From calls for the EU to elect its first female president to the world’s progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Politicians from across the EU are calling on the EU’s leaders to appoint its first female president. The EU’s 28 heads of state and government will meet following this week’s European Parliamentary Elections to begin the process of selecting a president to lead the EU commission and council from November.

 

The OECD has released the third edition of its annual report on each OECD country’s progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The report, titled, ‘Measuring Distance to the SDG Targets 2019: An Assessment of Where OECD Countries Stand,’ shows OECD countries are closest to achieving SDG 7 (clean and affordable energy), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and SDG 13 (climate action), but are furthest from reaching SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 10 (reduced inequalities) and SDG 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions).

 

The Association of European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI) has launched a new initiative to deepen cooperation on responsible financing requirements and impact measurement. The goal of the new initiative is to harmonise the EDFI member institution’s approaches to measuring the development impact of investments to provide a clearer picture of the progress and development impact of impact investments.

Related: Swedfund CEO on expansion plans, investment priorities

 

Observers are questioning the Green Climate Fund (GCF)’s choice of partners after its latest report shows 86% of the Fund’s loans have been channelled through international players like the World Bank as opposed to being given directly to developing countries. Critics say this denies resources to the countries that need it most as multinationals tend to focus on countries they have existing relationships with, and it limits the economic impact GCF funding can have in developing countries as multinationals tend to award contracts to multinational contractors rather than local businesses.

 

Though World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the WHO Foundation would be established this year at the 72nd World Health Assembly, reports indicate details of the foundation’s structure, governance, operating model, and legal status are all still at very early stages.

 

Nutrition International has released its plan to mobilise CAD $700 Million in finance to fight malnutrition through 2024. This new investment case is the first of its kind for a global nutrition organisation and lays out ways investment could be used to scale-up proven high-impact, low-cost nutrition interventions.

Related: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Appoints Goalkeepers Advisory Board to Accelerate Progress on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

 

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)’s Director General Alvaro Bermejo has withdrawn his resignation. Bermejo had planned to step down in the wake of allegations of fraud and sexual misconduct at the organisation, but a spokesperson for the IPPF says Bermejo would now be staying on to help shape reforms of the governance and management structures at the charity.

 

The U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA) is considering major changes in the its funding model and operations in response to the gap in funding created by the US’s decision to cut funding to UNWRA in 2018, a decision that cost UNWRA its largest donor. While the agency was able to make up the shortfall in funding in 2018 through donations from Europe and the Gulf, without the funds previously provided by the US, UNWRA will face ongoing funding shortages in the coming years if it does not make changes to its current operating model.

 

The UK Department of International Development (DFID) is set to invest £33 million of funding in research to develop climate resilient ‘super crops’ enriched with key vitamins and minerals to help alleviate ‘hidden hunger’ in developing countries.

 

Catholic charity Caritas has announced it will close offices in five of the 20 countries in which it operates in the coming months due to shortfalls in funding. Caritas will close offices in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, the Palestinian Territories, and Colombia, but the charity says it plans to reassign employees to other countries so the closures will not result in job cuts. The charity was forced to make the closures following cuts in the Swiss Agency for Development budget for external charities and policy changes at the EU which meant the organisation was no longer eligible for EU humanitarian aid funding.

 

Lu Weiding, Chief Executive of the Wanxiang Group, China’s largest auto components company, has been named China’s most generous philanthropist by the Huron Philanthropist List last year following a USD $720 million donation of shares to a charitable trust in memory of his father.

Related: Alibaba Details Its Social Impact as Jack Ma Prioritizes Philanthropy

 

Amazon Shareholders have rejected a proposal to develop a plan to respond to climate change during the company’s annual meeting this week. The proposal had gathered the support of nearly 7,700 Amazon employees, and would have required the Amazon board of directors to prepare a public plan for ‘disruptions posed by climate change’.