UK response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines makes the grade | 

UK-funded jerrycans being distributed by the NGO Plan International in the village of Santo Nino on Leyte island, Philippines, Saturday, 7 December 2013.
UK-funded jerrycans being distributed by the NGO Plan International in the village of Santo Nino on Leyte island, Philippines, December 2013.

Survey says, the UK did a very good job in its response to the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

At least that is what the Independent Commission for Aid Impact found when investigating the work of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). A green rating was given for the humanitarian support provided by DFID, the best possible rating. Not only that, the £77 million that the UK provided was more than any other country, even beating out the US.

“DFID responded swiftly and decisively to the emergency,” said Independent Commission for Aid Impact Chief Commissioner, Graham Ward. “It was the largest single donor and played a lead role in the response, providing vital humanitarian assistance to people in dire need. Its early and multi-faceted action helped to galvanize support from other donors and to influence the global humanitarian aid response.”

This represents only the third time that DFID has scored green in thirty-two reports. The Independent Commission for Aid Impact is an independent body that scrutinizes the UK’s foreign aid work. A team of investigators were sent out in January to determine how things went in the Philippines. Their findings that the UK was a leader in the response, but there is still more work to be done. Continue reading

Advocates warn of global health doomsday if Global Fund doesn’t get money | 

DfID Secretary Justine Greening at UNDP last year.
DfID Secretary Justine Greening at UNDP last year.

(New York) – A pledge by the UK to provide the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria £1 billion ($1.6 billion USD) over three years inches the global health funder closer to its goal of $15 billion for its next funding replenishment. The announcement buoys hopes that the international donor community will continue to keep the Global Fund afloat.

“It is in all our interests to help people to live longer, healthier, more productive lives so we all need to play our part in working towards a world free of HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB,” said UK Department for International Development secretary Justine Greening at a UN meeting on the Millennium Development Goals.

A £1 billion commitment to the Global Fund equates to one life saved every three minutes, said Greening. Providing 10% of the needed Global Fund budget over three years will only happen if other donors step up to reach $15 billion. There are concerns that progress gained by the Global Fund’s work over the past few years could be lost if the funding does not come through. Continue reading

Global leaders try to get serious about hunger | 

BigIF G8 rally and Hunger Summit
Young people participating at the BigIf rally in Hyde Park.

As the leaders of the world’s economic powers gather to discuss the state of the global economy and find common ground on pressing international issues, nutrition is featuring as a main topic.

New research from the Lancet says that malnutrition is responsible the death of 3.1 million children a year. A number that represents just less than half of all deaths for children under five years old.

Advocates pressed on the UK, host of the G8 summit, to commit to end hunger. Continue reading

Progress against poverty: A video celebration of the evidence | 

The U.S. Agency for International Development, once one of the most bureaucratic and boring agencies in the federal government, is doing a pretty lively, entertaining job of educating us about our work in the world.

Credit Raj Shah, the former Gates Foundation wunderkind who CNN recently profiled as the Young Gun Fixing USAID. Whether he can actually “fix” the agency remains to be seen. But they are doing a pretty good job on getting the word out about our nation’s efforts in aid and development.

Below is a compelling video USAID released during UN Week to celebrate the progress being made in the fight against global poverty, disease and inequity.

Created in partnership with Britain’s aid agency, DFID, the video is part of a campaign called the MDG Countdown. The idea is to draw attention to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (the international community’s eight poverty reduction targets set for 2015):