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Also In Global Health News: UNESCO Report; U.S. Aid Teams To Libyan Borders; Improving Hygiene, Sanitation In India; Health System Strengthening Grant In Uganda; Disaster Relief Water-Cleaning Technology

Sexual Violence Hinders Girls’ Education, UNESCO Report Says In its annual report on education, the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) highlights how sexual violence affects development issues, including girls’ education, the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog” reports. According to UNESCO, “in 35 countries affected by conflict there are 28 million children out…

Nations Meet To Negotiate International Food Aid Terms

A group of nations are meeting in London this week to negotiate the Food Aid Convention (FAC), an “international agreement that governs food-aid commitments to hungry countries,” the Globe and Mail reports. Argentina, Australia, Canada, the European Union and its member states, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and the U.S. currently are included in the convention, which was last updated in 1999. Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa also would like FAC membership, according to the Globe and Mail.

Britain To Cut Foreign Aid For 16 Countries, Focus More On Family Planning, Safe Water, Maternal Mortality

British Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell on Tuesday announced major changes to the nation’s international aid program based on a nine-month review of the agency’s policies, Reuters reports. “This government is taking a radically different approach to aid. We want to be judged on our results, not on how much money we are spending,” Mitchell said of the changes to the aid program.

Clinton Defends State Department Budget Requests Before House Panel

In her testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday about President Barack Obama’s FY12 budget request, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also defended the State Department’s FY11 budget request, Bloomberg reports. Clinton said the proposed budget cuts for FY11 would be “devastating” to U.S. national security, and U.S. programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq would see “sharp reductions” if the proposed cuts are passed. Clinton “used the hearing to warn lawmakers against the impulse to withdraw from global engagement,” according to the news service.

Lancet Infectious Diseases Examines How Resource Gaps Are Creating Barriers To Reduce Child Mortality

The Lancet Infectious Diseases’ Newsdesk examines how resource gaps in immunizations, health workers and financing are creating barriers to efforts to achieve the U.N. Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target to reduce child mortality by two-thirds by 2015, as highlighted in a recent Save the Children report. The article describes the role GAVI Alliance has played in increasing the number of children receiving vaccines worldwide and notes the $3.7 billion gap the group hopes to fill to expand its immunization campaign over the next four years.

GHI Executive Director Addresses Global Health Community At Kaiser Family Foundation Town Hall

In her first public address since being tapped in January to serve as executive director of President Barack Obama’s Global Health Initiative (GHI), Lois Quam on Tuesday said she’s been doing “a lot of listening” to officials at the State Department, USAID, PEPFAR, CDC and other agencies about the GHI. At a town-hall event hosted at the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Barbara Jordan Conference Center in Washington, D.C., Quam reflected on U.S. contributions to global health successes and acknowledged that significant work remains for improving health worldwide.

Also In Global Health News: Libyan Refugee Crisis; HIV Vaccine Program In India; Speeding Drug Development; Ugandan Malaria Training Program

As Thousands Flee Libya, World Leaders, International Aid Agencies Respond With Humanitarian Aid “Libyan border crossings were overwhelmed Wednesday by tens of thousands of hungry, fearful people fleeing its burgeoning civil war,” the Associated Press reports. “U.S. Ambassador Betty King in Geneva said the United States is giving $12 million…

Opinions: Foreign Aid, Peace Corps, Wartime Sexual Violence

Don’t Cut ‘Lifesaving Aid’ To ‘World’s Most Vulnerable People’ “Throughout U.S. history, successive Republican and Democratic administrations and Congress have understood that foreign humanitarian assistance is vital to safeguarding both U.S. interests and our national ideals,” Refugees International President Michel Gabaudan writes in a Politico opinion piece. According to Gabaudan,…

Protesters Call On Indian Government To Reject Free Trade Agreement With EU

Thousands of HIV-positive people from India and across Asia marched in New Delhi on Wednesday to protest the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and India, “which [some argue] has provisions that would restrict access to affordable medicines,” the Times of India reports. “Though government officials have…