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Canada donates US$55 million to address global malnutrition, US$57 million to UN agencies

Over the week of September 19 - 23, 2022, Canada donated CA$75 million (US$55 million) to support malnutrition and CA$78 million (US$57 million) in core funding to several UN agencies at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) High-Level Meetings.

At the Child Malnutrition Crisis: Pledging to Save Lives event hosted by the United States and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Minister Sajjan committed CA$75 million (US$55 million) in humanitarian funding to support the United States’ Call to Action on Acute Malnutrition. The funding includes CA$35 million (US$26 million) to support UNICEF’s work in treating severe, acute malnutrition and CA$40 million (US$29 million) to support nutrition programming through NGOs.

Throughout the week, Minister Sajjan met with several ministers, partners, and youth groups from around the world, pledged an additional CA$78 million (US$57 million) in core funding to several UN agencies, including the United Nations Development Programme, UNICEF, United Nations Population Fund, and United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

Lastly, alongside the Ford Foundation, the Equality Fund, and government donors, Canada celebrated the launch of the Alliance for Feminist Movements, a platform to improve funding for grassroots women’s organizations and to amplify the work feminist movements undertake globally.

Press release - Global Affairs Canada

20 countries launch global coalition to stop plastic pollution by 2040

The 'High Ambition Coalition to Stop Plastic Pollution,' a group of like-minded countries that have taken the initiative to form a coalition committed to developing a legally binding global agreement against plastic pollution, launched on August 22, 2022; the coalition aims to end oceanic plastic pollution by 2040.

Every year, between 5 -12 million tonnes of plastic waste end up in the oceans, contributing to environmental degradation and increasing microplastics in water. Without effective measures, oceanic plastic pollution is expected to triple by 2040.

The coalition, chaired by Norway and Rwanda, currently has 20 members including Canada, Peru, Germany, Senegal, Georgia, South Korea, UK, Switzerland, Portugal, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Costa Rica, Iceland, Ecuador, France, and the Dominican Republic.

The US, China, and India - the world's largest plastic producers - and other large producers are noticeably absent from the coalition. 

Members of the coalition will meet in New York at the upcoming UN General Assembly in September 2022, followed by a formal meeting in Uruguay on November 28, 2022.

Website - High Ambition to End Plastic Pollution

Government of Sweden - Press Release (in Swedish)

News article - Argus

Netherlands commits additional US$85 million for Ukraine reconstruction

On a joint visit to Kyiv, Ministers Liesje Schreinemacher (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) and Kasja Ollongren (Defence) announced that the Netherlands will commit an additional €79 million (US$85 million) to support Ukraine’s struggle and reconstruction as a result of the Russian invasion.

The ministers announced that most of the extra assistance and investments (US$70 million) will support Ukraine’s reconstruction, for example by partially financing Dutch companies to restore bridges, dykes, and hospitals in affected areas. This funding is also meant to support local Ukrainian small- and medium-sized enterprises.

An additional US$11 million will be used for demining so people can return safely to their homes or farmlands. In addition, US$1 million was made available for draft reconstruction plans for Kherson, Odesa, and Mykolaiv, which will be developed and implemented by a diverse group of stakeholders, including young people, women, and refugees. A final US$3 million was set aside to support the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which provides knowledge on macroeconomic reforms, good governance, and the rule of law.

Since the start of the war six months ago, the Netherlands has supplied more than US$227 million in material, weapons, ammunition, and equipment to Ukraine. It has also given US$2 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for psychosocial support for victims of sexual and gender-based violence. In addition to financial support, the Netherlands deployed a forensic team to collect evidence on Russian war crimes in May 2022. On August 20, 2022, the Netherlands sent 90 Dutch soldiers to the UK to provide basic military training to Ukrainian soldiers.

Ollongren also offered to share knowledge and expertise concerning care for veterans. The Netherlands is currently considering a financial contribution to a new fund established by Ukraine and the UK to enable direct procurement of equipment from industries.

Press release – Dutch government (in Dutch)

Publish What You Fund releases 2022 Aid Transparency Index

Publish What You Fund released its 2022 Aid Transparency Index, which measures the transparency of key bilateral and multilateral international development organizations. Overall, the project found that donors maintained transparency near pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels; 31 of the 50 evaluated organizations scored in the ‘good’ or ‘very good’ categories, meaning they consistently publish high-quality data on development assistance disbursements. 50 donors were evaluated out of 100 points and ranked accordingly.  

