Coronavirus xenophobia, Fijian women first responders, post-Brexit NGOs' life, and more

Posted on 04 February 2020

+ Coronavirus: The spread of the virus and xenophobia

World Health Organisation (WHO has developed a dashboard for Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) with the number of confirmed cases globally, which includes cases in China by provinces, regions and cities, as well as confirmed cases outside China by country. WHO has reported 146 confirmed cases in 26 countries outside of China, and last Thursday declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. An excellent dashboard has also been released by Johns Hopkins University who are tracking confirmed cases of the Corona virus.
Reporting has increasingly highlighted the racist angle behind the China coronavirus epidemic, and as coronavirus has spread, so has anti-Chinese sentiment. Fears of the outbreak have fueled xenophobia as a wave of panic spreads, sometimes outstripping the practical response needed for a global pandemic.

Coronavirus-related racist outbursts have been reported in New Zealand. Labour MP Raymond Hou said the coronavirus had become the number one issue among the local Chinese community both for efforts to ensure safety of family members and for the incidents of racial abuse it was bringing.

Here are a few stats to help keep coronavirus in perspective:

  • Influenza killed 80,000 people in the US alone, in 2018
  • Malaria kills roughly 420,000 per year, most children under the age of 5
  • Typhoid kills 140,000 per year
  • The average age of those who have died from coronavirus so far is 75 years old (and they have tended to have existing health issues).

+ What will Brexit mean for NGOs?

Despite consensus that development cooperation between the EU and the U.K. should continue, it's unclear how that will play out politically. 

Questions remain over funding streams and the U.K.'s potential loss of influence in the development sector.

Experts anticipate a loss of influence and effectiveness for both British and European aid, writes William Worley in Devex.

“We were able to multiply our efforts as a result of working with Europe, and they were able to multiply their efforts by working with us,” said Simon Maxwell, a development commentator and former chair of the European Think Tanks Group. “Both sides will be weakened by the fact Brexit has happened.”

UK NGOs will have to navigate a new and unpredictable political environment.

"Brexit’s impact on funding has long been a key concern. While some NGOs, including Christian Aid, intend to apply for EU money throughout the transition period, the situation after Brexit is currently unknown."

The UK could find itself 'sandwiched between the EU and the US as it develops its foreign, aid and trade policies, writes Amanda Sloat of the Brookings Institute.

"Although (Boris) Johnson wants to remain on Trump’s good side in trade talks, he remains more closely aligned with the EU on issues such as Iran, climate change, and digital tax."

+ MFAT/ NGO Reference Group: Te Rōpū o Ngā Toroa (Toroa)

Please click here to find the Terms of Reference for Toroa. If you are interested in nominating yourself, or someone else, please complete MFAT’s Expression of Interest form.  All nominations will be accepted as long as the nominee has agreed and the information sought in the EOI form is provided.

Applications will close at midday on Monday 17th February 2020.

If you have any questions about the process, please do not hesitate to be in touch with MFAT’s Partnerships Team via email

+ CID member honoured in New Year honours

CID would like to congratulate Rachel Le Mesurier for receiving the outstanding honour of a CNZM, and becoming a 'Companion of the said Order' in the New Year's honour.

She was singled out for her services to 'Governance, Community and Health'.

Rachel has given almost 30 years of service to non-governmental organisations promoting health, human rights, social welfare and development.

She is of course the CEO of Oxfam today.

Last year another CID member was also honoured when Viv Maidaborn, CEO of UNICEF was recognised for her 'services to human rights and social entrepreneurship' and awarded an MNZM, becoming a 'Member of said order'.

+ Fijian women, first responders

The Women’s Weather Watch programme, run by Femlink Pacific, is a women’s media organisation based in Suva, that has fast become a focal point in Pacific communities, especially as first responders in an emergency.

The network sends weather reports and preparedness advice by text messages to about 350 women across the country, who then spread the news throughout their communities, and feed back local conditions to a radio station in  Suva.

Once a month the network organises get-togethers that are part education, part community.

The women discuss how to improve the local sugarcane industry (many run family farms hit hard by the frequent drought), progress on gender equality and much more. When food is scarce, rural women exchange ideas for preserving and preparing staple crops.

“We share how to cook certain foods, changing it so that our children won’t know that we’re eating the same thing over and over again", says one of the participants.

Volau, a member of Femlink Pacific still remembers the fury of Cyclone Winston, that destroyed her house and wiped out a third of Fiji’s GDP, in February 2016.

After Cyclone Winston, women were essentially first responders in their communities, particularly in remote villages that were cut off from food, water, and government help for days. But most established local organisations are led by men, and analysts say donor regulations often see money rushing to these male-led groups, rather than funding and training more women responders and leaders, writes Irwin Loy on The New Humanitarian.

“Nobody comes and asks the women what you want or what you need. There’s nothing,” said Sarojani Gounder, a local district councillor who is also a member of the women’s network. “It’s just: get the rations, stay inside, eat, look after your children. And that’s it.” 

Each storm season brings another round of threats and worry. But now, when a disaster alert arrives on her mobile phone, Volau makes sure she’s the first to warn her village, telling local leaders how to prepare the community’s evacuation shelter.

