Five international financial institutions have signed a joint action plan to promote long-term growth in the Caribbean and enhance the region’s resilience to the global economic slump. The signatories to the Caribbean Joint Action Plan include the Caribbean Development Bank, European Investment Bank, Netherlands Development Finance Co., International Finance Corp., and PROPARCO, the private-sector arm of the Agence Francaise de Developpement Group.

The World Health Organization’s 63rd annual meeting ended May 21 with several resolutions to address global health issues, from stemming medical brain drain to attaining the Millennium Development Goals.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria launched the digital media campaign called Born HIV Free with the support of its ambassador and French first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. It announced the commitment of Japan to increase contribution to the fund to USD246.8 million in 2010.

The Australian government has drawn criticism for its aid program’s reliance on technical assistance and hefty payments to consultants. Its proposed increased spending for Africa sparked allegations that the move is motivated by the need to get votes for Australia’s bid to win a seat at the United Nations Security Council.

New U.K. aid chief Andrew Mitchell also earned the ire of some observers for some of the Department for International Development’s early directives, including support for Liverpool’s football coaches to help promote HIV/AIDS treatment in South Africa and the distribution of condoms and other contraceptives in Uganda.

The week also saw the release of the U.K. coalition government’s aid reforms as indicated in the agreement between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

Haiti remains in the news. The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved May 25 a bill calling for a USD2 billion, two-year package to help the reconstruction of the quake-hit nation. A few days earlier, the International Fund for Agricultural Development announced a USD2.5 million grant for a jobs generation and food production initiative in the Caribbean country.

The U.N. released details of its 2010-2011 budget amounting to USD5.16 billion. Its chief, Ban Ki-moon, bared plans of his multiple visits to Africa this year ahead of the Millennium Development Goal summit in September. He also called for a new approach to Somalia following a conference on the war-torn African country in Istanbul.

Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank can now formally vote on the capital increase agreed to at the bank’s annual meeting in Cancun in March. The bank’s president, Luis Alberto Moreno, has won the backing of Canada for his re-election.

The U.S. Agency for International Development launched the Feed the Future guide and the global food security initiative’s website. USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah is now in Bangladesh to attend the Food Security Investment Forum.

The World Bank is considering a new country strategy for Uganda. It approved funding to Egypt’s financial reforms, Yemen’s urban development projects, Indonesia’s climate change efforts, Tajikistan’s education sector, Kazakhstan’s financial stability program, Brazil’s sustainable rural development, Afghanistan’s customs reforms, China’s Annui province’s urban transport development, Peru’s biodiversity protection, Togo’s budget management improvement, and the Philippines’ post-typhoon recovery and pollution management.

High-level appointments included:

- Victoria Wassmer, vice president for administration and finance, Millennium Challenge Corp.

- Suzanne M. McCarron, president, ExxonMobil Foundation.

- Moazzam Malik, director for Western Asia and stabilization, U.K. Department for International Development.

- Jim Drummond, director for West and southern Africa, U.K. Department for International Development.

- Joy Hutcheon, director for East and Central Africa, U.K. Department for International Development.

- Beverley Warmington, director for Asia, U.K. Department for International Development.

- Sue Wardell as director for security and humanitarian relief and for the Middle East, the Caribbean and overseas territories, U.K. Department for International Development.

About the author

  • Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.