of cities and subnational governments, particularly in the context of Lagos. I would list the following: High rates of inbound immigration, data collection for planning, revenue generation, the tensions between sub-national and national governments, literacy levels, and the constraints of the political cycle.

Every day, Lagos receives an estimated 2,000 new migrants, from other parts of Nigeria, and possibly even West Africa. These people are coming in search of jobs and better economic conditions, understandably. However, this also constitutes increased pressure on available infrastructure, and on our planning capabilities, which we must continually respond to.

Which leads to my third issue: Data collection. To guide effective service delivery, we need to know: Who are the residents of Lagos? How many are they? What do they do for a living? And so on. No city can develop optimally without the presence of credible data and evidence to inform budgeting, planning, and the allocation of resources.

One solution in Lagos has been to establish the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASSRA), which proved useful when we were delivering relief materials to the indigent at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown. Our goal is to have a comprehensive and updated database of all our people.

Finding the fiscal revenue to deliver on our electoral promises is another significant challenge. Nigeria’s tax-to-GDP ratio is one of the lowest in the world, for various reasons.[OECD. 2022. “Revenue Statistics in Africa 2022.” Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.] This means that governments at all levels must keep finding creative ways to improve tax revenues, without necessarily raising taxes.

“We must acknowledge and come to terms with the fact that we have to focus on multiple alternatives and avenues to get our young people educated and skilled.”

The only way to do this is by expanding the tax net, the number of people who are regularly paying their taxes. This will only happen if we simplify the tax filing system, given that many of our city residents are employed in the informal sector and may not be able to fill lengthy forms considering literacy levels.

Literacy also affects how well we as local leaders can communicate government policies and information and get the buy-in of critical stakeholders. It means that, in addition to adult literacy initiatives, efforts must also be focused on how to communicate in targeted ways that allow the population to better understand some of the complexities of policymaking.

Finally, in a federal system like ours in Nigeria, there exists long-standing tensions between the national government and the sub-nationals, or states, regarding areas of responsibility. Often, the only way to gain clarity is to seek judicial interpretation, which means long journeys through the court system. This certainly affects the abilities of municipal administrations to take certain decisions or craft certain policies. One of the lessons we have tried to apply in Lagos is to constantly push for increased cooperation and engagement with the federal government. We always strive to minimize the space for antagonism as much as possible.

None of these challenges I have outlined are insurmountable. We must continue to work hard at tackling them, while also carrying the people along through effective communication and stakeholder engagements. And we must always be realistic. Real and lasting change takes time; there are no shortcuts or silver bullets.

Kisumu: A secondary city with grand ambition Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o

Governor, Kisumu County, Kenya

As an economic hub and transport intersection for the greater western region of Kenya, Kisumu was heavily exposed to the vulnerability occasioned by stress factors emanating from the COVID-19 pandemic. The high concentration of people from diverse backgrounds attracted to economic activities within the city was a recipe for high infection rates.

The county administration had to quickly innovate and find solutions to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The biggest hurdle was how to balance supporting and safeguarding livelihoods, and implementing health measures to address the spread, including lockdowns and closures of business premises.

To mitigate the effects of the pandemic, the city was re-planned to improve infrastructure within the city; for example: We built new modern markets, rehabilitated the city’s green spaces, and improved the green cover, while also ensuring better sanitation by expanding water networks.

Implementing these strategies had the net effect of saving lives and making the city attractive for investments and trade.

This is a clear manifestation that even in the face of adversities, we can still build resilient and inclusive cities, where the citizens enjoy quality livelihood.

“Building smart cities and urban areas for the future is compromised by the weak capacity of local governments to address financing of urban investments, as well as other infrastructural needs. This is due to inefficient own-source revenue collection and underfunding from the national treasuries.”

This resilience is further exhibited as Kisumu hosted the 9th edition of Africities Summit in May 2022, the most successful summit in the history of Africities. Not to mention that this was the first time the event was held in an intermediary city. Records show that the Summit was attended by 11,000 delegates from 100 countries across the world.[Odiwuor. 2022. “Africities Summit Kisumu Breaks Record with 11,000 Attendees & More.” Kisumu Everyday.]

The theme of the Summit “The Role of Intermediary Cities in Implementing the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the African Union Agenda 2063,” was very much in line with the quest for smart and resilient cities and towns in which over 50 percent of African population will live within the next 30 years.

Kisumu’s success in hosting this event has opened the doors to other secondary cities to also venture out and seek opportunities to host similar events. It is also a message to national governments to support other emerging cities on the continent to host such seminal events, as they offer massive investment opportunities that may easily open doors for the growth and development of such cities.

