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Global Fund Taps Former HHS Sec., Former President Of Botswana To Lead External Investigation Of Its Financial Controls

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Tuesday named former HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt and former President of Botswana Festus Mogae to co-chair “an external review of its financial systems, amid heightened scrutiny from donors over misuse of some grants and a potential funding reduction from the U.S.,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

House Passes FY11 Measure To Fund Government With $6B Worth Of Cuts

The House passed a continuing resolution on Tuesday “that would cut $6 billion from current discretionary-spending levels and keep the government operating through April 8,” National Journal reports. The House voted 271-158 to approve the bill (Sanchez, 3/15).

Opinions: Reforms At USAID; Focus on Disease Prevention, Not Earthquake-Related Death Prevention; Fight NCDs In Developing Countries; Cash On Delivery; Destroy Smallpox Stocks; Global Health Funding Cuts’ Affect On Women; Budget Cuts Will Erode Family Planning Programs

USAID Needs Time, Resources To Succeed During these tight fiscal times, “we need to modernize our International Affairs programs with a greater emphasis on transparency, accountability and effectiveness” in order to “be fiscally responsible and still make the critical investments we need in our International Affairs Budget,” former Rep. Mark…

Budget Cuts Could Damage Obama Administration’s Plans To Beef Up State Department, USAID

Due to Congress’ proposals to cut spending for the State Department, the Obama administration is increasingly looking toward new funding mechanisms, referred to as blended funds, that pull from Defense Department budgets for activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, CQ reports. But that strategy could “undercut the Obama administration’s efforts to create a more robust State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)” and “create significant congressional oversight challenges,” the news service adds.

Also In Global Health News: Political Uprisings Could Help Arab Women; Parents Of HIV-Positive Libyan Children Speak; Scientific Commission For Global Food Security; Laura Bush On Foreign Aid Cuts; FDA Approves HIV/AIDS Drug For Kids

Political Uprisings in North Africa Could Help Women Gain Political, Economic Rights Bloomberg News/Boston Globe examines how the recent political uprisings in Egypt and neighboring countries could lead to new opportunities for women in the region. The article describes the challenges Arab women in the countries face, as documented in…

External Panel Issues Draft Report Saying WHO Response To H1N1 Lacked Cohesion, Clarity

An independent panel of experts commissioned by the WHO to probe its response to the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic on Thursday released a draft report (.pdf) stating that while the organization performed well in many ways, it made “crucial mistakes” and “warned tens of millions could die if there is a severe flu outbreak in the future,” the Associated Press reports (3/10).

FY12 State Department Funding Request Cannot Be Fulfilled, House Foreign Ops Committee Chair Says

It “will not be possible” to meet the funding request for the State Department in President Barack Obama’s FY12 budget proposal, Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), chair of the House State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee, said at a hearing on Thursday, CQ reports. However, Granger said there are still ways for the House and State Department to “maintain an effective and efficient diplomatic and development capability.”

Recent Releases In Global Health

The following is a sampling of blog posts published this week marking International Women’s Day : PEPFAR’s Gender Challenge Fund:  At the Intersection of Gender and HIV (Goosby, 3/11). A Conversation in Afghanistan: Perspectives on International Women’s Day (Ehsaas, 3/9). The Best Investment in Global Women’s Health (Sturchio/Barnes, 3/8). Why…