WHO Foundation, Australian Aid, INGOs' vision, and more

Posted on 02 June 2020

+ A Pacific bubble first?

Why a bubble with the Pacific should be first, writes University of Auckland’s Collin Tukuitonga in Newsroom.

  • Risk is less. With zero COVID-19 cases in NZ and in some Pacific countries, the risks are less than a bubble with Australia.
  • Economic benefits for the islands would be huge, and the most effective way we could help, given the huge dependence on tourism.
  • We have a large Pacific community ourselves. We’re family.
  • New Zealand has constitutional obligations to realm nations of the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau. Plus a Treaty of Friendship with Samoa and long historical relationships with Tonga.

The priority should be Cooks, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau and Tonga (and Fiji which has been COVID-19 free for more than 35 days), writes Collin Tukuitonga.

On the other hand, Fiji is hoping to return to 70% of pre-COVID-19 tourism levels, but 'this will be much less if iit's forced to choose between being trapped in a travel bubble with Australia and New Zealand (which won’t include Fiji until later) or, access to the rest of the world, right now', writes Brian Hennessey on DevPolicy.

+ Australian aid pivots to COVID

Australia has shelved a major review of its $4 billion foreign aid program and will instead redirect hundreds of millions of dollars over the next two years to help countries in the Indo-Pacific tackle the coronavirus pandemic, writes Anthony Galloway in the Sydney Morning Herald.

It will take money from programs that require international travel and face-to-face engagement – including scholarships, sports and volunteer schemes – and instead spend it on pandemic recovery initiatives.

The Pacific, Timor Leste and Indonesia have been named as priorities.

The new policy,  “Partnerships for Recovery: Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response,” will see the aid program focus on health security as its key pillar.

But is it really any different, argues Lisa Cornish at Devex?

No new money has been allocated, she argues. Just re-diverted. 

“The new aid policy provides no detail on how an aid program focused on response to and recovery from COVID-19 will operate, with limited information on how they will design programs and monitor effectiveness,” 

The CID Weekly is Proudly Sponsored By
Direct Impact Group supports organisations to maximise their social impact, because changing the world isn't easy, and in dynamic times this work is more important than ever.

New WHO Foundation supports global health 

A new independent grant-making entity - WHO Foundation - has been established to support the World Health Organisation (WHO) in addressing the most pressing global health challenges.

The Foundation will be headquartered in Geneva and will support global public health needs by providing funds to WHO and trusted implementing partners to deliver high-impact programmes.

Its goal is to help broaden WHO’s donor base and work towards more sustainable and predictable funding. It will simplify the processing of philanthropic contributions to the WHO.

Meanwhile, here are some reflections from the Center for Global Development on what the WHO without the United States looks like after US President Donald Trump sent an ultimatum letter threatening to pull US funding permanently over Covid-19.

COVID epicentre moves to Latin-America

Latin America outstripped both the United States and Europe to officially register more daily new cases of coronavirus, earning the Americas the dubious distinction of becoming the world’s newest epicentre of the global pandemic crisis, according to the World Health Organization.

The same arguments currently being had over reopening and lives vs. livelihoods as in the U.S. will dominate Latin American politics for weeks and months to come, writes Ian Bremmer in Time Magazine.

As the economic hits mount in development countries, with mass job losses and a rise in poverty, economic considerations will start to trump health ones.

For a full list of cases and responses in Latin America, go here.

Dire COVID-19 implications for children

A new analysis released by Save the Children and UNICEF outlines that the economic fallout of COVID-19 could force up to 86 million more children into household poverty by end 2020 – an increase of 15 per cent.

The report identifies that without urgent action to protect families from the financial hardships caused by the pandemic, the total number of children living below the national poverty line in low- and middle-income countries could reach 672 million by year-end.

Nearly two-thirds of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Countries across Europe and Central Asia could see the most significant increase, up to 44 per cent across the region. Latin America and the Caribbean could see a 22 per cent increase.

Immediate loss of income means families are less able to afford the basics, including food and water, less likely to access health care or education, and more at risk of child marriage, violence, exploitation, and abuse.

When fiscal contraction occurs, the reach and quality of the services families depend on can also be diminished. For the poorest families, lack of access to social care services or compensatory measures further limits their ability to follow containment and physical distancing measures, and thus further increases their exposure to infection.

Original source UNICEF

Pacific Humanitarian Corridor - how is it working?

The Pacific Island Forum established the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway on COVID-19 as a regional response to the pandemic. Chair of PIF's Foreign Ministers committee, the Hon Simon Kofe, talks of the work of the Pathway and how the region is working together in this crisis.

Seasonal workers stuck in NZ winter

Hundreds of orchard workers from Vanuatu are now facing the prospect of an icy cold winter in Central Otago, with temperatures as low as -4.7 degrees earlier this week, reports John McKenzie at TV1

Central Otago volunteers have donated around 300 bags of clothing to keep them warm.

