Early warnings about rising malnutrition, drought and possible famine in the Horn of Africa “went unheeded” for the past year, but “[w]hat is the point of an early warning system if nobody is listening?” a Globe and Mail editorial asks.
In a post on USAID’s “IMPACTblog,” USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah describes the U.S. response to the drought in the Horn of Africa, as well as his visit on Wednesday to the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. “Since October 2010, the U.S. Government has provided $459 million in life-saving aid to…
The U.N. on Wednesday said during a donor meeting in Geneva that “it needs $7.9 billion this year, $500 million more than it had originally sought, to fund relief operations in the face of spreading humanitarian crises in Africa and Asia,” Reuters reports (7/20).
In a Daily Caller opinion piece, Richard Tren, director of Africa Fighting Malaria, highlights a finding in a recent malaria report that the U.S. government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “were responsible for 85% of the steep increase in malaria funding between 2007 and 2009.” But “[i]f 30 African heads of state were to give up their private jets, a fund of well over $500 million could be generated,” Tren writes.
PBS NewsHour examines how the Canadian organization MEDA is using text messages to track malaria supplies in local clinics and retailers in Tanzania. The piece includes a related video featuring a MEDA employee giving a tour of the program (Cheers, 7/22).
In related news, the Observer reports on the impact mobile phones are having in Africa, including on banking, farming and health. The article includes case studies examining how mobile technology is being used in certain areas of the continent (Fox, 7/24). A related video documents how mobile phones are affecting Uganda’s most remote communities (Eldin, 7/24).
Andrew Mitchell, Britain’s international development secretary, and Kevin Rudd, Australia’s foreign minister, describe their countries’ responses to the drought and famine in East Africa in an Independent opinion piece. “The U.N. appeals are still underfunded by almost $1 billion. Britain and Australia urge the rest of the world to join them to work to prevent this humanitarian disaster turning into a catastrophe on a scale of the 1984 Ethiopian famine,” they write.
At an emergency meeting at the Rome headquarters of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Monday, the agency announced “there will be a donors pledging conference Wednesday in Nairobi to raise as much as $1.6 billion to help fight famine in Somalia and other drought-stricken populations in East Africa,” the Associated Press/Forbes reports (7/25). Prior to the meeting, the World Bank “announced it is providing more than $500 million to assist drought victims, in addition to $12 million in immediate assistance to help those worst hit by the crisis,” a World Bank press release states (7/25).
Two weeks after lifting a ban on certain aid groups providing assistance in Somalia, the militant Islamist group al-Shabab “has announced that the ban remains in place” and said that the U.N.’s declaration of famine in two regions of the country was being used as “propaganda,” Al Jazeera reports (7/22).
South Africa Could Reduce HIV-Associated Long-Term Costs, Extend Lives With Earlier Treatment, Study Says
If South Africa followed WHO recommendations for earlier therapy for people living with HIV, thousands of lives could be extended and the country would start saving money after 16 years, according to a study recently published online in PLoS One, United Press International reports.
In a post on the New York Times’ “On the Ground” blog, Rwanda Works Director Josh Ruxin writes about two cousins who are “fighting the international brain-drain trend that is dangerously affecting medicine in the developing world, and [have] committed themselves to building local medical capacity in their native country” by establishing a university and medical school, called the Kigali Medical University (KMU).