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FAO Food Price Index Decreased In March, But Drop Might Not Be Permanent

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Thursday that world food prices dropped last month for the first time in eight months, “but it warned that prices may resume rising as higher output may not be enough to replenish low stock levels,” the Wall Street Journal reports (Henshaw, 4/7).

Officials Ask For U.S. To Continue Support For U.N. In Capitol Hill Meetings

The U.N. needs the U.S. to continue providing strong financial support, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told U.S. lawmakers in Washington on Thursday, “as President Barack Obama and Congress negotiate federal budget cuts to try to avoid a government shutdown,” Reuters reports. “We need to have robust financial support from the United States,” Ban said (Cornwell/Alexander, 4/7).

Opinions: Support Antibiotic R&D; Foreign Aid Budget Cuts

U.S., EU Need To Take Concrete Action To Incentivize Investment In Antibiotic R&D “The framework for antibiotic discovery, development and approval is broken,” Matthew Cooper of the University of Queensland and David Shales, former vice president at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, write in a Nature comment, calling for “a sustained effort from…

House Budget Chair’s FY12 Budget Proposal Would Significantly Cut International Affairs Budget

House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget blueprint, which was released earlier this week, would significantly cut the international affairs budget for FY12 and increase those cuts over the next four years, Foreign Policy’s “The Cable” reports, noting that Ryan’s budget also would increase “the defense budget by 14 percent over the same timeframe” (Rogin, 4/6).

MDGs Still In Reach, But 2015 Deadline Will Be Missed, Bill Gates Says

The U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) can still be attained if developed nations meet their aid pledges, but the 2015 deadline likely will be missed, Bill Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said in remarks to the European Parliament’s development committee in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday, EUobserver reports.

BMJ News Reports On S. Africa’s HIV Prevention, Treatment Efforts

BMJ News reports on South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s visit to the U.S. last week, where he spoke at a forum in Washington, D.C., on the efforts the government is making to promote HIV prevention and treatment and improve the country’s health system. The publication notes that the health ministry has set a goal of testing the HIV status of 15 million people in the country by the end of the year – “nearly a third of its population of 50 million.”