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Ban, Clinton Call For Increased Food Security Efforts

At a meeting on Saturday of “leaders, ministers, experts and non-governmental organizations from nearly 100 countries,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for greater urgency in the fight against hunger, Agence France-Presse reports.

G20 Addresses Food Aid, Advocates React To Commitments

The G20 said the World Bank trust fund for agricultural investment in poor countries that they called for on Friday “should be designed so that money will be disbursed quickly and countries can decide for themselves where they want it spent,” Reuters reports.

Gates Foundation Launches Campaign To Highlight U.S. Global Health Investment Successes

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Thursday announced the launch of the Living Proof Project that aims to highlight how U.S. foreign aid contributes to improving global health, the Associated Press reports. Bill Gates said in a statement, “We want to show Americans that their investments in global health are working.”

IRIN Examines How User Fees Have Kept Most Vulnerable From Accessing Healthcare

IRIN examines how fees for medical services have kept poor populations from accessing services, in light of the recent announcement by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown that he was launching a program aimed at greatly reducing such fees in Malawi, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nepal and Burundi.

WHO Lowers Expectation Of H1N1 Vaccine Output, Appeals For Donations To Fight Pandemic

International drug makers are expected to produce three billion doses of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine, “enough for just under half the world’s population,” a WHO official said Thursday, Canwest News Service/Ottawa Citizen reports. “The agency was hoping pharmaceutical companies would be able to make about five billion doses a year, but data collected over the summer led to the revised estimate,” the news service writes.

G20 Draft Communique Addresses Agricultural Investment In Developing Countries, ‘Influential Women’ Raise Awareness For Maternal Mortality

A draft G20 communique revealed Friday that the group of countries “has called on the World Bank to work with donor agencies to create a multilateral trust fund to increase agricultural investment in poor countries,” Reuters reports. In July, the G8 launched a $20 billion agriculture initiative to help developing countries.

G20 Countries Could Tax Foreign Exchange To Help Achieve U.N. MDGs, Opinion Piece Says

The G20 countries “could help both the poor and the global economy by fully financing lagging efforts to fight poverty and disease worldwide, and the best way to do this would be to impose a very small tax on the prosperous foreign exchange industry,” Philippe Douste-Blazy, a former French foreign minister who is a special adviser to the U.N. secretary general on innovative financing, writes in a New York Times opinion piece.