What’s happening in international development?

At LIDC, we’re always on the lookout for the most interesting news, innovations and research in international development. Here’s our pick of the latest developments to keep an eye on.

1) Gates Foundation launches new global education strategy

On Friday 1st June, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched its new global education strategy, which will invest $68 million over four years to enhance education systems in India and Sub-Saharan Africa. In a blog post, the foundation’s Director of Global Education Learning Strategy, Girindre Beeharry, explained that the strategy has four pillars. At the global level, it will support efforts to make data about learning outcomes comparable so progress can be tracked over time. At the country level, the Foundation will work collaboratively to help diagnose the underlying causes of poor educational performance and develop solutions. At the classroom level, it will identify evidence-based tools to support teaching and learning, and overall seek to understand barriers that are preventing girls from completing secondary schooling.

2) Experimental drugs approved for use in DRC Ebola outbreak

Five experimental therapeutic drugs have been cleared for use on patients in the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The drugs are the monoclonal antibody cocktails ZMapp, REGN and mAb 114 and the antivirals remdesivir and favipiravir. According to the WHO, such treatments had not been made widely available or used during an Ebola outbreak. So far, control of the outbreak has relied on efforts including patient isolation and care, contact tracing, and use of an experimental vaccine, Rvsv-ZEBOV.

3) World Bank warns trade tensions could cause 2008-level crisis

The World Bank has warned that a worldwide escalation of trade tensions between the US and its major trading partners could result in ‘severe consequences’ for global trade, equivalent to the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. In its latest global economic prospects report, the bank found that a broad-based increase in the use of import tariffs globally would spur a 9% plunge in global trade.

4) Cholera ‘third wave’ threatens Yemen

A study published in The Lancet Global Health suggests that a new outbreak of cholera in Yemen can be expected as a result of the rainy season that began in April. According to the study, if predictions are accurate, half of the country’s 30 million people now face a risk of cholera in infection in an outbreak expected to be larger in scale than the previous two.