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CBC News Examines Canadian Aid Agencies’, Government’s Roles In Post-Earthquake Haiti

CBC News examines the roles of Canadian humanitarian organizations and the government in helping Haiti rebuild nearly two years after a massive earthquake rocked the country. “Haiti needs long-term solutions, says Nicolas Moyer, a spokesman for the Humanitarian Coalition,” which includes Oxfam Canada, Oxfam Quebec, CARE Canada, Plan Canada and Save the Children, the news service notes.

HHS Secretary Sebelius Discusses Agency’s Global Health Strategy At KFF/HHS Briefing

Speaking at a briefing on Thursday sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to explore the department’s role in global health and its new Global Health Strategy (.pdf), HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discussed the agency’s first global health strategy in a keynote address, CQ HealthBeat reports. “The strategy identifies 10 major objectives but does not include metrics for gauging success,” the news service writes, adding Sebelius “said the plan ‘does not represent a radical new direction but seeks to provide a focus’ to ongoing efforts” (Adams, 1/6). “Though the United States was always involved in international health work, it was ‘seen as fundamentally separate’ from HHS’s core mission, she said,” Politico Pro writes. “Today that world has changed very dramatically. We can no longer separate America’s health from global health,” Sebelius said, the news service reports (Feder, 1/5).

U.S. Addressing Short-, Long-Term Needs In Horn Of Africa

“As the United States entered the traditional season of giving and renewal last month, President Barack Obama announced that the United States was increasing its emergency aid to the [Horn of Africa] region by $113 million,” a VOA editorial states, adding, “The new monies will be used for food, health, shelter, water and other needs.”

U.S. Offers Initial $125 Million To UNHCR In 2012

“The United States said Thursday it will contribute an initial $125 million to the [U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR)] 2012 operations, including support for refugees returning to Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Agence France-Presse reports, noting, “The State Department said the funds … will also help care for refugees and internally displaced people in Iraq, Yemen, Nepal, Pakistan, Georgia, South Sudan, Chad and Kenya.” According to AFP, “In 2011, the United States contributed a total of more than $690 million dollars to UNHCR operations, including for emergencies” (12/30).

Foreign Aid To MICs Needs ‘More Sophisticated Approach’ Instead Of Cuts

“[T]he E.U., the Global Fund [to Fight] AIDS, TB and Malaria, and the World Bank’s International Development Association … want to save money during a fiscal crunch by cutting off aid to middle-income countries (MIC),” Andy Sumner and Amanda Glassman of the Center for Global Development write in the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog.” However, doing so “means disconnecting foreign aid from most of the world’s poor and sick,” they write, adding, “At least three factors support the development of a more sophisticated approach.”

Top 10 Global Health Achievements Of 2011

In this Huffington Post “Impact” blog post, Karl Hofmann, president and CEO of PSI, outlines 10 “milestones for the global health community” that occurred in 2011. Among the achievements, Hofmann says governments avoided making major cuts to foreign aid budgets despite a global economic downturn; studies supported “treatment as prevention” as an HIV prevention strategy; the number of malaria cases and deaths worldwide continued to decline; research showed a promising vaccine candidate to prevent malaria among children; and more women gained access to long-acting, reversible contraceptives. Hofmann also lists advances in social franchising; maternal health; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights; pneumonia prevention and treatment; and sanitation, hygiene and access to clean water (12/29).

MSF Publishes List Of Top 10 Stories Of 2011 About Access To Medicine

This Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) special report highlights the top 10 stories of 2011 regarding access to essential medicines, according to MSF. The list includes the findings of the HPTN 052 clinical trial, which “show that providing people with HIV treatment early not only saves their lives but can reduce the risk…

Center For Global Development Blog Responds To NPR Report On Health In Afghanistan

This post in the Center for Global Development’s (CGD) “Global Health Policy” blog, Amanda Glassman, director of global health policy and a research fellow at CGD, responds to an NPR Morning Edition report on USAID’s work in Afghanistan, recapping the progress the agency has made in improving health care in the country. However,…

U.S. To Provide $113M In Additional Aid To Horn Of Africa

President Obama on Thursday announced “an additional $113 million in emergency relief assistance for the Horn of Africa … [to] support urgently needed food, health, shelter, water and assistance needs,” according to a White House statement. The additional aid adds to the approximately $870 million already provided to assist the region with emergency relief, according to the statement, which noted the administration is making long-term investments in food security through the Feed the Future initiative.

House Committee Members Investigate $433M HHS Contract To Purchase Smallpox Drug

“Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are looking into a $433 million contract awarded by the Health and Human Services Department to purchase a yet-to-be-approved smallpox drug” known as ST-426, CQ HealthBeat reports. “The lawmakers raised questions about several issues, including the cost of the contract”; “asked for evidence supporting the assumption that the [FDA] will approve the ST-426, which was one of the requirements of the contract”; and “requested documents describing the actual threat of smallpox, the cost of the contract, and the decision to award it” by January 11, the news service notes (Ethridge, 12/21).