From the global push for equal rights for men and women to changes at the top of the World Health Organisation

The World Wildlife Fund has launched an investigation into claims it funds, equips and works with paramilitary forces accused of beating, torturing, sexually assaulting and murdering scores of people in national parks across Africa and Asia. The allegations were made in a report published by Buzzfeed News.

Related: Britain’s Charity Regulator Will Grill WWF Over “Appalling Atrocities”

 

A new report from the World Bank shows just six countries give women and men equal rights. Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg, and Sweden were the only countries to receive the maximum score of 100 marks, with the global average coming in at 74.71.

 

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has  revived plans for a new offshoot focused solely on non-EU projects that it expects to formalise in a year and have up and running within two years according to EIB President Werner Hoyer.

 

The UK Government has launched a new global ‘period poverty’ fund and taskforce to help all women and girls access sanitary products by 2050 and to ‘tackle the stigma around menstruation.’ The Government pledged £2 Million to organisations working to end period poverty globally, and earmarked an additional £250,000 to create a government taskforce  to tackle the issue.

 

The looming Brexit deadline combined with uncertainty over what arrangements if any will be made between the UK and the European Union are causing staffing problems for British NGOs with European staff working in the UK worried about their future.

 

As the African Union (AU) begins the process of implementing its new development strategy which will see the organisation’s development organisation the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning (NEPAD) transformed into the African Union Development Agency (AUDA), AUDA-NEPAD CEO Ibramhim Mayaki sat down with Devex to discuss the AU’s new approach.

 

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) has announced the five candidates for the post of FAO Director General to be elected in in June 2019. The nominees are Médi Moungui (Cameroon), Qu Dongyu (China), Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle (France), Davit Kirvalidze (Georgia) and Ramesh Chand (India). The chosen candidate will serve a four-year term of office beginning in August of this year.

 

José Luis Castro, President and CEO of Vital Strategies and head of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, outlines some of the key issues and trends shaping the global conversation on noncommunicable diseases.

 

The World Health Organisation (WHO)  has revamped its senior management structure. An internal memo was sent to staff outlining the new structure, which includes new positions and divisions as part of WHO’s new five-year strategy.

 

Carol Larson, President & CEO of the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, has announced she will step down as head of the foundation at the end of 2019. Larson has held the role since 2004.

 

The MacArthur Foundation has announced John Palfrey will be the organisation’s next President. Palfrey has extensive experience in the education, nonprofit, and philanthopic sectors. He is currently the Head of School for Phillips Academy Andover, and has previously served the Henry N. Ess III Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School, and the Executive Director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.

 

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has announced the appointment of Judy Parkman as the organisation’s next director of human resources. Parkman comes to the Foundation from the Skoll Foundation where she has been in charge of human resources for almost a decade having worked in the private sector to that point.

 

Lebanon has withdrawn its nomination of Ziad Alexandre Hayek for president of the World Bank. Hayek, who told reporters his country took the decision to withdraw him from consideration due to pressure from other governments, intends to try to persuade other members of the World Bank’s board to renominate him. An official with Lebanon’s finance ministry told reporters ‘there was no American pressure or other (pressure)’ behind the decision.

 

A new report from Global Health 50/50 is raising questions about how organisations working in the global health sector process sexual harassment claims after the organisation found only 25 of 198 organisations surveyed have comprehensive sexual harassment policies.

 

Devex has put together a detailed breakdown of the main recipients of USAID funding and contracts in 2018.

 

As countries look for green alternatives to fossil fuels, biomass, a fuel source comprised of wood and plant waste produced by the timber industry, has become a major component of international energy strategies. While biomass is burned like traditional fossil fuels, it produces less emissions than coal or natural gas, and is considered carbon neutral under the assumption that any emissions from the fuel are recaptured by trees and plant life. However, some scientists are pushing back against the move to biomass, arguing any net reduction in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from using biomass is decades away and in the meantime burning biomass will only make climate change worse.

 

While efforts in the US to encourage the public to recycle have succeeded in getting more people to sort through their rubbish and recycle more, rising costs combined with new restrictions on what waste other countries are willing to take from the US has forced waste management companies and municipalities to increasingly just dump recyclables with the rest of the trash they take in.

 

Growing calls for some form of wealth tax from left-wing politicians in the US has drawn criticism from the superwealthy who argue their success is a result of their own talent and work ethic. In response, some economists and philosophers are asking people to consider the role of luck in their success from a moral perspective, suggesting that while ability and endeavour play a role in people’s achievements, numerous factors outside of their control play as significant a role in the path their life takes.