US delegation to visit DRC for Ebola assessment

The secretary of health and human services, Alex Azar, will travel with other high ranking US officials to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to assess the state of the Ebola crisis and to show continued US support. Azar will be accompanied by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Admiral Timothy Ziemer, a senior deputy assistant administrator at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The visit is Azar's first since the start of the outbreak over a year ago.

The group is expected to travel to northeastern DRC as well as to Uganda and Rwanda, both of which border the DRC.  The delegation will meet with officials from all three countries as well as the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

News article - Stat News

United States Global health

Advocacy group calls for future EU-Africa global health research partnership

Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW), a German advocacy organization, has published a new position paper calling for the future EU-Africa global health research partnership to build on the success of the current partnership for financing research on poverty-related neglected diseases in Africa. The next EU-Africa global health research partnership is currently being discussed as a part of the negotiations on the next EU long-term budget, the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). 
The position paper highlights the impact that the European Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) has had to date, and notes the importance of the proposal for an EDCTP successor program in the future EU research and innovation (R&I) framework  'Horizon Europe'.

The paper recommends: 

  • Continuing EDCTP’s mission and program;
  • Adopting a flexible funding approach;
  • Supporting the partnership with an ambitious budget;
  • Ensuring inclusive governance, accountability, and improved efficiency; and
  • Adopting and enforcing clear conditions on access and affordability.

DSW position paper - The Next EU-Africa Global Health Research Partnership: Building on the Success of EDCTP

EU Global health R&D

European Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen announces new team and Commission structure

On September 10, 2019, European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen presented the new structure of her college of commissioners and the distribution of portfolios to her commissioners-designate, still to be vetted by the European Parliament. The college has been revamped to focus more on policy themes rather than mirroring the directorate-generals, the administrative divisions within the Commission. 
Josep Borrell (Spain), the designate for high-representative of the union for foreign policy and security policy will also be in charge of ‘a stronger Europe in the world’ as one of the eight vice-presidents. Three executive vice-presidents will hold dual roles as commissioners in addition to their responsibilities to the core topics of the president-elect’s agenda, including the European Green Deal, making ‘Europe fit for the digital age’, and creating an ‘economy that works for the people’. 
Other commissioners-designate include: 

  • Mariya Gabriel (Bulgaria) - Innovation and youth (including research and development)
  • Stella Kyriakides (Cyprus) - Health
  • Jutta Urpilainen (Finland) - International partnerships (including development cooperation)
  • László Trócsányi (Hungary) - Neighborhood and enlargement
  • Janusz Wojciechowski (Poland) - Agriculture

Commissioners-designate will next participate in hearings in relevant parliamentary committees. The European Parliament must then give its consent to the entire college, including the president and the High-Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Finally, the European Council (made up of heads of government of EU member states) will formally appoint the European Commission. The new Commission’s mandate will begin November 1, 2019. 
Press release - European Commission

NGO campaign to support Global Fund replenishment centers voices of AIDS survivors

Coalition Plus, an international AIDS NGO network, released a series of testimonies from AIDS patients on how the Global Fund against AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria helped them to survive and thrive. AIDS activists from Morocco, Burundi, Mali, and Mauritius shared their stories.

The campaign's launch comes three weeks before the Global Fund replenishment, which aims to mobilize at least US$14 billion for the next three years, to save 16 million lives.

Website - Coalition Plus (in French)

France Global health

Canada announces new diplomatic appointments

Canada's minister of foreign affairs, Chrystia Freeland, has announced a new series of diplomatic appointments.

  • Richard Bale has replaced Nathalie O’Neil as the new high commissioner in the Republic of Cameroon;
  • Alan Bowman has replaced Daniel Maksymiuk as ambassador to the Republic of Croatia; and
  • Jamal Khokhar has replaced Chris Cooter as ambassador to the Republic of Turkey.

Press release- Global Affairs Canada 


European Think Tanks Group publishes proposals for ‘An Agenda for Europe in the World’

The European Think Tanks Group (ETTG), a consortium of European think tanks focused on EU development cooperation, has published a package of proposals for the new EU leadership on how the EU can make a difference in the world. In the context of the upcoming leadership transition on November 1, 2019, ETTG has compiled recommendations for the EU’s global role in peace and security, mobility and migration, climate action, energy and urbanization, trade and development, human development, strategic partnerships, democracy, and development finance. The report’s recommendations include: 

  • Investment in a comprehensive partnership with Africa;
  • Unlocking migration’s development potential;
  • Prevention of conflicts and the building of sustainable peace;
  • Support for the clean energy transition in cities;
  • Addressing climate change in the least developed countries;
  • Leading on global trade and development;
  • An end to extreme poverty;
  • Prioritization of support for democracy; and
  • An increase in funding for external action.

An Agenda for Europe in the World - EETG Report


Australia invests US$10 million in gynecological cancer research

Australian minister for health, Greg Hunt, has announced US$10 million (A$15 million) for targeted clinical trials to improve treatments for ovarian, fallopian, and cervical cancers. The funding will be provided by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). While focused on the health outcomes of Australian women, the research outcomes could have significant implications for women in the South Pacific islands, where cervical cancer rates are five to 10 times higher than those in Australia.

Press release – Australian Department of Health

Australia Global health R&D

German Development Minister launches “Green Button” seal for sustainable textiles

On September 9, 2019, German Development Minister Gerd Müller presented the “Green Button” seal for sustainable textiles, which will be attributed to clothing items produced under certain social and environmental standards. In order to be eligible for the Green Button, companies must comply with a minimum wage requirement for textile workers, forego any child labor in production, and prove that their manufacturing process does not involve certain chemicals and air pollutants.

Minister Müller has been advocating for social responsibility and safety in the textile industry since 2013 when the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing over a thousand people. At the launch of the Green Button initiative, 27 companies have successfully passed the requirements of the textile label; another 26 companies are currently in the review process.

News article – Deutsche Welle

Press release – Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development [BMZ] (in German)


Spanish NGO InteRed calls for more resources to foster education worldwide

Spain’s development NGO InteRed, which works for improving educational standards and fostering gender equality in developing countries, has launched a press release on the occasion of the United Nation’s International Literacy Day on September 6, 2019.

InteRed highlights that despite quality education being a fundamental sustainable development goal, around 750 million people across the world (64% of which are women), continue to lack basic literacy. InteRed urges donor governments, multilateral institutions, and civil society organizations to strengthen their efforts in fostering education, particularly among vulnerable populations.

Press release – InteRed (in Spanish)


UK international development minister confirms commitment to human development

The UK secretary for state for international development, Alok Sharma, has confirmed the UK’s continued commitment to supporting human development through its development assistance. In a letter to the chair of the UK Parliament's International Development Select Committee, Stephen Twigg MP, Sharma highlighted the UK's global leadership in three key areas:

  1. Health: the UK has been a long-standing champion of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal 3 related to health and has been leading on the United Nation’s forthcoming  High-Level Meeting on ensuring Universal Health Care to be held on September 23, 2019;
  2. Nutrition: the UK has exceeded its own 2015 commitment to improve the nutrition of 50 million people by 2020; and, 
  3. Social Protection: the UK has a strong portfolio of programs supporting social protection

Sharma also noted the UK prime minister Boris Johnson's commitment to education, particularly for girls, as another priority area for UK development assistance.

UK government - letter from UK Secretary for State for Development

Education Global health Nutrition