From the worst food crisis in 50 years to latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic

UN secretary general António Guterres says the world is facing its worst food crisis for at least 50 years and has urged governments to act swiftly to avoid catastrophe.

Related: ‘Rolling emergency’ of locust swarms decimating Africa, Asia and Middle East

 

The World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Africa regional director Matshidiso Moeti says the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating in Africa.

Related: South Africa data shows higher COVID-19 death rates for people with HIV, TB

 

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) director Dr. Carissa Etienne has warned PAHO’s members the coming hurricane season in the Caribbean and Central America, as well as winter in the Southern Hemisphere, could greatly challenge the region’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related: Health workers speak out on the need for better mental health support

 

With the Gates Foundation poised to become the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s top donor following President Trump’s announcement he intends to withdraw the US from the organisation, questions are being raised about whether a private foundation should be allowed to hold that much influence over the global health agenda.

Related: US says it will cut WHO funding. What happens next?

 

Sarah Champion, chair of the UK’s International Development Committee, has accused the government of carrying out a ‘stealth review’ of the country’s aid policy without the knowledge of Parliament after whistleblowers from the Department for International Development (DFID) informed her all but 200 future programs run by DFID had been paused amid plans for a cut to the department’s budget.

Related: Independent DFID ‘imperative’ for effective UK overseas aid, say MPs

 

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation have announced a commitment to increase their payouts to nonprofit organisations by more than USD $1.7 billion within the next two years.

Related: Ford Foundation Takes Historic, Unprecedented Action to Increase Grantmaking for Nonprofits by $1 Billion with Proceeds of Offering of Social Bonds in Response to COVID-19

 

Agence Française de Développement (AFD) says it is seeing increased demand for social protection support during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Christophe Paquet, head of the health and social protection unit at AFD, saying if this trend continues it could change the overall amount of money that AFD will devote to the sector.

Related: Opinion: COVID-19 — it’s time to take cash to the next level

 

Germany has spent the past decade trying to position itself as a global health leader but it’s role in the international fight against COVID-19 has drawn criticism from health experts both at home and abroad, raising questions about Germany’s ability to follow through on its ambitions.

Related: Despite Big Promises, U.S. Has Delivered Limited Aid in Global Virus Response

 

With the COVID-19 pandemic set to dominate the global development landscape for the foreseeable future, organisations from across the development community have pivoted their programming to respond to the pandemic. However, some development leaders are pushing back at the global shift to COVID-19, arguing that doing so is diverting time and resources from other important issues and pushing organisations into areas that others are better suited to in pursuit of funding.

 

Sexual and reproductive health experts say disruptions to global supply chains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is making it harder for people in the developing world to get condoms, birth control and other items, which is putting lives at risk.

Related: NGOs defend breastfeeding as COVID-19 misinformation rages

 

The African Development Bank (AfDB) board of governors has offered a compromise to the US in response to the US’s push for the Bank to conduct an independent investigation into allegations of corruption made against AfDB president, Akinwumi Adesina. In a statement, the board said it stood by the decision of the ethics committee and would not conduct a new investigation, offering instead to commission an ‘independent review’ of the report ethics committee’s report.

Related: Anti-corruption watchdog hit by legal row over staff ‘bullying’

 

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) says the global impact investing market is maturing, driven by strong performance and better measurement, and now stands at USD $715 billion.

Related: Study finds EU guarantees rich in potential but low on proof