From the state of development aid to the rise in Chinese philanthropy

The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee reports Official Development Assistance (ODA) from its 30 members saw a decline of 2.7% from 2017 to 2018, with the neediest countries seeing the greatest hit in funding. The Committee reports the decline was largely due to less aid being spent on hosting refugees as arrivals slowed and rules on what refugee costs could be counted as part of countries’ ODAs were tightened. Only five OECD members- Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom- met or exceeded the target ratio of spending 0.7% of gross national income on ODA.
Related: Poor lose out as rich countries link aid with trade: think-tank
U.S. President Donald Trump’s nominee for President of the World Bank David Malpass has officially been approved for the role by the Bank’s executive board. While Malpass’s nomination drew criticism from the development community including calls for the institution to end its unofficial policy of always electing the U.S.’s nominee, Malpass was the sole nominee when the window for nominations closed and won unanimous approval from the 25 member board.
Related: New World Bank chief confirms commitment to environment

Ministers from more than 30 developing countries are urging wealthy nations renew their contributions to the USD $8.3 billion Climate Investment Funds (CIF) before it runs out of money. CIF has not received any new contributions since 2014 and now has less than USD $1 billion in funds remaining, with CIF head Mafalda Duarte warning the Fund will likely run out of money this year if it doesn’t receive new funding.
Related: As Green Climate Fund and World Bank sign framework agreement, concerns about Bank’s role linger

As China overtakes the US as the place ‘where exceptional wealth is created at the fastest rate,’ private philanthropy is undergoing a rapid rise in the country. Outsiders are only just beginning to get an idea of the scope and focus of philanthropy in China, especially given the far greater restrictions on access to information in the country compared to others.
Related: A New Generation of Philanthropy in China

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has appointed former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to oversee the organisation’s investigation into reports of abuses carried out by the anti-poaching forces backed by the WWF. The investigation was announced following accusations of beatings, torture, sexual assault and murders carried out by anti-poaching groups working with and receiving funding and equipment from the WWF.
Related: British watchdog launches inquiry into WWF abuse allegations

New research from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is raising questions about the World Bank’s strategy to use its public finance to unlock private finance. The ODI says multilateral development banks are mobilising just USD $0.37 of additional capital for every USD $1 of public money invested. The report also says that most concessional finance is being provided to middle-income countries rather than low-income countries and that the funds are being directed toward low-risk investments rather than supporting more high risk projects that have difficulty accessing private finance.
Related: World Bank reforms found ineffective, bank shuffles senior staff

As wealthy individuals and investors increasingly turn to impact investing rather than more traditional donation models for their philanthropic contributions, some observers are warning this approach is diverting funds away from essential charitable projects that are not suited to an investment model.
Related: Impact investment reaches more than half a trillion dollar in assets

France’s Secretary of State for Development Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne told reporters France remains unconvinced by plans to streamline the EU’s aid spending by combining te EU’s various funding streams into a single budget tool, citing concerns the plan could undermine development priorities and leave the funds vulnerable to being diverted to short-term political priorities.

While Climate Change is one of the main priorities in the philanthropy sector, climate philanthropy is narrowly focused. In response, several green intermediaries have been established to help large funders target neglected areas for funding. Inside Philanthropy has an overview of the role these intermediaries play in climate philanthropy.