The group are desperate to get home to rebuild houses lost during cyclone Harold.

“I know there are three (men) that lost everything. They’re in a dilemma because they need the money, but they’re actually as important to be back there for building and that’s been difficult for them,” volunteer Debbie Bingham said.

The group is hoping repatriation flights will soon become available, helping them to return home to families affected.

+ UN Industrial Development - responding to COVID

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has published a key paper on the COVID-19 response - Responding to the Crisis: Building a Better Future.

This approach is based on partnerships to accelerate the global response, integrated service packages tailored to each member state’s particular situation and needs, capacity building and knowledge exchange based on lessons learned, best practices and best available technologies. The full report is available here.

+ How INGOs can prepare for future crises

INGOs must demonstrate not only how to mitigate the crises of the present, but also how to prepare for ever more complex and uncertain types of humanitarian crises in the future, armies Randolph Kent at Bond UK.

  • Change organisational behaviour to prepare for future 'known knowns' and 'known unknowns'.
  • Collaborate more - with each other, social enterprise, businesses, research institutes, to make the most of comparative advantages.
  • Amplify the voice of developing countries to mobilise positive responses globally, and push back against the rise of populism and closed borders.

+ Countering the COVID-19 'Infodemic'

A ‘parallel universe’ of rumour and false information has marred the COVID response. 
The wide reach of this ‘infodemic’, and its ability to influence behaviour, could increase health risks and fuel racism and hate and is a genuine threat to COVID-19 prevention and recovery. The report ‘Risk Communication and Countering the ‘Infodemic’’, developed by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Regional Office for Asia-Pacific, aims to highlight the challenges and opportunities for effective risk messaging.
Special emphasis is placed on reaching and helping protect vulnerable communities and deploying tactics to counter misinformation and disinformation which threaten the public health responses.

The report offers ideas on how to manage misinformation, engage with communities, and health workers in developing countries.

+ The importance of data in the Pacific

For those who missed it, here is Pasifika Medical Association CEO, Debbie Sorensen talking to CID members and partners about the organisation’s experience during crises and their priorities in a post-COVID 19 world.

The New Zealand Doctor quotes Debbie on the importance of data - and how easy it is to collect if you make it a priority.

She says that there is a misconception that this is a difficult task. But Debbie explains that when PMA teams are sent to Pacific countries for aid missions, they have no issue collecting information. 

“We did not find it difficult to collect that data. What is difficult is people thinking they don’t have to. If we don’t collect data then we don’t understand the impact or know what we have or haven’t done.”


+ 'Existential Funding Challenge for INGOs'

Barney Tallack, who has nearly 30 years experience in the INGO, Social Justice and not for profit sector in the UK, has just published a discussion paper titled 'The Existential Funding Challenge for Northern INGOs'.

"Even before COVID, northern INGOs with long term development and humanitarian mandates were facing, and in some cases already experiencing, an existential challenge to their economic survival. Rapid income growth over many years had plateaued and, collectively, started to drop". 

"This paper draws on the already concerning trends pre-COVID and why, post-COVID, the drop in income for most INGOs will accelerate rather than revert to pre-existing levels. Some INGOs will, by making very significant strategic changes be able to respond, those that can’t, will need to close or merge".

The report is intended to support those governing and leading INGOs, and outlines potential areas where INGOs need to head between now and 2030 "rather than where it will otherwise be forced".

+ Bond webinars

Several Bond webinars on supporting INGOs to navigate these time of uncertainty are available in their library, here.

+ Handbook on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

The United Nations has developed the first Handbook for United Nations Field Missions on Preventing and Responding to Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, to be launched June 5. 

Building on the January 2020 United Nations Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Policy, the new handbook aims to provide practical guidance to civilian, military and police components of field missions and increase their capacities for prevention and response.

Increasingly civilians are caught on the frontline of devastating conflicts (in countries including Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen).

Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV) is frequently and deliberately used to target civilians, inflicting long-term trauma, fracturing families and communities, and triggering displacement.
This is a serious violation of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and a crime under international criminal law, as well as a major threat to international peace and security. All of which has been recognised by the United Nations Security Council through a series of resolutions on Women, Peace, and Security.
The launch event is on 5 June at 9.00 am EST, live on YouTube.

+ COVID-19 Resources 

+ CID Activities
  • Planning for election event in progress
  • CID Member Program Network Meeting
  • CID Member Fundraising Network Meeting
  • Code compliance self-assessment support for new members
  • Preparation for next Humanitarian Network meeting (9th June)
  • Preparation for next Code of Conduct Committee meeting (16th June)
  • Meeting with NZDF
  • CEOs catch up
  • Online 'Governance' workshop
  • Progression of CID research: 'Health of the Sector'
  • Membership engagement: 1 on 1 calls with CEOs continued
  • Election Group Meeting
  • ACFID/PIANGO/CID meetings and actions


Pacific Islands South America