In this Politico opinion piece, Brian Atwood and colleagues, all former USAID administrators in previous Democratic or Republican administrations and current advisers to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, write, “Over [the last] half-century, USAID has had an extraordinary record of accomplishment. Using less than one percent of the U.S. budget annually, the American people have demonstrated their deepest values through USAID programs, saving tens of millions of lives worldwide with immunization programs, oral rehydration therapy, treatment for HIV/AIDS and work on other diseases.” They add, “Because of the efforts of the American people, more than one billion people now have safe drinking water, smallpox has been eradicated and tens of millions have been saved through USAID’s famine relief efforts.”
Programs, Funding & Financing
In his New York Times column, Nicholas Kristof writes that family planning is “a solution to many of the global problems that confront us, from climate change to poverty to civil wars,” but that it “has been a victim of America’s religious wars” and is “starved of resources.” Kristof discusses the potential impacts of overpopulation as the global population surpasses seven billion and adds, “What’s needed isn’t just birth control pills or IUDs. It’s also girls’ education and women’s rights — starting with an end to child marriages — for educated women mostly have fewer children.” He concludes, “We should all be able to agree on voluntary family planning as a cost-effective strategy to reduce poverty, conflict and environmental damage. If you think family planning is expensive, you haven’t priced babies” (11/2).
The GAVI Alliance has “announced a major new initiative aimed at engaging private sector leaders: the GAVI Matching Fund,” through which “the British Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide a 100 percent match of contributions to GAVI from corporations and foundations as well as their customers, members and employees,” Bill Roedy, former CEO of MTV Networks and a GAVI Alliance envoy, writes in a post on the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog. “Together, DFID and the Gates Foundation have pledged $130 million to support this effort, which means there’s the potential to generate $260 million for global childhood immunization efforts,” he notes.
The November 21 cover story of Forbes magazine profiles Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has focused its global health efforts on vaccine development and distribution, according to the article (11/21). Forbes also features an audio interview with article author Matt Herper, conducted by Managing Editor Tom Post, about Herper’s interview of Gates (11/4).
Global Fund Delays Closing Date For Round 11 Applications, Says Disbursements May Not Be Available Until 2013
The Global Fund to Fight HIV, TB and Malaria has delayed the closing date for applications for its next round of funding, reduced the estimated amount of money that will be available in that round, and potentially delayed the disbursement of the funds until 2013, PlusNews reports. “The delay in Round 11 funding was announced at the Fund’s latest board meeting on 26 September, the second such delay, which has pushed the application deadline back to at least 1 March 2012,” the news service notes.
A Minnesota Daily editorial writes that a proposed nine percent cut in U.S. global health program funding “would drastically slow … progress and hurt development and advancement in other countries,” adding that “investing in the development of poor countries is good for everyone involved. When there are more highly educated, healthy countries, there is more prosperity for all.”
Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Catherine Bragg on Tuesday “urged donors to give generously to assist Nicaragua and El Salvador cope with the aftermath of the recent floods, saying that the scale of the disaster is beyond what the small Central American nations can handle on their own,” the U.N. News Centre reports. According to the news service, approximately 1.2 million people in the region are affected by flooding, “[t]housands of homes have been damaged and hundreds of schools, roads and health facilities are closed,” and [w]ater-borne diseases are spreading …, she added.” Bragg also said food security was a concern, as thousands of acres of crops were destroyed, “‘making it increasingly difficult for people to get enough food for the next six months,’ she stated,” the news service notes (11/8).
In this post in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog, Sheila Nix, U.S. executive director of ONE, summarizes progress in the global fight against HIV/AIDS in the 30 years since the first cases were documented and writes that “as budgets constrict and leaders turn their attention inward, it’s easy to see why a renewed push on global AIDS doesn’t seem possible. Yet 2011 marks a critical inflection point in our fight against AIDS.”
In this Forbes opinion piece, contributor Sarika Bansal examines “[w]hat needs to happen for the pharmaceutical industry, academic researchers, and other key players [to] begin investing more seriously in” efforts to address neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). She writes, “Since the term [NTD] was coined [in 2005], there has been considerable activity in the neglected disease space from governments, donors, pharmaceutical companies, and nonprofits alike,” but the status quo “has not yet changed nearly enough, and there is ample room for the pharmaceutical industry to invest more in NTDs.”
As part of its U.S. Global Health Policy: In Focus webcast series, the Kaiser Family Foundation on Wednesday hosted a panel of experts to discuss outcomes of the Cannes G20 Summit meetings on infrastructure development, food security and innovative financing options for development and the implications for global health. Panelists also discussed the current state of global health funding from donor countries, including the United States and European community, as well as a range of new financing mechanisms under consideration to supplement funding from traditional channels.