News, Newsletter

CID Weekly: Climate refugee progress, India's Covid crisis, CID advocacy training

Posted on 27 April 2021

Development & Humanitarian News

+ This Thursday  - Effective Advocacy Part 2: CID Talk

Register now. See Useful Links, Webinars and Podcasts for details .

+ Vaccine roll out dashboard - last 7 days

The above graph shows the rolling 7-day average of COVID vaccine doses administered per 100 people for selected countries.

1.03 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered worldwide as at 25 April, according to Our World in Data

*Oceania includes all countries in the Pacific, including New Zealand and Australia.

Please refer to the Pacific News in Brief section for an update on the rollout in the Pacific. 

+ Reconsiderations of Climate Change Refugee status

Currently no country offers asylum or other legal protections to people displaced specifically because of climate change. In 2015, New Zealand courts rejected the claim of Ioane Teitiota from Kiribati who had partitioned to have himself and his wife recognise as a climate change refugee.

President Joe Biden's administration is studying the idea of recognising climate-based displacement and refugee status, and climate migration is expected to be discussed at his first climate summit, held virtually Thursday and Friday.

The idea still faces monumental challenges, including how to define a climate refugee when natural disasters, drought and violence are often intertwined in regions people are fleeing. If the US defined a climate refugee, it could mark a major shift in global refugee policy.

+ Is Myanmar the next Syria?

Ten years ago "the west failed to act decisively, 500,000 or more Syrians are dead, 13.3 million are displaced, the country is in ruins – and no one has apologised. Meanwhile, half a world away, history repeats itself. Is Myanmar the new Syria?" writes Simon Tisdall in the UK Guardian.

"There is little doubt Gen Min Aung Hlaing, the junta boss, and members of the military and police are each day committing crimes against humanity and war crimes."

Min Aung Hlaing is already wanted for the 2017 genocide of the Rohingya minority.

New Zealand has joined other countries in condemning the military coup, but many are calling on the government to do more. 

The Council for Trade Unions (CTU) has called on the government to halt negotiations on the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) trade deal, between 15 countries, including New Zealand and Myanmar. To continue would give the military junta legitimacy, says CTU Secretary Melissa Ansell-Bridges said.

"The New Zealand union movement has deep ties to the union movement in Myanmar, thanks in part to the long-term work of (CID member) UnionAid in Myanmar. We are hearing regular firsthand accounts of some of the atrocities that have occurred and continue to occur."

All eyes are on China, who along with Russia has blocked sanctions at the UN Security Council. And yet they are best positioned to resolve the crisis, given China's close ties with Myanmar, argues The Conversation. At the very least, they could call for political prisoners arrested since the coup, to be released.


+ UK NGOs condemn government cuts to aid budget

Cuts to humanitarian aid by the UK are a "tragic blow for many of the world's most marginalised people", 200 charities said in a joint statement. Organisations including Save the Children and Oxfam said humanitarian assistance was being reduced by more than £500m.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the changes reflected a strategic shift in UK aid spending. Following the economic shock of the coronavirus crisis, the chancellor cut the foreign aid budget  from 0.7% to 0.5% of total national income - a reduction of around £4bn. 

+ Venezuela allows food aid - at last

 Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has reached an agreement with the sort of global aid agencies he has often shunned to bring help to his country's people, reports the ABC.

Madura signed a deal to let the United Nations World Food Program provide school meals for 1.5 million children. It follows an agreement worked out with another agency to access COVID-19 vaccines under a U.N.-backed program.

For years, the Venezuelan government has rejected humanitarian aid as 'unnecessary.'

+ India - a country in crisis

India, drowning under a surge of cases, "feels like a country that is broken," reports the ABC News

The country has smashed global records with more than 330,000 daily infections and a daily death toll of more than 2,000.

There is a much stronger belief that this catastrophe could have, and should have, been easily avoided.

What's caused it:

+ The rich need to give more, says former PM

For the world to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) says former PM Helen Clark, we need a greater contribution from those who have prospered the most.

She made the statement in a testimonial at 'Millionaires for Humanity', calling for a wealth tax, and more action from the wealthiest philanthropists. 

The CID Weekly is Proudly Sponsored By
Direct Impact Group supports organisations to maximise their social impact, because changing the world isn't easy, and in dynamic times this work is more important than ever.

Members Activities & Updates

+ MFAT Town Hall on Pacific Regional Four Year Plan

MFAT are hosting public town hall talanoa in Wellington and Auckland (with Christchurch later in May) to get your thoughts on New Zealand’s development work and partnerships in the Pacific.

This is your opportunity to inform planning for MFAT’s Pacific Regional Four Year Plan and talk about the opportunities, challenges and principles that are guiding our New Zealand development programme va’a. The town hall talanoa is open to all communities with connections to, and interests in, the Pacific.

Auckland: Monday 3 May, 5 - 6.30pm MFAT/NZTE office, Level 6, 139 Quay Street
Register by 30 April
Wellington: Friday 7 May, 1 - 2.30pm MFAT, Level 12, 195 Lambton Quay
Register by 5 May

If you can’t make it to the talanoa, you can also provide feedback through a short anonymous survey, available through this link. The survey closes on 18 May.

