From the ongoing measles epidemic in DR Congo to the World Bank’s fears of a global debt crisis

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the number of people killed by the measles epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has passed 6,000. WHO says approximately 310,000 suspected measles cases have been reported since the start of 2019.

Related: DRC changes measles strategy amidst world’s largest outbreak


The World Bank is warning the world is facing a fresh global debt crisis as the world experiences the biggest build-up in borrowing since the 1970s.

Related: IMF boss says raise taxes on the rich to tackle inequality


Yemen has topped the International Rescue Committee (IRC)’s annual watchlist of countries most likely to need humanitarian assistance for the second consecutive year. Yemen is joined at the top of the list by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Nigeria and Venezuela.

Related: What Will It Take To Finally End Congo’s Ebola Outbreak In 2020?


1 billion animals are estimated to have been killed in Australia’s fires according to experts in the region.


With the UN estimating more than 5.5 million South Sudanese could go hungry in 2020, the government of South Sudan is working to develop a strategy to combat the problem that can stand-up to the challenges caused by conflict and extreme weather in the country.

Related: WFP races to prevent worsening food insecurity in South Sudan


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reportedly scrapped plans to fold the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) into the Foreign Office. Observers had expected Johnson to merge the two departments following reports officials in both departments had been asked to draw up proposals for how such a merger could work, but officials now say the idea has been abandoned despite Johnson’s enthusiasm for the move in the past.


Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) CEO Sean Cairncross outlines the four key areas the agency will focus on in the coming year: its staff, enhancing a culture of innovation, engaging the private sector, and accountability.

Related: Development issues to watch in the U.S. Congress in 2020


The UN General Assembly has approved a proposed budget of USD $3.074 billion for the UN Secretariat in 2020.

Related: Is the UN ready to face the future?


UNESCO is looking to reassert its position as the leader in global education on the wake of criticism from some observers who questioned the organisation’s capacity to deliver in the face of severe funding cuts, politicisation, and growing competition from other parties.

Related: When it comes to data for the SDGs, money and agreement are still lacking


Matt Ferchen, Head of Program, Foreign Relations at the Mercator Institute for China Studies, discusses the differences between China’s approach to international development and the West’s approach, and the benefits and drawbacks of China’s approach.


Former World Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is urging African leaders to take the lead in the global fight against climate change.

Related: Paul Polman on climate change, development, and the role of business


UNHCR is facing heavy criticism after dozens of refugees pressured to leave a UNHCR centre in Tripoli due to overcrowding were forced to use smugglers to cross the sea into Italy. UNHCR says those who asked to leave the facility were offered an “urban assistance package” to support them living in urban areas in Libya but those who have taken the package say it was inadequate and they remain desperate for safety.