Devex, Reuters Report On Issues Related To Bilateral, Multilateral Funding For COVID-19, Including OECD Statement On ODA, New DFAT Aid Policy, World Bank Statement On IDA

Devex: Coronavirus vaccine research doesn’t count as ODA, says OECD
“Funding research into a COVID-19 vaccine cannot be counted as official development assistance, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee. Donors have spent billions from public budgets on research for a coronavirus vaccine, particularly with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, as well as on diagnostics and therapeutics. At least some of that has been advertised as coming from aid budgets…” (Worley, 5/29).

Devex: DFAT announces new aid policy in response to COVID-19. But is anything different?
“A new Australian aid policy document will be launched on May 29 by Marise Payne, Australian foreign minister, and Alex Hawke, minister for international development and the Pacific. Titled ‘Partnerships for Recovery: Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response,’ the new policy will see the aid program focus on health security as its key pillar. … But despite this recognition of the importance of health security and the diversity of challenges that exist — including the need to strengthen health care systems, vaccination coverage, and human, animal, and environmental health interaction — no additional budget is being allocated…” (Cornish, 5/28).

Devex: Interactive: The bilaterals funding the COVID-19 response in Southeast Asia and Pacific
“…In this article, Devex is exploring the support and investments the most influential bilateral agencies in the region are providing. Since January, Devex has tracked over 70 country-specific bilateral funding announcements — excluding domestic resource mobilization efforts but including south-south cooperation initiatives — worth over $2.1 billion…” (Buan/Sarmenta, 5/29).

Reuters: World Bank suggests possible extra replenishment of IDA lending arm
“World Bank President David Malpass on Thursday suggested the Bank and donor countries should explore a possible supplemental replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA) concessional lending arm if the coronavirus crisis deepens. … But he rejected a call by over 300 lawmakers from around the world for the Bank and the International Monetary Fund to cancel the debt of the poorest countries, saying it was more important to preserve the Bank’s ability to be able to continue to provide grants or low-interest loans to those countries…” (Shalal, 5/28).