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Arab States Need To Address Food Security, Other Factors To Meet MDGs By 2015, Report Says

Arab states must develop a plan to increase food security and create more jobs in order to meet Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets by 2015, according to a report published Sunday by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Reuters reports. “Though rich in labor and fertile land, much of the Arab world is plagued by malnutrition, joblessness and a big gap between rich and poor, said the report,” the news service writes.

Recent Releases In Global Health

Scientific American Examines Neglected Tropical Diseases A Scientific American article examines recent efforts to tackle neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The author writes “NTDs have plagued humankind for thousands of years. … What is new, however, is that donors, drugmakers, health ministries in low- and middle-income countries, the World Health Organization…

Obama Signs $447B Omnibus Spending Bill

“President Barack Obama signed a $447 billion omnibus spending bill into law Wednesday, assuring that federal agencies will be able to operate through the remainder of fiscal 2010,” Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal reports. The bill provides appropriations for the State Department and several other agencies.

Survey Examines Disease R&D Investment In 2008

According to an annual survey released Tuesday by the George Institute for International Health that looks at R&D funding of diseases that affect the developing world, the U.S. government in 2008 “remained the single biggest contributor as it again provided almost half of the total funding but the report notes developing countries like Brazil [and] India … were becoming a growing force,” AAP/Sydney Morning Herald reports (Rose, 12/15).

More Details Emerge About UNITAID’s Plan For Patent Pool For HIV/AIDS Drugs

Though UNITAID’s board “voted Monday to create a board to run the new patent pool, and set a target of having five AIDS drugs in the pool by mid-2010,” the group “punted on the thorny issue of which countries outside of Africa to include in the pool,” Forbes reports. Some drug makers have voiced opposition to the inclusion of countries such as Brazil, China and India in the patent pool, viewing “these as lucrative new markets,” the magazine writes.