News in the Humanosphere: Brexit could impact global development spending

Aid projects are on hold, careers are in limbo and new contracts are on the line as Britain votes on June 23 whether to leave or remain within the European Union. The so-called Brexit referendum will have an enormous impact on European aid priorities. And from there, the impacts will ripple across the development industry hitting individuals, firms, agencies and NGOs alike, stakeholders say. The impact of a Brexit on aid has figured marginally in the mainstream debate, but Britain’s possible exit from the EU could rewrite European development spending and redirect billions of dollars in aid. Experts point to Britain’s potential loss of influence over the priorities of the EU, which is the world’s largest aid donor, contributing $62.5 billion, or nearly half of the global aid spend. Advocates of a Brexit, on the other hand, point to the more than $1.5 billion given to the EU annually to be spent by the European Commission on foreign aid, which would be returned to the U.K. and redistributed according to U.K. priorities alone. (Devex http://bit.ly/28Q6M98)

Peace! The Colombian government and the country’s largest rebel group said Wednesday that they had agreed to a cease-fire, clearing a major hurdle in the effort to end one of the world’s longest-running conflicts. In a joint statement, the two sides said that they had overcome some of the most intractable parts of a peace deal, which they have been negotiating in Havana since 2012. In addition to a cease-fire, the rebels — known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or the FARC — agreed to lay down their arms. The two sides said they would hold a ceremony in Havana on Thursday to mark the cease-fire, attended by Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, the FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño and other Latin American leaders. Negotiators hope a final peace deal will be reached in the days or weeks to come.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/28OqJJJ)

Jo Cox…It should have been Jo Cox’s 42nd birthday. She would have spent it, her husband Brendan said, ‘dashing around the streets of her home town’ campaigning to remain in the EU, just as she had spent the day before she died on an inflatable boat on the Thames with her two young children, in defiance of Nigel Farage’s pro-Brexit flotilla, flying a banner that read a determined ‘In.'” (Guardian http://bit.ly/28OqZIE)

And the world’s most expensive city (for expats) is…Hong Kong has overtaken Angola’s capital to become the costliest city in the world for expats, Mercer’s annual survey said Wednesday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/28PTREA)

Africa

The Niger Delta Avengers, a militant group that has claimed responsibility for attacks on oil and gas facilities in Nigeria’s southern energy hub, said it never agreed to a ceasefire with the government. (Reuters http://bit.ly/28PK9BN)

A malaria surge in Haut-Uélé province, in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, has seen 1,600 children admitted to hospitals with severe malaria and more than 40,000 people treated for the disease in the past seven weeks. (MSF http://bit.ly/28Xlxoq)

Hopes for a new Somali government in August are tempered by fears of bribery and violence, says Michael Keating, head of the U.N. mission in Mogadishu. (Guardian http://bit.ly/28PO7ei)

Nigerian militants Boko Haram have fractured internally, with a big group splitting away from shadowy leader Abubakar Shekau over his failure to adhere to guidance from the Iraq- and Syria-based Islamic State, a senior U.S. general said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/28O6MTe)

Confusion about the rules of engagement marred the ability of the U.N.’s peacekeeping mission in South Sudan to protect civilians at its compound earlier this year, it has emerged. (Guardian http://bit.ly/28XjdO7)

Zimbabwe has imposed restrictions on imports of a list of basic goods, mainly from South Africa, to protect local industries and stem an outflow of scarce dollars from the drought-hit economy, industry minister Mike Bimha said on Wednesday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/28XiTPD)

Millions of widows in sub-Saharan Africa are left destitute after being disinherited and robbed of their property, women’s rights campaigners said ahead of International Widows’ Day on Thursday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/28Qjsv5)

MENA

With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. (VOA http://bit.ly/28Q7nWU)

The U.N. will be forced to scale back already limited food distribution in war-scarred Yemen by August because of severe funding shortages, a senior official said Wednesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/28PTLgl)

An auction to raise money for books for refugee children has raised more than $11 million in Dubai, including the sale of a more than 100-year-old covering from the cube-shaped Kaaba that Muslims pray toward in Mecca. (AP http://yhoo.it/28PTMkv)

Asia

North Korea launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile into high altitude on Wednesday morning, demonstrating that the country was making progress after five consecutive failures in just over two months, analysts said. (NYT http://nyti.ms/28Q8x6q)

Australia’s ruling party said Wednesday that it had turned back 28 boats to prevent asylum seekers reaching Australia during its three years in power and warned that such vigilance would not continue if the country’s opposition wins next month’s national election. (AP http://yhoo.it/28Xlglp)

Rural development programs to wean Afghan poppy farmers off their illicit crop contend with lack of roads, water and power in remote areas plagued by militias. (Guardian http://bit.ly/28RvQvd)

The majority of supply chain auditors across Asia have encountered child labor in the last two years, and in only a third of cases could they confirm the children were removed from the factories, a survey has found. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/28O79x2)

Lightning has killed 74 people, mostly farm laborers working in fields, across eastern and northern India over the past 24 hours, officials said Wednesday. (Daily News http://nydn.us/28OrfHx )

A famous Sufi singer was shot dead in Pakistan on Wednesday in an attack claimed by Islamic extremists. (WaPo http://wapo.st/28Orkuz)

The Americas

Colombia’s government and leftist rebels announced Wednesday that they have reached a deal on a cease-fire that would be the last major step toward ending Latin America’s oldest guerrilla war. (AP http://yhoo.it/28PTNop)

Twenty-five attacks by saboteurs claiming to represent Chile’s Mapuche were registered in the first five months of 2016 by forestry subcontractors’ union Acoforag. That resulted in an estimated $13.5 million in damage, up from 3 billion pesos in all of 2015 and 638 million in 2014, according to the union. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/28Xlp8f)

…and the rest

A Sudanese man who walked through the Channel Tunnel last summer at the height of Europe’s refugee crisis walked free on Wednesday after a lengthy court case and said his priority now was to rebuild his life in Britain. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/28XciVm)

The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Accord panel have been awarded Spain’s Princess of Asturias award for international cooperation. (AP http://yhoo.it/28Xja4N)

Pope Francis has invited a dozen refugees to join him on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica for his general audience to press his demand for Europe to welcome more migrants. (AP http://yhoo.it/28QjoLN)

Refugees have a positive impact on surrounding host communities, particularly when given cash stipends as opposed to food rations, according to a new study by the U.N. (VOA http://bit.ly/28Xj1hT)

Opinion/Blogs

A hollow victory in the battle for Fallujah? (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/28Qs7xL)

How Jo Cox bested Peter Mandelson, and other loving memories (Guardian http://bit.ly/28O6M5M)

Jo Cox would have been 42 today. Here’s what she was like to work with. (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/28PWTZx)

John Bolton says Hillary Clinton would join the ICC. Is he right? (Justice in Conflict http://bit.ly/28Rz41P)

Escaping the scandal cycle: three ways to improve funder response (CGD http://bit.ly/28XqEFh)

Disability rights around the world: from 1944 to the present day (Guardian http://bit.ly/28PtYo8)

Yes, that’s hip-hop’s Common in a new song about refugees (Goats and Soda http://n.pr/28O8GDa)

Improving the evidence base in the environment sector with RCTs (Devex http://bit.ly/28MJTAq)

Has Chinese repression sealed off Tibet? (IRIN http://bit.ly/28MKfGW)

Grit: Probably not that important in developing countries (Roving Bandit http://bit.ly/28PYjDi)

Foreign aid the hot topic at the Deputy Leaders’ debate (Dev Policy http://bit.ly/28PYrTz)

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