From 1 million COVID-19 cases in Africa to a drop in domestic development spending in low- and middle-income countries 

The African Union’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Africa has passed 1 million. South Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Ghana and Nigeria currently account for about 75% of the cumulative cases on the continent, though experts say a combination of factors including low rates of testing, a lack of political will, and poor infrastructure and communications mean it is likely the true total is much higher.

Related: Opinion: COVID-19 fears delay treatment, making children more vulnerable


A new report from End Water Poverty and WaterAid says the economic impact of COVID-19 will see public spending on development in low- and middle-income countries fall by USD $396 billion in 2020-21.

Related: COVID-19 Pandemic May Result in a Long-term Human Development Crisis in Central Asia, Warn World Bank Experts


With the COVID-19 dominating the global agenda, governments and donors have been pouring money and resources into efforts to develop a vaccine or a treatment for the virus, leaving an international initiative to deliver COVID-19 test kits to low- and middle-income countries severely underfunded.

Related: Opinion: Now is not the time for the World Bank to step back on pandemic financing


The rapid global response to COVID-19 has climate activists and scientists asking world leaders why the climate crisis has not drawn a similar response. Now some climate advocates are looking to leverage the money coming from donors and development banks in response to the coronavirus toward investments that simultaneously make communities more resilient to both pandemics and climate change.

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With governments around the world shutting down airports and implementing strict travel restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the aid sector is being forced to adapt and to a whole new set of complications on top of an already challenging workload.

Related: Nearly 40% of nonprofits may be forced to close because of the pandemic


Seven of the world’s largest multilateral development banks, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB Group), the World Bank Group (WBG) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), have reported USD $61.6 billion in climate financing in 2019.

Related: Exploring GEF’s climate funding footprint


The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee has agreed on a set of rules for how it will count debt relief as official development assistance, something that has been on its agenda since 2014.

Related: Q&A: OECD DAC chair on ODA, COVID-19, and safeguarding policy


Sir Philip Barton, the British high commissioner to India, has been named permanent undersecretary of the newly merged Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Related: Who is Philip Barton, new permanent undersecretary to FCDO?


The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has announced it has set a new target of mobilising USD $6 billion in private sector investment over the next three years through its 2X Women’s Initiative.

Related: How are women spending time? Overlooked survey method gains prominence during pandemic


Neil Ghosh, chief executive officer of SOS Children’s Villages USA and board chair of Global Youth Initiative, outlines seven trends he has identified in the philanthropy sector.

Related: 5 takeaways from MacKenzie Scott’s giving $1.7 billion in support for social justice causes


UK Government data shows fraud against the Department for International Development (DFID) has doubled over the past three years from roughly £5.9 million in 2017-2018 to £9.2 million in 2019-2020. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), reported far lower losses to fraud over the same period leading some to question how effective FCO’s oversight has been ahead of the merger of the two departments into the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Related: Opinion: USAID needs an independent accountability office to improve development outcomes


One year after nearly 200 CEOs signed a pledge to ‘stop caring primarily about their shareholders and to serve the needs of their workers, communities, and country too’, Wharton management professor Tyler Wry says as COVID-19 has spread, signers of the statement were almost 20 percent more prone to announce layoffs or furloughs, less likely to donate to relief efforts, less likely to offer customer discounts, and less likely to shift production to pandemic-related goods, raising serious questions about how meaningful this commitment ot ‘ethical capitalism’ really was.

Related: How wealth inequality is warping the world of philanthropy