Australia: The index showed that Australia's ODA transparency has continued to deteriorate. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) ranked 41 of the 50 donor organizations, a continuance of their declining trend. The agency remained in the ‘fair’ category but lost 10 points on the transparency index. DFAT was 34 of 47 in 2020 and 23 of 45 in 2018. This decline in transparency occurred under the previous Australian government. The recently elected Labor government has committed to improving accountability and transparency in the development sector. 

Canada: Global Affairs Canada (GAC) dropped from the ‘very good’ category in 2020 to ‘good’ in 2022, losing nearly 10 points in Publish What You Fund’s ranking system and ranking 17th overall in 2022, showing a concerning decrease in transparency amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.  

EU: The report evaluated the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), European Investment Bank (EIB), Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR), and the Directorate-General for International Partnerships (INTPA; formerly DEVCO).  

The European Commission’s (EC) ECHO scored ‘good’ overall and ranked 13th among evaluated donors, improving by nearly nine points compared to the 2020 index. The EC’s INTPA scored 15th among evaluated donors and ranked in the ‘good’ category, but declined by 4 points in transparency from 2020. The EBRD’s sovereign portfolio ranked 24th among donors and scored in the ‘good’ category, declining by 3 points since 2020. The non-sovereign portfolio was also placed in the ‘good' category, but ranked 31st among donors. The EC’s NEAR ranked in the ‘good’ category, as it did in 2020, but declined significantly in transparency, dropping nearly 15 points. The EIB’s sovereign portfolio ranked 33rd among donors and remained in the ‘fair’ category, as it was in 2020; the portfolio also lost 3 points in transparency compared to 2020. The EIB’s non-sovereign portfolio also stood in the ‘fair’ category, ranking 37th among donors.  

France: The French Development Agency (AFD) ranked 28th among donors and sat in the ‘good’ category. The agency improved by five points compared to 2020 and jumped up from ‘fair.’  

Germany: Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) scored ‘good’ overall and ranked 11th among evaluated donors, improving by seven points compared to the 2020 index. Germany’s Federal Foreign Office (FFO), on the other hand, ranked 43rd among donors with only 37 of 100 transparency points. 

Italy: The Italian Development Cooperation Agency (AICS) has gradually improved its performance since 2017. In 2020, AICS was placed in the ‘fair’ category, but the agency improved by 5 points, ranking 34th overall in 2022.   

Japan: The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) dropped the most out of the evaluated agencies – by 26 points – sliding from ‘fair’ to ‘poor’ in 2022 and ranking just 47th out of 50 donors evaluated.  

Netherlands: The Netherlands’ Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) declined by 4 points from 2020, but remained in the ‘good’ category, ranking 23rd overall.  

Norway: Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) dropped from ‘fair’ in 2020 to ‘poor’ in 2022, losing seven points.  

South Korea: South Korea’s Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) scored ‘good’ overall and ranked 14th among evaluated donors, improving by seven points compared to the 2020 index. 

Spain: The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) ranked 42nd among donors, losing nearly 17 points since 2020 and remaining in the ‘fair’ category.  

Sweden: The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) ranked 21st among donors, improving by 4 points since 2022 and sitting in the ‘good’ category. 

United Kingdom: The report found the transparency of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has declined.  According to the index’s ranking, the FCDO fell from 9th place in 2020 to 16th in 2022; no UK agency scored in the 'very good' category for the first time since the Index was launched in 2012. The FCDO and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) sat in the ‘good’ category. The FCDO has underperformed compared to the former Department for International Development (2020) across all five Index components; this is largely the result of a lack of organizational and country strategies and inconsistent release of results, evaluations, and objectives.

United States: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) ranked 25th among donors and was placed in the ‘good’ category; however, the agency lost nearly 12 points and declined significantly in transparency since 2020. The US State Department ranked 32nd among donors, losing 5 points since 2020 and dropping out of the ‘good’ category to ‘fair.’  

