From a ‘pandemic of human rights abuses’ to billions trapped in poverty by corruption

UN Secretary General António Guterres says the world is facing a ‘pandemic of human rights abuses’, warning authoritarian regimes have used the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to impose drastic curbs on rights and freedoms and crackdown on free speech and dissent.

Related: The world faces a pandemic of human rights abuses in the wake of Covid-19

 

The final report from the UN High Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (UN FACTI) says systemic tax abuses, corruption and money laundering are keeping billions of people around the world trapped in poverty with potentially up 10% of the world’s wealth currently hidden offshore.

Related: Two-Thirds of Poorer Countries Are Cutting Education Budgets Due to COVID-19

 

World Bank President David Malpass says ending the COVID-19 will require all countries to be immunised, adding the global community should already be preparing for the next crisis.

Related: World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers

 

New World Trade Organisation (WTO) director general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has called on the British government to donate vaccines to developing countries now rather than waiting until it has a surplus, saying it was ‘in the interest’ of wealthy countries that all nations access vaccines.

Related: Inoculating UK population before donating vaccines undermines country’s claim to pandemic leadership, experts say

 

Ghana has received the first batch of COVID vaccines distributed through the Covax Initiative after 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca were flown into the country this week.

Related: G7 pledges extra $7bn towards Covid vaccines for world’s poorest

 

The UN’s Least Developed Countries Group (LDC group) has called on the UN Security Council to encourage governments to make climate finance targets a reality at the COP26 climate talks later this year.

Related: Climate migration keeps growing — but doesn’t look as you might expect

 

The African Union is planning to establish a new infrastructure fund in an effort to find new ways of funding infrastructure projects to help realise the potential of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Related: UK urged to take lead in easing debt crisis in developing countries

 

The World Bank has begun discussions with donors about beginning the replenishment process for the the International Development Association (IDA) ahead of schedule after allocating IDA funding faster than expected in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related: First African IFC head pledges to focus on world’s poorest countries

 

Health officials have launched Ebola vaccination efforts in Guinea in response to the recent outbreak of the disease in the country’s N’Zerekore prefecture.

Related: El Salvador certified as malaria-free by WHO

 

The French National Assembly is set to vote on a bill next Tuesday which would commit the government to strive to spend 0.7% of gross national income on official development assistance by 2025. The bill has been broadly welcomed by development activists, but many have criticised the decision to use ‘s’efforcer’ or ‘strive’ in the text of the bill as giving the government too much leeway to miss the target.

Related: EBRD invested €14.8B outside the EU in 2020. Here’s a breakdown.

 

Nutrition experts say they are concerned about the impact forthcoming cuts to the UK’s aid budget will have on global nutrition efforts as well as the ‘lack of clarity’ from the UK on where it plans to focus its cuts and how deep those cuts will be.

Related: UK government rejects aid cut information request ‘for commercial reasons’

 

Aid groups are pushing US officials to reform laws governing their interactions with organisations on the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs), saying the current definitions of what constitutes giving ‘material support’ to FTOs are so broad that it is all but impossible for them to provide needed assistance to people living in areas under the control of such groups.

Related: Experts hope Biden will adopt new US approach to countering violent extremism

 

A recent study published by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) reports that East and Southeast Asia is emerging as the second-fastest-growing region for allocations to impact investment funds, after Europe, with impact investing becoming increasingly appealing to the region’s younger or second-generation wealthy.

 

Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, the World Bank’s vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, says that, though the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown much of the Western Hemisphere into the worst crisis it has experienced in over a century, it also offers an unprecedented opportunity to set the region on a more ‘sustainable, prosperous, and equal path’.

 

Members of the UN senior African group (Unsag) have criticised the use of ‘offensive, sexist and racist’ language by journalists reporting on Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment as the next director general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).