The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced on Tuesday that it plans to invest millions of dollars in projects aimed at improving sanitation in the developing world, the Guardian reports (Ford, 7/19).
US Global Health Policy
The Associated Press examines recent U.S. efforts to more clearly brand aid to Pakistan.
Speaking in Nairobi on Wednesday, Mark Bowden, U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, said the U.N. had officially declared a famine in the southern Bakool and Lower Shabelle regions of Somalia, VOA News reports (7/20).
“House Republicans sought to put their stamp on U.S. foreign policy Wednesday by advancing a bill that would slash federal payments to the United Nations and other international bodies and slap restrictions on aid to Pakistan, Egypt and others,” the Washington Post reports (Sheridan, 7/20).
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday “used a visit to India to highlight the damage done to women and children’s health in poor countries by poor quality stoves,” Agence France-Presse reports (7/20). During her visit, Clinton announced that two major Indian trade federations would sign on to the clean cookstove initiative, which could help spread the concept as well as new cookstove technology, Reuters writes.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday voted to “reinstate a ban on providing foreign aid to groups that perform abortions or provide advice about the procedure,” The Hill’s “HealthWatch” blog reports on the “so-called ‘global gag rule’” (Baker, 7/21).
Following a House Foreign Affairs Committee vote last week to reinstate and expand the “global gag rule” in the FY12 Foreign Relations Authorization Act (HR 2583), GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog features an interview with “Craig Lasher, theÂ director of U.S. government relations at Population Action International, about the global gag rule,…
In a Huffington Post opinion piece, Kolleen Bouchane, director of ACTION, asks whether President Barack Obama will “heed Archbishop [Desmond] Tutu’s call to action” in a recent Washington Post opinion piece “and do his part to end AIDS.” She says, “While campaigning, President Obama promised to expand PEPFAR ‘by $1 billion a year in new money over the next five years’ and provide $50 billion by 2013 to fight HIV/AIDS worldwide. We are not on track to see even those promises become reality. We are not on track for the leadership to change the course of HIV and AIDS that Tutu has called for.”
As Congress looks to reduce the U.S. national debt, “both the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate have proposed slashing financing for the State Department and its related aid agencies at a time of desperate humanitarian crises and uncertain political developments,” the New York Times reports. The proposed cuts to President Barack Obama’s FY12 spending request would be “the first significant cuts in overseas aid in nearly two decades, a retrenchment that officials and advocates say reflects the country’s diminishing ability to influence the world,” according to the newspaper. The reductions would affect global health programs and humanitarian assistance for disaster-hit areas, among other programs, the newspaper notes.
During a visit to Ethiopia’s capital on Tuesday, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah announced new grant programs to help the nation address food insecurity, the Associated Press reports. Shah said the U.S. will provide $110 million to a food security program that will benefit 1.5 million people, $10 million for a nutrition program and $1.2 million for loans to farmers, the news agency notes (10/4).