The White House nominee for president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, on Tuesday begins a seven-country “listening tour” in order “to promote his candidacy with stops in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the Treasury Department announced Monday,” Bloomberg Businessweek reports (Crutsinger, 3/26). According to Reuters, “The Treasury Department said Kim will visit Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as well as Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, New Delhi, Brasilia and Mexico City between March 27 and April 9 to meet heads of state, finance ministers and others to talk about priorities for the World Bank.”
Programs, Funding & Financing
“It is not just quantity of aid that counts nowadays, but the quality and perspective of that aid, as well as innovation, investment and experience domestically,” Jonathan Glennie, a research fellow at the Overseas Development Institute, writes in the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog.” Noting a newly released report from the Global Health Strategies initiatives (GSHi) that says the BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — are increasing their global health and development aid, Glennie continues, “Most of the BRICS are still developing countries in the traditional sense of that term, which means that they are combating extreme poverty, hunger and disease at home as well as in their aid programs.” He adds, “This is the main characteristic that sets them apart from traditional donors and philanthropic mega-foundations.”
Saturday, March 24 was World Tuberculosis (TB) Day. The following is a summary of several editorials and opinion pieces published in recognition of the day.
VOA News reports on a March 20 panel meeting in Washington, D.C., that highlighted the contributions of corporations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Chevron, which has “invested $30 million for the three-year period between 2008 and 2011 and has pledged another $25 million through 2013,” was recognized at the meeting as “the first Global Fund Corporate Champion,” according to VOA (DeCapua, 3/23).
As their economies grow, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — known collectively as BRICS — “are injecting new resources, innovation and momentum into efforts to improve health in the world’s poorest countries, according to a report [.pdf] by Global Health Strategies initiatives [GHSi]” released on Monday, Business Live reports (Roberts, 3/26). “The report was released in New Delhi, India, where the BRICS Summit, including a heads of government meeting, will be held from 28-29 March,” a GHSi press release (.pdf) states.
“The White House on Friday named Jim Yong Kim, the president of Dartmouth College and a global health expert, as its nominee to lead the World Bank” beginning “on June 30, when its current president, Robert B. Zoellick, will step down at the end of his five-year term,” the New York Times reports (Lowrey, 3/23). “Kim is a South Korean-born doctor, anthropologist and former head of the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS department,” the Financial Times notes (Harding/Leahy, 3/23). “Kim helped found the international aid organization Partners in Health, which provides care to patients in more than a dozen countries,” and served as the chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, according to NPR (Horsley, 3/23). At a Rose Garden ceremony to announce the nomination, President Barack Obama said, “It’s time for a development professional to lead the world’s largest development agency,” the Associated Press reports (Pace, 3/24).
Several blog posts recently commented on the upcoming World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, commemorated on March 24. “Despite a clear legislative mandate, the U.S. Global Health Initiative (GHI) has consistently failed to live up to the goals of” the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB), and Malaria Reauthorization Act, a landmark legislation passed by Congress in 2008, John Fawcett, legislative director for RESULTS, writes in the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog. He continues, “Current GHI TB treatment goals are less than 60 percent of what was mandated in the Lantos-Hyde Act,” and concludes, “As the final authorized fiscal year of the Lantos-Hyde Act is debated, there’s still time to embrace its mandate: a bold effort to confront the worldâ€™s leading curable infectious killer” (Mazzotta, 3/22). “As people across the globe celebrate World TB Day this week, several groups are highlighting the fact that the current tools to prevent, test, and treat tuberculosis (TB) are greatly outdated,” Ashley Bennett, senior policy associate at the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC), writes in the GHTC “Breakthroughs” blog. She commends GHTC members for their efforts to develop new technologies (3/22).
Swazi, South African Activists March To U.S. Consulate In Johannesburg To Call For Emergency Global Fund Meeting
“Almost a thousand Swazi and South African HIV activists marched to the United States consulate in Johannesburg on [Thursday] to demand that the U.S. continue supporting the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria, and safeguard funding of its President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR),” PlusNews reports. “The march organizers — a coalition of international and regional HIV organizations, including the global medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), the World AIDS Campaign, and the AIDS Rights Alliance Southern Africa — also called on the British and Australian governments to join their American counterparts in kick-starting a response to solve the Global Fund’s financial crisis,” according to the news service.
In this BMJ Group blogs post, Richard Smith, editor of the BMJ until 2004 and director of the United Health Group’s chronic disease initiative, examines whether efforts to eradicate polio can be successful, writing, “Despite the problems of geography, war, insurgency, politics, communication, finance, and people management, there are optimistic signs, said … Sir Liam Donaldson, former chief medical officer in England and now chair of the International Monitoring Board for the Global Polio Eradication Programme.” He continues, “This is, [Donaldson] concluded, a ‘unique moment in public health’: with one last heave the disease could be eradicated, but if it isn’t financial backing will disappear, health workers will not be paid, systems will break down, and cases of polio will rise back into the tens or hundreds of thousands” (3/22).
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) provides a fact sheet (.pdf) detailing its efforts to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in the developing world. According to the fact sheet, the MCC and its partner countries “have prioritized WASH sector development,” and “MCC has invested $793 million in WASH-related projects in nine partner countries” (3/19).