The effects of hosting this summit will be felt long into the future just as the economic gains made in the short-term. Some of those short-term gains are already being seen in the county’s infrastructure development such as the expansion of the airport, the construction of the Africities Convention Centre (the only convention center currently outside Nairobi), and the improvement of road networks within and around the city.

However, the demand for building smart cities and urban areas for the future is compromised by the weak capacity of local governments to address financing of urban investments, as well as other infrastructural needs. This is due to inefficient own-source revenue collection and underfunding from the national treasuries.

Local governments must therefore become innovative in finding avenues to raise resources for development, in order to supplement revenues from the central governments—which by and large only finance recurrent expenditures.

It is against this backdrop, that in the framework for the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), Africa’s local governments have mandated the umbrella continental body to develop a special purpose vehicle for local governments to access funding from capital markets and international financial institutions. This tripartite initiative by the UCLG Africa, the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), and Afreximbank is called “Africa Territorial Trade and Investment Agency (ATIA).”

“It is against this backdrop, that in the framework for the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa), Africa’s local governments have mandated the umbrella continental body to develop a special purpose vehicle for local governments to access funding from capital markets and international financial institutions.”

This financial vehicle, based on a pooling system, will enable local governments to provide much-needed service delivery.

This will be a game changer for local governments in the face of mounting economic difficulties, exacerbated by the serious impacts of climate change on every country in the world today.
The effects of climate change, ranging from prolonged droughts to extreme flooding, and rising water levels, are rendering families homeless, destroying crops, and killing livestock, as well as having devastating effects on the economies of local authorities.

As such, there is need to adopt interventions and responses based on implementable frameworks to urgently address impacts of climate change. Some of these, as in the case of Kisumu, include mainstreaming of climate change in local government policy and programs such as the “County Integrated Development Plans and Sector plans”; formation of County Climate Change Working Groups bringing together civil society, technical staff, the private sector, and research institutions; as well as building the capacity and awareness of citizens at the local level to prioritize actions that promote climate change resilience and adaptation.

Climate resilience working groups at the local level are also critical in identifying climate change related vulnerabilities and risks for the populations, livelihoods, investments, and the environment. These groups can also provide information on current and possible future climate scenarios, thereby helping to identify potential adaptation and coping responses for climate risks.

Fostering digital transformation for climate resilience is important in helping generate accurate and decision-relevant climate information or evidence and to plan for and minimize the negative impacts of climate change on livelihoods and the economy. For example, agronomic information for farmers to monitor and predict current environmental situations and get them ahead of the game.

In the final analysis, the biggest lessons from the pandemic were that there is urgent need for a “re-think” on Africa’s cities, especially with regards to planning for smart cities, environmental management, and improvement of air quality. As we look to 2023, several adversities remain, no doubt, but we must be prepared to seize opportunities that will help create livable, smart, and resilient cities for the future.

Endnotes
  1. 1. United Nations. 2022. World Population Prospects 2022. Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division.
  2. 2. OECD. 2022. “Revenue Statistics in Africa 2022.” Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
  3. 3. Odiwuor. 2022. “Africities Summit Kisumu Breaks Record with 11,000 Attendees & More.” Kisumu Everyday.
Related Foresight Africa: Top Priorities for the Continent in 2023

On January 30, AGI will host a Foresight Africa launch featuring a high-level panel of leading Africa experts to offer insights on regional trends along with recommendations for national governments, regional organizations, multilateral institutions, the private sector, and civil society actors as they forge ahead in 2022.

What should be the top priority for Africa in 2023?

BY ALOYSIUS UCHE ORDU

Aloysius Uche Ordu introduces Foresight Africa 2023, which outlines top priorities for the year ahead and offers recommendations for supporting Africa at a time of heightened global turbulence.

Foresight Africa Podcast

The Foresight Africa podcast celebrates Africa’s dynamism and explores strategies for broadening the benefits of growth to all people of Africa.

      
Kategorien: english

Amna Qayyum

Brookings - 26. Januar 2023 - 22:54

By Jeannine Ajello

Amna Qayyum is a historian of global development, decolonization, and U.S. foreign relations, with a regional specialization in South Asia. As a fellow at the Brookings Institution, Qayyum leads the Echidna Global Scholars Fellowship and contributes to the Center for Universal Education’s research portfolio on gender equality in and through education.

