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Implementation Of Maternal And Child Health Innovations Important

In a Huffington Post opinion piece, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah writes about the Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge in Development competition, which “called for groundbreaking prevention and treatment approaches for pregnant mothers and newborns around the time of birth in rural settings.”

Faith-Based Organizations Assist In Fight Against Malaria

Natasha Bilimoria, president of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, discusses the importance of faith-based organizations in battling malaria in this post on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog. “Reaching people where they live, work and worship is as important for supporters as…

A.U. Pledges $46M For Horn Of Africa; USAID Official Discusses U.S. Response

At a meeting of the African Union (A.U.) in Ethiopia on Thursday, “African governments … pledged $46 million for the crisis in the Horn of Africa amid warnings that the emergency stretches far beyond hunger to encompass health, security and livelihood,” the Guardian reports. The amount fell short of the $50 million asked for by the aid group Africans Act 4 Africa, the newspaper adds, noting that “the African Development Bank announced a $300 million donation for long-term development in the Horn of Africa” (Tran, 8/25). Reuters reports that money is “to be spent over a four-year period, not to be used to bridge a $1.4 billion shortfall aid groups say they need for the emergency” (Malone, 8/26).

Shah Announces Additional $23M U.S. Pledge For Horn Of Africa At Minnesota Public Forum On Famine

At a public forum on the famine in the Horn of Africa held at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota on Wednesday, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah “announced the U.S. is pledging an additional $23 million in grants to support famine relief efforts, bringing the total commitment from the United States to $600 million,” the Associated Press/KSTP reports (Theisen, 8/31). House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) also attended the forum, which was moderated by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and drew about 350 people, including many in the local Somali community, KARE 11 writes (Croman, 8/31).

Family Planning Should Be 'Cornerstone' Of U.S. Policy In Afghanistan

“Without attention to population, countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan stand a good chance of staying mired in poverty, conflict, and corrupt, repressive government. That is why sustained investment in family planning by the United States and other countries would do more to stabilize the political climate there than any other foreign-policy initiative,” Jennifer Dabbs Sciubba, former Defense Department consultant and the Mellon Environmental Fellow in the department of international studies at Rhodes College, writes in a Philadelphia Inquirer opinion piece.

NPR Examines Legacy Of Walter Reed Army Medical Center's Institute Of Research In Battle Against Malaria

“As the Walter Reed Army Medical Center decamps from its D.C. campus this month and merges with the Bethesda Naval Hospital five miles away,” NPR reports on the legacy of “the center’s Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, housed for the past decade on its own campus in Maryland, just outside Washington, [as] one of the world’s premier research centers for infectious diseases.” The piece, which is part of the news agency’s series on the closure of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, notes, “No other place has done as much to prevent and treat malaria. And certainly, no one has done it so cheaply.”

U.S. Calls For 'Unfettered' Access To Provide Humanitarian Assistance To 4M Somalis

Nancy Lindborg, USAID’s assistant administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, writes in this post in USAID’s “IMPACTblog” that the U.S. “continue[s] to call on all parties involved to allow unfettered humanitarian access to Somalis in need.” She continues, “The unfortunate reality is that Somalia is the most difficult operating environment for humanitarians in the world today,” adding that “unless we — the international community — can get access to provide humanitarian assistance to southern Somalia, the already horrific situation will get worse. Without access, the number of people in crisis will increase, and famine will continue to spread in Somalia” (9/6).

Potential Budget Cuts Threaten U.S. Diplomacy And Development Aid, Reuters Reports

Reuters examines how budget debates in Congress “could undo” President Barack Obama’s “‘smart power’ approach, which elevates diplomacy and development alongside military power as guarantors of U.S. security in a rapidly changing world.” Programs run through the State Department and USAID that provide “[f]ood aid to hungry countries, … improved medical services for expectant mothers and the U.S. response to natural disasters such as earthquakes and droughts could be hit in a major scale-back of U.S. assistance,” the news agency writes.