Weekly roundup: Top international development headlines

Weekly roundup: Top international development headlines

Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, global action to ensure the world’s poorest and additional emergency assistance. Here is what you missed from last week’s headlines in the international development sector:

Ebola outbreak continues to expand in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Three months after the declaration of the eleventh Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Equateur Province, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the number of confirmed cases continues to increase, and the geographic spread of the outbreak continues to expand.

As of 1 September 2020, 110 cases (104 confirmed and six probable) including 47 deaths (case fatality ratio 43%) have been reported from 36 health areas in 11 health zones. In the past 21 days (12 August – 1 September 2020), 24 confirmed cases have been reported in 15 health areas across eight health zones. To date, three healthcare workers have been affected, making up 3% of all cases. In addition, 48 people have recovered from EVD to date.

New Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will lead global action to ensure world’s poorest are protected from ravages of coronavirus and famine

The UK will lead a global call to action to protect the world’s poorest people from coronavirus and the increasing threat of famine, the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced on 2 September 2020.

The coronavirus pandemic, conflict, locust swarms, and climate change have left 250 million people worldwide facing extreme hunger this year, with parts of Yemen, South Sudan, and Burkina Faso on the brink of famine. Without international attention, many more will die from hunger and disease, and the pandemic will continue to spread in developing countries and to the wider world.

As the new Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) was inaugurated on September 2, the Foreign Secretary pledged to use the UK’s diplomatic levers and aid expertise to build a stronger international consensus to fight back against the devastating impacts of coronavirus, conflict, and climate change.

The UK will commit a new £119 million aid package to tackle the combined threat of coronavirus and famines, which is expected to help alleviate extreme hunger for over 6 million people in Yemen, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Somalia, Central African Republic, the Sahel, South Sudan, and Sudan.

EU delivers additional emergency assistance following the explosion in Beirut

The second European Union Humanitarian Air bridge flight landed in Beirut, Lebanon, delivering 12 tonnes of essential humanitarian supplies and medical equipment, including a mobile hospital and face masks.

The transportation cost of the flight is fully covered by the EU, while the cargo was provided by the Spanish authorities, the Philips Foundation, and the University of Antwerp.

Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said: “The EU continues to support Lebanon with the most needed assistance. We delivered 29 tonnes of essential supplies since the explosion, as well as over €64 million in emergency funding. My gratitude goes to all European countries and our partners on the ground who have shown their solidarity with Lebanon at this difficult time by offering crucial support.”

DevelopmentAid Editorials

Three pieces of practical advice for identifying funding opportunities

With over 300 funding opportunities having been published daily in 2019, the international development sector represents a wealth of business opportunities. In the pursuit of lucrative contracts in this highly competitive market, implementing companies have to fight for each tender/grant. The ability to be the first to identify those opportunities and fine-tune the delicate acquisition process in the shortest possible time are key factors to being successful. However, the first question to answer is, what is the best way to identify funding opportunities?

Check the full article here.

Millions of disabled children are left behind by the educational system

Disabled children continue to be excluded from education and even those who are enrolled at schools are often left out of the system on the basis of disability. An estimated 35 million primary and secondary school-age children with impairments do not attend school and almost 85% of these have never experienced learning in a traditional classroom. Although the barriers are often very basic, they can have a significant impact on the ability to enroll, attend, participate, and learn in school environment.

Check the full article here.

As the invasion of locusts increases, food insecurity levels are causing concern

Already fragile regions affected by poverty, food insecurity, unprecedented levels of humanitarian needs, violence, and displacement are now facing one of the worst surges in locust invasions in decades. Millions of people who struggle to feed themselves are fighting the ravenous insects that destroy everything in their path. Many more people may experience severe food insecurity due to desert locusts alone, a reality worsened by the burden of the pandemic.

Check the full article here.

Here’s what else has happened


World Bank: The World Bank Board of Directors approved a US$75 million development policy operation for Madagascar to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

EBRD: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting the delivery of vital infrastructure services in Morocco with a €300 million financing package to state-owned utility and transport companies. It will also support the government’s reform agenda on the governance of state-owned companies.

Italy: A devastating €36.7 billion looks set to be lost from the Italian economy due to the collapse of international travel during 2020, according to the latest research conducted by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).


Shaping data-based realities

Less than one year into the pandemic, COVID-19 is radically reshaping our globe. To respond to these rapid changes in a timely fashion, the world needs reliable information that captures the full extent of the pandemic’s impact. Up to date data and statistics will allow us to make better-informed decisions on how to respond to the crisis and to build back better.

Read the Volume II of the series “How COVID-19 is changing the world: a statistical perspective”. 

World manufacturing set for biggest collapse in decades but impacts uneven

During the second quarter of 2020, manufacturing production fell sharply in most countries around the world, with the notable exception of China where output had already returned to moderate growth.

Read the report: World Manufacturing Production.


Webinar | Restructuring in the COVID-19 Era: Where Do Businesses Need Support?

? 8 September 2020 ?15:00 (BST)

Join the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for a virtual discussion and launch of a new assessment on the state of business reorganisation frameworks across the regions where the EBRD invests.

Virtual | OECD-IDB Latin American and Caribbean Public Integrity Network Integrity and Transparency in Infrastructure in times of COVID-19

? 8 September 2020 ? 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM (EST)
Virtual meeting

The session will seek to answer the following questions:

  • How can governments, during times of tight budgets, promote the infrastructure sector in a transparent way?;
  • What impact can the lack of integrity and transparency, have on the allocation of resources from the private sector in infrastructure financing?
  • What efforts from governments and the private sector are being implemented to mitigate the risks of corruption in infrastructure?