+ 'The Triple Nexus': Humanitarian, Development & Peacebuilding

By 2030, a larger proportion of the world’s poor are set to reside in fragile and protracted crisis contexts. A year ago, the OECD Development Assistance Committee expanded the well-established dual humanitarian-development nexus into a triple one to include peace; the Humanitarian-Development-Peace (HDP) Triple Nexus. It is based on the recognition that sustainable development and durable solutions to displacement are not possible without peace and that addressing the underlying causes of conflict is fundamental to reducing humanitarian needs.

Because we obviously like things to come in 'threes', the OECD stated the ambition of promoting the HDP is 'the three C's'; Collaboration, Coherence and Complementarity. So what does the inclusion of peace look like in development and emergency response:

  1. Embedding a peace (or 'conflict-sensitive') lens,
  2. Supporting peace dividends in parrallel to humanitarian assistance, and
  3. The inclusion of stability efforts in early recovery to create ongoing development and humnaitarian opportunities.

However deep challenges remain in acting on the link between Humanitarian/ Development, and addressing overwhelming structural and political root causes. These challenges include the scale of the challenges facing affected countries, the scope of reform efforts needed and the resources available, and too often funding still bypasses local and national-level systems. 

+ 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.

+ CIDTalk on Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Response (HADR) - SAVE THE DATE

CID is hosting a Talk on 'Civil-Military Coordination in Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Response (HADR): Insights from a Decade of Training', by Johanna Brown, on Thursday 20 February at lunchtime in Wellington.

Johanna’s presentation will share her personal experience training with and educating armed forces to respond to HADR activities in a non-hostile environment. Relevant to New Zealand and the Pacific region on the Ring of Fire, Johanna will talk about the “on the ground” partnering that takes place in a training environment to bolster relationships and skills for when the call comes in. 

+ Australian government reviews aid

Our sister organisation, ACFID have been pro-active in persuading the Australian government to review its development policy. The 'International Development Policy Review', has begun and ACFID’s review team have been working hard on developing ACFID’s submission to the review and developing a Government relations and advocacy plan for it. 

More information follows in the bulletin here.

+ ISIS re-emerging?

ISIS has begun reasserting itself in Iraq and Syria under a new leader assessed to be an Iraqi operative who was a driving force behind the terror group's genocide against the Yazidi people, according to a report submitted to the UN Security Council which was made public on Wednesday.

"It has been clear for some time that one reason for ISIS's resilience is its deep pockets, with overheads reduced now the group no longer administers a large state. The report said that according to one of the more conservative assessments by UN member states, ISIS still has $100 million in reserves," says Paul Cruickshank at CNN.

+ Life after war for Syrians, disabled by war

“It is really difficult for a person with a handicap to get a steady job,” says Mohammad, a member of the loyalist National Defense Forces (NDF), “and the social stigma is a real thing.”

Gregory Waters reports on 'Syria living martyrs' for the Atlantic Council.

Mohammad injured his back several years ago and was paralysed. He now runs an NDF aid center in Homs. He was able to transition into a civilian role after his injury due in large part to his family’s connections. But most wounded fighters are not so lucky. “The biggest problem is for veterans in the city who cannot afford to pay for a house or place to live and are forced to become homeless,” says Mohammad, “everyone in Syrian society is ashamed of this.”

+ Development Finance: watch this space

Experts told Devex that this year might see a change in the development finance industry. The factors are multiple: the need to talk in trillions rather than billions, the growing demand for more transparency from civil society and private finance, the need to increase the buy-in of the SDGs agenda, the private sector is shifting to sustainability, among others.

"Most of the ESG investments (Environmental, Social and Governance investments) and impact investments made today go into developed markets, and multilateral development banks and DFIs should be arranging and originating deals that can appeal to those investors and draw them into emerging markets", says Chris Clubb, Convergence’s managing director in Europe.

As often happens, times of opportunities bring new challenges but also old issues to the table: the competition among development finance institutions, the non-alignment of most capital invested today with the SDGs, the non-agreement about frameworks and incentives, the absence of harmonisation of definitions of impact or sustainability, the lack of public data about development finance. That is to say, a general lack of cooperation and openness.

”With the growing push for transparency, more Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) are coming to the table and willing to collaborate with a new Publish What You Fund’s DFI Transparency Initiative, said Gary Forster, CEO at Publish What You Fund. "Private investors who are saying: ‘Look we can reduce the cost of doing business, we can bring more capital we can better calculate risk if we had more information about what the multilateral and bilaterals are doing.’” More cooperation, according to him, means, in fact, more risk awareness that can ultimately result in DFIs accessing least development countries (Devex estimated that only 29 of 47 LDCs received financing from DFIs in 2017).

So what emerges is a reality where the problem isn’t a lack of resources, but a need for work on policies and the creation of an enabling environment so funding can be aligned with the SDGs, says Jorge Moreira da Silva, director of the OECD Development Cooperation Directorate.

+ CID Events
CIDTalk: Civil-Military Coordination in Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Response (HADR): Insights from a Decade of Training (20 February - Wellington)

+ Other Events Coming Up
+ CID Activities
  • Review of CID Member Code of Compliance self-assessments
  • Scoping of Operational Training workshops
  • Scoping CIDTalks events
  • Preparations for Code of Conduct Committee meeting
  • Framing of Code Review recommendations for further discussion
  • Preparation of the CID members' Localisation survey
  • Advocacy research started
  • Work on CID safeguarding tools


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