Oxfam Netherlands publishes report on global inequality ahead of World Economic Forum

Ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Dutch NGO Oxfam Novib published a report on the world's extreme wealth inequality. The report, titled 'Time to Care', puts economic disparities in stark terms, noting that "in 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people", and that the total wealth of the world's 22 richest men is equivalent to the wealth of all African women combined.

The report focuses on gendered economic inequality and dives, as well, into the issue of taxation systems. In particular, Oxfam observes that the Netherlands remains a tax heaven, costing developing countries 100 billion annually: money that could be invested in health and education. 

Time to Care - Oxfam Novib

Press Release -Oxfam Novib (in Dutch)

German civil society calls on Merkel to pledge €700 million to Gavi for upcoming replenishment

Nine German civil society organizations (CSOs) joined forces to call on Chancellor Angela Merkel to announce an early pledge of €700 million (US$778 million) to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, taking place January 21-24, 2020.

Gavi will hold a pledging conference in June 2020 to mobilize resources for its upcoming five-year strategic period (2021-2025). As part of their campaign, the CSOs (Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung, Aktionsbündnis gegen Aids, Global Citizen, Kindernothilfe, ONE, Plan International, Save the Children, and World Vision) submitted a mock-up of a newspaper from the future titled ‘Good News 2025’ to the Chancellery and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The paper 'reported' on a world in 2025 where more children have been immunized due to Germany's increased contribution to Gavi.

Gavi has vaccinated 760 million children since it was founded at the World Economic Forum in 2000. Germany has been a major financial contributor supporting Gavi with €600 million (US$667 million) in 2015.

Position paper – Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (in German)

Germany Global health

Canada announces US$33 million for seven development projects in Sudan and Mozambique

Canada has announced CA$44 million (US$33 million) in funding for seven projects on women’s economic empowerment, sexual and reproductive health, access to education, trade, and mitigation of the impacts of the 2019 cyclones Idai and Kenneth. These projects in Sudan and Mozambique were announced after Rob Oliphant, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, concluded a seven-day trip to the region.

The projects include: 

  1. Mozambican rural women’s and girls’ participatory economic empowerment, CAD$18 million (US$14 million) over 5 years: This project will foster economic empowerment for rural women in Mozambique and stimulate agri-food production through experimental agroforestry and climate-smart agriculture training;
  2. Combat absenteeism and barriers to education, CAD$15 million (US$11 million) over 5 years: This project will work to combat absenteeism and barriers to education for girls in Mozambique;
  3. Action for girls and young women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in Mozambique, CAD$10 million (US$8 million) over 5 years: This project aims to improve gender equality in Mozambique by promoting adolescent girls' sexual and reproductive health and rights;
  4. Advancing sexual and reproductive health in Cabo Delgado, CAD$250,000 (US$190,000): This project focuses on sexual and reproductive health in Cabo Delgado and will assist the Government of Mozambique in providing better services in areas affected by Cyclone Kenneth;
  5. Mozambique recovery facility, CAD$250,000 (US$190,000): Through this project, the Government of Mozambique will be provided with assistance for planning and coordinating necessary reconstruction after Cyclone Idai;
  6. Reducing Mozambique’s high trade costs, CAD$250,000 (US$190,000): This project will focus on the unfavourable trade environment in Mozambique, working to identify key interventions that could reduce in-country trade costs and trade-related inefficiencies along the Beira and Nacala corridors; and
  7. Supporting gender integration into policy planning at the Sudanese Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, CAD$50,000 (US$38,000): This project will support gender integration in policy planning at the Sudanese Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. 

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada Education Global health

EU to provide US$25 million in humanitarian assistance to southern Africa during region’s worst drought in decades

The EU will contribute a humanitarian assistance package of €23 million (US$25 million) to countries in southern Africa, suffering from the region’s worst drought in decades. Zimbabwe will receive €17 million (US$19 million) to provide emergency assistance for food, clean water, basic health care, and protection to vulnerable people. Eswatini, Madagascar, Lesotho, and Zambia will receive the remaining €6 million (US$7 million) for food assistance and nutrition support. 

In the last year, the EU allocated €68 million (US$75 million) since January 2019 for humanitarian assistance in the Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean region, which is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters such as droughts and floods. 
Press release - European Commission

EU Global health Nutrition

Canada announces US$43 million for Ebola relief in DRC

On January 15, 2020, Canada's Minister of International Development, Karina Gould, announced CAD$56 million (US$43 million) in funding to the Democratic Republic of Congo. These funds will be used to help control the ongoing Ebola epidemic, to provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations, and to strengthen local health systems.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada Global health

Canada funds flood relief initiatives in Republic of Congo

On January 14, 2020, Canada's Minister of International Development, Karina Gould, announced CAD$250,000 (US$190,000) in funding for the World Food Programme to assist in delivering food and cash resources to communities impacted by the flood in the Republic of Congo. 

CAD$40,000 (US$30,000) in funding will also be provided for the distribution of emergency kits containing essential household items to 500 families, and for the facilitation of water and sanitation workshops with affected communities.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

Canada Global health Nutrition

Dutch government publishes Q&A on 'Power of Voices' and 'SDG 5' funding applications

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands published a Q&A document pertaining to two key funding programs supporting global civil society organizations: the 'Power of Voices' and the 'SDG 5' funding programs. These programs, which fall under the new policy framework 'Strengthening Civil Society', will guide Dutch funding around gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for the 2021-2025 period. 

The 28-page document clarifies the parameters of the two programs which are currently open for applications.

Q&A PDF - Government of the Netherlands

Global Netherlands Global health

Leading French researchers say Global Fund's new strategy should parallel SDGs

The Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria will soon start designing a new strategy for the period after 2022. In an open editorial, five leading French researchers, including Nobel Laureate François Barré-Sinoussi, suggested the Global Fund more directly link its strategy with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The five prominent academics acknowledged the Global Fund's accomplishments in fighting the three global pandemics after which it's named but criticized what they see as a comparatively low contribution to efforts to strengthen health-care systems institutionally. In addition to more clear linkages with the SDGs, the Global Fund should also assume a leading role in renewing funding for global health operational research, according to the researchers. 

Editorial - The Lancet

France Global health Global health R&D

New EU research commissioner encourages member states to support increased funding for research

In an interview with Science|Business, the new European commissioner for research, Mariya Gabriel, said she hopes EU member states will support the proposed increase in research funding of €120 billion (US$133.3 billion) in the next long-term EU budget from 2021-2027. Gabriel called the funding "the best gift Europe could make for itself” and recognized the need to “remain mobilized until the last minute” to advocate for research funding in the long-term budget, the multiannual financial framework. 
Gabriel said she does not plan to reopen negotiations on the legislation for the proposed research framework program for 2021-2027, Horizon Europe. Member states and the European Parliament have already reached a provisional agreement on the program’s legislation, excluding final budget figures which will be decided as a part of the overall long-term budget agreement. 

News article - Science|Business

Australian photojournalist illustrates health crisis in neighboring Papua New Guinea

Award-winning photojournalist Alex Ellinghausen has outlined health challenges in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the key role of Australian government assistance and NGO programs. 

Documenting a visit to PNG with members of Australia's federal parliament, Ellinghausen emphasized the ongoing tuberculosis and nutrition problems affecting PNG's children. He also wrote on the improving situation for girls’ education and the programs addressing gender-based violence.

News article - Sydney Morning Herald