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Agweek Examines USAID’s Food Aid Purchases

Agweek examines USAID’s approach to purchasing food aid. The piece notes USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah’s comments from his October 15 remarks at the World Food Prize symposium in Des Moines, Iowa, when he explained that USAID has used $250 million to purchase foodstuffs in developing countries this year.

U.S. Government Report Says U.S. Aid Effort In Afghanistan Is Poorly Coordinated

An audit (.pdf) of U.S. projects to rebuild Afghanistan “found a ‘confusing labyrinth’ of agencies and contractors in a poorly coordinated aid effort” that cannot easily demonstrate how money is being spent, a report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said on Wednesday, Reuters reports (10/27).

Also In Global Health News: Disasters In Indonesia; Maternal Health In Pakistan; Gates Grand Challenges Grants; Development Innovation Ventures; Dengue Fever Treatment

Death Toll Rises From Two Disasters In Indonesia; Minister Says Aid Not Needed Yet The death toll from two recent disasters in Indonesia – a tsunami and volcano eruption – “rose to more than 340 Thursday” and hundreds were reportedly missing, the Associated Press reports. According to an official, “a warning system installed…

Sec. of State Clinton Commits $44M Toward New Initiatives To Empower Women

Marking the 10th anniversary of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 – the first “to recognize the importance of women’s ‘full involvement’ in efforts to maintain and promote peace and security” – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday together with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and diplomats called for increased action to end sexual violence in war and increase women’s involvement in peace-building efforts, the Associated Press/Forbes reports (10/26).

Polio Vaccination Campaign Targeting 72M Children In 15 African Countries Announced; Ugandan Health Authorities Declare Polio Outbreak

The WHO on Tuesday announced a mass polio immunization campaign in 15 African countries targeting a total of 72 million children, Agence France-Presse reports. “Polio has spread again in recent years with cases imported from some of the four endemic nations in Asia and Africa, mainly Nigeria, in a setback to global attempts to eradicate the crippling and sometimes lethal disease,” the news service writes (10/26).

Also In Global Health News: Flooding, HIV Treatment Adherence, and Economic Growth In Africa; China Detects Superbug; U.S. Aid To Myanmar; Cash-Transfer Programs

1.8M Now Affected By Flooding In West And Central Africa; Hardest Hit-Benin Struggles With Disease, Damaged Health Centers Flooding continues to devastate Central and West Africa – more than 1.8 million people have been affected and 400 killed, according to the U.N., United Press International reports. “The nation of Benin has…

New York Times Profiles USAID Administrator Shah

The New York Times profiles USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah and examines the challenges that come with leading the development agency at this point in time. “A staunch supporter of Mr. Obama’s candidacy, he said he viewed his election as a Kennedy moment – worth trading weekend hikes in Washington State for the Beltway slog of Washington,” the New York Times writes of Shah, who explained his decision to join the government by describing himself as a “chronic complainer when we’re not in power.” Shah said, “I believe that these moments in history, when you have this kind of president, are rare.”

Also In Global Health News: PEPFAR-Supported Programs In Uganda; Cholera In Nigeria; $275M For Jordan’s Water Supply; Recovered Global Fund Money In Uganda; Maternal Health In India; Malnutrition In Yemen

PEPFAR Awards $250M To Uganda For HIV/AIDS Treatment, Prevention Programs The U.S. government, through PEPFAR, has provided “eleven new awards [which] amount to a quarter of a billion dollar investment over five years” to Uganda “in support” of the country’s HIV/AIDS response, a U.S. Mission press release states (10/21). Uganda’s…

Aid Agencies Threaten To Leave Afghanistan As President Karzai Orders Private Security Firms To Dissolve

“Companies and aid organizations implementing hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S.-funded projects here say they are preparing to leave Afghanistan unless President Hamid Karzai amends a decree that outlaws their private security protection,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Accusing private firms of “causing civilian casualties and colluding with the Taliban,” Karzai ordered them to dissolve by 2011; he has made an exception for foreign military bases and embassies but not aid and development organizations, according to the newspaper.