+ CID Constitution review

The Constitution is in need of an update to ensure it keeps up with the legislation and changes in how CID operates. There are two ways to join the discussion: 

  1. Fill in the quick survey – will take 2min (or a little longer if you provide alternative wording) – fill it in here.
  2. Join a session to learn more about and to discuss changes to the Constitution, including: the objectives of CID, membership, the addition of a new individual membership category, and the addition of Principles for Associate/Affiliate and individual members. These sessions are only for current Full or Associate/Affiliate members of CID, but there is no limit to how many people from the same organisation can join a session, and there are four different session time and dates available to join so you can find one that suits you in early to mid May – join one here  

+ Office Space available with Anglican Mission

Anglican Mission are seeking a tenant for a ground-floor office (25m2) in a recently strengthened historic building on Mulgrave Street, Thorndon. Situated between Archives New Zealand and Old St Paul’s Cathedral, the office has been re-carpeted and painted and is only a 3 minute walk from the Station.

You can view the space here, and it has great morning sun, views toward Mt Victoria, and comes with a shared toilet and kitchen. There is also opportunity for parking for one car. Anglican Missions, a CID member agency, occupies the room next door. If you’re interested in having a look, please email Michael Hartfield  or call on 021 913 219.

+ UnionAID rally in support of people of Myanmar

On 1 May a rally is being held in Aotea Square, Auckland in solidarity with the brave striking workers and activists in Myanmar.  UnionAID and the Democracy for Myanmar group are hosting the event to send a message of support to people in Myanmar.

More information available here

+ LAST CHANCE - Nominations for CID Code Committee 

CID is looking for a new Member Representative for the Code of Conduct Committee, for a period of two (2) years (renewable) from May 2021 - May 2023.

Please submit your nomination to Aaron Davy by COP Friday, 30th April or if you require further information, including a copy of the Code of Conduct Committee ToR and nomination form. 

If you would like to share your organisation's jobs, events, or recent activities, please send an email to with an outline of the activity so it can be added to the next edition of the CID Weekly. 

Pacific News in Brief 

+ Fiji in lockdown

Twelve more new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Fiji overnight, one of them sending Fijian health authorities on a massive manhunt. This is the highest single day increase in cases recorded in Fiji.

The Central Division including the capital Suva is in lockdown effective from yesterday for the next 14 days.

Fiji now has had 103 Covid-19 cases, 36 active (22 in the community and 14 in MIQ) with 65 recovered and two deaths reported.

+ Pacific NGOs call on Australia to halve emissions

Pacific environmental and humanitarian organisations called on Australia to commit to halving emissions ahead of US President Joe Biden's climate summit last week.

More than 10 groups including Greenpeace, Oxfam, Climate Action Network, Conference of Churches and the Edmund Rice Centre used a full-page newspaper advertisement and open letter to urge Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to at least match the ambition of other large emitters such as the US, UK, EU and Canada.


+ Development lessons for Pacific development agenda

The COVID-19 crisis has forced policymakers to reconsider how they approach a range of key issues, and regional development and security are no exception. Vani Catanasiga, Executive Director of the Fiji Council of Social Services states, “reflecting on the experiences of [COVID-19] last year, one of the opportunities presented to us both in government and in civil societies is the opportunity to rethink how we do development.”

What opportunities are provided by the current pandemic that could enhance the development agenda and create a more secure Pacific? Given the hit and miss record of development in the region, what lessons can we apply to improve performance? As Pacific governments seek to integrate their development and security strategies, it is important to consider local contexts, Maualaivao Maima Koro writes.

+ Anzac Day: The Deep Sigh of the Pacific

What is the connection between a town in France, a newly unveiled Pacific memorial at Wellington's Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, and the people of the Cook Islands? Leading Pacific artist Michael Tuffrey links them all in a poignant feature documentary 'The Deep Sign of the Pacific' by Wellington-based Cook Islander Johnson Raela, through funding by MFAT.

This Anzac Day and week, it is apt to recall the words from  Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown at the Pukeahu memorial service where he paid tribute to the ongoing commitment of all Pacific nations towards regional security and global peacekeeping. "For more than 40 years, countries in the Pacific have contributed uniformed personnel to UN peace operations around the globe. From 1978 to the present, Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste have collectively deployed to 30 UN peace operations," he noted.


Useful Links, Webinars & Podcasts

+ *THIS WEEK* -  Advocacy Training - Part 2 Effective Advocacy & Public Engagement with Michael Sheldrick, Global Citizen

Join the CID Humanitarian Network for the second part of a series of talks and training workshops on advocacy.

Find out how to continue to influence decision-makers, while also engaging with the public, and creating a movement. How do you attract activists, and promote and amplify your message?

Over the last decade Global Citizen has leveraged the power of governments, artists, corporations, NGO partners, and civil society with one common goal: to end extreme poverty.  The organisation was co-founded by the creators of the “Make Poverty History” campaign.  
Michael Sheldrick is the Chief Policy and Government Affairs officer for Global Citizen, and a prominent civil-society speaker on global affairs, activism and development, and has written for the Guardian, Forbes and Huffington Post. He currently overseas the grants, philanthropy, impact and government relations team at Global Citizen.

Date: Thursday 29nd April 9:00-10:00am
Location: Online (Zoom)

Register here

+ CIDx Talk Recording: Effective Advocacy with John McTernan 

As part of a series of talks and workshops on advocacy, find out how to influence decision-makers, and run effective advocacy campaigns. John McTernan is the former Director of Communications for Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Director of Political Operations for UK and Scottish Labour. 

Watch the recording from last week's talk here.


+  Reach out to us on:
  • Myanmar - we are having conversations with members around their work in and access to Myanmar, and also with MFAT around members concerns.
  • Negotiated Partnerships and Manaaki funding - so members in these 'partnerships for impact' can collaborate and share information for better programs, and for feedback to MFAT.
  • CID Conference - would you like to help out, or any speakers you would like to hear from as we start to design a program (more information to come)?
  • Membership - know of any NZ organisations working in international development who should join the whānau as Affiliate members?
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