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent US government agency, scored in the ‘very good’ category and ranked 5th among donors. The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) jumped from ‘fair’ to ‘good’ in 2022, improving by nearly 9 points and ranking 20th among donors.  

Recommendations for all donors included:  

  • Publishing more project budgets to facilitate planning and coordination;  
  • Implementing government entity references and developing referencing approaches for the private sector to track assistance flows;  
  • For Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), improving non-sovereign portfolio data;  
  • Publishing comprehensive data on project impact metrics; and 
  • Publishing budget documents, project procurement information, and impact appraisals.  

Report - Publish What You Fund 

News article – BOND  

News article - The Telegraph 

News article - National Tribune 

Netherlands announces additional US$216 million loan for Ukraine through IMF

On July 5, 2022, at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Lugano, Switzerland, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Liesje Schreinemacher announced that the Netherlands will lend the Ukrainian government an additional US$216 million through the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This support is in addition to the Netherlands’ previous US$151 million financial contribution.

In a letter, Schreinemacher elaborated that this additional financing will go through a special credit line for Ukraine at the IMF, called the Multi-Donor Administered Account. The funding is meant to support the Ukrainian government’s day-to-day costs, including salaries of civil servants, teachers, and healthcare workers, and to ultimately keep the economy going.

Due to Ukraine’s financing needs, the Dutch Minister of Finance will approve the pledge via an accelerated budget process. The intended financial contribution will be submitted to the House for approval after the summer recess ends in mid-September.

Speech – Dutch government

Letter – Dutch government (in Dutch)

CSOs urge governments to address land grabbing amidst global food security crisis

A recent report by Italian CSO FOCSIV highlighted that in the past 20 years, around 91.7 million hectares of land have been 'grabbed' from local communities, smallholder farmers, and native groups.

Land grabbing refers to large-scale long-term acquisitions of farmland by private and public investors for algricultural purposes. Land grabbing often operates in legal grey areas and has been referred to as a 'new form of colonialism' that threatens low- and middle-income countries' sovereignty and local communities' survival by many experts. 

Countries experiencing the largest increases in land grabbing include Peru (16 million hectares), followed by Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. In Europe, Ukraine has also experienced high levels of land grabbing due to privatization measures and a land reform that has benefited a small group of agribusinesses.

The report calls on NGOs, CSOs, and governments to work together to support most vulnerable groups; They give examples like increasing ODA levels and allocating new resources to support a sustainable agricultural transition that protects human rights and the livelihoods of farming communities.

The report calls for strengthening the role of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), rolling out due diligence legislation (e.g., EU legislation on land grabbing), and outlines 10 key recommendations to restructure global food systems to support local farming communities and protect the right to land for the most vulnerable. 

Report - FOCSIV

News article - LIFEGATE

OCHA report on least-financed humanitarian operations outlines US$46 billion global financing gap

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), published its biannual report on the funding allocated to tackle emergencies in the most vulnerable regions of the world. As of mid-June 2022, a US$46 billion financing gap remains. The funding within the gap would assist 204 of 306 million people in need in 28 humanitarian response plans, 7 regional plans, and 5 rapid intervention actions. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of new humanitarian crises, the budget needed to tackle these crises worldwide rose by US$10 billion from 2021 to 2022. OCHA warned that the Russian invasion of Ukraine may lead to the diversion of resources for humanitarian purposes.

The report estimated that the current resources allocated for 2022 are not enough to address the humanitarian crises in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, and Ethiopia. The report also claimed that so far, the resources disbursed to address the crisis in Ukraine exceed the funding need.

Humanitarian operations in Yemen experienced the highest cuts compared to 2021 - a US$580 million reduction. Only US$1 billion was received for the crisis in Yemen, much lower than the actual funding needed, which amounted to US$4.3 billion. Syria had secured less than 25% of needed resources (US$1 billion against a US$ 4.4 billion need). Finally, Afghanistan had received slightly more than one-third (34%) of the resources needed for 2022, with US$1.5 billion received against a US$ 4.4 billion need.

The report highlights that despite increased funding for humanitarian operations, there is a high risk that donor budgets will go through serious cuts in 2022 due to growing domestic pressures. 

