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Gates Foundation Announces 5-Year, $1.5 Billion Commitment For Maternal, Child Health

During the Women Deliver conference on Monday Melinda Gates announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “will spend $1.5 billion over the next five years on maternal and child health, family planning and nutrition in developing countries, a pledge that signals a new focus for the foundation known for concentrating on vaccines and AIDS,” the Wall Street Journal reports (Jordan, 6/7).

Also In Global Health News: MDGs; ARVs; Pharma In India; Gates In Nigeria

“Millennium development goals: Profit has a place at the base of the pyramid,” Financial Times (Murray, 6/7). “ViiV, Elizabeth Glaser Pact To Expedite Access To ARV Treatment”,” Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal (Musha Baba, 6/7). “Novartis, Sanofi Pursue ‘Cash Machine’ in Indian Countryside,” Bloomberg (Sharma, 6/7).  Agence France-Press (6/7) and The Punch (Nwankwo, 6/8)…

Washington Post Q&A With Rajiv Shah; AP Examines ‘Surging’ Global Food Prices

In light of the recent launch of USAID’s “Feed the Future” initiative, the Washington Post features a Q&A with Rajiv Shah, the administrator of the agency. The interview addresses what the program will look like on the ground, the focus on female farmers and related topics (Sheridan, 6/7). Meanwhile, the…

EU Sends $29M In Food, Medical Aid To Combat Increasing Food Insecurity In Africa’s Sahel Region

The European Union on Wednesday sent $29 million worth of food and medical aid to help “millions facing hunger” across the drought-stricken Sahel region of West Africa, Reuters reports. “Failed rains have left over 10 million people at risk in Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and other countries in the semi-arid belt stretching across the southern edge of the Sahara,” the news service writes. “Niger last month forecast that 3.3 million people, or 22 percent of its population, would face severe food shortages, with a further 3.8 million vulnerable to a lesser degree” (John, 6/2).

Recent Releases In Global Health

Blog: Shah Describes Obama Administration’s Approach To Foreign Aid Reporting on a recent international development forum, “Obama’s Foreign Aid Reform” blog notes USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah’s remarks on how the Obama administration “is doing things differently.” According to the blog, “The first is on doing a ‘better job of being evidence-based’…

Haiti Donor Conference Calls For Aid Pledge Delivery, Focuses On Need For Political Stability

At a donor summit in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, Haitian President Rene Preval called on donors to follow through on their aid pledges, Al Jazeera reports. So far, “only Brazil has delivered” on its commitment of $55 million (6/3). “Two months after more than 140 nations pledged $5.3 billion toward Haiti’s reconstruction over the next two years and $9.9 billion over the next decade, little of the money has arrived,” according to the Miami Herald (Charles, 6/3).

U.S. Southern Command Ends Major Military Operations In Haiti

The U.S. Southern Command on Tuesday said it was ending major military relief operations in Haiti aimed at aiding the nation after the January earthquake, Reuters reports. “Spearheaded by the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, thousands of American troops were deployed in Haiti as part of Operation Unified Response. … The Pentagon has been drawing down the number of soldiers in the impoverished Caribbean country steadily in recent months,” the news service writes.

World Bank Cancels $36M Haitian Debt

“The World Bank said on Friday it has written off $36 million of Haiti’s remaining debts to the lender with the help of contributions from 13 countries,” Reuters reports. Haiti owed money to the bank’s International Development Association (IDA), the fund for the “poorest borrowers,” the news service writes.