From the damning WHO-UNICEF-Lancet report to the USD $10 Billion Bezos Earth Fund

A new report from a Commission convened by the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF, The Lancet says no single country is adequately protecting children’s health, their environment and their futures.

Related: World leaders urged to ‘step back from precipice’ of ecological ruin

 

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has committed USD $10 billion to fight climate change through a new fund called the Bezos Earth Fund. Bezos says the money will be used to help scientists, activists, NGOs, and ‘any effort that offers a real possibility’ to help preserve the earth from the impact of climate change with a person close to the fund saying it will not engage in private sector investment, but focus entirely on charitable giving.

Related: How climate scientists, activists, and NGOs want to spend Jeff Bezos’ money

 

While Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’s announcement that he is committing USD $10 billion to fight climate change has been broadly well-received many climate activists say if Bezos really wants to fight climate change he should ramp up Amazon’s commitments on Climate Change and leverage the company’s power and influence to push other companies towards more climate friendly policies.

Related: What Jeff Bezos isn’t telling us about his $10 billion climate pledge

 

The World Bank’s concerns about rising African debt is threatening to drive a wedge between the Bank and other lenders, with Bank President David Malpass saying the Asia Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have ‘a tendency to lend too quickly and add to the debt problem of the countries. In response, AfDB described Malpass’ comments as ‘inaccurate and not fact-based,’ adding ‘It impugns the integrity of the AfDB, undermines our governance systems, and incorrectly insinuates that we operate under different standards from the World Bank.’

Related: World Bank Approves $2.2 Billion for Projects in Nigeria

 

New research shows World Bank aid payments to the neediest countries appear to trigger money flows to offshore bank accounts, suggesting funds are siphoned off from the nations they are meant to help. The report became the subject of controversy last week after The Economist suggested the Bank’s chief economist Penny Goldberg had left the Bank after officials in the Bank moved to suppress the report.

Related: The World Bank paper at the centre of a controversy

 

27 prominent public health scientists from nine countries including Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust in the UK, Jim Hughes, former director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases in the USA, and Rita Colwell, former head of the US National Science Foundation, have signed a statement of support for their Chinese colleagues in response to conspiracy theories and false rumour alleging the novel coronavirus is a product of bioweapons research.

Related: As global cases climb, Latin America readies for coronavirus response

 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the ongoing Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is down to its last chain of transmission. While WHO officials refused to rule out the possibility there could be cases it is not aware of in areas where ongoing violence has restricted access they say it is unlikely.

Related: Ebola vaccine given the go-ahead in 5 African countries

 

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP), has warned that 6.5 million people in South Sudan – more than half of the population – could be in acute food insecurity at the height of this hunger season (May-July).

Related: Opinion: Why reshaping trade policies is essential for sustainable food systems, healthy diets

 

Hopes that the Department for International Development (DFID) would retain its independence under Prime Minister Boris Johnson have taken a serious blow after it emerged that DFID’s junior ministerial team has been merged with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office as part of a government reshuffle a move one former DFID official described as ‘integration by stealth’.

Related: Has the International Development/Foreign Office merger already begun?

 

New data from the OECD shows donor’s reserved almost USD $21 billion of their bilateral aid for suppliers from their own countries in 2018, an increase of USD $4.7 billion from the year before. Japan accounted for the bulk of the increase tying $3.3 billion more in 2018 than the year before.

Related: New Swiss aid budget proposes more funds but for fewer countries

 

Australia’s minister for international development and the Pacific Alex Hawke has outlined Australia’s new international development policy despite the fact consultation processes for the design of the policy are still ongoing.

Related: Making Australia’s humanitarian assistance fit for the future

 

The US Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in a case that could have broad implications for how the U.S. government treats local organizations. The case will see the court rule on whether the US government can require local affiliates of U.S.-based organizations to adopt anti-prostitution policies, something experts say could undercut the push toward localisation the U.S. development and global health agencies are currently trying to advance.

Related: In Malawi, Trump’s global gag rule creates culture of intimidation

 

New findings published in Nature, suggest the share naturally released fossil methane has been overestimated by ‘an order of magnitude’ which means that human activities are 25-40% more responsible for fossil methane in the atmosphere than thought.

Related: Audit firms face review by watchdog over climate risk exposure

 

President Donald Trump is reportedly considering nominating Mauricio Claver-Carone, the National Security Council’s senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs, to be executive vice-president of the Inter-American Development Bank. Claver-Carone is one of the Trump Administration’s staunchest critics of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and reports suggest he would like to stay at the NSC until Maduro leaves power.

Related: US commits $1 billion dollars to develop Central European infrastructure

 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released a new report,  ‘Safer Water, Better Health,’ which estimates the burden of 12 major diseases and adverse health impacts due to inadequate Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). The report also provides evidence for links between WASH and another 14 conditions, such as antimicrobial resistance (AMR), that are not yet quantified.

Related: 10 Global Health Issues to Watch in the 2020s