From the Coronavirus to the Trump Administration’s Middle-East Peace Plan

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has officially declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

Related: Coronavirus: WHO sets the record straight on facts and misinformation


Countries across Africa are bracing for the potential spread of the coronavirus to the continent. Health officials fear the close ties between the continent and China combined with the limited information about how the virus spreads and weak health surveillance systems in some African countries could make it difficult to contain the virus if it reaches the continent, which is already struggling to manage the ongoing Ebola and measles outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Related: Africa needs early detection of coronavirus, WHO says


The Trump Administration unveiled its Middle East peace plan for Israel-Palestine this week. Palestinian leaders, who were not consulted during plan’s formulation, have already rejected the plan which has been widely criticised as being heavily tilted in Israel’s favour while essentially ignoring Palestinians’ key desires.

Related: NGOs warn U.S. Middle East Plan risks exacerbating instability and rights violations


CARE International has published its annual list of the most underreported humanitarian crises of 2019. CARE’s list shows nine out of 10 underreported crises were from Africa with drought and hunger affecting 2.6 million people in Madagascar at the top of the list.

Related: Millions of locusts devastate crops in East Africa – US$ 70m needed to stop the outbreak


The UNESCO Regional Office for Education in the Arab States and World Food Programme says protracted crises in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have put 15 million children out of school, a number projected to increase by a further 5 million by 2030. UNESCO says this will undermine the development potential of countries in the region.

Related: Nearly 5 million children will need humanitarian assistance in central Sahel this year as violence surges


UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and partners have launched a funding appeal for USD $658 million to support refugee operations in Ethiopia. UNHCR says the funds are need to assist over 735,000 refugees and more than half a million Ethiopian hosts in 2020.

Related: Humanitarian actors call for US$158 million to respond to the humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine


UNOCHA’s plans to relocate 14% of headquarters’ staff out of Geneva and New York has angered the staff council, which says it no longer accepts management’s explanations after years of ongoing restructuring.

Related: Civil society groups issue Guterres a B- for gender equality work


Oxfam says European aid money earmarked for development in Africa is increasingly tied to how well countries can block their own citizens from trying to migrate across the Mediterranean and may be hurting the very people it is ostensibly intended to help.

Related: World Bank urged to scrap $500m loan to Tanzania over schoolgirls’ rights concerns


J.P. Morgan has announced the creation of the J.P. Morgan Development Finance Institution, a first for a commercial entity. The new department will focus on development-oriented financing in emerging markets, and is expected to finance more than USD $100 billion annually.

Related: Opinion: Aligning public and private finance with the SDGs — a three-step approach


GAVI CEO Seth Berkley says ‘signals are good’ ahead of the vaccine organisation’s upcoming replenishment conference in June. GAVI is seeking to raise USD $7.4 billion to fund its work from 2021-25.

Related: Q&A: ‘Transformation takes time,’ Richard Horton on the EAT-Lancet Commission diet


Devex and Candid have put together a list of the top ten US-based private foundations investing in development, using the foundations’ 990 tax forms to analyse how much the foundations are spending and what their priorities are.


A group of executives from the Rockefeller Foundation’s recently dissolved 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) program have launched a new nonprofit, the Resilient Cities Catalyst, to pick-up where they left off.

Related: Germany follows UK to launch €25M climate disaster insurance fund