• The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) announced its first four loans on Saturday at its first annual general meeting, totalling US$509 million. Three of these initial projects are co-financed by conventional aid donors. Photos from the AGM suggest gender isn’t a high priority for the bank.
  • China’s Finance Minister argues that the AIIB will have a better understanding of the development needs of Asia than other international development banks.
  • The AIIB now has 57 members and US$100 billion in committed capital. It is looking to expand its membership base and increase its staff count from 39 now to 100 by the end of the year. The bank intends to invest $1.2 billion this year. 
  • As we enter the home stretch of the Australian election campaign, foreign aid dominated the Australian Deputy Leaders’ debate in Canberra last week. Matthew Dornan has broken down the debate for Devpolicy.
  • Despite all the heated discussion, when you look at the commitments of the major parties on aid there is a lot of homogeneity. Camilla Burkot and Stephen Howes have evaluated how each political party stacks up on foreign aid.
  • Bob McMullen, Australia’s parliamentary secretary for International Development Assistance from 2007 to 2010, has written about how Australia punches below its weight in multilateral development banks.
  • The Guardian has a piece on the difficulty of weaning rural Myanmar opium farmers away from the valuable but illicit cash crop.
  • Finally,  Brexit isn't looking good for development. The drop in the pound is causing the value of British foreign aid to fall by more than US$1.4 billion. It will also have broader development ramifications.

Photo: ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

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