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Rep. Berman Unveils Discussion Draft Of Global Partnerships Act Of 2011 Aimed At Foreign Aid Reform

At an event on Thursday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, co-hosted by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Brookings Institute, House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) unveiled a discussion draft of the Global Partnerships Act of 2011, aimed at “reshap[ing] foreign assistance, making it more relevant ‘by incorporating the best practices and lessons learned over the last half century,'” he said, the Malaria Policy Center’s “Malaria Watch” blog reports (Todd, 9/9). Released as a draft instead of a numbered bill in order to spur discussion, the document covers “the full spectrum of foreign aid — development, democracy promotion, arms transfers and nuclear nonproliferation — but doesn’t include spending levels,” according to AEI’s “The Enterprise Blog” (Johnson, 9/8).

Potential Budget Cuts Threaten U.S. Diplomacy And Development Aid, Reuters Reports

Reuters examines how budget debates in Congress “could undo” President Barack Obama’s “‘smart power’ approach, which elevates diplomacy and development alongside military power as guarantors of U.S. security in a rapidly changing world.” Programs run through the State Department and USAID that provide “[f]ood aid to hungry countries, … improved medical services for expectant mothers and the U.S. response to natural disasters such as earthquakes and droughts could be hit in a major scale-back of U.S. assistance,” the news agency writes.

U.S., Western Governments Can Help Prevent 'Mass Starvation' In Somalia

With the State Department’s reassurance to aid groups on Tuesday that they “will not face prosecution if they are forced to pay bribes to al-Shabab or if militants divert some food supplies,” organizations still have “the problem of gaining access to famine victims and ensuring the safety of their personnel, a number of whom have been murdered by the militants,” a Washington Post editorial says. “But the crisis may be causing al-Shabab’s cohesion to break down; some commanders have been cutting deals with aid organizations to receive food supplies,” the editorial states.

Global Health Community Reacts To CIA’s Faux Vaccine Operation In Pakistan

After the Guardian broke the story that the CIA organized a fake vaccination program in Pakistan in an effort to confirm the location of Osama bin Laden and obtain DNA from his family members, several writers and health experts reacted to the situation, noting the possible implications for future health efforts.

CSIS Report On Army And Navy Overseas Medical Research

This report, titled “The Future of the U.S. Army and Navy Overseas Medical Research,” from the Center for Strategic & International Studies lays out the research, conclusions, and recommendations from “a year-long, independent examination of the U.S. Army and Navy overseas medical research laboratories,” which “stand at the intersection of…

IPS Examines U.N. Security Council’s Dealings With ‘Non-Security’ Issues

Inter Press Service examines the changing scope of the U.N. Security Council. “[O]ver the years … the political landscape has been changing, slowly but steadily, as the U.N.’s most powerful body has continued to take up several ‘non-security’ related issues, including children and armed conflict (Aug. 1999), women, peace and security (Oct. 2000), climate change (Apr. 2007) and for the second time last week, HIV/AIDS,” IPS writes. The piece includes analysis from several experts affiliated with the U.N. (Deen, 6/17).

World Health Assembly Delays Destruction Of Smallpox Reserves For Three Years

Following “two days of heated debate,” representatives meeting at the World Health Assembly in Geneva decided to delay for three years the destruction of smallpox virus reserves held by the U.S. and Russia, rejecting a U.S. plan that would have delayed the action for five years, the Associated Press reports (5/24).

Opinions: U.S. Support For Maternal, Child Health; Infection Control At Borders; The AMFm Model; International Affairs Budget; Organizations Supporting Women

U.S. Government Must Continue To Support Maternal And Child Health When Mother’s Day is recognized on Sunday, “let’s honor motherhood itself by giving all moms the gift they want most – the chance to deliver and raise healthy children,” former Sens. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Jon Corzine (D-N.J.), who serve…