From a global treaty for pandemics to the impact of India’s Covid vaccine export restrictions on the global vaccination effort

World leaders from 24 nations, including Boris Johnson, Emmanuel Macron, and Angela Merkel, have joined World Health Organisation (WHO) director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to call for ‘a global treaty for pandemics to protect states in the wake of Covid-19’.

Related: WHO chief, U.S. and other world leaders criticize China for limiting access of team researching coronavirus origins

 

Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) director John Nkengasong says India’s new export restrictions on COVID-19 vaccines could prevent Africa from reaching its ‘critical’ goal of vaccinating 30% of its population by the end of the year.

Related: Countries may stall COVID-19 vaccinations due to Indian export limits

 

Two-thirds of respondents to a survey of epidemiologists, virologists and infectious disease specialists conducted by the People’s Vaccine Alliance say the world will need to develop new COVID vaccines within a year to counter new variants of the disease that are likely to emerge, particularly in countries where low vaccine coverage increases the likelihood that vaccine-resistant mutations will appear.

Related: Winnie Byanyima asks World Bank to ‘align with us’ and support the TRIPS waiver

 

US President Joe Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Xi Jinping of China and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, to a virtual summit on the climate crisis to be held on April 22nd.

Related: COP26: Government has ‘no plans’ to delay climate summit

 

Amina Mohammed, deputy secretary general of the UN, says the G7 group of countries must double the amount of climate finance they are offering to poor countries if the COP26 talks are to have a chance of success.

Related: UK urged to take lead in helping poor countries fund climate action

 

New data from Global Forest Watch and the University of Maryland showed a sharp increase  in rate of forest destruction in 2020, with at least 42,000 sq km of tree cover lost in key tropical regions.

Related: Fears climate crisis could increase allergy season severity by up to 60%

 

Regulators, investors and climate advocates are increasingly concerned that companies racing to cut their emissions by selling off their most polluting assets are effectively just shifting those emissions to private firms instead of actually taking steps to reduce global emissions.

Related: UK criticised for ignoring Paris climate goals in infrastructure decisions

 

US President Joe Biden told reporters he suggested to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that democratic countries should create an infrastructure plan to rival China’s Belt and Road initiative.

Related: How does China lend? Insight from a study of 100 loans

 

A new UNDP report warns the global response to the debt crisis is leaving behind a group of largely middle-income countries that are too wealthy to qualify for the G20 initiatives but lack access to the low-cost capital the world’s wealthiest countries rely on to service their debts.

Related: Four-fifths of Sudan’s £861m debt to UK is interest

 

The British government has slashed its funding for the Syrian refugee programme by a third despite direct appeals from the UN that the plight of refugees has grown worse than ever during Syria’s 10-year civil war.

Related: ‘Lives will be lost,’ warn Syria aid groups as UK cuts funding by a third

 

New figures published by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) shows the FCDO cut its overall human rights budget from £52.4 million to £27.9 million in 2020, with the bulk of the cuts coming through the FCDO’s international programme and the conflict, security and stability fund.

Related: UK has decided Sierra Leonean lives ‘matter less,’ NGO leader says

 

As UN officials look to build momentum ahead of September’s UN Food Systems Summit, Devex looks at what the UN hopes to achieve at the summit as well as some of the concerns civil society has about the potential impact of corporate influence on the Summit.

 

HelpAge International has called on the UN to host a convention on the rights of older people in response to the treatment of older people during the pandemic which it characterised as ‘a crisis of ageism and reflective of long-term societal neglect’.

 

USAID has released a new health systems ‘vision’ intended to take a holistic approach to improving health systems instead of splitting the problem across separate areas such as health financing, governance, or information.

Related: What you need to know about the new global AIDS strategy

 

Grand Challenges Canada is preparing to launch a new venture capital firm, Cross-Border Impact Ventures, and raising money for a health technology impact fund that will focus on women’s and children’s health.

Related: The Gates Foundation’s evolving strategy on MNCH Discovery & Tools