Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention director John Nkengasong says widespread COVID-19 vaccination in the continent will likely only begin in the second quarter of 2021 due to the challenges involved in accessing vaccines and preparing countries for their distribution.
The UK, US, and Germany have announced plans to begin COVID-19 vaccinations in their countries in December.
Health experts say a series of irregularities and omissions, including a key mistake in the vaccine dosage received by some study participants, have eroded confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine candidate being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, which AstraZeneca has claimed to be up to 90% effective.
Aid experts, activists and some MPs have criticised the British government’s decision to cut funding for international aid from 0.7% to 0.5% of Britain’s gross national income as ‘unprincipled, unjustified and harmful’ and will have a devastating impact on millions of people around the world just as the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening to undo decades of progress.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says the UK’s future aid strategy will focus only on countries in which its ‘development, security, and economic interests align.’
Aid and climate experts say the British government’s decision to cut its aid budget will alienate allies in the developing world and undermine trust in the UK going into next year’s vital COP26 talks.
Officials from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) say the violence Ethiopia’s Tigray region will likely drive 200,000 people into neighbouring Sudan in the coming months.
Aid agencies are urging bondholders and lenders to restructure or cancel debts owed by the Africa’s poorest countries to prevent a ‘debt tsunami’ engulfing the continent due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Development experts have welcomed president-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and the decision to restore the ambassadorship to a Cabinet-level position.
Though US president-elect Joe Biden is expected to repeal the ‘global gag rule’ policy prohibiting recipients of US aid funding from engaging in abortion-related activities upon taking office in January, women’s health experts say the incoming administration will need to go much further to undo the damage done by the Trump administration.
As US President-elect Joe Biden begins the preparations to take office in January, observers say it is unclear what Biden’s election will mean for the World Bank, with some voicing concerns about the incoming administration’s relationship with Bank president David Malpass, a Trump appointee who was seen as a skeptic of multilateralism before his appointment.
Reforms to the World Health Organisation (WHO) proposed by France and Germany have drawn a mixed response from health experts, with some criticising the proposals for their lack of ambition and limited scope, and others arguing the two countries’ plans prioritise the concerns of rich countries rather than than pushing for a more autonomous WHO that could pursue a broad agenda reflecting the needs of all its member states.
New data published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) shows water shortages are now affecting more than 3 billion people around the world.
An independent review into allegations that conservation rangers supported by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) committed violent abuses in several countries has cleared the organisation of complicity in these acts, but criticised WWF for serious shortcomings in oversight.
Germany is set to introduce a mandatory boardroom quota for women which will require companies based in Germany to ensure women make-up 30% of the membership of their boards.