Qayyum’s current research foregrounds gender in the study of political economy and global governance. Her book manuscript, “Authoritarian Body Politics in Muslim South Asia,” demonstrates how reproductive health and education programs have crucially shaped gender norms, development politics, and U.S. foreign relations in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Focusing both on policymaking and praxis, it links a diverse set of stakeholders from across the Global South and North and reveals the multi-scalar centrality of reproductive politics to everyday life, governance, and global geopolitics.

Prior to joining Brookings, Qayyum was a Henry A. Kissinger postdoctoral fellow in international security studies at Yale University’s Jackson School of Global Affairs. For the past decade, she has also worked with a variety of government and educational partners in Pakistan. She has advised the government on COVID-19-related human security, collaborated with the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) on a research project focusing on population and governance, and conducted educational advising and outreach for the Fulbright Commission in Islamabad. In Washington, D.C., Qayyum has developed research on gender and nuclear security in South Asia as part of the Nuclear Futures Working Group (NFWG) convened by the New America Foundation. As an educator, she has also worked with university and refugee learners through Princeton University’s Global History Lab.

Qayyum’s scholarship has been awarded the 2021 Pirzada Prize in Pakistan Studies by the University of California, Berkeley. Her research has also been supported by fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Foundation, the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations, and the Joint Center for Economics and History at Harvard University, among other institutions. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post and her scholarly research is forthcoming in Cold War History.

She holds a doctoral degree from Princeton University.

      
Kategorien: english

Pakistan: a simplified registration procedure facilitates faster flood relief

GIZ Germany - 26. Januar 2023 - 16:36
: Thu, 26 Jan 2023 HH:mm:ss
Many people in Pakistan lost everything to the floods. A customised register helps people to receive social benefits easily in crises.
Kategorien: english

Peacebuilding must be rooted in ‘bedrock of inclusive, sustainable development’

UN #SDG News - 26. Januar 2023 - 13:00
While describing maintaining peace as core to the UN – it's very reason for being - Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed warned the Security Council on Thursday that it was a mission now “under grave threat.”
Kategorien: english

The Final Report of the Dialogue Forum Highlights Companies’ Commitment and Engagement to Reduce Food Waste

SCP-Centre - 26. Januar 2023 - 12:40

From 2019 to 2022, the CSCP coordinated and moderated the Dialogue Forum for the Reduction of Food Waste in Wholesale and Retail in Germany (HandelsforumRVL). In support of the German government’s goal to significantly reduce food waste along the supply chain by 2030, the Dialogue Forum had a mandate to map the reduction of food waste, set relevant targets up to 2030, develop suitable formats for implementation and monitoring, and to agree on these in the form of a target agreement. The final report reviews the achievements of the 23 involved companies, including the drafting of an ambitious target agreement towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3, currently being reviewed by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

A total of 23 companies (18 companies from the food retail sector and six from the food wholesale sector) emphasised their willingness to cooperate by signing a declaration of participation in the Dialogue Forum for the years 2019-2022 and actively contributed to achieving the set objectives.

During the course of the Dialogue Forum, the 23 participating companies have engaged on many levels and achieved numerous results, including the following:

  • The participating companies implemented far more than the minimum four required elective measures from three categories. Between September 2019 and April 2022, the 23 companies implemented a total of 88 measures internally, 62 measures at the interfaces with suppliers and 52 measures to improve food redistribution. A total of 202 measures were specified. 16 of these measures are described in more detail in a case-study collection, to create visibility for single activities, inspire replication and foster the exchange of experiences. In so-called demonstration projects, three measures were scientifically evaluated with regard to their efficiency and effectiveness.
  • To improve the quality of data on food waste, all members have internally collected relevant information as part of their engagement in the Dialogue Forum. Furthermore, 22 of the companies have provided their own data in the form of write-offs for 2019 and 2020.
  • Four companies have also cooperated with the Thünen Institute to gather insights on the theoretical potential to further extend cooperation for food redistribution.
  • To consolidate the results achieved in the dialogue forum, the members have finally – with the support CSCP – prepared a target agreement in which they commit to reduction measures in support of SDG 12.3 on reducing food losses. It is planned to further discuss the voluntary agreement on a political level and with the companies that participated in the forum.
  • Each of the 23 companies works with food banks, food sharing or local organisations to redistribute food that is still edible. In addition, 52 measures have been taken to further improve the redistribution process.

For additional details, please download the full report.

