From the Amazon rainforest’s tipping point to the ongoing Ebola Crisis in Central Africa 

Monica de Bolle, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington DC, warns in a new policy brief the Amazon rainforest could reach an irreversible tipping point within two years if deforestation is not arrested. The brief says if Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro doesn’t change his destructive policies the rainforest will reach a point where it will no longer be able to produce enough rain to sustain itself.

Related: Time is running out to stop the forces driving a new climate apartheid


The World Health Organisation (WHO) Ebola emergency committee has recommended WHO uphold the Public Health Emergency of International Concern status for the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo despite a decline in the number of reported cases. The declaration will extend the emergency status for another three months at which point the committee will review the state of the outbreak again.

Related: Tanzania continues to dodge WHO recommendations on Ebola


The Global Commission for the Certification of the Eradication of Poliomyelitis announced that wild poliovirus type 3 has been eradicated worldwide, meaning two of the three poliovirus strains have now been eradicated. Despite the milestone, experts on the disease are warning against complacency, noting there is still much work to do to eradicate poliovirus type 1 which is still in circulation in Pakistan and Afghanistan.


The World Bank has set a new education target for 2030, calling on countries to halve ‘learning poverty’, defined as the number of 10-year-old children unable to read a simple story, by 2030. The Bank made the decision to set the new, more modest, goal after UN statistics showed progress towards the SDG 4 education targets were too far off track to be met by 2030.

Related: Development finance needs a radical shakeup


Green Climate Fund (GCF) Executive Director Yannick Glemarec says the GCF will look to secure at least USD $9.3 billion in pledges by the end of the fund’s first replenishment process.

Related: Offshore windfarms ‘can provide more electricity than the world needs’


Former US Vice-President Al Gore held a a two-day conference as his family farm to discuss the ‘intersection of food, climate change and sustainable agriculture’ with chefs, farmers, food executives and activists, with Gore using the event to warn the climate emergency will lead to global food shortages if the world doesn’t take action.

Related: Nigeria needs USD29 billion to tackle malnutrition


The UK’s development secretary Alok Sharma sought to reassure parliament’s International Development Committee of his support for an independent Department for International Development (DFID) in his first appearance before the Committee. While Committee members welcomed Sharma’s support for DFID, the development community remains concerned for the future of the agency given Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s outspoken criticism of DFID, with Johnson calling for DFID to be merged with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office as recently as January of this year.

Related: DFID gives up on idea for an international safeguarding ombudsman


A new report from the Emerging Markets Forum says that, in its first five years of operations, China’s Belt and Road Initiative’s loan commitments surpassed the combined lending of the World Bank Group, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, and Inter-American Development Bank over the same period.


The MacArthur Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation have announced the launch of Terra Silva, a USD $90 million impact investing collaborative ‘designed to respond to the challenges of global climate change.’


The World Bank’s senior management  team has shared details with staff of plans to relocate hundreds of its Washington D.C., staff to offices overseas in order to be closer to its clients. Currently 55% of the Bank’s employees are based in D.C., with 45% overseas, a ratio the Bank intends to flip.


The World Bank and the Global Fund have signed a new co-financing framework agreement outlining ‘a new approach for joint financing of investment-type operations between the two organizations, as well as results-based financing.’


The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) Assembly and Council has approved the organisation’s ten-year strategy ‘build a low-carbon, resilient world of strong, inclusive and sustainable growth’.

Related: Mr. Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, Re-elected as President and Chair of GGGI


Human Rights activists are outraged after Venezuela was elected to the UN’s human rights council despite its well-documented record of human rights abuses. Activists also expressed concerns over the appointment of Brazil to the council given Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro has frequently expressed contempt for the concept of human rights.


Humanitarian Aid groups working in fragile and conflict-affected countries are pushing for the World Bank to coordinate more with humanitarian aid groups on the ground when deploying finance and policy influence in these states, a departure from the Bank’s standard operating model which relies on close coordination with national governments.

Related: World Bank 2019: How past meetings’ priorities are playing out in the funding data


New Research by the Humanitarian Advisory Group on diversity of humanitarian leadership shows that, despite evidence ‘diverse leadership leads to innovation, better management of risks, and an increased ability to listen and act on views shared within the team or by local communities,’ humanitarian leadership is failing to diversify on many fronts ranging from gender and race to education and cultural background.