DFID comes of age: what next for the 21 year-old?

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The UK’s Department for International Development has just turned 21.  What does this coming of age mean for the Department?

DFID certainly has plenty of happy moments to toast – helping create the Millenium Development Goals, playing a prominent role in the formation of the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunisation (which has saved 10 million lives), and meeting the international aid target of 0.7% of GNI, to name but three.  The Department might also wince at a few embarrassing moments – staff here remember Hilary Benn being greeted in one African country with a ‘Welcome Mrs Hilary Benn’ banner; and more seriously, few will quickly forget Priti Patel’s unsanctioned visit to the occupied Golan Heights.   

But will this high-achiever now be able to shoulder the responsibilities of adulthood? [Read more…]

How can we turn the African environment tragedy into an opportunity for good?

a-man-helps-a-woman-cross-a-log-bridge-after-the-flash-flood-washed-away-a-concrete-bridge-at-pentagon-in-freetown

A man helps a woman cross a log bridge after the flash flood washed away a concrete bridge at Pentagon, in Freetown August 18, 2017. Source: Reuters.

 

Hannington Muyenje, a Senior Campaigner with Tearfund, reflects on how the climate tragedy can be turned into an opportunity.

Oscar Wilde, one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s said, ‘Behind every exquisite thing that happens, there was a tragedy.’ We have all heard about the pacifying clichés like, ‘bad things can lead to good’, ‘A blessing in disguise’ or ‘beauty from ashes’.

For people in low-income settings, the tragedy of poverty has been turned into a case of double jeopardy by climate change. It is as if people in poverty are being punished twice for the same crime: that they are poor and that due to their poverty, they are unable to address the effects of climate change. This double tragedy has shattered whole economies and forced many poor people into all forms of slavery. I regarded Tearfund’s annual international gathering that took place in June – a platform that brings together experienced and passionate leaders from over 30 poor countries – as an opportunity to grapple with ways of turning this climate tragedy into economic growth prospects.  [Read more…]

Every day is Earth Overshoot Day (but it doesn’t have to be)

Whenever you hear words like overcome, overjoyed or overwhelmed, the sense is about extremes: strong positive connotations or the exact opposite. Today is Earth Overshoot Day, the day in 2017 when collectively the world’s population have used up all the resources that nature can regenerate in one year. This overuse of resources falls firmly into that second camp: strong negative connotations. [Read more…]

Waste of Olympic proportions a potential golden opportunity for the poor

RS77670_BRA_2016_EMB_0060-mdaAs the 2016 Rio Olympics close, Tearfund’s Senior Economics and Policy Associate, Richard Gower, reflects on the potential prizes to be won for athletes and the poor from valuing our waste better.

As pollution tainted Rio’s picturesque setting and the UN advised athletes to spend ‘as little time in the water as possible’, the wider issues – and surprising opportunities – arising from humanity’s waste problem came under the spotlight during the Olympics.   [Read more…]