From the new epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic to the push to increase funding for the development and distribution of a COVID vaccine

The surge in COVID-19 cases in Europe over the past few weeks means the continent is now the world region with the highest caseload of the disease, overtaking the Americas.

Related: The pandemic takes its toll on women and girls’ mental health

 

Following the World Bank board’s approval of a $12 billion financial package to boost financing for for COVID-19 vaccines, Devex talks to development experts and officials about whether other financial institutions might follow suit.

Related: Q&A: The World Bank’s COVID-19 vaccine finance plans

 

Health experts say African countries will need to find alternative ways of securing vaccine doses to the COVAX Facility if the continent is going to vaccinate enough of the population to achieve herd immunity.

Related: ‘Killer’ cells in Ebola immunity study could help Covid research

 

Researchers at University College London (UCL) say they have developed an algorithm which can predict the chances of a person developing tuberculosis, a tool that has the potential to help eliminate the disease in some countries.

Related: After almost 40 years, there’s now a shorter treatment for TB

 

The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has released its first development policy, outlining DFC’s strategy through 2025.

Related: African leaders question US position on China at investment event

 

A new report from the Asylum Research Centre says the Trump administration has omitted or altered information in its annual human rights assessments compared to previous administrations, with the principal changes related to women’s rights, civil and political rights, and issues relating to LGBTQ+ people.

Related: Trump considers labelling humanitarian groups ‘antisemitic’ over criticism of Israel

 

Oxfam says high-interest terms attached to climate finance for poor countries are forcing the world’s poorest countries to go deeper into debt to protect themselves from the excess emissions of their debtors.

Related: As World Bank pushes others on debt relief, it doesn’t participate

 

EU leaders are pushing for Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro to commit to implement measures to protect the Amazon rainforest as part of negotiations over a trade agreement between the EU and the Mercosur countries, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina.

Related: Green groups condemn proposals to cut shipping emissions

 

New Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) president Mauricio Claver-Carone talks to Devex about his plans for the Bank as the region reels from the impacts of COVID-19.

Related: IDB could benefit from closer collaboration with other MDBs, Claver-Carone says

 

Development experts say there has been a substantial increase in the number of cash transfer programs being deployed for social protection during the crisis, potentially providing an opportunity for cash transfers to gain long-term traction as part of global development toolkits.

 

Donors have pledged USD $1.7 billion in support for the Central Sahelian countries of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger at a conference hosted by Germany, Denmark, the EU, and the UN in response to the numerous humanitarian crises impacted the region.

Related: Sahel region is ‘canary in the coalmine’ on climate, says UN official

 

The Wellcome Trust has unveiled its new strategy which will focus on three issues: Mental health, Global heating, and Infectious diseases.

Related: Q&A: What COVID-19 means for TB vaccine development