Financing for Development Deal Reached in Addis

192 UN Member States have signed onto the outcome document of the Financing For Development Conference in Addis. This is a big deal. The document, called the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, outlines fairly concrete ways in which the international community can fund and actually implement a path toward sustainable development and the goal of eradicating extreme poverty. “In the outcome document, countries agreed to an array of measures aimed at widening the revenue base, improving tax collection, and combatting tax evasion and illicit financial flows. Countries also reaffirmed their commitment to official development assistance, particularly for the least developed countries, and pledged to increase South-South cooperation. The outcome document also underscores the importance of aligning private investment with sustainable development, along with public policies and regulatory frameworks to set the right incentives. A new mechanism that will facilitate financing for new technologies for developing countries was also agreed upon.” (UN

Further reading on taxes…Britain’s Institute of Development Studies has issued a policy brief on Building Tax Capacity in Developing Countries. It says that “governments will be urged to tax more effectively” and donors will be called upon to help build the capacity to do so. (VOA

Stat of the Day…Nearly 9,500 people die early each year in London due to long-term exposure to air pollution, more than twice as many as previously thought. (Guardian

Thomson Reuters Foundation digs deep into the NGO industry:

A survey of the world’s 50 biggest humanitarian NGOs by expenditure found their total annual spending has more than doubled to $18 billion in the last 10 years – greater than the national GDP of one third of the world’s countries. The growth has come as more public money is funneled to victims of disasters and conflicts.

With fraud rife in conflict and disaster zones, aid charities are under pressure to be open about corruption but one third of the world’s 25 biggest aid charities declined to make their fraud data public in a Thomson Reuters Foundation investigation.

Charities trying to deliver aid across Syria to help victims of the worsening conflict, have admitted it is hard, if not impossible, to know where supplies end up and fear future funding could be at risk, a Thomson Reuters Foundation investigation found.


A Liberian woman has died of Ebola in a hospital in Monrovia shortly after being admitted, becoming the sixth confirmed case and second death since the virus resurfaced last month, a senior medical official said. (Reuters

Two new Ebola vaccine trials began on Wednesday with volunteers in Britain, France and Senegal getting “prime-boost” immunizations developed by Bavarian Nordic, GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson. (Reuters

The UN on Tuesday said it was “alarmed” that authorities in the Central African Republic planned to block refugees from voting in October polls, with nearly 200,000 mostly Muslims citizens facing exclusion. (AFP

A nurse working for the charity International Medical Corps has died of Ebola in Sierra Leone. (Guardian

The United Nations has dropped a demand for two Democratic Republic of Congo generals accused of human rights abuses to be replaced before U.N. peacekeepers can resume cooperation with the Congolese army on operations against a Rwandan rebel group. (Reuters

Sub-Saharan Africa is still far behind in its ability to generate electricity, hampering growth and frustrating its ambitions to catch up with the rest of the world. (IPS

Swaziland freed two prominent opposition politicians arrested over a year ago for allegedly calling for the overthrow of absolute monarch King Mswati III, rights activists said. (AFP


Obama used a formal East Room news conference to begin what White House officials said would be an aggressive effort by the president and his top advisers over the next 60 days to combat critics in both parties and to sell the Iran deal to members of Congress, the public and allies in the region. (NYT

Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, appears determined to push allies in the US Congress to block the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, despite warnings his strategy would fail and further damage relations with the Obama administration. (Irish Times

Pro-government militiamen have made further advances against Houthi rebels in the southern Yemeni city of Aden. (BBC


Indian investigators raided the home and offices of a prominent human rights activist and critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, amid growing concern about a crackdown on foreign-funded charities. (Reuters

The US Justice Department moved Tuesday to seize $12.5 million in assets of Janet Napoles, a businesswoman at the center of a broad Philippines corruption scandal dubbed the “pork barrel scam”. (AFP

Earthquake-hit Nepal will train 50,000 workers to help carry out reconstruction, the finance minister said, the biggest skill development program in the country’s history as economic growth is expected to fall to the slowest rate in eight years. (Reuters

The Americas

The founder of an orphanage in Haiti who is accused by an American activist of molesting boys told jurors that he never sexually abused children and that he wouldn’t wish his imprisonment in Haiti on his worst enemy. (AP

The countries of Latin America have partially met the Millennium Development Goal referring to the fight against HIV/AIDS, according to the UNAIDS report on the global epidemic. (IPS

A leading opposition figure in Venezuela, Maria Corina Machado, says she has been barred from public office for a year. (BBC

Child marriage is widely accepted in Brazil, where girls seek older husbands to escape from sexual and other violence in the home, or because of teenage pregnancies or the lack of job opportunities, according to new research. (TRF

Tens of thousands of land mines are among the most sinister scars of Colombia’s half-century conflict. And even as the government and rebels hold slow-moving peace talks in Cuba, more are being planted, perhaps faster than old ones can be removed. (AP

…and the rest

Up to 1.3 million people in war-torn eastern Ukraine are facing acute water shortages and a serious water crisis due to damaged or destroyed infrastructure, the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said. (Reuters

Progress in making companies more environmentally and socially responsible has been slow and too many still focus on short-term financial gain rather than their long-term impact on people and nature, the head of the U.N. Global Compact said. (Reuters

A thousand people demonstrated in downtown Budapest against a fence Hungary is building along its border with Serbia to keep out an accelerating flow of migrants entering from the south. (Reuters

Many health experts remain cautious about how the international community is internalizing the lessons learned from the Ebola epidemic. (GlobalPost

Nine years after it was first approved in June 2006, the HPV vaccine has had a far more sluggish entree into medical practice than other vaccines at a similar point in their history, according to a report in Tuesday’s JAMA. (NPR


The most powerful African you’ve never heard of (Daily Maverick

Egg War: Why India’s Vegetarian Elite Are Accused Of Keeping Kids Hungry (Goats and Soda

How private sources of development finance could be key to Asia’s future (Guardian

Financing for development: the view from Addis (ODI

#DevPix: 5 things that can’t be ignored about development photography (Africa is a Country

Why Africa May Leave the International Criminal Court (Addis Fortune

Africa: Are African Statistics a Tragedy? (The Independent UG

Burundi: How Should the International Community Respond? (African Arguments

Zimbabwe: How Empowering Women Helps HIV Response (Key Correspondents