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British PM Cameron Should Keep Development Aid Pledge

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s “pledge to increase development aid is something he is finding it harder and harder to defend” to colleagues and voters, because “[f]or more than half a century western nations have been spending on aid – sometimes with relatively little to show for their efforts,” a Guardian editorial states.

HIV Vaccine Discovery Requires ‘Open Mind’

In response to Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson’s July 5 piece in which he highlighted several scientific “breakthroughs” in the search for an AIDS vaccine, Robert Gallo, director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, writes in a Post letter to the editor, “Although Mr. Gerson correctly noted that these discoveries are unrelated, he misperceived their relative significance.”

USAID Working With International Community To Respond To Drought In East Africa

“Since October 2010, the U.S. Government has provided more than $383 million worth of assistance, including 314,000 metric tons of food,” to countries in the eastern Horn of Africa region, where “[m]ore than 4.1 million people have benefitted from this help,” Donald Steinberg, USAID deputy administrator, writes in a Huffington Post opinion piece.

Lancet Issue Dedicated To HIV/AIDS Ahead Of IAS Conference

The current issue of the Lancet is dedicated to HIV/AIDS, a theme meant to coincide with the 6th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention taking place in Rome, Italy, July 17-20, according to a Lancet article (7/16).

Foreign Aid Helps Lift Families Out Of Poverty

Britain’s cutting of foreign assistance “is not … just a game of percentages; or a simple set of myths that can be countered to decide whether we spend 0.7 or 0.44 or even 0.01 percent of our national income on ‘aid,'” Joe Cerrell, director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s…

The World Has A Food Price Problem, Not A Food Price Volatility Problem

“Food price levels are at historic highs, but food price volatility, although high these past few years, is not out of line with historical experience and is generally lower than it was in the 1970s. This means that the world does not necessarily face a price volatility problem. It faces a high food price problem,” Christopher Barrett, a professor at Cornell University, and Marc Bellemare, a professor at Duke University, write in a Foreign Affairs opinion piece.

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.

Kenyan Government Should Do More To Address Alcohol As Public Health Issue

“Alcohol abuse is a mammoth public-health problem in Kenya, and the government needs to make drinking more economically painful,” Justin Martin, CLAS-Honors Preceptor of Journalism at the University of Maine and a columnist for Columbia Journalism Review, writes in a Christian Science Monitor opinion piece. Martin notes that “[i]n rural Kenyan villages, it is not uncommon to see more pubs than schools or medical clinics.” He highlights a 2010 government effort to prohibit the sale of alcohol before 5p.m., but concludes, “A more effective measure, though, would be making Kenyan men pay more for their libations when they shuffle into pubs after quitting time” (7/11).

Factors Leading To Drought Are Varied

In addition to ecological influences, “[l]ong and recurrent conflicts, poor infrastructure, misguided policy options, weak market system[s] and seasonal migration patterns account [for] the ever-increasing drought problems” in the Horn of Africa, Abeje Chumo, an international law expert and editor of the Horn of Africa blog for the Foreign Policy…