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.
Programs, Funding & Financing
In a guest post on the GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog, Janet Fleischman, a senior associate at the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, describes the Malawian government’s “plans to launch a ‘test and treat’ program in which all HIV-infected pregnant women will immediately be put on antiretroviral treatment (ART) drugs for life.” But she adds that “[t]he growing political and economic crisis in Malawi, highlighted by the government’s use of force against peaceful demonstrators last week, could also imperil the groundbreaking expansion of Malawi’s national HIV/AIDS program.”
The Global Democracy Promotion Act (.pdf), recently introduced in the House by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), “would bar the use of U.S. foreign aid to restrict people’s liberty â€¦ [and] says that organizations accepting U.S. assistance cannot be forced to quash perfectly legal activities in return,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America Vice President Latanya Mapp Frett writes in a New York Daily News opinion piece. She says the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s recent vote to reinstate and expand the so-called “global gag rule” would “foste[r] unintended pregnancy, increasing the need for abortion and endangering women’s health.”
“The U.S. should improve coordination among its more than two dozen government departments to promote coherence in its multibillion-dollar foreign aid program and avoid duplication,” according to a peer review from the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Guardian reports.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced Thursday that “it has become a signatory of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), which “means that grant information currently on the Global Fund website will be aligned to an internationally agreed set of standards” and “[f]inancial and grant activity…
This Health Affairs article examines GHI’s funding and other challenges. “Questions now being raised about the Global Health Initiative focus not just on funding, but on whether the program is broadening the U.S. foreign assistance portfolio on health, building countries’ health system capacities, and meeting other objectives. So far, the picture looks mixed,” the article states (Bristol, June 2011).
More than 18,000 cases of cholera have been recorded in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince since the beginning of May, an increase that may be related to “the beginning of the rainy season and the flooding that hit the capital,” according to Tarik Jasarevic, a WHO spokesperson, Agence France-Presse reports.
“Cash-strapped Swaziland’s state hospitals have only two months’ supplies of AIDS drugs, the country’s health minister has told parliament in an assessment that AIDS patients and activists took as a death sentence,” the Associated Press/Seattle Times reports. More than 60,000 Swazis receive antiretroviral medicine at no cost from state-run hospitals.
Ambassador Eric Goosby, the U.S. global AIDS coordinator, said that a recent $75 million pledge from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Chevron and Johnson & Johnson could help “eliminate new HIV-infected children by 2015 and keep mothers alive,” McClatchy/News & Observer reports.
In a Daily Independent opinion piece, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Terence McCulley writes that after “truly historic” elections in April, “[t]he Nigerian Government faces complex challenges in the post-election environment. Security, electricity, good roads, education and reliable health care top most people’s lists of immediate concerns.”