Frank Carlucci, former national security adviser and secretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan; Lee Hamilton, a retired Democratic congressman and former vice chair of the 9/11 Commission; and Tom Ridge, former homeland security secretary under President George W. Bush — all members of the Advisory Council for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition — write in this Washington Times editorial, “At a time of economic distress and huge deficits that demand tough choices, it is tempting for elected officials to scale back this country’s engagement around the globe, in particular by making cuts to programs that support diplomacy and international development. Yet too much is at stake to diminish America’s leadership and competitiveness in a world that is growing more interconnected and interdependent — as well as more turbulent — virtually every day.”
Programs, Funding & Financing
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking at the NIH on Tuesday, “called on the world to create the first ‘AIDS-free generation’ by using antiviral drugs, condoms, circumcision and other approaches to stem the spread of HIV,” the Washington Post reports. “Taken together, mathematical models show that these strategies could significantly reduce the spread of the virus by another 40 percent to 60 percent, she said,” the newspaper writes (Stein, 11/8).
Global Fund Delays Closing Date For Round 11 Applications, Says Disbursements May Not Be Available Until 2013
The Global Fund to Fight HIV, TB and Malaria has delayed the closing date for applications for its next round of funding, reduced the estimated amount of money that will be available in that round, and potentially delayed the disbursement of the funds until 2013, PlusNews reports. “The delay in Round 11 funding was announced at the Fund’s latest board meeting on 26 September, the second such delay, which has pushed the application deadline back to at least 1 March 2012,” the news service notes.
Clinton Expected To Urge U.S., Other Countries To Intensify HIV/AIDS Prevention Efforts In Speech On Tuesday
In a speech to be delivered at the NIH, “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to call Tuesday for a new push by the U.S. and other countries to harness recent science to stem the HIV/AIDS pandemic,” the Wall Street Journal reports. She is expected to call for preventive tools “to be widely implemented in countries where the pandemic continues to rage, and to ask donors to step up aid to intensify the response, according to people briefed on the speech,” the newspaper writes.
“South Korea on Tuesday authorized the World Health Organization [WHO] to resume distribution of Seoul-funded medical aid to North Korea, amid growing calls for humanitarian assistance for malnourished North Korean children,” the New York Times reports (Sang-Hun, 11/8). “Seoul has authorized the WHO to release $6.94 million to equip hospitals in the North, said the official of the unification ministry, which handles cross-border ties,” Agence France-Presse writes. “Seoul decided to unblock its WHO funding ‘by taking into account its stance of maintaining its humanitarian aid for infants, children and other vulnerable people in the North, and the WHO’s request,’ [a South Korean] ministry official said on condition of anonymity,” AFP notes (11/8).
In his Foreign Policy column, “The Optimist,” Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and a Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation, responds to a speech to G20 leaders last week by Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in which he “suggested that a financial transactions tax, alongside additional taxes on tobacco and carbon, could be used to help rich countries meet a global target of committing 0.7 percent of GDP to development aid.” Kenny writes, “The outlook is particularly grim in the United States, where traditional aid is on the congressional chopping block,” but “[t]he good news is that the United States (and, for that matter, everyone else) could be doing a lot more for development without spending more money — and in some cases even saving it.”
A Minnesota Daily editorial writes that a proposed nine percent cut in U.S. global health program funding “would drastically slow … progress and hurt development and advancement in other countries,” adding that “investing in the development of poor countries is good for everyone involved. When there are more highly educated, healthy countries, there is more prosperity for all.”
The GAVI Alliance has “announced a major new initiative aimed at engaging private sector leaders: the GAVI Matching Fund,” through which “the British Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide a 100 percent match of contributions to GAVI from corporations and foundations as well as their customers, members and employees,” Bill Roedy, former CEO of MTV Networks and a GAVI Alliance envoy, writes in a post on the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog. “Together, DFID and the Gates Foundation have pledged $130 million to support this effort, which means there’s the potential to generate $260 million for global childhood immunization efforts,” he notes.
The November 21 cover story of Forbes magazine profiles Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has focused its global health efforts on vaccine development and distribution, according to the article (11/21). Forbes also features an audio interview with article author Matt Herper, conducted by Managing Editor Tom Post, about Herper’s interview of Gates (11/4).
GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog reports on the addition of 21 countries to the original group of eight Global Health Initiative (GHI) countries in a second round of selections. The Obama administration has “review[ed] detailed plans from each on main strategies and goals,” according to U.S. officials, the blog reports. The blog writes, “Unlike the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), GHI’s plan from the start was to spread its principles of better integration of programs and expanding into new health areas as quickly as possible.”