“Agencies responsible for international development and foreign relations will see their budgets shrink as a result of the fiscal climate and at some point might have to consider staff reductions, according to participants in a Capitol Hill briefing on the impact of the debt ceiling deal,” Government Executive reports.
US Global Health Policy
GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog features an interview with Ellen Starbird, deputy director of the Office of Population and Reproductive Health at USAID, and Judy Manning, health development officer in USAID’s Research, Technology and Utilization Division, who discuss “family planning and reproductive health issues, including new innovations and promising technologies still in the research stage.” Starbird says that funding for family planning programs is critical for “making possible for women in the developing world the kinds of choices that women all over the developed world have” (Donnelly, 8/1).
PBS NewsHour on Monday profiled five projects to improve maternal and child health that are competing for a share of $14 million in research grants through the Saving Lives at Birth challenge.
“Haggling in Congress over bills to fund the state department and foreign operations in 2012 are worrying for those of us seeking to address global poverty and climate change, and respond to famine and other disasters,” Samuel Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction, writes in the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog.”
The Global Democracy Promotion Act (.pdf), recently introduced in the House by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), “would bar the use of U.S. foreign aid to restrict people’s liberty â€¦ [and] says that organizations accepting U.S. assistance cannot be forced to quash perfectly legal activities in return,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America Vice President Latanya Mapp Frett writes in a New York Daily News opinion piece. She says the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s recent vote to reinstate and expand the so-called “global gag rule” would “foste[r] unintended pregnancy, increasing the need for abortion and endangering women’s health.”
“The U.S. should improve coordination among its more than two dozen government departments to promote coherence in its multibillion-dollar foreign aid program and avoid duplication,” according to a peer review from the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Guardian reports.
The following opinion pieces address the drought and famine situation in the Horn of Africa:
Speaking at the Saving Lives at Birth Development Exchange at the State Department on Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton “prais[ed] innovators from around the globe for their work to protect the health and lives of mothers and children at birth, particularly in rural areas of the developing world,” IPP Digital reports (Babb, 7/28).
For the first time since the food crisis in the Horn of Africa began, a U.N. plane carrying 10 tons of food aid for children landed in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Wednesday, “as aid groups warned of a growing influx of hungry families from the famine-hit south of the country,” Reuters reports (Sheikh, 7/27).
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair John Kerry (D-Mass.) released a bill (.pdf) on Wednesday that would authorize FY12 and FY13 funding for the State Department and foreign operations, as well as key programs and initiatives, Foreign Policy’s blog “The Cable” reports.