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Global Health Aid Continues To Grow Despite Recession, Report Indicates

“Spending to improve health in developing countries has continued to grow during the three-year economic downturn, although at only half the blistering pace it did a decade ago,” according to a report (.pdf) by researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), the Washington Post reports (Brown, 12/14). “The report details the trends in development assistance for health between 1990 and 2009 from aid agencies and governments in 23 developed countries, multilateral institutions such as the [WHO], and hundreds of non-profit groups and charities with preliminary estimates for 2010 and 2011,” an IHME press release states (12/14). “Overall, spending on malaria and child health problems has grown more rapidly in the past few years than spending on AIDS and tuberculosis,” according to the report, the Washington Post notes (12/14).

U.N. Issues $1.5B 2012 Joint Appeal For Humanitarian Aid In Somalia

The U.N. on Tuesday issued its 2012 consolidated appeal process (CAP), or joint appeal, for $1.5 billion to fund 350 projects in Somalia, “where famine and conflict have already cost tens of thousands of lives,” the Guardian reports (Chonghaile, 12/13). “The $1.5 billion appeal is based on a realistic assessment of the emergency needs of four million people in crisis, tens of thousands of whom will die without assistance,” Mark Bowden, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, said, Agence France-Presse notes.

Emerging Economies Taking Greater Role In Development Aid

“The past year has underlined how the dramatic growth of some of the world’s most populous developing economies is propelling a remarkable shift in the global geopolitics of aid and development,” the Guardian reports in an article examining how “non-traditional donors” contributed large amounts to several humanitarian crises this year.

Potential Budget Cuts Threaten U.S. Military HIV Research Program

This post in the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog examines how potential budget cuts are threatening the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) Military HIV Research Program (MHRP), “a $175 million program supported by the Department of Defense and other entities that is vulnerable to cuts…

Goal Of Near-Zero Malaria Deaths Attainable With Continued Will, Resources

In this TIME “Ideas” opinion piece, David Bowen, CEO of Malaria No More, writes that with the right resources and political will, an end to malaria is possible. He recounts progress made against the disease, citing a report by the WHO released Tuesday that shows “deaths from malaria have fallen by more than 25 percent globally since 2000 — and by more than five percent in the last year alone,” and writes, “Despite these gains, much more needs to be done. The unacceptable fact still remains that malaria claims a child’s life in Africa every minute. The world has begun to mobilize the skills, resources and innovative genius needed to end this terrible death toll.”

Pharma Exports, R&D Investment Benefit U.S. Economy, Global Health And Must Be Protected

In this post in the Hill’s “Congress Blog,” John Castellani, president and CEO of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, reports on how biopharmaceutical exports benefit the U.S. economy and global health, writing, “Leadership is needed to help keep U.S. biopharmaceutical research companies competitive in the global export market.” He continues, “According to the Administration, if we increased exports by just five percent, we would create hundreds of thousands of new U.S. jobs. … Among the ways that they can advance this effort is by knocking down foreign barriers and promoting strong intellectual property (IP) protections that allow biopharmaceutical companies to bring their medicines into other markets and, importantly, to the patients who need them.”

Malaria Mortality Rates Down, But Progress Threatened By Funding Shortfall, WHO Report Says

“Malaria mortality rates have fallen by more than 25 percent globally since 2000, and by 33 percent in the WHO African Region, according to the World Malaria Report 2011, issued [Tuesday] by [the] WHO,” the organization reports in a press release. “This is the result of a significant scaling-up of malaria prevention and control measures in the last decade,” the press release adds. However, the press release notes, “WHO warns that a projected shortfall in funding threatens the fragile gains and that the double challenge of emerging drug and insecticide resistance needs to be proactively addressed” (12/13).

People In Swaziland Protesting Shortages Of ARVs Amid Government Financial Crisis

In Swaziland, where a “deepening financial crisis is taking a toll on service delivery, and the country is experiencing an unprecedented number of protests over issues such as school closures and a lack of HIV treatment,” “[a] new wave of HIV activism is rising … as people living with HIV take to the streets in protest, many for the first time in their lives, over continued shortages of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment,” PlusNews reports.

U.S. Investments In HIV Treatment Internationally, Domestically ‘Should Pay Off’

“We welcome the Obama administration’s announcement of a farsighted effort to treat millions more [people living with HIV] abroad, especially in sub-Saharan Africa,” a New York Times editorial writes. “The administration expects that the expanded treatments can be paid for with existing resources, by pushing for greater efficiencies and more financing from recipient nations. But if that effort stalls, the administration should re-evaluate quickly whether to ask Congress for money,” the editorial states.

Donors Must Continue Funding R&D To Bring New Global Health Technologies To Patients

In this post in the Hill’s “Congress Blog,” Kaitlin Christenson, the coalition director of the Global Health Technologies Coalition; Jim Connolly, president and CEO of Aeras; and Mel Spigelman, president and CEO of the TB Alliance, respond to a recently released G-FINDER report that shows “overall global investment in the research and development (R&D) of [new global health technologies] has declined for the first time since 2007, when the tracking of such funding began,” writing, “This decline is especially troubling given that there are more than 100 products in [the Product Development Partnerships’ (PDPs)] pipelines.”

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