Report - OCHA

WTO approves partial TRIPS waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

The World Trade Organization (WTO) agreed on a partial patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines on June 17, 2022, at the six-day ministerial meeting in Brussels, Belgium. 

The agreement on COVID-19 vaccines, as well as progress on other trade cooperation, renewed support for the multilateral trading system, which has been hampered by disputes over conflicting priorities and US non-cooperation in recent years. However, many contentious decisions, including agricultural subsidies in the wake of the food crisis, were postponed and will be discussed at the next ministerial meeting in December 2023.

The partial Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver was finally approved after the UK reversed its former opposition position. The approved TRIPS waiver will allow governments to 'compel' companies to share their vaccine formulas for five years if compensation is provided. It should be noted that the waiver only partially covers COVID-19 vaccine formulas and does not waive intellectual property rights to other COVID-19-related diagnostics and treatments. 

The partial waiver has been met with mixed reactions, with pharmaceutical companies and the bio-health industry upset that research and development (R&D) costs could end up 'sunk' with lower payouts than expected.

On the other hand, development and global health advocates contend that the agreement does not go far enough. The original proposal by South Africa and India included provisions to exempt all COVID-19-related vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics. Director of Knowledge Ecology International James Love said, "It is hard to imagine anything with fewer benefits than this, as a response to a massive global health emergency."

Another review will take place in six months to reevaluate the status of the partial TRIPS waiver.

News article - Devex

News article - Financial Times

UK COP26 President in running for head of UNFCCC

The Guardian reported that UK COP26 President Alok Sharma could be in the running to take over as the head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). He would replace Patricia Espinosa, who is due to leave the post next month.

Sharma’s management of COP26 and its tense negotiations won praise from many, even if some commentators were disappointed in the final results.

News article - The Guardian

OECD's International Economic Forum on Africa reveals top development priorities

On June 10, 2022, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) held the 21st edition of the African Union (AU) - OECD International Economic Forum on Africa. The Forum has proved to be a consolidated platform for dialogue and cooperation between the OECD Development Center and the AU. Italy played an active role in the organization of the meeting, with Deputy Foreign Minister Marina Sereni attending and chairing one of the sessions of the meeting, together with OECD Deputy Secretary General Jeffrey Schlagenhauf, Chair of the AU Macki Sall and Vice Chair of the AU Monique Nsanzabaganwa. During her keynote speech, Deputy Foreign Minister Sereni recalled 3 main priorities for the African continent:

  • Food security;
  • Strengthening of the private sector; and
  • Boosting job opportunities for younger generations.

She also highlighted that Italy is deeply concerned about the impact of the war in Ukraine on Africa’s food security, with several countries exposed to the increased prices of food-related imports. Several countries are at high risk due to shortages of wheat, flour, fertilizers and energy resources, while increasing prices are putting economies with already limited fiscal space due to increased debt levels under strain. 

Deputy Foreign Minister Sereni underlined that Italy is working with international partners to ensure adequate humanitarian assistance in the short-term while setting up structural interventions to increase the efficiency, resilience as well as environmental sustainability of the primary sector on the African continent. Members emphasized that keeping international trade channels open is crucial and more efforts are needed to lift barriers to trade. This finding is particularly relevant for Italy; in 2021, trade between Italy and countries in Africa amounted to 42.1 billion (US$45.5 billion), an increase of 42% compared to 2020 and 8.6% compared to 2019. 

Website - International Economic Forum on Africa

Mediterranean Ministerial Dialogue on Food Security Crisis attempts to address global implications of invasion of Ukraine

The Mediterranean Ministerial Dialogue on the Food Security Crisis, chaired by the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio and co-chaired by Germany, Turkey, and Lebanon, took place on June 8, 2022. Director General of the FAO, Qu Dongyu, the competent Ministers of the 24 Countries of the area, and the Representatives of the 7 International Organizations concerned.

The meeting aimed to address issues that will be at the center of discussion at the upcoming G7 Summit on June 26-28, 2022, including accessing Ukraine's stock of wheat (20 million tons) and avoiding a “global food catastrophe” for countries that are heavily dependent on imported food. In particular, the meeting focused on 3 key issues:

  1. Creating proper financial mechanisms to support the import of food commodities for vulnerable countries when there are sudden food price spikes;
  2. Making global food supply chains more resilient by tackling food losses and waste across all the chains; and
  3. Supporting the effective use of fertilizers and R&D to support more resilient agri-food systems.

