Media outlets continue to track news emerging from the 63rd annual World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva.
Private Sector Involvement
Investments in agricultural technology should be directed to Africa’s smallholder farmers in an effort to increase food security after decades of low funding, the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said in a report on Wednesday, Reuters reports (Lynn, 5/19).
Also In Global Health News: Bird Flu; Burundi’s Global Fund Grant; Maternal Mortality In Ghana; Food Security In Africa; Messaging Strategy Of Charities
WHO Warns Bird Flu Continues To Pose Threat Despite a reduction in the number of cases of avian flu (H5N1) since its peak in 2006, the WHO said in a statement Wednesday that “the newly confirmed human and poultry cases of avian influenza this year are a reminder that the…
Lancet Comment Asks: What’s Next For Global Fund? Reflecting on the recent annual report by the Global FundÂ to FightÂ AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a Lancet comment writes, “Two big challenges remain [for the Global Fund]: first, to show, reliably and independently, that the Fund’s investments have delivered the benefits that it…
Free Economies Essential For Disaster Preparedness The earthquake in Chile “was the fifth biggest ever measured, and several hundred times larger than the one that killed more than 220,000 in Haiti,”Â according to a Wall Street Journal editorial.Â The editorial highlights Chile’s preparation for earthquakes, including stricter building codes. “But such preparation…
A “thorough analysis prepared by the Haiti government, together with the United Nations and other international organizations” estimates it will take $11.5 billion over the next three years to repair damage to Haiti after a major earthquake struck in January, the Wall Street Journal reports.
This post on IntraHealth International’s “Global Health Blog” discusses a new report (.pdf) from the WHO, titled “Research and Development to Meet Health Needs in Developing Countries: Strengthening Global Financing and Coordination,” which “concludes that ‘all countries should commit to spend at least 0.01 percent of GDP on government-funded R&D [research and development] devoted to meeting the health needs of developing countries.'” The post states, “The report has a double significance. First, it is a vigorous statement of the need for a binding agreement on health innovation to address diseases that mostly affect developing countries. Second, it is an important concrete step on the long path to it” (Chiscop, 4/13).
“Individuals, businesses and foundations have continued to give money to humanitarian and development organizations despite harsh economic times, providing a crucial source of funding in the face of declining official aid,” according to a report on private aid funding by the monitoring group Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA), the Guardian reports. The news service writes, “According to the report, 24 percent of the international humanitarian response from 2006 to 2010” — at least $18 billion — “came from private voluntary contributions”; “[i]n 2010 alone, $5.8 billion was donated privately, mainly in response to the earthquake in Haiti and the floods in Pakistan”; and “[a]s a share of the total humanitarian response, private funding grew from 17 percent in 2006 to 32 percent in 2010.”
“Canada’s foreign aid agency will work with Grand Challenges Canada in a bid to bring ideas for health innovation to the developing world, International Co-operation Minister Julian Fantino says,” the Globe and Mail reports. “Fantino announced the partnership with the federally funded group Tuesday morning as he opened a multi-day Grand Challenges Canada meeting in Ottawa,” the newspaper notes, adding, “Fantino used his opening speech to tout Canada’s contribution to maternal and child health through its landmark Muskoka Initiative and call for new ideas that can help increase maternal and child survival.”
Vaccines “save lives by protecting people against disease,” but they “also are an engine for economic growth — far beyond their health benefits,” GAVI Alliance CEO Seth Berkley writes in a CNN opinion piece. GAVI and its “many partners, including prominent companies,” “recognize that in addition to the humanitarian need, countries such as Tanzania are emerging markets that can fulfill their economic ambitions only if they also can ensure good health for their citizens,” he states. Berkley describes efforts to increase vaccination rates in Tanzania, and he writes, “[W]e know for a fact that vaccines — in addition to saving lives and improving health — are the cornerstone of a vibrant economy, fuel growth and serve as a magnet for foreign investment. Indeed, research has shown vaccines to be among the most cost-effective investments in global development.”