“In an age of austerity, when everyone is feeling the pinch, some question whether we should continue giving aid to poor countries,” Justin Forsyth, CEO of Save the Children U.K., writes in a Telegraph opinion piece. He says “[t]he resounding answer is yes, according to a new report [.pdf], … which for the first time presents quantifiable evidence of the impact of aid on child survival, health and education” (4/17). The joint report, by the Overseas Development Institute, Save the Children and UNICEF, “analyzes the improvements to children’s lives during the past two decades in five sectors: health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education, and child protection,” according to the report website (4/17). The report’s “findings are inspiring,” Forsyth writes, noting, “Four million fewer children aged under five died in 2010 than in 1990.”
Programs, Funding & Financing
“One of the most talked-about public-health initiatives is improving indoor air quality in the rural developing world,” the Washington Post reports, noting “Over the past two years, the United States has pledged $105 million to fighting the cookstove problem.” The newspaper highlights the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, founded with the help of the U.S. government in 2010, which “aims to help 100 million households replace their stoves with clean alternatives by 2020.”
“The World Bank on Monday chose Korean-born American health expert Jim Yong Kim as its new president, maintaining Washington’s grip on the job and leaving developing countries frustrated with the selection process,” Reuters reports (Wroughton, 4/16). “The 52-year-old president of Ivy League college Dartmouth beat Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to the post, the first time in the World Bank’s history that the U.S. candidate has faced a serious challenge,” the Guardian writes (Rushe, 4/16). “The Korean-American physician and anthropologist, who spent decades working on diseases such as tuberculosis and the AIDS virus, will be the bank’s first leader drawn from the development world rather than politics or finance,” the Wall Street Journal notes (Reddy, 4/16).
“The World Bank on Monday chose Korean-born American health expert Jim Yong Kim as its new president, maintaining Washington’s grip on the job and leaving developing countries frustrated with the selection process,” Reuters reports (Wroughton, 4/16). “The 52-year-old president of Ivy League college Dartmouth beat Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to the post, the first time in the World Bank’s history that the U.S. candidate has faced a serious challenge,” the Guardian writes (Rushe, 4/16). “The Korean-American physician and anthropologist, who spent decades working on diseases such as tuberculosis and the AIDS virus, will be the bank’s first leader drawn from the development world rather than politics or finance,” the Wall Street Journal notes (Reddy, 4/16).
New Malawi President Joyce Banda Offers Women ‘Hope For A Better Future,’ But Donor Support Necessary
“On Saturday April 7th, Joyce Banda became Africa’s second sitting female president,” Lyndon Haviland, a senior strategy fellow at Aspen Global Health and Development, notes in this AlertNet opinion piece, writing, “President Banda offers women in Africa a second chance to experience women’s leadership (Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s recent Nobel Peace Prize demonstrates what can happen when women lead) — and for the women of Malawi that cannot come soon enough.” As “[a] longtime advocate for women’s health, education and gender equality, Banda offers women in Malawi hope for a better future,” Haviland writes, noting, “As a founding member of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health, Banda has been working on the international stage to accelerate progress toward universal access to reproductive health.”
This post by writer Cynthia Schweer in Foreign Policy Blogs Network describes the recent restructuring of the Secretariat at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, with a focus on grant management. The reorganization is “important” because “[a]fter an age of largesse in global health funding, the financial crisis has caused funding increases to come to a screeching halt,” Schweer writes, saying, “Despite commitments that far outstretch current revenues, the Global Fund is still the most viable multilateral providing funding for global health.” She concludes, “Slowing down the pace of progress at this critical juncture will have implications that reverberate far beyond the realm of current programs” (4/13).
This post on IntraHealth International’s “Global Health Blog” discusses a new report (.pdf) from the WHO, titled “Research and Development to Meet Health Needs in Developing Countries: Strengthening Global Financing and Coordination,” which “concludes that ‘all countries should commit to spend at least 0.01 percent of GDP on government-funded R&D [research and development] devoted to meeting the health needs of developing countries.'” The post states, “The report has a double significance. First, it is a vigorous statement of the need for a binding agreement on health innovation to address diseases that mostly affect developing countries. Second, it is an important concrete step on the long path to it” (Chiscop, 4/13).
“Nearly 780 million people are deprived of safe drinking water — and 2.5 billion lack access to improved sanitation — all because governments aren’t spending scarce resources wisely, according to a joint report [.pdf] of the World Health Organization and U.N.-Water,” VOA News reports. Though “more than two billion people gained access to safe drinking water and 1.8 billion gained access to improved sanitation” between 1990 and 2010, billions of people still lack these basic services, the report noted, according to the news service.
“Individuals, businesses and foundations have continued to give money to humanitarian and development organizations despite harsh economic times, providing a crucial source of funding in the face of declining official aid,” according to a report on private aid funding by the monitoring group Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA), the Guardian reports. The news service writes, “According to the report, 24 percent of the international humanitarian response from 2006 to 2010” — at least $18 billion — “came from private voluntary contributions”; “[i]n 2010 alone, $5.8 billion was donated privately, mainly in response to the earthquake in Haiti and the floods in Pakistan”; and “[a]s a share of the total humanitarian response, private funding grew from 17 percent in 2006 to 32 percent in 2010.”
In this Washington Post opinion piece, Paul Farmer, a Harvard professor and co-founder of Partners In Health, and John Gershman, a professor at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, discuss the nomination of Jim Yong Kim, a global health expert and Dartmouth College president, to be president of the World Bank. “Recent claims from some economists that Kim is ‘anti-growth’ are based on a willful misreading and selective reporting of passages from Kim’s co-edited volume ‘Dying for Growth: Global Inequality and the Health of the Poor,’ to which we both contributed,” they write, adding, “The book’s objective was to ask questions about what types of growth and what kinds of policies were beneficial for those struggling to lift themselves out of poverty.”
The philanthropic organization Dubai Cares has announced a $1 million donation to partner with The END Fund in the establishment “of a school-based deworming program that will treat children in Angola,” according to the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases’ (NTD) “End the Neglect” blog. “The END Fund’s chairman William Campbell stated that, ‘This pioneering investment in partnership with The END Fund adds further momentum behind our goal of eradicating Africa’s seven most prevalent NTDs by 2020,'” the blog notes (Patel, 4/11).