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Opinions: U.S. Foreign Aid; Polio Eradication

Foreign Aid, Antipoverty Advocates, Others Must Back Deficit Commission Report Efforts To Restore Budget Choices “Over the past few weeks, I’ve had a chance to interview some amazing people,” ranging from Bill Gates to scientists and teachers, who are all concerned about impending budget cuts, the New York Times’ David Brooks…

Opinions: U.S. Foreign Aid; Lay Health Workers

U.S. Investment In Development Is Essential       “The international affairs budget does more than just keep our nation safe – it bolsters our economy by creating jobs here and developing markets for U.S. goods and services overseas. It makes sense: effective development brings stability, economic development and a demand for goods…

Clinton Defends State Department Budget Requests Before House Panel

In her testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday about President Barack Obama’s FY12 budget request, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also defended the State Department’s FY11 budget request, Bloomberg reports. Clinton said the proposed budget cuts for FY11 would be “devastating” to U.S. national security, and U.S. programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq would see “sharp reductions” if the proposed cuts are passed. Clinton “used the hearing to warn lawmakers against the impulse to withdraw from global engagement,” according to the news service.

Senate Democrats Release FY11 CR That Seeks To Preserve Foreign Aid, State Department Funding

Senate Democrats on Friday introduced a FY11 continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through September, “with a vote on the measure, as well as a House-passed proposal, expected” this week, the Washington Post’s “2chambers” blog reports (Sonmez, 3/4). In a press release, the Democratic-controlled Senate Appropriations Committee “highlighted a series of significant differences between [its proposal] and the House-passed fiscal 2011 spending measure (HR 1) on the national security front,” CQ reports.

Yearlong Moratorium On H5N1 Research Soon Lifted, New Rules Implemented, Science Reports

“U.S. government officials say they expect to put the finishing touches this month on new rules designed to help funding agencies identify and regulate especially problematic H5N1 studies before they begin,” which would allow influenza researchers “to lift a year-old, self-imposed moratorium on certain kinds of potentially dangerous experiments,” Science reports. “The two developments would essentially end a long and bruising controversy over the risks and benefits of H5N1 research,” the magazine notes, adding the debate was initiated by two research teams that lab-engineered H5N1 strains to be transmissible among mammals. “The issue has been especially sensitive for the U.S. government, because its National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded the two studies and is one of the world’s biggest funders of H5N1 research,” Science writes. The magazine discusses the moratorium’s impact on research worldwide and summarizes differing views about its effects (Malakoff, 1/4).

U.S. Science Advisory Board Asks Science, Nature To Omit Data From Bird Flu Studies Amid Security Concerns

The U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity on “Tuesday asked two scientific journals to leave out data from research studies on a lab-made version of bird flu that could spread more easily to humans, fearing it could be used as a potential weapon,” Reuters reports (Steenhuysen, 12/20). The board “recommended that the journals Science and Nature publish only the general discoveries, not the full blueprint for these man-made strains,” the Associated Press notes (Neergaard, 12/20). “Editors at the journals … say they will not agree to the redactions until they are assured the data will be accessible to researchers” according to BBC News (12/20).

Examining Military Sector’s Role In Global Health

In an article (.pdf) published in Global Health Governance, Derek Licina, an U.S. Army Medical Service Corps Officer, writes about the international military sector’s role in global health activities, which “has gained visibility in recent years.” He continues, “What is less clear is the overall contribution of the military sector to global health outcomes through direct and indirect investments.” He argues that focusing military global health efforts as outlined in international treaties, expanding existing multilateral military-related organizations, and establishing an international military global health financing mechanism will help “the military sector’s current role … become more efficient and effective in supporting the global good” (12/31).

New Issue Of Global Health Governance Available Online

A new issue of Global Health Governance is available online and features articles focused on human security and health. The issue includes articles on nodding syndrome in Northern Uganda and child nutrition in developing countries from a human security perspective, as well as commentaries on a new agenda for global human security and health and human security in the Americas, among other pieces (12/31).

CSIS High-Level Forum Discusses Vaccines

The Center for Strategic & International Studies’ (CSIS) blog SmartGlobalHealth.org describes the second CSIS High-Level Forum on U.S. Leadership in Global Health, which “placed a focus on vaccines as instruments of U.S. global leadership in pursuit of security and economic interests at home and abroad, in close enduring partnerships with corporations,…

A Call For Continued Investment In Global Health, Development

In this Politico opinion piece, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), who chairs the non-profit Hope Through Healing Hands, writes, “Continued investment in the fight to end global AIDS is more than an investment in the lives of families and communities in developing nations — it is an investment in security, diplomacy and our moral image worldwide.” He says the goals announced by President Barack Obama on World AIDS Day — including providing antiretroviral treatment to a total of six million people by the end of 2013 — “must have the support of Congress.” Frist continues, “Under the current budget cuts, more than four million people will likely lack mosquito nets, a cheap way to prevent malaria. More than 900,000 children will lack access to vaccinations for measles, tetanus and pertussis.” He stresses the “need for accountability, transparency and results,” citing the Millennium Challenge Corporation as “a good example of promoting aid effectiveness from ‘input to impact.'” He concludes, “Foreign aid is less than one percent of our national budget, so cutting it would have a miniscule effect on our deficit reduction” (12/14).

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