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Opinions: U.S. Foreign Aid Effectiveness; Faith-Based Groups’ Work Abroad

Foreign Aid Is A Smart Investment Although “foreign assistance is a very small proportion of the overall budget, its effectiveness is both measurable and priceless,” Sheila Nix, the executive director of ONE, writes in a Roll Call opinion piece. “These investments are helping shape a world where no one dies…

U.N. Secretary-General Launches Report Aimed At Meeting MDGs By 2015

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “warned on Tuesday that failure to meet” Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets by the 2015 deadline could result in “increased instability, violence, epidemic diseases and overpopulation,” Agence France-Presse/Mail & Guardian reports (3/17).

Haiti Rebuilding Effort Could Cost $11.5B Over 3 Years, Assessment Says

A “thorough analysis prepared by the Haiti government, together with the United Nations and other international organizations” estimates it will take $11.5 billion over the next three years to repair damage to Haiti after a major earthquake struck in January, the Wall Street Journal reports.

‘Quiet Corruption’ Impedes African Development, World Bank Report Says

What the World Bank has dubbed “quiet corruption” in it’s Africa Development Indicators 2010 report (.pdf) could be as significant a threat to the continent’s development “as the graft scandals that frequently dominate newspaper headlines,” Bloomberg/BusinessWeek reports (McGregor/Seria, 3/15).

Also In Global Health News: East Africa Food Security; Issues With Humanitarian Aid; Texting To Fight Counterfeit Drugs

Experts To Discuss Food Security In East Africa The Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) meeting  this week in Kigali, Rwanda “will provide a forum for experts, government ministers, regional economic communities and other stakeholders to discuss how best to handle the food security issue in” East Africa, New Times/allAfrica.com reports. The…

GAVI Calls Meeting With Existing, Potential Donors

The GAVI Alliance has “asked existing and potential donors to a meeting in The Hague on March 25 and 26 to challenge them to ‘make a strong impact’ on childhood death rates,” Reuters reports. “GAVI, which is supported by the World Health Organization, the World Bank, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and vaccine makers, says it has 40 percent of the $7 billion it needs between now and 2015 to help” immunize of millions of children in developing countries by 2015, according to the news service.

With full funding GAVI “will be able to fully roll out pentavalent vaccine” – which protects against hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and Hib – “and introduce new vaccines against pneumococcal disease and rotavirus diarrhea in over 40 countries,’ [GAVI] said in a statement. ‘These last two vaccines alone can save one million children by 2015,’” reports Reuters.

“Britain last week pledged 150 million pounds over the next 10 years for GAVI’s core funding, a move the group’s deputy chief executive Helen Evans said she hoped others would follow,” Reuters writes. “This is the first sovereign donor to have made a 10-year commitment to GAVI, and that really helps because it builds predictability into funding … and actually helps to shape the market for vaccines,” Evans said (Kelland, 3/15).

Experts Discuss PEPFAR Funding In Congressional Hearing

At a recent hearing of the House Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health, “[i]nternational health organisations working to help check the spread of AIDS in Africa said meagre increases in funds from the U.S. government this year would be a step backwards. Some experts also emphasised that prevention must get appropriate attention in any fight against the disease,” Inter Press Service reports.

U.N. Secretary-General Visits Haiti To Monitor International Aid Response

During his second visit to Haiti since the January earthquake, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “promised Haitians on Sunday that the world has not forgotten the quake-torn nation as it suffers from a shortage of shelter and growing violence in teeming camps for the homeless,” the Associated Press reports (Katz, 3/14).

U.N. Not Fully Funded To Meet Needs In Haiti, Says Humanitarian Chief; Media Examines Care For Country’s Elderly

After announcing a revised appeal of $1.4 billion in February to finance emergency relief as well as recovery and reconstruction, the U.N. “is struggling to provide support for equake-ravaged Haiti,” according to humanitarian chief John Holmes, Reuters reports. “We did extremely well on raising funds for the initial flash appeal, but we are struggling, I’m afraid, to raise resources for the revised appeal. … We have got 49 percent of what we need for the whole year and we are appealing to donors to come forward with more resources for that relief operation,” Holmes said.

U.S. State Department Releases Annual Human Rights Review

The U.S. State Department on Thursday released its annual review on the state of human rights around the world, the Associated Press reports. The 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which includes an assessment of 194 countries, “described abuses in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe,” according to the news service (Klug, 3/11).