Ahead of next week’s G8 summit in Deauville, France, “parliamentarians from 35 countries have issued a strong call for leaders of the world’s major economies to focus on the role of women and girls in development,” Inter Press Service reports.
Programs, Funding & Financing
HHS Secretary Sebelius Discusses Polio Eradication, Maintaining Smallpox Virus Stocks At World Health Assembly
In a press briefing on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius on Tuesday “cited two major issues for the U.S.: the eradication of polio, as concerns remain in countries where the disease is endemic, such as Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan, with outbreaks in other nations, and maintaining the stocks of smallpox virus, which has already been eradicated,” Intellectual Property Watch reports.
Global Health Partnership Announces First-, Second-Line AIDS Drugs Price Reductions In Developing World
The Clinton Health Access Initiative, UNITAID, and the U.K.’s Department for International Development (DFID) “said on Tuesday [they] had secured price reductions on key AIDS drugs for HIV-positive patients in poorer countries,” Reuters reports.
A decline in contributions from the WHO’s leading 30 “traditional” donor nations and the exchange rate for the weaker U.S. dollar are causing the agency to cut its budget and staff, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan told reporters in a news conference at the World Health Assembly in Geneva on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.
Haiti has a plan to vaccinate 90 percent of newborns by 2015, according to the Pan American Health Organization, but “[w]hether the plan works will depend on Haiti’s ability to reverse decades of incompetent government and bad coordination among aid groups,” as well as whether there will be funding, the New York Times reports.
“Innovation in development finance doesn’t preclude innovation in other areas of development policy. In fact, they must go hand in hand,” Jamie Drummond, executive director of ONE, writes in a post on the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog,” noting findings from his group’s annual report.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on Monday laid out her vision for reforming the international health agency in the opening address of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, saying she sees “a WHO that gives a bigger voice to the many partners working on health, but encourages them to speak with a coherent voice that responds, first and foremost, to the needs and priorities as defined by recipient countries,” Intellectual Property Watch reports.
In light of study findings released last week showing the risk of HIV transmission can be reduced by 96 percent if HIV-positive patients begin combination antiretroviral therapy as soon as possible, a San Francisco Chronicle editorial asks, “The evidence is clearly starting to show that it’s much better to treat patients earlier, but from where will the money come?”
After an Associated Press story on Friday reported that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria “will make public more detailed information about money it has lost to corruption and mismanagement, but won’t release other information critics have sought … that might have made it possible to calculate how much of the money investigated is lost to corruption, or what percentage of the fund’s overall disbursements are misspent” (Heilprin, 5/13), the Global Fund released a statement saying it “remain[s] fully committed to accountability for the intentions, process, funding and results of our projects.”
The G8 nations have “delivered only 61 percent of the increased aid they promised to sub-Saharan Africa by 2010 in their 2005 summit” in Gleneagles, Scotland, an annual report by ONE shows, Reuters reports (5/16). “At the Gleneagles summit, rich nations said that by 2010 they would increase development assistance by $50bn, with an extra $25bn going to sub-Saharan Africa,” the Guardian reports (Elliot, 5/16).