From the ‘wildly uneven and unfair’ distribution of Covid vaccines to a new Ebola outbreak in Guinea

UN secretary general António Guterres has called on the G20 to establish an emergency taskforce to establish and coordinate a plan to ensure the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the world after he criticised the ‘wildly uneven and unfair’ distribution of Covid vaccines which has left 130 countries yet to receive a single dose.

Related: South Africa leads backlash against big pharma over access to Covid vaccines

 

French President Emmanuel Macron has called on Europe and the US to send up to 5% of their coronavirus vaccine supplies to developing nations as part of a push to address the inequal distribution of Covid vaccines.

Related: Boris Johnson to pledge surplus Covid vaccine to poorer countries at G7

 

The Biden administration is set to pledge USD $4 billion to the Covax Facility at Friday’s G7 meeting split between an initial USD $2 billion contribution to Gavi to be used by the Facility  and a further USD $2 billion over two years provided other donors make good on their own pledges.

Related: Inside the European Commission’s global vaccine-sharing plan

 

Agnes Kalibata, the special envoy to the UN secretary general for the food systems summit 2021, says people living in poverty around the world are facing food shortages as the coronavirus crisis continues.

Related: Yemen risks worst famine on planet in ‘decades’, say UN officials

 

The ongoing disruption the COVID-19 pandemic is causing to the fight against HIV/AIDS is casting doubt on the future of the  U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), with some advocates arguing PEPFAR’s budget, which accounts for roughly half of the US’s total global health budget, would be better spent helping countries build strong health systems that can withstand shocks and provide a wide range of services.

Related: How high-profile COVID-19 deaths in Africa could change health systems

 

Health officials in Guinea have declared a new Ebola epidemic in the country after recording seven cases and three deaths from the virus linked to the funeral of a nurse held in Goueke, a town near the Liberian border.

Related: Guinea officials race to contain Ebola outbreak as death toll rises

 

EU finance ministers discussed launching a ‘global recovery initiative’ in response to the COVID-19 pandemic this week, but details of any such plan remain vague nine months after the idea was first announced.

Related: Development finance trends to watch in 2021

 

International donors are moving to redirect development assistance in Myanmar to ensure it is not being used to support either Myanmar’s government or military following the military coup in the country earlier this month.

Related: EU development chief calls for united response on Ethiopia

 

Devex takes a look at the policy views and goals of the US’s new congressional leaders to see how they’re politics could shape US foreign aid over the next two years.

Related: Exploring USAID’s 2020 country development cooperation strategies

 

The US has officially rejoined the Paris Agreement. The mostly symbolic move has been welcomed by world leaders and climate activists, but most are waiting to for the Biden administration to lay out its plans and targets for cutting emissions to judge how serious the US is about tackling the climate emergency after four years of being mostly absent under President Trump.

Related: Q&A: Managing conflicting climate objectives in the Pacific

 

James Cleverly, Minister for Middle East and North Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), says the British government has no plans to engage the development sector on how it is cutting the aid budget until decisions on where cuts will be made have been completed.

 

An independent forensic and performance audit of the African Union Commission has found evidence of nepotism, unverified qualifications, recruitment and anomalies in contracts, staff remuneration, and allowances, leading to calls for immediate action to be taken against those implicated by the report.