From the elevation of the climate portfolio at the EU to the appointment of the next IMF chief

Climate activists and scientists have welcomed the decision by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to elevate the ‘European Green Deal’ portfolio. Von der Leyen assigned the portfolio to Frans Timmermans, one of her three executive vice-presidents, signalling climate change will be at the centre of the commission’s plans for the next five years.

Related: The EU’s development commissioner-designate receives her mission

 

World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva is poised to become the next Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the IMF announced Georgieva’s candidacy is officially unopposed.

Related: Five challenges facing incoming IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva

 

A new report from the  Global Commission on Adaptation says that investing USD $1.8 trillion in climate change adaptation measures  could produce net benefits of as much as USD $7 Trillion.

Related: Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank launches $500m climate change bond plan

 

European Investment Bank (EIB) director’s have begun discussing an updated lending policy for the Bank which could see the EIB stop funding for fossil fuel projects, though it is expected that some member states and even the European Commission could push for a more moderate approach.

 

The African Development Bank (AfDB), Rockefeller Foundation, and Gates Foundation relaunched the Leadership for Agriculture (L4AG) Forum during the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) last week in Accra. The L4AG Forum is intended to assist African agriculture ministers and other key stakeholders to promote strong growth in agricultural production and value addition in their countries.

Related: How can agtech live up to the hype in Africa?

 

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact, the UK’s aid watchdog, says the Department for International Development (DFID) needs more staff and resources and a clear mandate if its to help other departments spend U.K. aid effectively, warning DFID’s resources are being drained in its role supporting the cross-government aid strategy and preparing for Brexit.

Related: Experts question DFID’s promised spending boost

 

While US aid advocates have managed to stave off the Trump Administration’s latest effort to slash funds through rescission, spending restrictions from the White House Office of Management and Budget limiting the rate at which USAID and the State Department can spend money until the end of the fiscal year is causing confusion in the aid community, with some advocates raising concerns the limits represent a new effort by Administration officials to use their budgetary powers to go after development funds.

Related: US funding cuts force NGOs to break commitments in Guatemala

 

Chinese and US diplomats are reportedly at odds over Beijing’s insistence on including a reference to China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the text of the UN resolution renewing the organisation’s mission in Afghanistan.

Related: Backlash Could Cost Xi’s Belt and Road $800 Billion, Report Says

 

The Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office have published a new report, ‘Financing the UN Development System: Time for hard choices’, providing an overview of how and by whom the UN is funded and where and on what the UN spends money.

 

The seven countries whose borders encompass the Amazon rainforest have announced a new pact which will see them increase cooperation on the causes of deforestation such as illegal mining, illegal clearing of forest for agriculture and drug trafficking. Other parts of the pact are focused on the creation of an information network to prevent disasters; increased monitoring of deforestation by satellite; promoting research and education; and increasing the participation of indigenous people to favor the sustainable use of the rainforest.

Related: Brazil secures huge EIB funding to accelerate renewable energy adoption

 

Civil Society organisations are reportedly looking to boost their input in the next EU-ACP accord. The EU-ACP accord is an agreement between the European Union and the 79 African, Caribbean, and Pacific states negotiate on their relationship covering different areas including  development cooperation, political dialogue, and trade.

Related: UK aid groups grapple with shifting tax rules

 

Richard Feachem, head of the Lancet Commission, discusses the the global effort to eradicate malaria after the Commission published a report which says the world could be malaria-free by 2050.

 

Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced the creation of ‘Protect Kids: Fight Flavored E-Cigarettes’, a new USD $160 million initiative to tackled the ‘youth e-cigarette epidemic’.

Related: Q&A: Schmidt Futures’ formula to identify moonshots for global development

 

The Trump Administration is reportedly trying to pressure the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to endorse the US’s formal declaration of China as a currency manipulator, threatening the IMF’s status as a neutral actor on the world stage.

Related: Leak suggests UN agency self-censors on climate crisis after US pressure

 

Chuck Collins, coordinator of the Hidden Wealth Project at the Institute for Policy Studies and co-editor of Inequality.org , is calling on Congress to reform the US philanthropic system, saying the current system serves to concentrate power in the hands of the wealthy enabling billionaires to set the terms of debate on key social issues to suit their needs and redirecting funds from democratically accountable public services to privately held foundations.

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