From a global commitment to fight COVID-19 to Oxfam’s announcement it will withdraw from from 18 countries and lay off nearly a third of its program staff

World Health Organisation (WHO) members have voted to adopt a resolution calling for ‘the intensification of efforts to control the [COVID-19] pandemic, and for equitable access to and fair distribution of all essential health technologies and products to combat the virus,’ and ‘for an independent and comprehensive evaluation of the global response’ at the 73rd World Health Assembly which was held in a virtual format this week.

Related: US demands removal of sexual health reference in UN’s Covid-19 response

 

Oxfam International is withdrawing from 18 countries and laying off 1,450 staff, almost a third of the organisation’s program staff, in response to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. More cost-cutting is expected as the organisation conducts an organizational restructuring.

Related: Opinion: In the face of COVID-19, a new direction for Oxfam

 

The World Food Programme (WFP) says more than 43 million people in West Africa will likely be in urgent need of food assistance in the coming months as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates.

Related: Coronavirus threatens global surge in malnutrition, jeopardizing future of an extra 10 million children

 

While numerous countries have promised to provide additional humanitarian funding to meet the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, NGOs operating on the front lines say they are struggling to access these funds with the majority of the funding going to multilateral organisations like the UN which NGOs say slows down distribution.

Related: 73% of Charities Worldwide See Decline in Contributions

 

Survey data published by Devex shows many in the development sector expect the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to cuts to foreign aid budgets and backsliding on development gains.

Related: ‘The issue now is surviving’: countries react with shock to Oxfam withdrawal

 

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has released the first details of COVID-19 funding for NGOs. DFID will provide nearly £45 million to support the global response to the pandemic, with £18 million of that total coming through the Rapid Response Facility (RRF) and more than £24 million through a hygiene program jointly funded with soap manufacturer Unilever.

Related: DFID hands out £18m to six charities

 

The World Bank has approved a USD $500 Million program to help countries in Africa and the Middle East fight the locust swarms that are threatening the food security and livelihoods of millions of people.

Related: USAID ANNOUNCES NEARLY $23.4 MILLION IN ADDITIONAL HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO CONTAIN EBOLA IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

 

A group of 155 companies have signed a statement urging governments around the world to align their COVID-19 economic aid and recovery efforts with the latest climate science.

Related: Use SDGs and Paris Agreement to Guide Recovery from COVID-19—ADB VP

 

The impact investing community is unsure how the COVID-19 pandemic could affect growth in the sector, with some hoping the crisis will create opportunities to mainstream impact concerns and others concerned the uncertainty will drive investors away from the sector towards ‘safer’ investments.

Related: The challenges facing Africa’s development finance institutions

 

UNICEF USA has launched a new fund, the FAST Fund, to raise funds to support low- and middle-income countries in procuring procure personal protective equipment.

Related: Opinion: What does it take to stock a nation with medical supplies?

 

Gates Foundation director of philanthropic partnerships Robert Rosen discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic is shaping the Foundation’s work and how the Foundation is approaching both its immediate and long-term strategies in pandemic’s wake.

Related: Who leads the response against COVID-19 in aid organizations?

 

A newly published mid-term review of USAID’s multibillion-dollar global health supply chain project says it has shown significant improvement in its reported targets after significant challenges during startup but notes the supply chain is still more reactive than strategic.