Experts are worried that a global food crisis could trigger other phenomena like mass migration by undermining the socio-economic-political stability of several countries. No political declaration was issued at the end of the meeting. However, all participating organizations will work on a shared technical document to be published at the end of June 2022.

Event - Mediterranean Ministerial Dialogue on the Food Security Crisis

US emergency funding for Ukraine contains food security funding

The massive US$40 billion emergency funding bill for Ukraine, signed by the United States President Joe Biden, largely focused on military and humanitarian needs. However, the bill also contained funding for food insecurity, including US$150 million in funding for the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) and US$760 million in economic support. The bill, however, did not include any additional global funding for the COVID-19 response, for which advocates continue to press. 

At the same time, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken chaired a United Nations ministerial meeting in New York and pressed the international community to address what he termed the largest global food crisis in modern times. He outlined a plan to address the food needs of low-income countries, including financial assistance, access to commodities, and much-needed technical assistance to allow these countries to not only produce food but also build resilience.

News report - Devex

News report - Devex

Despite falling short of expectations, Second Global COVID-19 Summit mobilizes US$3.2 billion in new pledges, establishes new World Bank fund

Global leaders pledged an additional US$3.2 billion in new and additional funding during the second Global COVID-19 Summit, which took place virtually on May 12, 2022. The meeting included commitments related to COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) in addition to licensing, reducing the price of oral antiretrovirals, and the creation of a fund to prevent future pandemics to be housed within the World Bank.

A country-by-country breakdown can be found in our recent Commentary

UK commits US$20 million to Global Financing Facility

The UK Minister of State for Asia and the Middle East, Amanda Milling, tweeted that the UK has committed £15 million (US$20 million) to support the Global Financing Facility (GFF), a global mechanism for supporting low- and middle-income countries to invest in women, children and adolescent health.

The commitment was made at GFF’s ‘Reclaim the Gains’ meeting in Washington, DC on April 22, 2022, which saw international development providers, including the UK, provide an additional US$500 million in total to GFF. The impact of COVID-19 has severely restricted access to health services; GFF reported that coverage of lifesaving health interventions for women, children, and adolescents in 36 GFF countries dropped up to 25% in the first year of the pandemic.

Tweet - Amanda Milling

Press release – GFF

US$10.1 billion in new funding committed in 'Stand Up for Ukraine' campaign

Global Citizen, along with the European Commission and the Canadian government, launched a 'Stand Up for Ukraine' global social media rally on April 8, 2022. US$10.1 billion in funding - US$4.6 billion in grants and US$5.5 billion in loans) have been committed during the campaign, and 20,277 actions have been taken to support those fleeing their homes in Ukraine. 

The campaign culminated in a pledging event in Warsaw on April 9, 2022, to recognize Poland's essential role in supporting refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. Global Citizen called on donors to recognize the importance of utilizing this funding as both new and additional; specifically, the use of the funds should not undermine other development priorities, nor should it pit crises against each other. 

Canada: As a co-host of the campaign, Canada committed an additional CAD$100 million (US$79 million) in humanitarian support to Ukraine and neighboring countries with a particular focus on trauma care. Canada has provided CAD 245 million (US$194 million) since January of 2022 for the crisis. 

EU: The European Commission, a co-host of the campaign, committed €600 million (US$660 million) for Ukraine and €400 million (US$440 million) for refugees hosted in the EU.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) committed €4 billion (US$4.4 billion) for 2022-2023 to support EU member states hosting Ukrainian refugees and to develop social infrastructure. This contribution is a part of the EIB’s Ukraine Solidarity Package, under which the EIB has already provided a €668 million (US$755 million) financial aid package to Ukraine to help Ukrainian authorities meet the country’s “most urgent financial needs”, such as buying food, medical supplies, and fuel.

The Council of Europe Development committed €1 billion (US1.1 billion) in loans to member states to support countries hosting refugees. 

Italy: Italy pledged an additional €360 million (US$396 million) in humanitarian assistance for refugees in Europe. 

