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Advocates Say Ending Violence Against Women Must Be Top Priority For U.N. Women

Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of women’s rights advocates say ending violence against women must be a top priority for U.N. Women, according to a report released Wednesday at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York, Inter Press Service reports. Released a day ahead of the official launch of the new agency, the “Blueprint for U.N. Women” survey, commissioned by the groups Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and Oxfam, outlines “the views and efforts, documented in the report, of some 100 civil society organisations working in over 75 countries on human rights, gender equality and social justice,” according to the news service (D’Almeida, 2/24).

House Republicans Drafting Two-Week Continuing Resolution With About $4B In Spending Cuts

In an effort to avoid a government shutdown, House Republicans are drafting a new continuing resolution (CR) that will include some cuts to the federal budget, Republican leadership aides said on Wednesday, Roll Call reports (Stanton, 2/23). “The measure will contain about $4 billion in spending cuts and will merge cuts approved last week by the House and several taken from President Obama’s list of program terminations and savings,” National Journal writes. “The CR would extend government financing for two weeks” and the cuts “would be prorated to reflect” the reductions that were approved in last week’s CR. “In other words, the $4 billion in savings would be roughly equal to the cuts the CR called for if carried out for just two weeks,” the publication notes.

New Strategies To Improve Developing Countries’ Access To Low-Cost Generic Drugs Needed, Experts Say

New strategies that ensure developing countries have access to low-cost generic medicines and encourage innovation are needed, according to experts who attended a recent meeting sponsored by the WHO, World Intellectual Property Organization, and World Trade Organization (WTO) that addressed growing concern that strict intellectual property protections are limiting access to low-cost generic medicines, BMJ News reports.

U.N. Commission On The Status Of Women Opens In New York

Kicking off the two-week 55th Annual Session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women in New York on Tuesday, Michelle Bachelet, the first under-secretary-general and executive director of U.N. Women, highlighted the role of gender equality in country development, peace and security, Angola Press reports (2/23). The commission draws together government officials, U.N. representatives, and members of the private sector and civil society groups, according to a U.N. press release (2/22).

Daily Report Global Health Conversations: Health Sector Corruption

Recent media reports have drawn attention to an internal audit that revealed several countries’ misuse of Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria grant money, totaling $34 million. The Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report’s Jennifer Evans spoke with Bill Savedoff, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, to help put the audit’s findings into context and discuss the fund’s response to corruption. Savedoff recently co-authored the book, “Anticorruption in the Health Sector: Strategies for Transparency and Accountability.”

Also In Global Health News: Latent HIV; Nanovaccine Delivery; Investing In Disaster Preparedness In Pakistan; Gates Foundation Funding Journalism

Researchers To Test If Alcohol, Cocaine Addiction Drug Can Reduce Latent HIV Reservoirs Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, and Johns Hopkins University are recruiting patients to examine whether a drug prescribed to treat alcohol and cocaine addiction can reduce the amount of latent HIV among HIV-positive patients already taking…

Haiti’s Cholera Outbreak Has Plateaued, Death Rate Remains High In Rural Regions, U.N. Says

The U.N. on Friday said Haiti’s cholera outbreak appears to be waning overall, but high death rates from the virus in rural regions of the country remain a concern, the Associated Press reports. According to figures released by the Haitian government, 231,070 cholera cases and 4,549 deaths from the disease have been reported since the outbreak first emerged in October.

As G20 Financial Leaders Discuss Food Prices, Some Push For Fulfillment Of G8 Pledges

As G20 financial leaders met in Paris over the weekend, the Washington Post reports on the “debate over how to respond” to the recent increase in food prices. France, the G20 chair, spurred discussion about “whether new regulations on commodity trading might prevent speculators from pushing up prices by investing heavily in grains or other goods on the expectation that they will increase even further in value. Yet it is unclear how much of a role speculation plays in the movement of prices,” the Washington Post writes.