From a push for a greater Europe-wide commitment to climate action to questions about the Trump Administration’s commitment to global development.

Emmanuel Macron has called for the EU to establish an EU bank for climate investments ahead of the EU’s parliamentary elections later this year. Macron proposed the establishment of a ‘European Climate Bank’ as part of an op-ed on the renewal of Europe Macron published across all 28 EU states.

Related: Opinion: How can European development finance institutions align with the Paris climate goals?

 

The Trump Administration is proposing cutting USAID’s budget by almost 24% in its budget for 2020. Though commentators believe Trump’s overall budget is far too extreme to have any chance of congressional approval, the proposal reflects the Administration priorities and values and underlines the President’s deep skepticism of the value of foreign aid, potentially undermining the agency’s ability to assure partners of the US’s commitment to its development projects.

Related: The White House Seeks to Eliminate Funding for UNICEF

 

Aktis Strategy, a for-profit development contractor which ran multimillion pound contracts for the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office, has announced the it is insolvent and entering administration. Andrew Rathmell, former director and co-founder of the company blamed its demise on ‘poor financial management which left the company unable to manage its rapid scale-up and growing portfolio of low-margin projects in fragile and conflict-affected countries.’ Atkis is the second UK development contractor to go under this year, with Maxwell Stamp having appointed administrators in January. The close proximity of the two companies’ troubles is raising question about how major aid contracts are being managed by the UK government.

 

Financial experts are warning British NGOs to prepare for the potential impact a no-deal Brexit could have on the Pound’s value. Economists believe that in the event of a no-deal Brexit the Pound’s value could become extremely volatile and will almost certainly see a drop in purchasing power, making it extremely difficult for NGOs to project their overall costs over the next year if they have to rely on the pound for operations.

 

The World Bank has announced it intends to more than double its commitment to climate adaptation and mitigation in Africa over the next five years, raising its commitment to USD $22.5 Billion.

Related: Green Climate Fund Approves $299 Million for Expansion of Renewable Projects in Africa

 

Environmentalists and researchers speaking at the 2nd International Conference on Climate Finance in Dhaka last Saturday said bureaucracies were delaying the release of climate funds. Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies executive director A Atiq Rahman said those in need of immediate assistance are unable to overcome the bureaucratic hurdles to access the funding they need leaving the poorest nations the hardest by the impact of climate change.

 

Japan’s Foreign Ministry has released a new white paper outlining plans for the government to join with private companies and NGOs to make more efficient and effective use of its official development assistance.

 

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation and Omidyar Network, has launched a new USD $150 Million initiative to ‘fund the riskiest and typically least financially rewarding slice of impact investments.’ The new initiative will be known as the Catalytic Capital Consortium.

 

The Trump Administration’s nominee for President of the World Bank David Malpass is reportedly seeking to distance himself from the US President in meetings with world leaders. Malpass has been meeting with leaders since his nomination was announced in an effort to assure other nations that if elected he would be an independent leader serving the bank’s governors and shareholders, not the US government.

 

French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged France will invest €2.5 Billion in Africa to support startups and SMEs by 2022. The initiative, dubbed Choose Africa, will be mobilised by Proparco, the private-sector financing arm of Agence Française de Développement

 

Vincent Robinson, founder and managing partner of the executive search firm the 360 Group, has criticised the MacArthur Foundation’s decision to appoint John Palfrey as its new president. In an op-ed in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Robinson made clear he does not mean any disrespect to Palfrey himself, but believes that the Foundation’s decision to appoint a white man who comes from an illustrious background to the role reflects a failure on the Foundation’s part to look for more diverse candidates who have more in common with the people the Foundation is trying to serve.

 

UK Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt says the UK Department for International Development (DfID) will announce a new initiative in the coming weeks focused on partnerships and broadening who the agency works with. Mordaunt’s remarks came while she was in Washington D.C. for several meetings and speaking engagements to discuss women’s empowerment, gender equality, and the importance of US Leadership on these Issues.

 

The World Resource Institute (WRI) has selected David Blood as the new co-chair of its Global Board of Directors and added four new members to the board. Blood is co-founder of Generation Investment Management and joined the WRI’s board in October 2016. The new members of the board are Tammie Arnold, founding partner at Alpha Ledger Technologies; Stephen Brenninkmeijer, founder of Willows Investment and Chair of the European Climate Foundation; Kathleen McLaughlin, Chief Sustainability Officer at Walmart and President of the Walmart Foundation; and Nader Mousavizadeh, co-Founder and Co-CEO at Macro Advisory Partners and former Special Assistant to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

 

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has announced the appointment of Shahidur Rashid as Director for South Asia. Rashid joined IFPRI in 1999 and is currently Senior Research Fellow in IFPRI’s Development Strategy and Governance Division.

 

The Rockefeller Foundation has named Steven VanRoekel COO. VanRoekel was the US’s chief information officer under President Obama and was a senior staff member at Microsoft before that.