From the end of the Ebola outbreak in DRC to the latest on the DFID-FCO merger

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has officially declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is over. The outbreak lasted nearly two years and led to the deaths of 2,280 people. While WHO says the news is cause for celebration, they called for caution, noting that a fresh outbreak of the virus has been detected in the North-West of the country.

Related: Viruses do not take breaks. The world can learn from how the DRC is beating Ebola

 

Boris Johnson is facing a growing backlash over his decision to merge the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with more than 70 MPs, including senior Tories, signing a letter ‘to say scrutiny on aid following the sudden merger is vital and the UK must show it is “not turning its back on the world’s poorest”‘.

Related: Boris Johnson’s words show he still thinks aid is about Africans wanting handouts

 

Aid experts warn the merger of the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) could lead to a ‘brain drain’ of senior staff at DFID which could damage the UK’s international standing.

Related: DFID staff ‘devastated and demoralised’ by Foreign Office merger

 

Devex talks to aid experts about the upcoming merger of the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and what signs observers should be looking for to get a sense of how much weight will be given to global development priorities in the new department.

Related: Opinion: How to make the DFID merger work

 

While most of the development community has condemned the British government’s decision to merge the Department for International Development (DFID) with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), some have voiced their support for the move, saying that it provides an opportunity to improve development practice and implement a more coherent strategy.

Related: DFID merger causes ‘serious transparency challenge’ for UK aid

 

Health campaigners looking to the Medicines Patent Pool’s model as a potential solution to concerns about the accessibility of potential treatments or vaccines for COVID-19, with some calling for patents to be pooled in a mechanism such as the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool, or C-TAP.

Related: African countries unite to create ‘one stop shop’ to lower cost of Covid-19 tests and PPE

 

Hajir Maalim, regional director for the Horn of Africa and eastern Africa at Action Against Hunger, says that NGOs withdrawing from Africa out of concern for the safety of their staff from COVID-19 are leaving behind a life-threatening gap in support when and where it is needed most.

Related: New UNESCO report shows COVID-19 leaving vulnerable children behind

 

CGIAR has launched the CGIAR COVID-19 Hub to provide a platform to ‘consolidate existing scientific evidence and help support response, recovery, and resilience measures in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.’

Related: Expert advice for continuing agricultural research during COVID-19

 

The Trump administration’s decision to break with precedent and nominate an American to be president of Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) rather than a Latin American candidate as has always been the case is raising concerns about the independence of the Bank, with some members concerned an American-led IADB would become a political tool to further US foreign policy.

Related: How DFC is assessing development impact

 

Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, says the Union is going backward on key aspects of gender equality and has made no progress on climate action in the past five years as part of its annual report on the EU’s progress on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Related: Opinion: From rhetoric to action — an equity roadmap for the aid community

 

The World Bank’s staff association has called on the Bank’s ethics committee to place a hold on Brazil’s executive director nominee Abraham Weintraub to review allegations of racism and other conduct it says has left bank employees ‘deeply disturbed’.

Related: Who were the World Bank top health contractors in 2018 and 2019?

 

A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) shows promotion rates at USAID are significantly higher for white employees than for racial and ethnic minorities, with GAO finding the odds of promotion for early-career to midcareer USAID staff from racial and ethnic minorities to be 31% to 41% lower than for white people between 2002 and 2018.

Related: More than 70 employees at Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropy say it needs to change how it deals with race

 

UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Director-General Qu Dongyu has called for coordination and renewed support for the Great Green Wall, a project first proposed in 2007 in response to the challenge of desertification and climate change along the arid strip of land in the Sahara-Sahel region.

Related: Amazon Launches $2 Billion Fund To Invest In Climate Change

 

New CARE International Secretary-General Sofia Sprechmann Sineiro discusses her priorities for the organisation and how to promote female and global south leadership.

Related: Melinda Gates and MacKenzie Bezos Collaborate to Boost Gender Equality

 

Health advocates and medical groups are pushing for Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to cut the price of bedaquiline, a drug used to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB). Critics have accused the pharmaceutical giant of employing unfair tactics to retain the drug’s patent and say high prices make the drug inaccessible to many, despite the involvement and contribution of public and philanthropic institutions in its development.

Related: New partnership aims to increase antimicrobial resistance data in 4 African nations