UK parliament reviews government efforts to fight Malaria, TB, HIV, andPolio

The UK Parliament's international development committee held an inquiry into the UK's efforts to address HIV, Malaria, TB, and Polio with a focus on the Global Fund and Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). An evidence session was held with statements from Mike Podmore, director of STOPAIDs and Laura Kerr, a senior policy advocacy officer with Results UK. Representatives from DFID were also present.

The purpose of the session was to analyze the achievements of the UK government in its past work towards disease eradication and to identify lessons learned for best practices in future, especially as the Global Fund moves into its next major replenishment phase, towards which the UK has pledged £1.4 billion (US$1.7 billion).

Video - UK Parliament evidentiary session

Global health inquiry - UK Parliament

South Korea and UNICEF talk women's and children's health at policy consultation

South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs held an annual policy consultation meeting with UNICEF to discuss areas of cooperation to enhance the human rights of women and children worldwide. They discussed South Korea’s role in the UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited initiative, a partnership to implement South Korea’s Action with Women and Peace initiative, and humanitarian assistance to North Korea to improve North Korean children’s health and nutrition.

Press release – MOFA (in Korean)

WaterAid calls on UK leadership to address global water and sanitation crisis

The UK-based NGO WaterAid has called upon the UK government to do more to address the global water and sanitation crisis.

Writing on the parliamentary news website, PoliticsHome, WaterAid’s Advocacy Co-ordinator Bethan Twigg argued that the UK needs to scale up its investment in water and sanitation, which accounted for just 2% of its bilateral official development assistance in 2017. Twigg also called for the UK to ensure its support for water and sanitation is better integrated across all its programming. Access to clean water, basic sanitation, and proper hygiene, according to Twigg, is the most basic foundation for the type of upward mobility that all types of projects across different development agendas see as an ultimate goal.

Editorial- PoliticsHome

Council of the EU adopts conclusions on supporting sustainable development across the world

The Council of the EU adopted conclusions on July 8, 2019, in response to the European Commission’s 2019 Joint Synthesis Report of the European Union and its member states on 'Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals across the world'. The Council affirmed its support for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ahead of the United Nations’ High-Level Political Forum in September 2019 to review progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 
The Council underlined the EU’s history of strong support for social and human development in its development cooperation efforts by giving priority to social protection, decent work, universal health coverage, and access to education. However, it took note of several areas with insufficient progress, including using integrated approaches to achieve the SDGs, tailoring support to the needs of partner countries, encouraging partner countries to integrate the SDGs into their national strategies, working better together within the EU and its member states through joint programming, and developing more robust results-reporting systems. 
Council Conclusions - Council of the EU

EU Education Global health

Australia extends commitment to improve working conditions and gender equity in factories

Foreign affairs minister Marise Payne announced a US$3 million extension to Australia’s partnership with the Better Work program. This initiative pushes governments, factory owners, workers, and brands to improve working conditions and reduce gender discrimination in garment factories.

Simon Birmingham, Australian minister for trade, tourism and investment, has also announced expanded cooperation with the World Trade Organization through the Enhanced Integrated Framework and the Standards and Trade Development Facility.

Press release - DFAT

Australia Global health

UK calls on G7 development ministers to increase funding for Ebola-hit DRC

The UK secretary for state for international development, Rory Stewart, has called upon G7 donors to increase funding to help deal with the deadly Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Currently, the UK and the US are among the biggest donors to the crisis, but the World Health Organisation is facing a funding shortage and needs additional resources to address the epidemic.

During the G7 development minister’s meeting on July 4, 2019, held in France, Stewart requested further support, particularly from France and Japan, for the crisis, which has already resulted in 1,600 deaths in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces in eastern DRC, since August of 2018. 

Press release - UK Government 

Big donors, including UK, accused of exaggerating development impact

A group of academics published an article in the British Medical Journal claiming that a set of major donor agencies, including the UK government, may exaggerate the impact of their global health and development projects by placing pressure on researchers undertaking donor evaluations.

In some cases, the authors claim, researchers who have tried to document negative findings for donor projects have been subject to personal and institutional pressure, censorship and intimidation. Among other recommendations, the authors call for a registry for global health evaluations, similar to one promoting transparency in clinical trials. The article is endorsed by more than 200 researchers based in 40 different countries. 

News article – The Guardian

Nossal Institute and UNICEF launch MOOC on health systems strengthening

The Nossal Institute for Global Health in Melbourne and UNICEF have adapted a staff training program into a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on health systems strengthening. The first course will run from July 8, 2019.  Participation is open to all but particularly focused on those working in low and middle-income countries, especially doctors, nurses, health administrators, and policymakers.

The eight-week course runs two to three hours a week, using interactive materials and videos to cover the main elements of the UNICEF staff course.

News article - Melbourne University

MOOC course - Future Learn

Australia Global health

HIV diagnoses in Australia drop to lowest number in 18 years

The Kirby Institute, at UNSW Sydney, has reported that last year there were 835 HIV diagnoses across the country, a decline of 23% over five years.

The decline in HIV diagnoses is a result of the efforts of government, healthcare, community, and research sectors. Increasing numbers are being tested for HIV, people are starting treatment earlier, and there has been an uptake of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among high-risk gay and bisexual men. There has been less of a reduction amongst the heterosexual population.

Report: Kirby Institute

Norway announces record-high 2019 funding to UN organizations

The Norwegian government is increasing its core contribution to the UN and providing an all-time-high contribution to six UN organizations. The contributions are as follows:

  • UNICEF: NOK 1 billion (US$126 million)
  • UNDP: NOK 615 million (US$74 million)
  • UNFPA: NOK 530 million (US$6 million)
  • UN Women: NOK 100 million (US$12 million)
  • UNHCR: NOK 380 million (US$46 million)
  • WFP: NOK 300 million (US$36 million).

These are the highest contributions Norway has given to these organizations collectively. The Norwegian government expects the funds to be spent in an efficient and transparent manner.

Press release - Norweigan government