“A new report from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs applauds U.S. government agencies for food security leadership but calls on them to up the game in the face of rising global challenges and shrinking aid budgets,” Connie Veillette, director of the Center for Global Development’s rethinking U.S. foreign assistance initiative, writes in the center’s “Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Blog,” adding, “While it is a positive assessment, the report highlights some areas of concern that could affect U.S. leadership in future years” (4/27). John Glenn, policy director at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, notes in the organization’s blog that Chicago Council “co-chairs Catherine Bertini and Dan Glickman called for the progress made to be institutionalized with Congressional authorization. Significant increases in food production, they suggested, will only be visible after a decade, which would require sustaining the commitments of the past three years for another seven years” (4/27).
Programs, Funding & Financing
“If we needed more evidence that the funding cuts at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria were going to be detrimental to people’s lives, a new study … makes it clear: Providing funding to fight malaria makes malaria go away,” Kolleen Bouchane, director of ACTION, a global partnership of health advocacy organizations, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog. “The authors write that as substantial new financial resources have become available to fight malaria since 2000, malaria has decreased considerably in many parts of the world,” she continues, adding, “But in the past, malaria has returned when malaria control programs have been weakened — and they’ve usually been weakened when resources dried up.”
“The U.S. government is the largest funder of global health research and development [R&D] in the world, spending $12.7 billion over the past 10 years,” according to a report (.pdf) released by the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) and Policy Cures on Friday, United Press International reports. The report, titled “Saving Lives and Creating Impact: Why investing in global health research works,” “found each year the U.S. government provided around 45 percent of the total global investment and 70 percent of all government investment worldwide in global health research and development,” the news service writes. “The U.S. funding helped lead to the development of more than half of the 45 new health products — including vaccines, drugs, diagnostics — in the last decade that have been used to save lives around the world, the report said,” according to UPI.
“Although coming off a rocky year in 2011, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is ‘not in crisis,'” Inter Press Service reports, referring to comments made by the organization’s deputy general manager, Debrework Zewdie, at a roundtable hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday. Zewdie noted the resumption of commitments to the fund from bilateral donors, despite the international economic crisis and last year’s allegations of mismanagement, the news service adds.
Youth Facing Greater Health Risks Today Than In Past; Those In Developing World Face Increasing Challenges, Lancet Series Suggests
“Young people today face greater risks to their physical and mental health than generations past, new research has found, with adolescents in the developing world rapidly acquiring the unhealthy habits of their wealthier counterparts,” the Financial Times reports. A series of studies published on Wednesday in the Lancet “present a general portrait of increasing hazard due to drug and alcohol abuse, unprotected sex, violence and inadequate employment opportunities,” the newspaper writes (Rowland, 4/25). Decreasing child mortality rates have led “to the largest generation of adolescents in history: 1.2 billion to be exact,” CNN’s “The Chart” blog notes, adding, “As many of those teens face poverty, natural disasters and wars in addition to overwhelming physical and emotional changes, researchers worry about the lack of available health resources” (4/24).
“To commemorate World Malaria Day, top malaria researchers came together Wednesday to present their work at a research and development event on Capitol Hill, hosted by Malaria No More,” the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog reports. “Representatives from 20 academic and research organizations discussed the contributions American private companies, universities, and research institutions are making to the fight against malaria through” research and development, the blog writes, noting, “Researchers at the briefing celebrated achievements made so far but warned that malaria remains a huge public health hazard” (Aziz, 4/26).
Wednesday, April 25, marked World Malaria Day, which this year had the theme “Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria.” The following opinion pieces address the fight against malaria.
U.S. Government Made ‘Strong Progress’ In Fight Against World Hunger, But Much Remains To Be Done, Report Says
According to the 2012 Progress Report on U.S. Leadership in Global Agricultural Development, released by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Thursday, “[t]he U.S. government risks losing the gains it has made in fighting world hunger unless it maintains its effort of the last three years in improving global agricultural practices and food security,” Reuters reports. The council’s “Global Agricultural Development Initiative evaluated the U.S. government and agencies for their leadership in global agricultural development,” and “examined the impact the efforts from Washington had in Ethiopia, Ghana and Bangladesh,” the news service writes.
Nature Outlook examines the fight against malaria in Uganda. “Uganda’s tragic failure to abate malaria has numerous political, geographic, economic and social factors — and illustrates the reality that it takes more than scientific breakthroughs and cheap drugs to solve this persistent menace,” according to the article. Nature describes how a primarily rural population, “[f]unding bottlenecks, inefficient procurement processes, transportation problems,” drug stock-outs, and a lack of health care workers affects access to care and treatment for malaria, as well as how aid from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the President’s Malaria Initiative, and other donors is supporting programs to build sustainable solutions to fighting the disease (Newmen, 4/25).
“[T]he newly appointed temporary General Manager Gabriel Jaramillo and his team has moved forward to ‘transform’ the Global Fund [to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria] with considerable speed and deftness, restoring confidence among bilateral donors (such as Japan and several others) and country recipients as well as improving morale among the Fund’s staff,” Victoria Fan, a research fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD), writes in CGD’s “Global Health Policy” blog. She explores some of the changes at the Global Fund and how “these changes help the Fund to achieve better health outcomes.” Fan writes, “In particular, I am very encouraged about the prospect of two changes: (1) the creation of a new Division called ‘Strategic Investment and Impact Evaluation’ which will shape the optimal portfolio of investments by country and disease …, and (2) the creation of new committees for each disease (AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria) that will meet monthly” (4/25).