CSOs release C20 policy pack ahead of G20 Osaka Summit

The Civil 20 (C20) Summit, a side event to the Group of 20 (G20) Osaka Summit convened by civil society organizations (CSOs), has released its 2019 policy pack. Papers include anti-corruption; education; environment, climate, and energy; gender; global health; infrastructure; international financial architecture; labor, business and human rights; 'Local2Global'; and trade and investment. 

C20 representatives handed over the policy pack to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on April 18, 2019. The G20 Osaka Summit will be held on June 28-29, 2019.

Policy Proposal - C20 Policy Pack 2019

Official website – C20 Summit 2019

Press release – MOFA (in Japanese)

Japan announces additional contribution to Unitaid

The government of Japan has announced an additional financial contribution to the innovative treatment methodology supported by Unitaid to fight against multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis. A representative of the Japanese government stressed the need for further collaboration with Unitaid in the future to accelerate providing innovative solutions to global health issues.

Press release - Unitaid

Press release – MOFA (in Japanese)

Norway channels more than half of ODA to multilaterals

In 2017, Norway channeled 54% of its official development assistance (ODA) through multilateral organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the World Bank, multilateral funds, and regional development banks. This is a 14 percent-point increase from 2000, when the share was 40%.

Within multilateral ODA, 45% of ODA was channeled through multilateral organizations as core contributions and 55% was earmarked for specific countries or sectors. Of earmarked funding, 61% was regionally or country split, while the rest went to global initiatives or funds. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, as well as new financing mechanisms for the environment and climate are examples of key thematic inititatives to which Norway is a significant funder.

Press release - Government of Norway (in Norwegian)

Japanese NGO proposes pharmaceutical and medical regulatory harmonization strategy in Asia

The Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) has announced a strategy for harmonization of regulations on pharmaceutical and medical devices across Asia.  The strategy's recommendations emphasize regulatory harmonization and human-resource development for regulatory authorities, as well as infrastructure development. 

The government of Japan prioritizes global health as an area of its diplomacy and has committed to promoting universal health coverage (UHC). Access to pharmaceuticals and medical devices in Asian countries are one of the greatest threats to achieving UHC.

Press release – JCIE

Global Health Innovative Technology Fund appoints new CEO

The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund) has appointed a new New CEO and Executive Director, Catherine Ohura. Ohura has extensive experience in R&D and the commercial functions of the pharmaceutical sector and is expected to bring innovative solutions to neglected patients worldwide.

Press release - GHIT Fund

Japan Global health R&D

Chief executive of Save the Children UK calls for accelerated efforts to tackle to pneumonia

Kevin Watkins, chief executive of Save the Children UK, called for the development community to accelerate its efforts to tackle pneumonia ahead of major global summit on the issue in 2020 during an interview with the Financial Times. Pneumonia is the biggest killer of children in the world, causing nearly one million deaths each year.  Watkins argues that it is currently neglected by the development community and calls on every country in the world  to put in place an action plan to identify those at risk and for a collective effort to scale up diagnostics and the provision of antibiotics and vaccines to address the issue.

News article - Financial Times

Norway's Foreign and Defence Committee travel to Ghana to view global health projects

Representatives from Norway's Foreign and Defence Committee, Anniken Huitfeldt (Labour Party), Ingjerd Schou (Conservative Party), Per-Willy Amundsen (Progress Party), and Marianne Marthinsen (Labour Party) will travel to Accra, Ghana, to meet representatives from GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), UNAIDS, health authorities in Ghana and the foreign committee in Ghana's Parliament. They will also visit hospitals and local health centers during their visit. 

News article - Norwegian Parliament (in Norwegian) 

DFAT initiates an annual address on health security topics

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has initiated an annual event titled the 'Ruth Bishop Address on Health Security.' Professor Ruth Bishop is an Australian researcher who led a team to the landmark discovery of the rotavirus in 1973, which led to the development of a rotavirus vaccine.

Professor Sharon Lewin spoke at the first Ruth Bishop address on 'From HIV to Zika – building on lessons learnt to be fully prepared for what might be next.'  Professor Lewin is the inaugural director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, and a leading HIV researcher.

Event details - Eventbrite

CEPI executives argue in opinion piece that the coalition fills an important gap in providing access to affordable vaccines

Frederik Kristensen, vice executive, and Gunnstein Norheim, executive for vaccine research at the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) in Oslo has written an opinion piece arguing that CEPI fills a much needed gap in providing funding to encourage development of otherwise costly vaccines that currently lack an appropriate market. Today CEPI has 11 agreements with vaccine developers around the world and 21 vaccine candidates are under development.

The opinion piece is in response to a separate opinion piece written by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) that claims that the vaccines developed with funding from CEPI will not be ultimately available at affordable prices. 

Opinion piece - VG (in Norwegian)

UK’s spring budget set to include £200 million boost to research and innovation

UK Treasurer Philip Hammond will announce in his forthcoming spring budget a £200 million (US$257 million) boost to UK research and innovation, according to Bloomberg. The article also reports that a research and innovation infrastructure plan will be unveiled in autumn setting out the UK’s long-term plans.

Hammond is set to unveil the UK's spring Budget on March 13, 2019. There is the possibility that Hammond will offer an extra £5 billion (US$6.4 billion) to end financial austerity if the UK Parliament backs Prime Minister Theresa May’s European Union (EU) exit deal, funding set aside by Treasury in case the UK does not reach a deal for exiting the EU. 

News article - Bloomberg