Bill and Melinda Gates announced Friday during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that their foundation would commit $10 billion over the next decade to research, develop and deliver vaccines for the world’s poorest countries, the New York Times reports (McNeil, 1/29). The Gateses “said they hope the commitment would spur support by governments, corporations, and other donors for vaccinations efforts,” the Chronicle of Philanthropy writes (Wilhelm, 1/29).
Programs, Funding & Financing
The European Commission’s humanitarian aid department warned Thursday that West Africa’s Sahel belt could face famine this year, with millions potentially affected, Reuters reports (John, 1/29). “We are already into what looks like a period of extreme vulnerability and extreme difficulty for the most disadvantaged of the population,” according to Brian O’Neill, regional sector head of European Commission Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), Agence France-Presse writes.
The Canadian government on Thursday announced the country would donate five million doses of H1N1 vaccines to the WHO from the country’s current surplus, the Canadian Press reports (Branswell, 1/28). “[T]he donation will help the Geneva-based international body in its efforts to redistribute the vaccine to developing countries that couldn’t afford their own supplies,” the Globe and Mail reports (Alphonso, 1/28).
Also In Global Health News: Pakistan Agriculture; U.K.’s Food Security Efforts; Clinton Addresses Yemen; Hunger In Niger; WB Head In Africa
U.S. To Support Agricultural Technology Projects In Pakistan Bryan Hunt, the U.S. consulate general in Lahore, Pakistan, said Wednesday that the U.S. would help Pakistan with the development of agriculture technology aimed at boosting farmers’ productivity, the Nation reports. Hunt said agriculture technology is vital for increasing food security. “He…
Opinions: Clean Water; Oversight Of U.N. Bookkeeping; Obama’s Global Health Goals; Maternal Mortality
Clean Water Needs To Be Priority For Haiti “Long before the earthquake, Haiti was mired in a crisis that only a few experts noticedÂ â€“ a severe lack of clean drinking water,” writes Joseph Treaster, editor of the University of Miami’s Internet magazine on global water issues and the environment, in…
ICRC AppealsÂ For Attention To Yemen’s Growing Humanitarian Crisis The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Monday appealed to countries participating in an international conference on Yemen’s threat to global security this week in London to also discuss the deepening humanitarian crisis the country is facing, the Associated Press/Taiwan…
At a meeting in Montreal, Canada, on Monday, international donors noted concerns, but agreed to a 10-year reconstruction plan to rebuild Haiti, the New York Times reports. “Given Haitiâ€™s long history of mismanagement of funds, international donors were hesitant to write a blank check. And foreign governments had concerns as well about the governmentâ€™s ability to direct a large reconstruction project after most government buildings were flattened or severely damaged in the Jan. 12 quake,” the newspaper writes (Lacey/Thompson, 1/25).
In his second annual letter, Bill Gates reflects on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work and the importance innovation will play in overcoming some of the world’s greatest challenges, including in global health and agriculture, the Associated Press/Wall Street Journal reports. “Gates says the foundation currently is backing 30 areas of innovation including online learning, teacher improvement, malaria vaccine development, HIV prevention, and genetically modified seeds,” according to the news service (1/25).
Twenty Nations Meet In Montreal To Discuss Haiti Recovery; Haitian Officials Increase Port-Au-Prince Death Toll Estimate
Officials from 20 countries are meeting in Montreal, Canada, Monday “to discuss long-term reconstruction and arrangements for a donor conference to be held in March,” the U.N. said, Bloomberg/BusinessWeek reports (Gaouette/Craze, 1/25). “U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and others will examine eventual debt forgiveness and” a strategy for rebuilding Haiti at the one-day gathering, according to Reuters (Palmer, 1/25).
During the WHO’s recent executive board meeting, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan reflected on public health gains over the past decade and the challenges that lie ahead, Nigeria’s Guardian reports. Chan commended the international community’s response to H1N1 and global efforts to reduce child mortality, fight malaria and tuberculosis.