Papua New Guinea asks Australia for US$1.2 billion in budget support

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has requested funding assistance of US$1.2 billion from Australia to help finance its 2019 budget. Wera Mori, minister for commerce and industry, indicated that the funds would be used for purposes including the construction of rural roads and anti-corruption activities.

Australia is PNG's largest aid donor at around US$407 million annually, but phased out direct budget support to PNG in the 1990s.

News article - ABC News Australia


UK government funds measures to contain DRC Ebola epidemic

The UK government has announced a further £8 million (US$10 million) in funding for countries neighboring the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), including Uganda, South Sudan, Burundi, and Rwanda, in an attempt to prevent Ebola from spreading. The funding will help to deliver more temperature checks at border crossings, support Ebola treatment units, provide clean water and sanitation, and enable engagement with local communities to raise awareness of the dangers of Ebola.

There have been more than 2,850 cases of Ebola in the DRC and almost 2,000 people have died from the disease there to date.

Press release - UK government

United Kingdom Global health

Canada honors "remarkable resilience" of women humanitarian workers on World Humanitarian Day

Canada’s minister of international development and minister for women and gender equality, Maryam Monsef, released a statement acknowledging the important service of humanitarian workers and specifically highlighting the crucial role of women around the world in crisis response. Minister Monsef stated that Canada will always support needs-based and neutral humanitarian action. Canada has recently implemented a new gender-responsive humanitarian action policy. 

The focus on women for this year's World Humanitarian Day comes after a second-deadliest year for humanitarian workers on record; the 2019 Aid Worker Security Report documented pervasive sexual violence against female humanitarian workers, and strongly emphasized the need for improved awareness and reporting of sexual harassment and assault, as well as proactive and responsive safety measures for female workers in the field.

Press release- Global Affairs Canada 


UK government urges NGOs to apply for funding guarantee before Brexit

The UK’s new secretary for state for international development, Alok Sharma, has written to British NGOs urging those that currently receive EU funding to complete the necessary paperwork to enable them to take up the government’s offer to underwrite existing contracts in the case of a no-deal Brexit. The UK government has promised to cover any costs incurred by UK NGOs if the EU breaks its contracts with them.  

Sharma has also raised with Brussels officials the issue of discrimination, highlighting cases where UK NGOs have not been awarded EU contracts, as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the Union. The UK is still currently a full member of the EU. 

News article - Devex

Letter to NGOs - DFID

United Kingdom

UK parliamentary committee launches two new development assistance inquiries

The UK’s parliamentary committee for international development has launched two new inquiries. The first will assess UK government support for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 which promotes peace, justice, and strong institutions. The second inquiry will examine UK development assistance to Pakistan.

The Committee is requesting written evidence from NGOs, think-tanks and research institutions. The deadline for written submission for the SDG 16 and Pakistan assistance inquiries are September 27, 2019, and September 23, 2019, respectively.

Inquiries - UK International Development Committee

United Kingdom

UK provides additional funds for emergency food supplies in South Sudan

The UK minister for Africa, Andrew Stephenson, made his first visit in the post to South Sudan and announced an extra £18 million (US$23 million) of UK development assistance to help families gain access to food and water. Food insecurity in South Sudan is at its highest in 8 years; nearly 2 million live on the brink of famine.

The £18 million (US$23 million) is allocated from DFID’s central crisis reserve and is new money that would not have previously been spent in South Sudan. DFID’s total UK aid humanitarian support to South Sudan for 2019-2020 is projected to be up to £91 million (US$117 million).

Press release - UK government 

United Kingdom Nutrition

UK funding supports discovery of "ground-breaking" new tuberculosis treatment

A ground-breaking new drug regime, discovered by the TB Alliance and RTI International, has recently been approved by US regulators for use against drug-resistant tuberculosis. The UK secretary of state for international development, Alok Sharma, has stated how proud he is of the UK’s long-term financial support for the TB Alliance, which along with other donors' support, has helped the Alliance to make this new discovery.  

The new drug regime cures almost 90% of patients with the most difficult to treat strains of tuberculosis. The TB Alliance will now work towards introducing the new treatment regime in countries with the highest burden of drug-resistant strains.

News article - The Telegraph

Canada urges Jammu and Kashmir to engage in peaceful dialogue

Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, announced that Canada is closely following the developments in Jammu and Kashmir, and is concerned with the infringements on civil rights, detentions and the potential for escalation in the region. Canada encourages all involved parties to maintain peace and stability. 

Press release- Global Affairs Canada


EU-national scientists “deeply concerned” about Brexit's threat to European research

On August 13, 2019, a group of EU-national scientists published an open letter titled “danger to science of no-deal Brexit" in 'Nature', an international science journal. The scientists expressed their concern about the threat that Brexit would pose to international research, particularly in a 'no-deal' scenario, and warned that new challenges would arise if the UK was to be a 'shadow' member to Horizon Europe - the EU’s proposed research program for 2021-2027, or to some of Horizon Europe’s partnerships, such as those on global health research and development. The letter cautioned that a 'no deal' Brexit scenario would result in fewer European collaborations, diminished resources for research as well as constrained legal frameworks.
Open letter - Nature 

Dutch government to host international conference on mental health and psychosocial support in crisis situations

Sigrid Kaag, minister for foreign trade and development cooperation of the Netherlands will hold an international conference on mental health and psychosocial support in crisis and emergency situations in Amsterdam on October 7-8, 2019.

In preparation for the conference, the ministry has published an introductory video and an infographic outlining this topic and articulating the reasons why it has become a priority. Kaag also authored an op-ed on the subject, calling access to mental health support in crisis situations "a basic necessity and fundamental right".

Press release - Government of the Netherlands

Op-ed - Sigrid Kaag for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Netherlands Global health