GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog examines how Kenya is working to decrease the number of preventable deaths under a “recently launched … campaign called ‘Let’s Live,’ which sets a target of reducing preventable deaths in Kenya by 50 percent by December 2012.” Achieving that goal “would be an historic feat. But the country could seriously decrease numbers of preventable deaths if it used currently available health tools, such as the rotavirus vaccine,” the blog writes (Donnelly, 10/18).
US Global Health Policy
“Thousands of lives and years of gains made against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria could be lost if proportional reductions are made to achieve the $1.2 trillion in spending reductions required by the Budget Control Act of 2011,” according to a report (.pdf) issued on Monday by the Foundation for AIDS…
The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday approved legislation (HR 2829) that would withhold up to half of non-voluntary U.S. contributions to the United Nations “if, in two years, the United Nations is not collecting 80 percent of its regular budget in voluntary contributions,” Agence France-Presse reports. The panel “approved Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s (R-Fla.) bill by a party-line 23-15 vote after an angry debate over whether such a move would enhance or diminish U.S. global influence,” the news service writes. “The proposal could pass the Republican-led House of Representatives but faces stiff opposition in the Democratic-held Senate and from President Barack Obama, all but certainly dooming the measure,” AFP notes (10/14).
According to the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) on Thursday sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for “his leadership in launching a renewed global effort to end the AIDS pandemic on World AIDS Day, December 1.” The letter asked the president…
Noting some of the successes of U.S. foreign assistance in the area of global health, Christopher Elias, president and CEO of PATH, and Richard Stearns, president of World Vision U.S., write in The Hill’s “Congress Blog,” “Unfortunately, … American aid is being threatened with severe cuts, though it makes up less than one percent of the federal budget.” They continue, “When we also consider food aid, disaster assistance, and economic development, it is clear that millions upon millions of people are able to live healthy, productive lives today because of the goodwill of everyday Americans.”
At a ceremony marking World Food Day on Monday, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) “called for more transparency on commodity markets to prevent sharp spikes in global food prices and deplored the scale of world hunger,” Agence France-Presse reports (Le Roux, 10/16). “FAO chose the theme of ‘Food Prices — From Crisis to Stability’ for this year’s day to shed light on the trend and what can be done to mitigate its impact on the most vulnerable,” the U.N. News Centre writes.
In this Washington Post opinion piece, Raj Kumar, president of Devex and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and John Hewko, the general secretary and chief executive of Rotary International, report on the Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC), a government “corporation” established in 2004 under the George W. Bush administration “on the premise that U.S. foreign assistance would have the greatest impact if offered on a non-political basis to developing countries that adopt sound economic and social policies.” They write, “Congress has appropriated about $10 billion to the MCC over the past seven years, but the prudent agency has disbursed just a few billion,” and “the agency is now a takeover target.”
“As South Korean President Lee Myung-bak continued his state visit to the United States on Friday, a group of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) wants the Obama administration to explain what they call unconscionable delays in deciding whether to resume U.S. food assistance to North Korea,” Reuters reports. “Rising global commodities prices coupled with summer floods and typhoons have compounded the emergency this year, and the United Nations estimated in March that more than six million North Koreans urgently need food help,” the news agency writes.
Clinton Opposes GOP Bill To Cut U.S. Funding To U.N., Poll Finds Majority Of Americans Also Against Legislation
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in a letter to lawmakers on Wednesday “warned House Republicans about pushing ahead with a bill to cut funds for the United Nations, saying she would recommend that President Barack Obama veto the legislation” that is expected to be considered by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “Clinton said the bill would severely limit U.S. participation in the world body, undercut U.S. interests and damage the security of Americans at home and abroad,” AP writes (10/12).
“U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Gration has advised Kenya to seek new sources of money to finance health programs,” Kenya’s the Star reports, adding, “Gration said projects initiated by donors will only be sustainable if the Kenyan government takes over.” According to the newspaper, Gration made the comments after launching a campaign called “Let’s Live,” which will focus on maternal and infant mortality, HIV/AIDS, non-communicable diseases and child health “to reduce preventable deaths in Kenya by 50 percent by December 2012.”