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Investing Now In Early Child Development Will Have Long-Term Benefits

Gordon Alexander, director of the office of research at UNICEF’s Innocenti Research Centre, writes in this post on the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog” that a series published in Friday’s Lancet on early child development (ECD) shows “that the payoff from concerted, integrated action around ECD would be enormous.” Additional focus on and investment in ECD, particularly in the areas of nutrition, maternal and family health, and poverty alleviation, would help children reach their full potential in adulthood, which means “investing in ECD now will quite literally yield billions of dollars in later years,” he says.

Health Workers Key To 'Effective Health Care Delivery'

In addition to “essential money,” “the right policies, government commitment and citizen accountability” are needed to decrease child mortality and improve other global health indicators, “[b]ut the sine qua non for effective health care delivery is health workers. Whether it’s prevention, treatment or care, it’s all about health workers,” Jonathan Glennie, a research fellow at the Overseas Development Institute, writes in a post on the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog.”

Public Health Institute To Receive $209.5M In 'Cooperative Agreement' Funding From USAID

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) announced Friday that the Oakland-based Public Health Institute will receive $209.5 million in “cooperative agreement” funding from USAID, NBC/Bay City News reports. “The award, nearly twice as large as previous USAID agreements, will go to support the Public Health Institute’s role in the Global Health Fellows Program,” which “recruits and trains health professionals for placement in Washington, D.C., and abroad to strengthen USAID’s public health outreach,” the news service writes (9/24).

Gates Foundation Report For G20 Supports Taxing Financial Transactions, Tobacco, Fuel To Aid Poor

A report by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that was commissioned by the G20 chair “proposes raising new funding for poorer countries by taxing financial transactions, tobacco, and shipping and aviation fuels, according to details of a G20 report obtained by Reuters,” the news service reports. “The Gates Foundation was tasked by current G20 chair, France, to look at how the governments of its member countries could raise new money for aid to developing nations, including plugging an estimated $80-100 billion funding gap to help the poor adapt to climate change,” the news agency writes. The report “suggests even a small tax of 10 basis points on equities and two basis points on bonds would raise about $48 billion among G20 member states, or $9 billion if only adopted by larger European countries,” Reuters notes (Wroughton, 9/23). “Longstanding proposals for a tax on currency transactions have often been met by skepticism by governments, which argue it would drive currency trading from one financial center to another,” the Financial Times reports (Beattie, 9/23).

With Increasing Population, Now Is Not The Time To Cut International Family Planning Funding

Robert Walker, executive vice president of the Population Institute, writes in this Huffington Post opinion piece that despite an increase in government and NGO support for maternal and child health programs, including family planning services, announced last week by the U.N. as part of its Every Woman, Every Child campaign, “the world’s largest donor nation, the United States, is retreating on its commitments to international family planning, and other donor nations may follow suit.”

U.S. Commits Additional Funds To Clean Cookstoves Initiative

On the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, the U.S. made an additional financial commitment of up to $55 million, “bringing the total United States commitment to up to $105 million in the first five years,” according to a State Department press release (9/22). A…

Examining Alternatives To Assessing Global Fund Effectiveness

In this post in the Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy” blog, William Savedoff, a senior fellow at the center, responds to a high level panel’s assessment (.pdf) of fiduciary controls at the Global Fund to Fight, AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, examining “what this report might mean for an organization that…

More Funding For Leishmaniasis Treatment Could Save More Lives In East African Outbreak

“East Africa’s worst outbreak in a decade of visceral leishmaniasis, the deadliest parasitic disease after malaria, could ease if donors paid more attention to the illness,” which infects approximately 500,000 people and kills up to 60,000 annually in 70 countries, the non-profit group “Leishmaniasis East Africa Platform, or LEAP, said in a statement from Nairobi” on Friday, Bloomberg reports.

Senate Committee Approves FY12 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved a $53 billion FY12 foreign operations appropriations bill, the Associated Press reports. “Reflecting the economic pressure, the bill is $6.2 billion less than President Barack Obama requested,” the news agency notes (Cassatta, 9/21).