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As Flood Waters Spread, International Aid For Pakistan Tops $800M, Foreign Minister Says

International donors have pledged more than $800 million to help Pakistan deal with severe flooding after the U.N. appealed for $460 million in aid, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the country’s foreign minister, said on Sunday, the Associated Press reports. “The total commitments and pledges that Pakistan has got so far are $815.58 million,” Qureshi told reporters in Islamabad. “In these circumstances, when the West and Europe and America are going through a recession … this kind of solidarity for Pakistan, I think, is very encouraging,” he said (Khan, 8/22).

Also In Global Health News: Ebola Drug Study; Niger Hunger Crisis; WHO’s Breastfeeding Guidelines For HIV-Positive Mothers; Slowing India’s Birth Rate; Food Aid In Somalia; Transaction Tax

Treatment Administered To Monkeys Within Hour Of Ebola Infection Found To Be 60% Effective, Study Finds  “A treatment administered to rhesus monkeys within an hour of being infected by the deadliest strain of Ebola was 60 percent effective, and a companion drug was 100-percent effective in shielding cynomolgus monkeys against Ebola’s cousin, the…

Donors Announce New Pledges For Pakistan Flood Relief

The U.S. and other donor nations “significantly upped their pledges” of aid for the flooding in Pakistan during a U.N. General Assembly meeting on Thursday, in which the U.N. “appeared to [meet] its target of $460 million in immediate aid for flood-stricken Pakistan,” the Associated Press reports.

Recent Releases In Global Health

Blog: U.S. Humanitarian Assistance Remains A ‘Sound Investment’ In view of World Humanitarian Day, a Huffington Post blog discusses the “lessons” of disaster response and the global “proliferation of humanitarian crises.” First, the authors write that “the number of people affected by disasters is on the rise,” mostly due to conflict and…

U.S. Boosts Aid Relief To Pakistani Flood Victims; U.N. Donors Meet About Funding

Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) visited Pakistan on Thursday “to assess the damage and relief efforts” as flooding continues and millions remain in need of humanitarian aid, the New York Times reports. According to the newspaper Kerry “said the United States would increase its flood aid to $150 million” (Masood/Gall, 8/19).

Also In Global Health News: Active TB Genetic Marker Found; African Bishops Fight HIV; Polio Eradication; PEPFAR In Dominican Republic

Active TB “Genetic Signature” Found Researchers have identified a “genetic signature” in the blood of active tuberculosis patients in the U.K. and South Africa that could one day lead to a test to predict who among latent carriers might develop the disease, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, Reuters reports…

Reuters Examines Measles Outbreaks In Africa

Reuters reports on how some health experts worry that growing complacency about the threat of measles in Africa is contributing to “some of [the continent's] largest and most deadly outbreaks in years.” Worldwide, “[a]bout 164,000 people died from measles in 2008, down 78 percent from 733,000 in 2000, according to the Measles Initiative,” Reuters reports, adding that “UNICEF fears the combined effect of decreased political and financial commitment to measles could reverse the gains, resulting in an estimated 1.7 million measles-related deaths globally between 2010 and 2013.”

Concern About Slow Pace Of Aid For Pakistan Mounts As U.N. Secures Additional Funds

U.N. officials and aid groups “expressed alarm on Tuesday that the plight of millions of Pakistanis flooded from their land has yet to strike a sufficiently sympathetic nerve among donors – neither governments nor the general public – with aid trickling in far more slowly than needed,” the New York Times reports.