At an event on Thursday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, co-hosted by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Brookings Institute, House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) unveiled a discussion draft of the Global Partnerships Act of 2011, aimed at “reshap[ing] foreign assistance, making it more relevant ‘by incorporating the best practices and lessons learned over the last half century,’” he said, the Malaria Policy Center’s “Malaria Watch” blog reports (Todd, 9/9). Released as a draft instead of a numbered bill in order to spur discussion, the document covers “the full spectrum of foreign aid — development, democracy promotion, arms transfers and nuclear nonproliferation — but doesnâ€™t include spending levels,” according to AEI’s “The Enterprise Blog” (Johnson, 9/8).
US Global Health Policy
Inter Press Service examines regulations related to human medical research, writing that “experiments carried out by U.S. doctors in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948 using 1,300 human subjects who were infected with sexually transmitted diseases highlighted the inadequacy of controls and safeguards in clinical testing in this Central American country — still a major problem today, according to experts.”
A VOA News editorial says U.S. support to Haiti since the early days of an outbreak of cholera, which has affected more than 439,600 people since it was first detected almost a year ago, “remains unfailing.” The editorial continues, “To date, the U.S. government has spent more than $75 million on improved water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, … has established and operated treatment centers and trained Haitian health care workers in preventing, diagnosing and treating cholera,” among other treatment, prevention and monitoring initiatives. “While some humanitarian groups are gradually reducing their operations in Haiti, the U.S. remains focused on giving the Haitian government the aid and tools needed to prevent and treat this potentially deadly disease,” the editorial says, adding, “The medical and public health response has been effective in limiting deaths associated with the disease” (9/12).
“Congress has … blocked $200 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority [PA] since August, in a move a PA official described as ‘collective punishment’ for its United Nations bid” for statehood, GlobalPost reports (10/1). “The economic package is separate from security aid, which the U.S. lawmakers say would be counterproductive to block,” Agence France-Presse writes (10/2).
At an event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Barbara Bush, CEO of Global Health Corps and a board member of Population Services International (PSI), told the Daily Caller that reducing foreign aid as part of efforts to reduce the national debt would have “enormous implications for the U.S. if we don’t continue the efforts that we’ve already started” (Ballasy, 10/3). The event marked the launch of a campaign called “The Power of 1%,” sponsored by PSI, FHI360, PATH, World Vision and ONE and aimed at highlighting “the economics of global health and the benefits U.S. investments overseas have for Americans at home,” according to a campaign press release (.pdf) (10/3).
U.S. Government Pledges Funding For Maternal Mortality Programs In Zambia, GHI Executive Director Says
“The [U.S.] government has said it is hopeful that Zambia will be able to reduce maternal and child mortality, and has pledged to contribute” millions in funding to programs to help further that goal, the Times of Zambia reports. “Speaking during a meeting between U.S. government officials and the media, Global Health Initiative (GHI) Executive Director Lois Quam pledged her government’s commitment to partnering with the Zambian government in order to address major health concerns in the country,” the newspaper adds.
In this RH Reality Check opinion piece, Matthew Kavanagh, director of U.S. advocacy at Health GAP (Global Access Project), and Dazon Dixon Diallo, founder and president of SisterLove, Incorporated, write, “With proof that treatment is prevention, and with this basket of broader prevention options, scientists and economists have finally been able to show what few could before: models of how we end the AIDS crisis.”
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…
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.”
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).