From the G7’s ‘too little, too late’ vaccine pledge to plans for a new infrastructure plan to counter China’s belt and road

Global health leaders say the G7’s pledge of 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines is ‘too little, too late’ as the World Health Organisation (WHO) warns Covid-19 is moving faster than the vaccines with more than 10,000 people dying every day.

Related: Despite the grand words, this G7 falls devastatingly short on vaccines

 

Health officials across Africa have called for an urgent acceleration in the supply of COVID vaccines to the continent, where fewer than one in 100 people have received a vaccine, to curb a new wave of COVID infections and prevent the evolution of new, potentially dangerous variants.

Related: Tanzania finally joins COVAX

 

AstraZeneca’s contract with Oxford University gives the company permission to charge a higher price for its Covid-19 vaccine in dozens of poor countries once it decides the pandemic has ended.

Related: Novavax Covid vaccine has efficacy of 90%, say manufacturers

 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it has secured about a third of the USD $35 billion in grants from public, private, and multilateral donors it called for last month as part of its proposal to end the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring a faster rollout of vaccines.

Related: To fight COVID-19 we need data, says WHO’s chief scientist

 

The G7 has agreed to set up an alternative to China’s belt and road initiative as part of a broader push back against Beijing’s growing influence following this week’s summit.

Related: Thomas-Greenfield says UN shouldn’t work on Belt and Road Initiative

 

Experts and leaders from low- and middle-income countries have criticised the G7 for reaffirming longstanding goals to limit global heating to 1.5C and to protect and restore 30% of the natural world by 2030 without providing the funding experts say is needed to meet such goals.

Related: Rich countries urged to come up with detailed plans to cut emissions

 

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) says drought risks becoming ‘the next pandemic’ if countries do not take urgent action on water and land management and tackling the climate emergency, with at least 1.5 billion people already directly affected by drought this century.

Related: Civil society protests water’s emergence on the stock exchange

 

Professor Markus Rex, Head of the MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) Expedition, says the tipping point for irreversible global warming may have already been triggered after MOSAiC found Arctic sea ice had retreated ‘faster in the spring of 2020 than since the beginning of records’ and that ‘the spread of the sea ice in the summer was only half as large as decades ago’.

Related: Climate activists take Norway to human rights court over Arctic oil plans

 

The Development Finance Institutions of the G7, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have announced they are committed to investing USD $80 billion in the private sector over the next five years to support sustainable economic recovery and growth in Africa.

 

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, says the number of people fleeing wars, violence, persecution and human rights violations in 2020 rose to a record high of nearly 82.4 million people, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related: Venezuela pledging conference raises over $1.55B

 

The UK Parliament’s International Development Committee has released a damning collection of evidence about the British government’s handling of recent aid cuts which details an approach one organisation likened to a ‘car crash’.

Related: Johnson accused of hypocrisy over G7 girls’ education pledge

 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the UK’s aid cuts will leave millions of people at risk of dying from neglected tropical diseases.

Related: UK aid cuts to Bangladesh NGO a ‘gut punch’, says charity head

 

Devex provides an overview of the World Bank’s top ten European contractors from 2017 to 2020.

Related: Trends in World Bank European awards

 

An independent audit has found the World Health Organisation (WHO) repeatedly broke its own rules and spent millions of dollars on high-priced management consultants as the agency struggled to pay for lifesaving equipment and vaccines in its global Covid-19 response.

 

Billionaire Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has announced more than USD $2.7 billion in grants to 286 organisations including a number of international arts, culture, health, interfaith, and refugee resettlement organisations.

Related: Charitable Giving in the U.S. Rises 5.1% to a Record US$471.44 Billion in 2020

 

A survey of people of colour working in the development sector conducted by Bond, the UK network for NGOs, found 90% of them felt their organisations are not committed to diversity and inclusion.

 

The inclusion of USD $1 billion in foreign aid for global health security and to bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic in US President Joe Biden’s proposed budget for 2022 appears to signal Biden’s intention to revitalise the Obama Administration’s Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) but some experts argue the new funds are not enough, and that the GHSA needs dedicated, predictable, and sustainable financing to allow countries to develop and implement their national health security action plans.

 

The World Bank has rejected a request from El Salvador to help with the implementation of Bitcoin as legal tender, citing concerns over transparency and the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining.