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U.N. Commission On The Status Of Women Opens In New York

Kicking off the two-week 55th Annual Session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women in New York on Tuesday, Michelle Bachelet, the first under-secretary-general and executive director of U.N. Women, highlighted the role of gender equality in country development, peace and security, Angola Press reports (2/23). The commission draws together government officials, U.N. representatives, and members of the private sector and civil society groups, according to a U.N. press release (2/22).

Also In Global Health News: Latent HIV; Nanovaccine Delivery; Investing In Disaster Preparedness In Pakistan; Gates Foundation Funding Journalism

Researchers To Test If Alcohol, Cocaine Addiction Drug Can Reduce Latent HIV Reservoirs Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, and Johns Hopkins University are recruiting patients to examine whether a drug prescribed to treat alcohol and cocaine addiction can reduce the amount of latent HIV among HIV-positive patients already taking…

Polio: Myanmar Plans Vaccination Campaign After Confirming First New Case In Three Years; India Fights Disease In Rural Areas

UNICEF said that Myanmar is planning a mass polio vaccination campaign of children under age five after the country confirmed its first case of the disease in three years, Agence France-Presse reports (2/21). “A seven-month-old infant was infected with vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) in December,” according to UNICEF’s office in the country, IRIN writes (2/17).

Haiti’s Cholera Outbreak Has Plateaued, Death Rate Remains High In Rural Regions, U.N. Says

The U.N. on Friday said Haiti’s cholera outbreak appears to be waning overall, but high death rates from the virus in rural regions of the country remain a concern, the Associated Press reports. According to figures released by the Haitian government, 231,070 cholera cases and 4,549 deaths from the disease have been reported since the outbreak first emerged in October.

Former U.N. Secretary-General Annan Discusses Africa’s Agriculture Potential At IFAD Conference

Kofi Annan, the former U.N. secretary-general who now heads the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), discussed the possibilities for agriculture in Africa and called for reforms to improve farming on the continent in a speech given Saturday during the opening day of the U.N. International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD) annual meeting in Rome, Italy, the Jakarta Post reports (Asrianti, 2/21).

Recent Releases In Global Health

New Resources On Federal Global Health, HIV/AIDS Budgets: The Kaiser Family Foundation has released a collection of new resources examining global health and HIV/AIDS funding in the Obama administration’s FY12 budget proposal. A new fact sheet breaks down the $9.8 billion budget request for the Global Health Initiative (GHI), a six-year,…

Event Marks Ceremonial Launch Of U.N. Women

“After years of planning, fundraising and consultations, U.N. Women was officially launched Thursday,” Inter Press Service reports, describing the expectations for the agency voiced by leaders gathered at the event (D’Almeida, 2/24). The ceremonial launch took place during a meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York, U.N. News Centre writes.

Researchers Report ‘Surprisingly Little’ Evidence That Economic Downturns Are Associated With Deep Development Aid Cuts

Despite concerns expressed by the World Bank and the WHO that the current economic climate would lead donor countries to scale back development assistance, a study (.pdf) published online Friday in the WHO Bulletin finds what the authors “described as ‘surprisingly little’ evidence that economic downturns are associated with deep cuts in aid, at least in the first few years of a financial crisis,” Reuters reports (Kelland, 2/25).

Nations Meet To Negotiate International Food Aid Terms

A group of nations are meeting in London this week to negotiate the Food Aid Convention (FAC), an “international agreement that governs food-aid commitments to hungry countries,” the Globe and Mail reports. Argentina, Australia, Canada, the European Union and its member states, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and the U.S. currently are included in the convention, which was last updated in 1999. Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa also would like FAC membership, according to the Globe and Mail.

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