From new standards for impact investing to calls for the financial sector to take more action in the fight against climate change

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has unveiled a new set of impact investing principles to provide a clear market standard for impact investing. The ‘‘Operating Principles for Impact Management’ are intended to bring ‘bring greater transparency, credibility, and discipline to the impact investing market.’ The IFC produced the principles in response to demand from asset owners and managers for a market standard for impact investing, a sector that has faced scrutiny and skepticism due to questions over the true efficacy of impact investing compared to other approaches to promoting development.

Related: What You Need To Know About The IFC’s Operating Principles For Impact Management

 

The Network for Greening the Financial System, a global network of policymakers including 34 central banks and regulators from around the world, has issued a new report warning banks they must act urgently to fight climate change or risk going bust. The report argues banks must lend to responsible partners and invest sustainably if they do not want to face severe economic disruption and a collapse in asset prices.

Related: Climate-Change Funds Try to Profit From a Warming World

 

The World Bank is facing criticism from climate change activists for continuing to back fossil fuel development despite its commitment to scaling up investment in clean energy. A report from German NGO Urgewald found the Bank’s support to oil and gas increased over the past five year, with coal benefiting through indirect subsisides, despite the fact the Bank’s commitment to end all support for oil and gas exploration and coal-fired power plants.

 

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is to triple its aid to Venezuela following President Nicolás Maduro’s approval of the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the country. Maduro has been resisting offers of aid to the country due in part to the efforts of neighbouring countries and the Trump Administration to remove Maduro from power.

Related: Venezuela leadership issue still blocking IMF, World Bank aid

 

The head of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) told reporters the bank will continue to lend billions of dollars to China, despite the World Bank’s plans to reduce lending to the country under its new president, David Malpass. ADB President Takehiko Nakao defended the policy, telling reporters the income from Chinese loans allows the bank to offer lower interest rates to poorer nations and diversifies the bank’s portfolio.

Related: Japan pushes Asian Development Bank to end China loans

 

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has promised to invest USD $4.4 billion in infrastructure projects across central Africa over the next seven years. The funding will be spread across 30 projects across the countries of Cameroon, Chad, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and the Central African Republic.

Related: African Development Bank Hails Canada’s US$1.1 billion pledge in callable capital support

 

Tim Hanstad, CEO of the Chandler Foundation and co-founder of Landesa, is encouraging philanthropic organisations to look to China’s successes in alleviating poverty to see what lessons can be learned from the country’s rapid shift from a country with a poverty rate of more than 80% in the 1980s to less than 1% today.

 

The Nature Conservancy has announced a new USD $1.6 billion plan to help save and restore the world’s oceans through selling ‘blue bonds’ to coastal and island countries. The ‘Blue Bonds for Conservation Initiative will refinance and restructure debt for these countries provided they commit to protecting at least 30& of their near-shore ocean areas.

 

New World Bank President David Malpass is calling for China to be more transparent about its lending to poor countries, warning that debt problems are on the rise. Both the World Bank and the IMF warn the arrival of new lenders in the past decade could complicate efforts to resolve a new debt crisis.

Related: Follow the money: how foreign aid spending tells of Pacific priorities

 

Phil Buchanan, President of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, is warning growing public skepticism of the motivations guiding wealthy philanthropy poses a threat to global giving. Buchanan argues that wealthy donors will be less inclined to spend large sums of money on worthy causes if people assume they’re only interested in bolstering their reputations.

Related: Questioning Big Philanthropy At The Skoll World Forum: Is It Too Powerful And Out Of Touch?

 

Melinda Gates sat down with the New York Times this week to discuss a wide range of issues including the tech sector, global health, and her and her husband’s position of privilege and wealth.

 

Both Democrats and Republicans on the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee criticised the Trump Administration’s plans to cut and weaponise foreign assistance. Members of the Committee used a hearing with USAID administrator Mark Green to voice their opposition to Trump’s plans, rejecting Green’s efforts to spin the agency’s budget request in a positive light.

 

The Asian Development Bank has released its Annual Report for 2018.

 

The European Investment Bank has announced €4 billion of new financing for clean energy, transport and clean water projects in 18 countries.

 

Local staff working for international humanitarian agencies and NGOs in Somalia have accused their employers of operating a ‘two-tier’ aid sector in which local people’s knowledge and expertise are ignored and top jobs are given to foreigners. Somali nationals working for these organisations report being excluded from decision-making processes and feeling like they are regarded as ‘tools for project implementation rather than as people with knowledge.’