“The commitment and the variety of different measures to concretely reduce food waste are exciting”, states Nora Brüggemann, the CSCP Senior Manager who coordinated the Dialogue Forum. She further notes that, “Much has been achieved already. However, the experience of the Dialogue Forum shows that regular exchange formats are necessary for practical knowledge gains and competence development, particularly in areas where activities carried out by single companies are not sufficient. This holds true for the implementation of key measures at the interfaces to other sectors (production-retail, retail-consumer or retail-redistribution), which require further attention and alignment.”

“The cooperation in the forum also showed that regarding the impact of the measures, potential assessment, and conflicting goals, there are limits for individual companies but also for sectors. A consistent policy framework and overarching exchange along the entire food supply chain is necessary to effectively resolve the complexity of the task with all stakeholders.”, adds Brüggemann.

“I am deeply impressed by the high level of commitment and engagement the companies have shown with regards to the preparation of an ambitious but still realistic target agreement toward achieving SDG 12.3.”, concludes Brüggemann.

The CSCP coordinated and moderated the Dialogue Forum from September 2019 to August 2022in cooperation with the Thünen-Institute.

For further information, please contact Nora Brüggemann.

The post The Final Report of the Dialogue Forum Highlights Companies’ Commitment and Engagement to Reduce Food Waste appeared first on CSCP gGmbH.

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Practising organizational autonomy at the community level: evidence from advocacy projects in Uganda and Vietnam

GDI Briefing - 26. Januar 2023 - 12:29

Organizational autonomy is assumed to be a crucial prerequisite for well-functioning civil society organizations (CSOs). While the literature largely concentrates on how donors and governments constrain professional CSOs’ autonomy, this chapter focuses on sub-national organizations’ day-to-day engagement with the state and with the intermediary organizations that are funding them. By comparing how a Ugandan CSO and a provincial chapter of the Women’s Union in Vietnam practise autonomy, the chapter shows that autonomy, in itself, has no set value. Practising autonomy is relational, changes over time, and can take on different meanings. The observed relationships with state authorities were not exclusively constraining; they also enabled the organizations to implement politically sensitive projects at the community level. The chapter thus proposes that scholars and practitioners pay more attention to modes of collaboration at the intermediary–sub-national level nexus. This could, among other things, enable actors to capitalize on the advantages provided by adaptive management approaches.

Kategorien: english

How to Prosecute Vladimir Putin for the Crime of Aggression

UN Dispatch - 26. Januar 2023 - 11:42

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th, 2022 there have been numerous examples of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russian soldiers. Many of these crimes are being investigated and prosecuted by local Ukrainian courts and the International Criminal Court.

But the crime of launching this illegal war in the first place is not, as of yet, under any court’s jurisdiction. Oona Hathaway is seeking to change that. She is a professor at Yale Law School who has been advocating for the creation of a UN-backed special tribunal to prosecute the crime of aggression committed by Russian leaders in Ukraine. In recent weeks and month, this proposal is gaining some traction.

We kick off discussing and defining what we mean by the “crime of aggression” before the discussing the politics of creating a special internationally backed mechanism to prosecute specific Russian leaders, including Vladimir Putin, for the crime of aggression.

To listen to this episode on your preferred podcast player, go here

The post How to Prosecute Vladimir Putin for the Crime of Aggression appeared first on UN Dispatch.

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Embrace multipolarity: Germany must act European for the Global Common Good

GDI Briefing - 26. Januar 2023 - 11:33
To promote a more peaceful world, Germany needs to move past primarily national strategies and start thinking European. The best way to do that: support a strong global role for the European Union.
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Die Rechte indigener Gruppen und lokaler Gemeinschaften stärken und den Verlust der Artenvielfalt stoppen

GDI Briefing - 26. Januar 2023 - 10:16

Vom 7. bis 19. Dezember 2022 fand im kanadischen Montreal die 15. Konferenz der Vertragsparteien (COP) des Übereinkommens über die biologische Vielfalt (CBD) unter dem Vorsitz Chinas statt. Trotz der schwierigen geopolitischen Lage, konnten sich die Regierungen auf ein neues globales Rahmenwerk zur biologischen Vielfalt (Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, GBF) einigen. Das neue Abkommen ist besonders wichtig um SDG 14 (Leben unter Wasser) und SDG 15 (Leben an Land) zu erreichen. Das in Montreal beschlossene Abkommen geht jedoch vielen Beobachter*innen nicht weit genug. Die Staaten müssen stärker mit indigenen Gruppen (indigenous peoples, IPs) und lokalen Gemeinschaften (local communities, LCs) zusammenarbeiten und von ihnen lernen, um das GBF umzusetzen. Besonders wichtig für IPs und LCs sind laut Minority Rights Groups International die Berücksichtigung eines menschenrechtsbasierten Ansatzes, die Anerkennung des Rechts auf freie, vorherige und informierte Zustimmung und die Anerkennung des Rechts auf eine saubere und gesunde Umwelt.

