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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).

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).

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).

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).

Reflecting On Global AIDS Response In 2012

U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby, who heads the Department of State’s Office of Global Health Diplomacy, reflects on progress made in the global AIDS response over the last year in the State Department’s “DipNote” blog, writing, “Through the contributions of many partners, a new day has dawned in the global AIDS response … Today, while the fight is far from over, we are on the road to achieving an AIDS-free generation.” He continues, “As we enter the tenth year of PEPFAR, we do so filled with great hope for a future where an AIDS-free generation is, as [Secretary of State Hillary Clinton] stated, not just a rallying cry — it is a goal within our reach. And I am confident that 2013 can be another extraordinary year” (1/3).

GlobalPost Blog Interviews U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby

GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog interviews U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby “on the challenges and goals of the new PEPFAR blueprint and the promise of an AIDS-free generation.” According to the interview transcript, Goosby discusses how and why the international community is “at a turning point in the fight against AIDS,” lessons the U.S. can learn from Africa and PEPFAR, and challenges in creating the blueprint, among other topics (Judem, 12/27).

President Obama Nominates Sen. John Kerry For Secretary Of State

“President Barack Obama has nominated Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) for Secretary of State,” the Huffington Post reports, noting, “Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War veteran and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, will replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton” (12/21). “Kerry is expected to sail to confirmation, with both Republicans and Democrats praising the nomination,” the Associated Press/Huffington Post notes (Cassata, 12/21).

USAID Releases Action Plan On Children In Adversity

On Wednesday, USAID, “along with representatives from seven government agencies and departments, [launched] the first-ever, whole-of-government strategic guidance on international assistance for children in adversity,” a USAID press release reports. The goal of the guidance — titled “United States Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity: A Framework for International Assistance: 2012-2017” and drafted by the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Health and Human Services, Labor, and State, USAID and the Peace Corps — “is to achieve a world where all children live and grow up within protective family care and free from deprivation, exploitation, and danger,” the press release states (12/17).

Statement, Article Respond To New U.S. Office Of Global Health Diplomacy

The State Department on Friday announced the selection of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby to lead the State Department’s new Office of Global Health Diplomacy. The following press statement and article were published in response to the announcement.

Reflections On Selection Of Ambassador Goosby To Head U.S. Office Of Global Health Diplomacy

Noting U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator “Ambassador Eric Goosby has been selected to head the U.S. Department of State’s new Office of Global Health Diplomacy, officially turning the page in the ongoing saga of the program formally known as the Global Health Initiative (GHI),” Amanda Glassman, director of global health policy and a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD), writes in the center’s “Global Health Policy” blog that the appointment “stirred many of the same questions and concerns that arose from the GHI death notice and left me wondering: is this news a Christmas miracle or a lump of coal for U.S. global health programs?” In the joint post with Jenny Ottenhoff, policy outreach associate at the CGD, Glassman discusses her thoughts on how “a global health ambassador could prove a ‘value add’ to the U.S. global health architecture” and her “fear that ambassadorial leadership and increased diplomacy on their own are unlikely to move the GHI goals forward dramatically.” She continues, “While the official launch of the office is probably not the Christmas miracle U.S. global health programs need, it looks like a step forward considering the general dysfunction GHI faced the last four years” (12/17).