Sweden: Sweden committed €300 million (US$330 million) to in-country refugee hosts, specifying that the funding would not come out of the official development assistance (ODA) budget. 

Additional donors: Additional countries expressed their support for the campaign and reiterated existing funding promises. 

The Donor Tracker was included as one of the 77 signatories in the open letter to world leaders. 

Report - Global Citizen

News article - Global Citizen

Press release - European Commission

Press release - EIB

Canada co-convenes Stand Up for Ukraine event with European Commission, raising US$9.8 billion

On April 9, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau co-convened the “Stand Up for Ukraine” pledging event with the President of the European Commission and in partnership with Global Citizen in a worldwide show of solidarity with Ukraine. The event raised over CA$12.4 billion (US$9.8 billion) to address the crisis and support Ukrainian refugees.

As part of the event, Trudeau announced an additional CA$100 million (US$79 million) to support emergency health services, including trauma care, protection, shelter, water, and food to respond to the worsening crisis in Ukraine and neighboring countries. 

With this announcement, Canada has provided CA$245 million (US$194 million) since January 2022 in assistance to respond to the conflict in Ukraine. Furthermore, in the government's 2022 budget, Canada announced more than CA$1.2 billion (US$951 million) in direct contributions to support Ukraine, in addition to an offer of up to CA$1.6 billion (US$1.3 billion) in loan support to the Ukrainian government.

Press release - Prime Minister of Canada 
Press release - Prime Minister of Canada

Major donors contribute $1.5 billion to CEPI’s pandemic-busting plan, but fall short of expectations

Major donors contributed a total of US$1.5 billion to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)'s at the Global Pandemic Preparedness Summit in London on March 7 - 8 2022 to help kick start the organization’s 100 Days Mission, aiming to have safe and effective vaccines within 100 days of the identification of a pandemic or epidemic threat.

Representatives from 20 countries attended the Summit. UK, Japan, Norway, US, Germany, Australia, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome were some of the largest donors. G20 President Indonesia also pledged US$5 million in support for CEPI. 

Pandemic Action Network noted that "While this is a welcome and important first step toward a world that is better prepared for pandemic threats, it is disappointing that many governments failed to match political support with bold and meaningful financial commitments."

Press release - CEPI

Press release - Pandemic Action Network

Newly developed material could end vaccine refrigeration requirement, help with distribution

Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has developed a material that could protect vaccines for up to 12 weeks at room temperature. Live vaccines would normally last only a few days at such temperatures. 

This could improve access to vaccines in the remote and rural areas of low-income countries. CSIRO has achieved proof of the concept with 2 vaccines, one an Influenza A vaccine, and the other, a poultry vaccine against Newcastle Disease.

The researchers encapsulated live virus vaccines in a crystalline material that dissolved after injection. The approach was applicable to human live virus vaccines, including mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. It could also be used for animal vaccines.

Press release – CSIRO

Global adult multi-vaccination program could save US$3.4 trillion and millions of lives if implemented, according to report

A new report by the Tony Blair Institute, the Ellison Institute, and Oxford University, entitled 'A Global Opportunity to Combat Preventable Disease: How to Use Covid-19 Infrastructure to Transform Public Health Worldwide', calls for the world to capitalize on the COVID-19 pandemic experience to establish a new global adult vaccination program to save lives and to avoid financial loss as a result of poor health in the future.

The report highlights that at least 10 million annual deaths are due to diseases that have existing or forthcoming adult vaccines and preventative injectable therapies. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, the current global architecture for delivering vaccinations is not efficient, demonstrated by problems with the development, manufacture, and distribution of vaccinations and preventative therapies.

The report sets out how a global adult-vaccination program underpinned by a strong new partnership between low- and middle-income countries and high-income countries could improve global population health, increase economic benefits, and increase autonomy for low- and middle-income countries.

Interestingly, the report uses a new methodology to make the case for vaccine investment by evaluating the impact of a structured program with multiple simultaneous vaccines and by considering the economic impact of preventing the next global pandemic. Using this methodology, the report shows that a global adult-vaccination program could save US$3.40 trillion globally, with an estimated $1.0 trillion in savings for low-income countries.

