“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.”
US Global Health Policy
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.
“The neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) produce a devastating level of chronic disability in sub-Saharan Africa, with some estimates suggesting that the NTD disease burden exceeds tuberculosis and is one-half that of malaria,” Julie Noblick and Richard Skolnick of George Washington University and Peter Hotez of the Sabin Vaccine Institute write in a PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases editorial. With noted relationships between the prevalence of NTDs and HIV, the diseases “demand a public health response from the established global HIV/AIDS community, in parallel with efforts to scale up NTD control,” they argue.
The June/July issue of USAID’s Frontlines focuses on climate change, including an article on how Kenyan farmers are adapting to environmental changes. The issue also includes articles on how the search for an HIV vaccine has boosted African research and on the introduction of the GeneXpert tuberculosis test in Central…
The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday released the FY12 Foreign Relations Authorization Act “that slashes State Department funding and foreign aid,” The Hill’s “On The Money” blog reports (Wasson, 7/26).