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Foreign Aid Being 'Held Up' By Congress

In a Foreign Policy opinion piece, FP staff writer Josh Rogin lists foreign aid as one of “the top eight foreign-policy items currently held up by the do-nothing 112th Congress.” According to Rogin, “Everyone agrees that the foreign aid system is broken. Over-outsourcing, poor monitoring, and a lack of cohesion and accountability have plagued the U.S. aid system for decades. However, nobody in Congress agrees on exactly how to fix it. … The result is a nasty stalemate – a familiar feature in Congress as the country heads into the 2012 presidential season” (8/4).

USAID Swears In New Global Health Assistant Administrator

Ariel Pablos-Mendez on Wednesday was sworn in as the new assistant administrator for the Global Health Bureau at USAID, according to a USAID press release. Pablos-Mendez, who is a physician, most recently served as managing director at the Rockefeller Foundation, “where he led the foundation’s global health strategy on the…

Feed The Future Working To Improve Drought Resiliency

Food insecurity in the Horn of Africa “is driven by cyclical drought, poor land management practices, limited availability of animal health services, food inflation, conflict over land and water, poor hygiene practices, and lack of dietary diversity,” Paul Weisenfeld, assistant to the administrator, Bureau of Food Security at USAID, writes…

Kaiser Family Foundation Updates Global Health Policy Tracker

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Global Health Policy Tracker has been updated to include a simpler, streamlined format to help users find and track the latest developments on U.S. global health policy issues, according to a press release. Recent updates address the House State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for FY12,…

Obama Administration Issues New Guidance On Aid To Drought-Stricken Somalia

The Obama administration on Tuesday issued new guidance stating “the U.S. would not prosecute relief agencies for delivering aid to parts of Somalia controlled by the Islamist insurgent group al-Shabab, despite concerns that unrestricted aid in the failed state would be diverted to the wrong hands,” Inter Press Service reports (Hough, 8/2).

U.S., Western Governments Can Help Prevent 'Mass Starvation' In Somalia

With the State Department’s reassurance to aid groups on Tuesday that they “will not face prosecution if they are forced to pay bribes to al-Shabab or if militants divert some food supplies,” organizations still have “the problem of gaining access to famine victims and ensuring the safety of their personnel, a number of whom have been murdered by the militants,” a Washington Post editorial says. “But the crisis may be causing al-Shabab’s cohesion to break down; some commanders have been cutting deals with aid organizations to receive food supplies,” the editorial states.

GlobalPost Interviews USAID Officials About Family Planning, Funding

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).