From the locust outbreak threatening East Africa to the global response to the Coronavirus

UN Officials are urging world leaders to take action on the locust outbreak in the Horn of Africa and avert catastrophe. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently launched a USD $76 million appeal to control the locusts’ spread but so far, only around $20 million has been received; roughly half of which came from a UN emergency fund.

Related: More than 14 million people facing acute hunger in one of the largest food crises in Southern Africa

 

Health Authorities throughout Africa are ramping up preparations for the coronavirus after World Health Organisation (WHO) director general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the outbreak as a ‘very grave threat for the rest of the world’. Though there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in any of Africa’s 54 countries so far, experts say a case is inevitable, given the large amount of traffic between the continent and China.

Related: What NGOs need to do if coronavirus reaches Africa

 

Former UK international development secretary Alok Sharma has been appointed president of the COP26 Climate Conference. Sharma is seen as a surprise choice for the role and has a mixed record on climate issues.

Related: What are the tasks facing Alok Sharma as new Cop26 president?

 

The Trump Administration has once again called for significant cuts to foreign aid in its annual budget request, a request development experts expect will be dismissed by Congress as in previous years. While the Administration’s budget calls for a 20% reduction in foreign aid spending for the coming year, it does include a request for USD $290 million for GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, which matches what the organization had hoped it would receive ahead of its replenishment later this year.

Related: Trump complicates USAID’s already ‘broken’ budget process

 

The World Bank’s role in domestic politics is being put to the test as civil society groups and opposition political leaders in Tanzania push for the Bank to suspend a USD $500 million secondary education loan to the country over a law prohibiting pregnant girls from attending state schools. The World Bank is officially barred from interfering in its client countries’ domestic politics but those calling for the Bank to suspend the loan say this does not mean the Bank cannot seek to influence policy.

Related: World Bank to Lend Uganda $1.9 Billion Over Next Three Years

 

New UK international development secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan’s past comments expressing scepticism about the value of foreign aid have renewed fears for the future of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).

Related: UK jeopardizing development gains in Ghana with rapid reduction of aid, watchdog warns

 

As UN Member States begin negotiations on a declaration for the UN’s 75th anniversary, co-facilitators of the talks have suggested five possible elements of the declaration: ‘acknowledging achievements’, ‘looking ahead’, ‘responding to major global challenges’, ‘delivering on commitments’, and ‘building consensus and mobilizing for change’.

Related: These 4 trends will define the future of development, Achim Steiner says

 

Brazilian Scientists on Seymour Island in Antarctica have recorded a  temperature of 20.75C, the first time a temperature of more than 20C has been recorded in the Antarctic.

Related: Fires and floods: maps of Europe predict scale of climate catastrophe

 

Bill and Melinda Gates have published their 2020 annual letter looking back on the first 20 years of the Gates Foundation.

Related: The surprising strategy behind the Gates Foundation’s success

 

Mary Robinson, a former UN climate envoy and Ireland’s first female president, says the UK is showing a ‘lack of coherence’ in its leadership of COP26 giving the damaging impression that the talks are not a high priority.

Related: COP 26 must be ‘value for money’, Johnson warns Scotland

 

World Bank President David Malpass says the organisation is providing China with technical assistance in response to the Coronavirus outbreak, but does not plan to offer the country any financial assistance because China has ample resources of its own.

Related: World experts and funders set priorities for COVID-19 research

 

Devex breaks down data gathered from its Job Board in 2019 to look at hiring trends in global development.

Related: Here’s How Each of the Largest Foundations Do on Diversity