Kategorien: english

Host community attitudes towards internally displaced persons: eidence from Al-Bab, Syria

GDI Briefing - 26. Januar 2023 - 9:01

Considering the unique context of the Al-Bab area in Syria hosting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), we tested the role of economic individual self-interest in shaping a host community’s attitude towards IDPs. The findings from analyzing data collected from 496 households indicated that self-interest had a significant effect on their attitudes. Interestingly, when positive and negative attitudes were isolated from each other, the findings revealed that the factors shaping the former may not always be the same for the latter. The particular value of this study is in exploring the host community’s attitude towards IDPs, something which has not been studied and thus contributes to enhancing our knowledge about the attitude towards newcomers.

Kategorien: english

Three commitments from HLM3 that have to be delivered in 2023

Reality of Aid - 26. Januar 2023 - 4:58

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC) organized the 2022 Effective Development Co-operation Summit (or HLM3) last December 12-14, 2022 at Geneva, Switzerland. The summit gathered hundreds of ministers, policymakers, civil society representatives, private sector representatives, and other development actors to tackle and address development challenges that plague the world today. As the Asia region remains to be at the forefront of these crises, the regional constituency of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness […]

The post Three commitments from HLM3 that have to be delivered in 2023 appeared first on Reality of Aid.

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23-01-26_Pamela Cruz - Mexico - sex education

D+C - 26. Januar 2023 - 2:00
23-01-26_Pamela Cruz - Mexico - sex education dagmar.wolf Thu, 26.01.2023 - 02:00 What young Latin Americans must learn about sex and reproductive health Teenagers Mexico wants to prevent teenage pregnancies Many low-income countries struggle with the problem of teenage pregnancies. In Latin America and the Caribbean, 18 % of all women giving birth are younger than 19. That is the second worst ratio behind only sub-Saharan Africa. The Mexican experience shows that education – and in particular sex education – makes a difference. 26.01.2023Latin America and the Caribbean Hintergrund SDG5 SDG3 Bevölkerung, Familienplanung Gender, Frauen Gesundheit, Medizin Sozialpolitik, Sozialentwicklung Soziokulturelle Faktoren Volkswirtschaftliche Entwicklung

When teenagers become mothers, the risk is high that they will stay poor or become poor. Typically, they drop out of school, so their job opportunities are diminished. At the same time, early pregnancies have negative impacts on the girls’ health and personal development.

Research shows that expecting mothers who are younger than 15 are four times more affected by maternal mortality. They are at greater risk of complications such as anaemia, hypertension and premature birth.

Among the member countries of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), an umbrella organisation of 38 mostly prosperous countries, Mexico has the highest share of teenagers who give birth. The absolute number has been declining since 2007, but women below the age of 20 still account for 15.1 % of births in Mexico. Things have been deteriorating again in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the National Population Council estimating that the number of unwanted teenage pregnancies increased by 30 %.

Teenage pregnancies occur for various reasons. Child marriage matters. Many girls marry early because of poverty, gender-­specific inequality and harmful traditions. Violence and sexual abuse leads to pregnancies too. It also matters that there is only limited access to comprehensive sex education, full reproductive health services and information on contraceptives (including how to use them).

Regional disparities

How common teenage pregnancy is in Mexico, varies from region to region. The rate is particularly high in the comparatively poor states like Guerrero and Chiapas. Chiapas, for example, has generations-old cultural traditions that are obstacles to family planning. The religious faith opposes contraceptives, and traditional gender norms give men the power to decide whether to use them or not.

It is the job of governments to identify and understand conventions of this kind in order to take countermeasures. In 2018, Mexico’s Federal Government ran a national survey concerning health and nutrition issues. The data not only showed that 23 % of the youth become sexually active between the ages of 12 and 19, but also that 15 % of the men and 33 % of the women did not use contraceptives when they first had intercourse. While a large share of the Mexican population is informed about contraceptives, the knowledge about how to use them varies between different population groups.

The survey also showed that 75 % of sexually active women in the age group 15 to 49 use contraceptives, but that the share drops to 64 % for those who speak an indigenous language. Moreover, only 60 % of youths in the age group 15 to 19 used contraceptives.

Governmental protection of sexual and reproductive rights is not fully developed in Mexico. Disadvantaged population groups are discriminated against. Access to contraceptives and sex education depends on various issues, including age, place of residence and socio-economic status. Things are especially difficult in poor, isolated and remote municipalities in the rural areas of Chiapas, Puebla, Tabasco or Michoacán. Making matters worse, access to any kind of health service is limited in those places.

National strategy

The Federal Government is aware of the problems. In 2015, it launched a national strategy to prevent teenage pregnancies. The idea was – and is – to change people’s attitudes by promoting the sexual and reproductive rights of girls, boys and youth in general. The focus is on girls’ rights to self-determination. Girls are told that they have a right to say no and that violence is inappropriate within a relationship. The campaign addresses boys too. The goal is to promote a healthy idea of manliness with an eye to reducing violence in relationships as well as brutal sexual practices.

CONEVAL, the National Council for Evaluating Social Development Policy, conducted research during the Covid-19 pandemic in order to assess young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health services. The council belongs to the federal administration, but is a decentralised entity. The study revealed serious regional discrepancies regarding health facilities, everything from buildings to staffing and medical supplies.

On the upside, 80 % of the youth stated that their schools provide information on sexual and reproductive health. They also said that schools are best placed to spread such information. The data showed that 60 % indicated they had access to materials that allow them to understand sexual and reproductive health. Some 85 % stated that their textbooks included information on the subject.

Sex education is essential, not only for preventing unintended pregnancies among young people. It also contributes to fighting violence and sexual abuse. Without relevant knowledge, girls are not empowered to self-determination and self-care. It is vitally important to inform them about reproductive health, the menstruation cycle and the use of contraceptives. The better children and teenagers are informed, the more they are empowered to reject sexual abuse and/or report cases of such abuse. Moreover, information puts them in a better position to postpone sexual contact until they feel ready for it.

Improving sex education is a global issue. Countries around the world must rise to the challenge.
Latin America – and Mexico in particular – have made undeniable progress regarding the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and, in more general terms, gender equality.

Legalised abortion

According to Article 3 of Mexico’s Constitution, schools and curricula must be gender-sensitive and engage in education regarding sexuality and reproductive health. In 2021, the Supreme Court decriminalised abortion, declaring that the constitution forbids the outlawing of abortion. Nine states have since legalised abortion, and four (Mexico City, Oaxaca, Hidalgo and Veracruz) now permit voluntary abortion for any reason in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It has thus become even more relevant than before to include information about abortion rights in sex education. Young people deserve to know that, in some states, the law grants them full control over their own bodies.

The road to sexual and reproductive rights being universally guaranteed in Mexico nonetheless remains long. Cultural obstacles persist. Some ideological forces want to restrict such rights. For example, a parents initiative was launched in 2020, demanding that schools must not teach students lessons that do not conform with the ethical, religious or moral convictions of their parents or guardians without their prior consent and approval. Controversial topics include diversity, inclusion, gender perspectives as well as sex and reproductive education. Should this approach become official policy, it would restrict the rights of children and youth to a non-violent life and healthy sexuality.

The campaign was proposed in five states and initially approved in the education law of the State of Aguascalientes. A group of civil-society actors, as well as the National System for the Protection of Children and Adolescents, however, had demanded that the regulation must be withdrawn there and must not be approved by other states. So far, the Supreme Court has not accepted the parents’ initiative to restrict education, and a federal judge has even ordered its suspension.

Pamela Cruz is a project coordinator for Comunalia, the alliance of community foundations in Mexico, and a strategic adviser of MY World Mexico, a nationwide social business that promotes sustainable development and cooperation.
pamela.cruzm@gmail.com

Gender Equality Governance Poverty Reduction Off Off Pamela Cruz

contributed to D+C/E+Z in summer of 2022. She is the Special Projects Coordinator at Comunalia, a network of community foundations in Mexico and Strategic Advisor at MY World Mexico.

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Kategorien: english

Global growth forecast to slow to 1.9% in 2023, warn UN economists

UN #SDG News - 25. Januar 2023 - 13:00
Senior UN economists warned on Wednesday that intersecting crises are likely to add further damage to the global economy, with growth set to slow from three per cent in 2022 to 1.9 per cent this year.
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Latin America, Caribbean ‘must step up’ to tackle rising hunger: FAO

UN #SDG News - 25. Januar 2023 - 13:00
Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean “can and must step up” to tackle rising levels of hunger, poverty and inequality, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, said on Wednesday. 
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