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New Online Portal Aims To Comprehensively Track Global Aid Flow

“A new online information portal on aid flows around the world” aims to improve transparency and prevent billions of dollars in international aid from being misused, according to academics and aid officials who launched the tool at a conference, Reuters AlertNet reports. A working version of the portal became available for the public on Tuesday, the news service reports.

Obama Requests $2.8B In Emergency Funds For Haiti

President Barack Obama sent a letter (.pdf) to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Wednesday asking the Congress “for $2.8 billion in emergency funds to provide for costs associated with relief and reconstruction for Haiti, after its devastating earthquake on January 12,” Reuters reports.

Civil Society Groups Urge G8 To Follow Through With AIDS Funding Commitments

“Civil society organisations from around the world on Wednesday made a coordinated appeal to the Canadian government to help pressure the Group of Eight (G8) into fulfilling its aid commitments in the fight against AIDS,” which are predicted to be over $20 billion short of commitments pledged by the G8 during the Gleneagles summit in 2005, the Mail & Guardian reports.

UNAIDS Executive Director Calls For ‘Serious Attention To TB’ On World TB Day

In a statement marking World Tuberculosis Day, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe “warned Wednesday that double infections of HIV and TB could become the next new epidemic,” the Associated Press reports. Sidibe said, “I’m calling for serious attention to TB, and serious attention to TB-HIV co-infection” (Corder, 3/24).

GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer Will Supply 600M Doses Of Reduced-Price Pneumococcal Vaccines To Developing Countries Over 10 Years, GAVI Says

The GAVI Alliance on Tuesday formally announced that drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer had signed off on a “10-year deal … to supply 60 million doses a year of cut-price pneumococcal vaccines to developing nations,” Reuters reports. The agreement is under what’s “called an Advance Market Commitment (AMC) which guarantees a market for vaccines supplied to poor nations but sets a maximum price drugmakers can expect to receive,” the news service writes (Kelland, 3/23).

Also In Global Health News: Child, Maternal Mortality; AIDS 2010; Food Aid To N. Korea; Millennium Challenge Corporation; Family Planning Conference; Parasitic Disease Test

AU Summit To Examine Progress Toward Child, Maternal Mortality MDGs When leaders of African states gather for the African Union summit in Kampala, Uganda, in July, they will assess the continent’s progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals relating to child and maternal mortality, Isaac Musumba, Uganda’s state minister for…

Sec. Clinton Highlights Water As Diplomatic, Development Opportunity For U.S.

Marking World Water Day in a speech Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said tackling the world’s water problems “represents one of the great diplomatic and development opportunities of our time,” Inter Press Service reports. “It’s not every day you find an issue where effective diplomacy and development will allow you to save millions of lives, feed the hungry, empower women, advance our national security interests, protect the environment, and demonstrate to billions of people that the United States cares,” she said.

Former Presidents Bush, Clinton In Haiti; IADB Forgives $479M Haiti Debt

“Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton clasped hands with residents of one of Haiti’s massive tent cities Monday” during a tour of Port-Au-Prince, the Associated Press reports. “At a news conference with President Rene Preval on the grounds of the collapsed national palace, Bush said he was struck by the devastation caused by the Jan. 12 earthquake. ‘It’s one thing to see it on TV, it’s another to see it firsthand,’ said Bush, who was making his first visit to Haiti. ‘Hopefully our visit will remind people that Haiti needs help,'” the news service writes.

Opinion: Expanding Global Fund; Repurposing Wastewater; Financing Global Health Needs

Opinion Piece Outlines Challanges Facing Global Fund In an Economic Times opinion piece, Jeffrey Sachs of the Earth Institute at Columbia University outlines what he sees as “two huge challenges facing” the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: “The first is lack of financing. … The second challenge is to…