From the threat COVID-19 poses to global hunger to the future of HIV funding

Oxfam says disruptions to food supplies and incomes in already fragile countries caused by COVID-19 are pushing millions toward hunger and could potentially lead to the death of millions more from starvation than from the disease itself.

Related: The pandemic could push nearly 50 million more Africans into extreme poverty, AfDB says

 

With HIV/AIDS funding declining over the past couple of years and the COVID-19 crisis set to dominate the global health agenda for the foreseeable future, health experts are increasingly concerned for the future of HIV funding.

Related: Q&A: Attack inequities to beat HIV/AIDS, amfAR vice president says

 

US President Donald Trump has formally notified the World Health Organisation (WHO) of the US’s intention to leave the organisation, triggering a year-long withdrawal process which will see the US leave WHO on July 6th, 2021. The move has drawn widespread criticism and former US vice-president Joe Biden, Trump’s opponent in this year’s US presidential election, says he will return the US to WHO before the withdrawal period is over if he is elected in November.

Related: UN chief reviewing whether US has met conditions for WHO withdrawal

 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced the initiation of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR) to evaluate the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related: Opinion: Turning the tide in development — an inclusive response to COVID-19

 

Questions are being asked about €6.15 billion in ‘additional funds’ for the global COVID-19 response announced by the European Commission and Global Citizen at a virtual pledging conference after it emerged €4.9 billion of the money raised came from funds already announced by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Related: EU launches another tool on pandemic’s threat to human rights

 

Sarah Champion, chair of the UK’s international development committee (IDC), has accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of misleading parliament over who was consulted before the merger of the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Related: Foreign Affairs Committee criticized over DFID merger session

 

UK secretary of state for international development Anne-Marie Trevelyan has provided new details of how the new Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office will operate.

Related: Interactive: Investigating DFID and FCO funding priorities

 

UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Director-General Qu Dongyu has presented the FAO council with a set of measures to reform the UN agency in an effort to make FAO ‘more agile, efficient and accountable’.

 

A new report by Chatham House and the consultancy Vivid Economics says malnutrition among workers in developing countries is costing businesses up to USD $850 billion a year.

Related: ‘We squandered a decade’: world losing fight against poverty, says UN academic

 

The World Bank has shelved plans for a second sale of its controversial pandemic bonds. The bonds, which were first issued three years ago to help developing countries tackle a serious outbreak of infectious disease in response to the 2014 Ebola crisis, have come under heavy criticism over the past years, particularly after the recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) failed to meet the conditions required to trigger a payout despite its similarity to the crisis which inspired the bonds.

Related: House boosts foreign aid funding, adds $10B for COVID-19 response

 

The African Union is waiting on 13 countries to ratify the treaty establishing the African Medicines Agency so it can begin the process of creating the agency which will work to ‘harmonise regulations on products such as drugs, vaccines, medical devices, blood products, diagnostic tools, and traditional medicine across Africa.’

Related: MSF welcomes Johnson & Johnson price cut on lifesaving TB drug as an important step forward

 

A new report from the Campaign for Nature shows roughly 30% of the world’s oceans and land area could be placed under environmental protections without harming the global economy and could potentially produce economic benefits if the  right policies are followed.

Related: Spreading rock dust on fields could remove vast amounts of CO2 from air