From 80 million people forcibly displaced to the end of DFID

Nearly 80 million people, about 1% of the world’s population, are forcibly displaced from their homes according to UNHCR.

 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told the UK parliament the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the government department responsible for the UK’s official development assistance (ODA), will be merged with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Related: U.S. Mulls Controversial Foreign Aid Shake-up

 

Boris Johnson’s announcement that the UK Department for International Development (DFID) will be merged with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has been met with widespread anger from the British aid community, with Patrick Watt, Christian Aid’s director of policy, public affairs and campaigns, called the merger ‘an act of political vandalism’.

Related: Aid groups deny they were consulted on DFID merger

 

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says the merger of the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will not lead to the proportion of the U.K.’s aid spending on the poorest and most conflict-affected countries reduced. Raab will lead the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office once the merger is completed.

Related: What Boris Johnson’s speech reveals about the future of UK aid

 

Staff at the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) are speaking out about the decision to merge DFID with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), with some staffers expressing fears the move will leave the UK aid budget vulnerable to misuse and others expressing frustration at being given no notice of the decision before learning of it through the media.

Related: DfID is a world leader in tackling poverty. Our international standing is weakened without it

 

Three former British Prime Ministers, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, and David Cameron, have condemned Boris Johnson’s decision to merge the Department for International Development (DFID) with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), a move that some officials say risks jeopardising Britain’s standing in the world.

Related: At this time of global crisis, Britain’s development work is more vital than ever

 

An agreement between Gilead Sciences, Inc. with generic pharmaceutical companies in Egypt, India, and Pakistan to allow them to produce and distribute its drug remdesivir, a drug seen as a promising potential treatment for COVID-19, is raising concerns about who will control access to potentially vital treatments in fight against the virus. The deal will allow allows the generic manufacturers to distribute the drug in 127 countries, leaving over 70 countries dependent on Gilead’s prices and supply to obtain the drug.

Related: Is COVID-19 magnifying colonial attitudes in global health?

 

Rana Adib, Executive Director of REN21, says the world needs a ‘total fossil fuel lockdown’ to avert a climate catastrophe.

Related: World has six months to avert climate crisis, says energy expert

 

Last week’s announcement by the leaders of the Ford Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation that their organisations would increase their spending during the COVID-19 pandemic to help ease the burden on grantees is leading some observers to ask if the move could lead to a longer-term change in approach to funding.

Related: This is an opportunity to imagine new systems, says AU development chief

 

Health experts say disruptions to maternal health services over the last few months could endanger the lives of expectant mothers long after the COVID-19 pandemic if immediate action is not taken.

Related: The other infectious diseases spreading in the shadow of the pandemic

 

The Trump Administration has broken with protocol and nominated someone from outside Latin America to lead the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). Mauricio J. Claver-Carone, the Administration’s nominee, is a Cuban-American, is currently senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council.

Related: Brazil backs U.S. candidate for Inter-American Development Bank

 

Paul Weisenfeld, executive vice president for international development at RTI International, says the global development community should use this moment to act on issues of race both in how organisations are staffed and managed and what issues and areas they choose to work on.

Related: Opinion: The hustle — white saviors and hashtag activism

 

Seven Democratic Senators are calling for an investigation into homophobic and Islamophobic statements made by Trump appointees to USAID.

Related: Trump administration releases WPS implementation plans, 8 months late

 

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European University Institute (EUI) have announced the launch of the EIB Chair on Climate Change Policy and International Carbon Markets (“EIB Climate Chair”).

Related: Lise Kingo on five years at UN Global Compact and the road ahead

 

The EU wants the OECD to develop a common metric for donors’ contributions to the global fight against COVID-19 to ensure accountability and transparency in the use of resources mobilised and allocated.

Related: How one UK government fund tracks its influence in fragile countries