“House Republicans sought to put their stamp on U.S. foreign policy Wednesday by advancing a bill that would slash federal payments to the United Nations and other international bodies and slap restrictions on aid to Pakistan, Egypt and others,” the Washington Post reports (Sheridan, 7/20).
Programs, Funding & Financing
In a Daily Caller opinion piece, Richard Tren, director of Africa Fighting Malaria, highlights a finding in a recent malaria report that the U.S. government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “were responsible for 85% of the steep increase in malaria funding between 2007 and 2009.” But “[i]f 30 African heads of state were to give up their private jets, a fund of well over $500 million could be generated,” Tren writes.
Andrew Mitchell, Britain’s international development secretary, and Kevin Rudd, Australia’s foreign minister, describe their countries’ responses to the drought and famine in East Africa in an Independent opinion piece. “The U.N. appeals are still underfunded by almost $1 billion. Britain and Australia urge the rest of the world to join them to work to prevent this humanitarian disaster turning into a catastrophe on a scale of the 1984 Ethiopian famine,” they write.
At an emergency meeting at the Rome headquarters of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Monday, the agency announced “there will be a donors pledging conference Wednesday in Nairobi to raise as much as $1.6 billion to help fight famine in Somalia and other drought-stricken populations in East Africa,” the Associated Press/Forbes reports (7/25). Prior to the meeting, the World Bank “announced it is providing more than $500 million to assist drought victims, in addition to $12 million in immediate assistance to help those worst hit by the crisis,” a World Bank press release states (7/25).
“Institutional donor aid in 2010 was at its highest-ever level â€“ US$16.7 billion â€“ but so were aid costs,” according to preliminary estimates in the annual report of the international aid watchdog Development Initiatives, which was released on Wednesday, IRIN reports. The article summarizes several findings from the report, including that “the top five aid recipients â€“ Sudan, oPt [occupied Palestinian territory], Iraq, Afghanistan and Ethiopia â€“ have remained among the top 10 aid recipients over the past decade” (7/20).
The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday released the FY12 Foreign Relations Authorization Act “that slashes State Department funding and foreign aid,” The Hill’s “On The Money” blog reports (Wasson, 7/26).
India plans to establish a central foreign aid agency, “believed to be modeled on” USAID, “to prevent funds from being misused and delays in aid delivery,” the Guardian reports. “The agency will reportedly be called the Indian Agency for Partnership in Development, overseeing $11.3bn (Rs 50,000 crore) over the next five to seven years,” the newspaper writes.
Following a House Foreign Affairs Committee vote last week to reinstate and expand the “global gag rule” in the FY12 Foreign Relations Authorization Act (HR 2583), GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog features an interview with “Craig Lasher, theÂ director of U.S. government relations at Population Action International, about the global gag rule,…
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair John Kerry (D-Mass.) released a bill (.pdf) on Wednesday that would authorize FY12 and FY13 funding for the State Department and foreign operations, as well as key programs and initiatives, Foreign Policy’s blog “The Cable” reports.
NPR’s KQED on Wednesday examined how France’s 60-year-old network of preventive health clinics for children and parents, which provides care free-of-charge, is being threatened by the nation’s flailing economy. “[W]hile it’s unlikely that France will abandon its maternal and child health programs, it remains an open question whether social changes and economic reality might intrude into such a sacred French ideal,” the article states (Varney, 7/27).