From the devastating impact of the climate crisis in 2019 to the World Bank’s concerns about debt in the developing world

Christian Aid says the climate emergency played a key role in at least 15 extreme weather events in 2019 that caused at least USD $1 billion in damage, with more than half of the events listed costing more than USD $10 billion each.

Related: Indonesia fires cost nation $5 billion this year: World Bank


The World Bank has issued a warning about debt levels in developing countries after publishing new research showing developing countries had accumulated USD $55 trillion in debt by the end of last year.

Related: China’s $1.3tn global spending spree will collapse, says top US official


The World Food Programme (WFP) has published its 2020 Global Hotspots Report with sub-Saharan Africa, Haiti, Afghanistan, and Yemen singled out as being at particular risk of food shortages and widespread hunger.

Related: 2020 must be year of action on nutrition, advocates say


World Health Organization (WHO) officials say December’s spike in violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has prevented the organisation from bringing the country’s 16-month long Ebola virus outbreak under control. WHO officials say they were ‘down to the last two transmission chains’ before the unrest disrupted WHO’s response.

Related: DRC: More resources urgently needed to tackle largest measles epidemic in the world


UN Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock says 2020 could be worse than a ‘terrible’ 2019, with women, girls and disabled people set to bear the brunt of the fallout from continued conflict, climate and economic deprivation.

Related: Q&A: Incoming ICRC chief on the new humanitarian challenges


The California-based Pacific Institute says water-related violence has more than doubled over the past decade, with attacks on civilian water system’s in Syria’s civil war and increasing disputes over supplies in India two of the major factors driving the spike.

Related: Russia and China veto U.N. humanitarian aid for Syrians


The Dutch Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling requiring the Netherlands to cut greenhouse gases by at least 25% of 1990 levels be the end of 2020.

Related: US rules out any talk of a climate crisis in trade negotiations


The Thomson Reuters Foundation has asked the leaders of 10 of the world’s top aid agencies which two key issues they plan to focus on in 2020.

Related: 2020 wish list: What European development players are hoping for this year


Devex Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar picks the trends and issues in global development to watch out for in 2020.

Related: 2020 funding preview: Looking at donors’ pipelines for the coming year