The report calls for key global health multilateral organizations – like GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO), The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the World Bank, and additional philanthropic partners - to come together to mobilize resources, infrastructure, and expertise to lead the development of the proposed program.

The report calls for organizations - like the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) - to lead in the coordination of supply and demand tracking for vaccines, determine allocations for financial resources, and harmonize global regulations on manufacturing and rollouts.

Governments receiving the vaccines should additionally prepare for demand and distribution; scientists should agree on global eligibility and dosing guidelines, and the private sector should enable the availability and affordability of vaccines for low-income countries. The report notes that the program can only work if every actor takes responsibility.

Report -  Global Opportunity to Combat Preventable Disease

Funding for neglected diseases fell by 4% in 2020, says G-FINDER report

Policy Cures Research published its latest G-FINDER report entitled "Neglected Disease Research and Development: New Perspectives,' on January 27, 2022, which provides a comprehensive analysis of global investment in research and development to address neglected diseases in low-income countries in 2020. 

The report reviews the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and outlines the impact of the crisis on neglected tropical disease funding, which dropped 4% globally from 2019. With a total US$3.9 billion in funding, 2020 sits well above neglected disease funding's long-term average. 

Australia: Australia contributed US$46 million in neglected disease funding in 2020, prioritizing malaria, dengue, bacterial pneumonia & meningitis, hepatitis B and C, rheumatic fever, Buruli ulcer, and scabies. Australia is the third-largest public funder of neglected disease per capita, at US$3.39 per US$100,000 following the United States and United Kingdom. 

Canada: Canada contributed US$12 million to neglected disease funding in 2020, the ninth-largest public funder. 

EU: The European Commission was the third-largest public funder of neglected diseases in 2020; it was the only public funder to increase funding compared to 2019. The US$41 million increase (33%) to US$164 million was largely driven by support for tuberculosis research, which increased by US$23 million. 

France: France contributed US$40 million to neglected disease funding in 2020, the seventh-largest public funder, prioritizing Leptospirosis. 

Germany: Germany contributed US$55 million to public neglected disease funding in 2020, the fifth-largest funder. 

Japan: Japan contributed US$12 million in neglected disease funding in 2020, prioritizing Buruli ulcer and mycetoma, as the tenth-largest public funder.

Netherlands: The Netherlands contributed US$11 million in neglected disease funding in 2020, the eleventh-largest public funder. 

Sweden: Sweden contributed US$11 million in neglected disease funding in 2020, the twelfth-largest public funder. 

United Kingdom: The United Kingdom was the second-largest public contributor to neglected diseases with US$187 million in funding in both absolute and per capita terms. It has remained the second-largest funder for 5 years. It prioritized HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, diarrhoeal disease, kinetoplastid disease, helminth, Salmonella, dengue, bacterial pneumonia and meningitis, cryptococcal meningitis, snakebite envenoming, leprosy, scabies, and mycetoma research. 

United States: The United States remained the largest public funder of neglected diseases by far, following historical trends, with US$1.9 billion in total funding. It remained the top-funder in the neglected disease space in both absolute and per capita terms.

High-income country (HIC) governments provided the vast majority of global funding (63%), followed by the philanthropic sector (21%), industry (12%); the remaining 4% was divided between multilateral organizations and low- and middle-income country governments. 

The philanthropic sector provided US$823 million of funding for neglected diseases, an 3.6% increase from 2019. Top donors include the Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Open Philanthrophy, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Fundació La Caixa, and funds raised from the general public. Wellcome Trust and Open Philanthropy uped their contributions in 2020, making up the bulk of the increase in the philanthropic sector. 95% of all philanthropic funding for neglected diseases in philanthropy comes from the top three funders, Gates, Wellcome, and Open Philanthropy. 

While overall funding decreased minimally, G-FINDER is worried about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises on neglected tropical disease funding in the future. The team expects that widespread focus on the COVID-19 pandemic could take away from resources and attention funders might otherwise have given to neglected diseases. The immediate impact of COVID-19 is most evident, however, in clinical trials. Funding in this sector for neglected diseases fell by US$124 million, or a 10% drop from 2019, and is mainly attributed to difficulties in conducting trials due to lockdowns and travel restrictions. 

Report - Policy Cures Research

Executive Summary - Policy Cures Research