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Today: What’s the impact of U.K. aid cuts? Join Will Worley and a panel of experts at 9 a.m. ET (3 p.m. CET) to get the scoop.

RED FLAGS: Kenya hits a new peak COVID-19 positivity rate, Brazil’s health system teeters on the edge of collapse, and the virus’s most mutated strain yet appears in Tanzania.

THE SKINNY

As U.S. President Joe Biden prepares to release early budget numbers this week, a new analysis puts the development and diplomacy tab at $14 billion more than was provided last year. Biden’s “skinny budget” could preview how the White House plans to back up big promises with actual funding.

  • This will be both Biden’s first budget request, and the first since the COVID-19 pandemic completely altered the landscape of global health and development. Biden’s team has signaled that his administration will elevate development, and this is a chance to show what that means.

  • “I would expect a big number,” says Paul Foldi of the Council of International Development Companies. “If you don’t ask in the first year you’re not going to get it in the second.”

  • The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition gave me a first look at a needs assessment it put together in consultation with two dozen experts. It points to $14 billion more in development and diplomacy funding required for 2022 than was enacted in 2021. “The international affairs budget can’t be the same if we’re going to protect the interests of the American people,” says USGLC head Liz Schrayer.

  • There is no guarantee the bipartisan consensus on global health and development will extend to a major increase in foreign aid spending.

Read the Devex exclusive: Biden's “skinny budget” to give first look at aid plans

Sponsored by Gilead: Q&A: COVID-19's economic impact on women living with HIV

COVID-19 has impacted livelihoods the world over. How is this affecting women with HIV in India, and how can they be supported? Shreepal Saptasagar, director at Yerala Projects Society, explains.

AGE DISCRIMINATION

Older people living in care homes have been among the hardest hit by COVID-19. But the pandemic has also exposed systemic ageism and a lack of protection of older people’s human rights, reports Rumbi Chakamba. Multiple countries have introduced restrictions on movement, gathering, and other rights in what could be age-based discrimination, says Bridget Sleap of HelpAge International.

Rumbi looks into whether a U.N. Convention on the rights of older people would offer protection.

DEVEXPLAINS

Hailed as one of the most significant resources to help low-income countries cope with the economic impacts of the pandemic, the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights are also among the trickiest to wrap your head around. Even U.S. senators and U.S. Treasury secretaries are prone to arguing over how these global reserve assets actually work — and who pays for them.

Thankfully, Adva Saldinger is here to explain SDRs once and for all.

And ICYMI: IMF announces it will release a plan for a $650B SDR issuance
Opinion: Will rich nations finally deliver solutions to the debt crisis?

10 YEARS IN

On Monday, international delegates meet virtually to chart the future of aid to Syria — a decade into a devastating war that has plunged 80% of Syrians into poverty. As the country announced that it would start rationing fuel due to shortages caused by the ongoing blockage of the Suez canal, a U.N. spokesperson says supporting Syrians will require more than $10 billion. This comes as reports indicate the U.K. has slashed the country’s aid allocation.

Vince Chadwick reports on what to expect from the Brussels V conference on Syria.

VENTURING ALONE

The pandemic has made it tough to raise capital from public and private sector investors for anything other than COVID-19. “We wouldn't want to say that that's not critical. But you know, everything comes at a cost. We feel very lonely,” says Annie Thériault, chief investment officer at Grand Challenges Canada. To help fill the financing gap for women’s and children’s health technology, GCC is creating a new venture capital firm and raising money for a health technology impact fund, Catherine Cheney reports.

Devex Pro: Check out Catherine’s interview with the Gates Foundation’s head of MNCH discovery and tools.

IN THE NEWS

French human rights expert and U.N. Special Rapporteur Agnès Callamard, who investigated the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, will take the helm at Amnesty International. [AP]

India donated 200,000 COVID-19 doses to U.N. peacekeepers on Saturday. [UN News]

Some 4,700 Venezuelans fled to Colombia in the past week due to clashes between the military and armed groups. [Al Jazeera]

In a joint statement, two top U.N. officials "strongly condemn" Myanmar's junta, whose continuous attacks on demonstrators resulted in the death of at least 100 during Saturday's protests. [CNN]

About the author

  • Michael Igoe

    Michael Igoe is a Senior Reporter with Devex, based in Washington, D.C. He covers U.S. foreign aid, global health, climate change, and development finance. Prior to joining Devex, Michael researched water management and climate change adaptation in post-Soviet Central Asia, where he also wrote for EurasiaNet. Michael earned his bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College, where he majored in Russian, and his master’s degree from the University of Montana, where he studied international conservation and development.