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Gains Against Malaria Recognized On World Mosquito Day

Sarah Kline, executive director of Malaria No More UK, writes in the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog” about World Mosquito Day, which is recognized annually on August 20 to commemorate the discovery 114 years ago that female mosquitoes transmit malaria among humans.

Food Aid System 'Needs An Overhaul'

The cost of addressing the effects of drought and famine in the Horn of Africa “has soared to $2.5 billion, just to keep malnourished children alive, and the number of people requiring humanitarian aid has doubled” since “November last year, [when] it would have cost $500 million to prevent the situation from deteriorating,” Jo Khinmaung, a food security policy adviser for Tearfund, writes in the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog.”

U.S. Offers North Korea Flood Assistance, Considering Food Aid Separately

“The United States has offered North Korea up to $900,000 in emergency flood assistance but has made no decision yet on a broader request for humanitarian food aid for the isolated country, the State Department said on Thursday,” Reuters reports. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland “said the flood assistance would not include food, and was considered separately from a standing appeal by North Korea for food aid to offset bad harvests that a U.N. report said earlier this year had left millions hungry,” according to the news agency (Quinn, 8/18).

WHO Spokesperson Addresses Health, Medical Needs For Libya On PBS NewsHour

The WHO “is rushing to secure medical supplies for Libya” after the Dutch government on Monday released nearly $145 million in frozen assets from Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi’s regime in response to a direct WHO appeal, PBS NewsHour reports. The news service features an interview with Tarik Jasarevic, WHO spokesperson for medical emergencies, who spoke “about the health needs in Libya and how the funds will be used.”

FAO Holds Second Emergency Meeting On Famine; WHO Warns Of Cholera Spread; Turkish PM Visits Mogadishu

For the second time in one month, representatives of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) held an emergency meeting on Thursday in Rome “to take stock of the humanitarian disaster” in the Horn of Africa, the Guardian reports (Tran, 8/18). The officials “called for a twin-pronged approach to tackle the food crisis, stressing immediate relief and the strengthening of the resilience of affected communities to enable them to cope with future shocks in the drought-prone region,” the U.N. News Centre reports (8/18).

Japan To Fund Polio Vaccination Efforts In Pakistan

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is providing approximately $65 million to Pakistan’s government to provide polio vaccination campaigns in the country, “one of the most difficult fronts against the disease as global health organizations risk missing their goal of stopping polio globally the end of 2012,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “If Pakistan achieves certain goals with the money, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will repay the loan to Japan, according to officials briefed on the plan,” according to the newspaper (Guth, 8/18).

U.K., Islamic Countries Pledge Additional Funds For Famine Aid In Somalia

During a visit to the Somali capital of Mogadishu, U.K. International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell on Wednesday pledged an additional $41.5 million in aid to Somalia, to be distributed through UNICEF, BBC News reports. The funding will enable UNICEF “to provide supplementary rations for up to 192,000 people … supplies to vaccinate 800,000 children against measles … polio vaccines, vitamin A, and deworming supplies and equipment to help prevent malaria,” the news service writes (8/17). “Meanwhile, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) countries pledged $350 million in aid for Somalia at an emergency summit in Istanbul,” according to the Guardian.

World Must Invest Equally In Bird Flu Prevention And Response

The “reports during the past two weeks of two recent infections and another death” from H5N1 (avian) influenza “raised little concern except among public health officials,” Robert Gatter, co-director of the Center for Health Law Studies and professor of law at Saint Louis University, writes in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution opinion piece, adding that “[t]he fact that bird flu in developing nations receives little public attention reveals that the world has become complacent about this threat.”

Global AIDS Funding In 2010 Down Nearly 10% From Previous Year, Kaiser/UNAIDS Report Says

“Spending on the global fight against AIDS fell significantly in 2010 for the first time since the U.S. and other governments began making major donations,” according to an annual funding analysis released Monday by the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS, the Wall Street Journal reports. “All told, governments donated about $6.9 billion in 2010, down 9.7 percent from about $7.6 billion in the prior year, the report said,” the newspaper writes (McKay, 8/16).