“The White House on Friday named Jim Yong Kim, the president of Dartmouth College and a global health expert, as its nominee to lead the World Bank” beginning “on June 30, when its current president, Robert B. Zoellick, will step down at the end of his five-year term,” the New York Times reports (Lowrey, 3/23). “Kim is a South Korean-born doctor, anthropologist and former head of the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS department,” the Financial Times notes (Harding/Leahy, 3/23). “Kim helped found the international aid organization Partners in Health, which provides care to patients in more than a dozen countries,” and served as the chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, according to NPR (Horsley, 3/23). At a Rose Garden ceremony to announce the nomination, President Barack Obama said, “It’s time for a development professional to lead the world’s largest development agency,” the Associated Press reports (Pace, 3/24).
Programs, Funding & Financing
Several blog posts recently commented on the upcoming World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, commemorated on March 24. “Despite a clear legislative mandate, the U.S. Global Health Initiative (GHI) has consistently failed to live up to the goals of” the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB), and Malaria Reauthorization Act, a landmark legislation passed by Congress in 2008, John Fawcett, legislative director for RESULTS, writes in the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog. He continues, “Current GHI TB treatment goals are less than 60 percent of what was mandated in the Lantos-Hyde Act,” and concludes, “As the final authorized fiscal year of the Lantos-Hyde Act is debated, there’s still time to embrace its mandate: a bold effort to confront the worldâ€™s leading curable infectious killer” (Mazzotta, 3/22). “As people across the globe celebrate World TB Day this week, several groups are highlighting the fact that the current tools to prevent, test, and treat tuberculosis (TB) are greatly outdated,” Ashley Bennett, senior policy associate at the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC), writes in the GHTC “Breakthroughs” blog. She commends GHTC members for their efforts to develop new technologies (3/22).
Swazi, South African Activists March To U.S. Consulate In Johannesburg To Call For Emergency Global Fund Meeting
“Almost a thousand Swazi and South African HIV activists marched to the United States consulate in Johannesburg on [Thursday] to demand that the U.S. continue supporting the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria, and safeguard funding of its President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR),” PlusNews reports. “The march organizers — a coalition of international and regional HIV organizations, including the global medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), the World AIDS Campaign, and the AIDS Rights Alliance Southern Africa — also called on the British and Australian governments to join their American counterparts in kick-starting a response to solve the Global Fund’s financial crisis,” according to the news service.
In this BMJ Group blogs post, Richard Smith, editor of the BMJ until 2004 and director of the United Health Group’s chronic disease initiative, examines whether efforts to eradicate polio can be successful, writing, “Despite the problems of geography, war, insurgency, politics, communication, finance, and people management, there are optimistic signs, said … Sir Liam Donaldson, former chief medical officer in England and now chair of the International Monitoring Board for the Global Polio Eradication Programme.” He continues, “This is, [Donaldson] concluded, a ‘unique moment in public health’: with one last heave the disease could be eradicated, but if it isn’t financial backing will disappear, health workers will not be paid, systems will break down, and cases of polio will rise back into the tens or hundreds of thousands” (3/22).
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) provides a fact sheet (.pdf) detailing its efforts to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in the developing world. According to the fact sheet, the MCC and its partner countries “have prioritized WASH sector development,” and “MCC has invested $793 million in WASH-related projects in nine partner countries” (3/19).
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday announced his charitable foundation will “spend $220 million over the next four years to discourage tobacco use in developing countries, as he seeks to promote strategies around the world that curbed smoking in his city,” the Wall Street Journal reports (McKay, 3/21). Bloomberg announced “the new funding for Bloomberg Philanthropies on Thursday at the 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Singapore,” Reuters writes, noting “[t]he commitment takes the foundation’s total pledge to the cause to almost $600 million” (Begley et al., 3/22).
USAID Administrator Shah Addresses Agency’s FY13 Budget Proposal At House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing
Speaking Tuesday at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said USAID’s FY 2013 budget proposal “is slightly lower than last year,” but that “future U.S. foreign aid investments will be more ‘prioritized, focused and concentrated,'” and he “promised that U.S. aid will still be able to meet global development challenges,” VOA’s “Breaking News” blog reports (3/21). “While foreign assistance represents less than one percent of our budget, we are committed to improving our efficiency and maximizing the value of every dollar,” Shah said, according to a transcript of his testimony. Shah outlined how the “budget prioritizes our USAID Forward suite of reforms,” noting efforts in the Global Health Initiative and Feed the Future programs, among others, according to his speech (3/20).
In this post in the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health’s (MLI) “Leading Global Health” blog, MLI Director Rosann Wisman examines how a new, country-led development approach under the Global Health Initiative (GHI) — which focuses on “[funding] the priorities of developing countries rather than solely the priorities of the donors” — is “gaining steam.” She writes, “I believe there are two reasons for this. One is that developing countries, having gained a foothold in funding their own priorities, are showing stronger results when they are in the driver’s seat. Second, the tough economic times have caused several developing countries to internally face up to a key question: What do we do if our traditional donors no longer support our health programs?” (3/20).
A new report, titled “Injection Drug Use in Ukraine” and published by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), examines the challenges of providing HIV prevention and care services in the country, particularly to people who inject drugs (PWID), who accounted for “nearly 50 percent of new HIV infections registered in 2010,” according to the CSIS website. Authors Phillip Nieburg, senior associate and co-chair of the Prevention Committee of the CSIS HIV/AIDS Task Force, and Lisa Carty, senior adviser in the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, also examine how the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and PEPFAR could help Ukraine “in advancing HIV prevention and other services for PWID,” the website notes (3/16).
“The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is warning that more than a million children below the age of five in the Sahel are facing a disaster amid the ongoing food crisis in the drought-prone region of Africa,” the U.N. News Centre reports (3/16). “‘More extreme conditions could see this number rise to about 1.5 million and the problem is that funding is not coming in at the rate that we need in order to prepare properly,’ [UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado] said. ‘So far we have received just one-fifth of the $119 million we have asked for in 2012,'” VOA News writes (3/16).