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Foreign Aid Developments In 2013

Sarah Jane Staats, director of the Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Program at the Center for Global Development (CGD), reflects on “some happy news for foreign aid in the new year” in a post in the CGD’s “Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance Blog.” She notes “the White House appointed nine members to the President’s Global Development Council, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an aid transparency bill 390-0, and the fiscal cliff deal postpone[d] across-the-board budget cuts,” and she expands on each of these developments (1/2).

Devex Examines Potential Impact Of ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Legislation On Foreign Aid

“Now that U.S. President Barack Obama … has signed hard-fought legislation to avert the much-dreaded fiscal cliff, details are emerging on what its impact may be on foreign aid spending,” Devex reports. The news service adds, “The quick answer: It’s not entirely clear.” Devex quotes an analysis written by Jeremy Kadden, senior legislative manager for InterAction, and comments made by Jordie Hannum, director of the Better World Campaign, who spoke with the U.N. Dispatch about the legislation. The news service notes, “Negotiations on the fiscal 2013 budget will start earnestly later this month after President Barack Obama unveils his spending proposal” (Rosenkranz, 1/4).

Secretary Of State Nominee Sen. John Kerry Would Continue Administration’s Focus On Global Health, Food Security, Devex Reports

“President Barack Obama’s ‘perfect choice’ for state secretary” — Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) — “is not only expected to advance the administration’s agenda on global health and food security, but he might also lend new heft to efforts to rein in climate change, one of Kerry’s long-time priorities, with a team of advisers that is expected to include several with a background in international development,” Devex reports. “As secretary of state, Kerry can be expected to continue the administration’s reform agenda and reliance on what it calls ‘smart power,’ a mix of diplomacy and development cooperation focused on health, food security and governance through capacity building and engaging with local civil society and the private sector,” Devex continues, adding, “The Massachusetts senator and former presidential candidate laid out his support of a robust U.S. aid budget and what he calls ‘economic statecraft’ in a February 2012 Wall Street Journal op-ed …, in which he wrote that ‘energetic global leadership is a strategic imperative for America, not a favor we do for other countries'” (Rosenkranz, 1/2).

USAID Series Examines Risk Reduction Activities In Bangladesh

USAID’s “IMPACTblog” introduces the newest installment of the agency’s “Pounds of Prevention” series, which focuses on risk reduction activities in Bangladesh. “Bangladesh is one of the world’s most hazard-prone countries, susceptible to earthquakes, droughts, flooding, tidal surges, and cyclones,” USAID writes in an accompanying document (.pdf), adding, “To meet the challenges posed by these threats as well as the effects of climate change, USAID, the Government of Bangladesh, and their partners have invested in a comprehensive approach to disaster risk reduction” (Fleming, 1/4).

Involving Youth In Shaping Global Development Agenda

“The first-ever USAID Youth in Development Policy (PDF) … provides important opportunities to involve global youth in shaping our development agenda and advancing their health and rights,” the Youth Health and Rights Coalition writes in USAID’s “IMPACTblog.” Given that “nearly half of the world’s population — some three billion people…

‘Science Speaks’ Examines New Senate Committee Members’ Support For Global Health

The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog profiles Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), discusses their different committee appointments, and examines their support for global health initiatives. “With chairs hailing from two states that serve as headquarters to global health agenda setters, and…

92% Of Voters Surveyed Favor U.S. Support Of WHO, Better World Campaign Poll Shows

A new poll (.pdf) released on Wednesday by the Better World Campaign (BWC) “found that 61 percent of voters see the WHO favorably and 92 percent say the United States should continue contributing money to the agency,” The Hill’s “Healthwatch” blog reports. “The BWC touted its figures and argued U.S. funding for…

Harvard School Of Public Health Conference Recognizes PEPFAR Achievements

PEPFAR “has played a major role in changing the course of the global AIDS epidemic,” Harvard Magazine reports. “On January 10, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) recognized that achievement, and its own role therein, by hosting a conference titled ‘PEPFAR in Africa: HSPH’s Role in the Largest Public Health Endeavor in…

Do Not ‘Give Up’ On Successful Anti-Hunger Initiatives

“As an anti-hunger advocate, … I am hopeful about the global change that President Obama could make in his second term, especially when it comes to reducing poverty, but I worry Congress might toss the hungry off the fiscal cliff,” Katie Campbell, senior policy analyst with ActionAid U.S., writes in…

Commentaries Examine Aid Community’s Expectations As President Obama Begins Second Term

Noting “Barack Obama’s second term as president of the United States officially began on Sunday,” Devex’s “Pennsylvania Ave.” blog highlights “a series of guest commentary by non-profit leaders” that examine what the aid community expects from Obama in the next four years. According to the blog, the commentaries touch “on…